Do you like your job?
Once, during a hospital signing, the signers kept me waiting forever while they puttered around, and drafted a document on my time. After keeping me waiting for 45 minutes and seeing my facial expression, the lady asked, “Do you like your job?”. I said, I like it better when my clients are prepared and have the document ready BEFORE they call me.
I killed myself to arrive on time for that job. I had other things to do. I rushed to the hospital in Pasadena to serve a family of unprepared and unconcerned people whose kids were running around, and parents were casually talking. I tried to be very patient, so I wouldn’t rush them. The clock was ticking. It was late at night, and there were no other jobs to go to — just my comfortable bed, and television. I sat staring at the wall and the minutes went by. In the mobile notary business, you get complaints when you rush people. But, when you don’t rush people, they take all day!
What bothered me most was their casual laissez-faire attitude. Not one person in the family could care less about how they had wasted my evening. They took their sweet time preparing the document and having casual conversations while they did it. Where was the sense of urgency? What prevented them from preparing the document ahead of time? It is experiences like this, that provoked me to write materials to keep newer notaries out of this type of situation to begin with.
Smart notaries announce their terms over the phone. Here is what the down-to-business types would say:
“I want my travel fee at the door. I charge waiting time. Its $15 every 15 minutes — no exceptions. Its $10 per signature to notarize documents. If the signer is not able to sign for any reason — I’m out the door. Please make sure they are awake, sober, and conversational.” But, I was very friendly and relaxed. I didn’t want people to think I was a hustler, and look what happened to me. 45 minutes down the drain for nothing.
I had been very patient for a very long time watching them unnecessarily waste my time. The lady looked at me and said, “Do you like your job?”. I didn’t want to be rude, but, this lady really provoked me.
I had another job in Long Beach which was exactly the opposite. The signers were jazz musicians and stayed up all night. They needed me to go to a hospital to notarize for a sick relative. They knew the drill and everything was prepared, ID and all. What a relief! Not only were they prepared, but they entertained me with their conversation, and made me happy with their friendly disposition. Sure, they had me come at 2am, but for this crowd, I would have notarized them at 4am they were so nice.
I wish it were possible for a California notary to notarize across the border in Las Vegas. Boy, would that be fun. You could work for a few hours doing signings, and then entertain yourself, get a hotel, and drive back the next day. A long time ago, I used to do feng-shui consultations for people. I admit, I was not the best in town, but I met some wonderful people doing those jobs. A very personable Filipino lady from Las Vegas called me. She talked me into driving all the way out there to Las Vegas. She bought me dinner, talked me up, and got me a free hotel room through her connections. It turns out to have been the most fun feng-shui job I had ever done, and I’ll remember that particular short, but sweet Las Vegas trip forever.