Notary Etiquette – what to say and what not to say
Politeness is hard to gauge in any society. In a social environment, if people don’t like your comments, they just won’t associate with you. But, in a business environment, you will lose valuable clients. Personally, I am the worst person to write this post, because I am notorious for saying the wrong thing at every given opportunity. On the other hand, maybe thats why I am the perfect person to write this article — I know what one has to lose by opening their mouth!
Some people treat professionalism by being overly uptight, no fun, and addressing people as Mr Smith, and Mrs. Sutterfield. They never crack a joke, and never express an opinion. They will dress well, and get their job done, but were they a pleasure to deal with? Sometimes I really tune into this issue at the Japanese restaurant down the street.
The Japanese restaurant
Its less than two miles away — a Japanese restaurant so good, its worth walking a mile to get to. With the lack of parking, sometimes I do walk at least half a mile, and then wait to be seated. They are the best cooks, and are very professionally dressed in their black ninja outfits. Politeness is never an issue, but there are never opinions, and small talk is …. well… “small”. Then, a new guy started working there. He is ultra friendly and talkative while being extremely polte. We talk about every topic under the sun (not the rising sun). He can talk about any subject while being careful not to criticize others. Maybe he should be writing this blog entry!
To get good reviews with the signing services, you need to be a pleasure to work with. Being human and friendly is part of the game — of course without sacrificing professionalism. I really want to get responses from this blog on what the notaries consider the “right amount” of being friendly. The trick is knowing what to talk about and how to talk about it. With me, I’ll quickly digress into some inappropriate political discussion: a big no-no. But, weather is a much safer bet. But, even weather can be controversial. Talking about rain is safe, but should you wait for the other person to bring up the subject of tsunamis just to be safe? If its me, I’ll even ruin the subject of weather by bringing in the concept that God is upset with humans and thats why we are having the tsumani. I’ll alienate borrowers even with the safest of topics. Maybe I should stick to hurricanes. At least with hurricanes I can blame the government for being neglegent about building levies, and leave God out of it!!!
Traffic is a safe topic, especially for me, since its clearly the fault of humans and not God’s wrath. But, what if you are late and talk about traffic. Then, its no longer fun conversation — its an excuse… There’s a no-no! Only talk about traffic if you are on time! If its me, I’ll ruin even a nice conversation about traffic, by blaming the government for keeping gas taxes so low. After that remark, even the socialists will outcaste me! But, its true — if gas were $7 per gallon, there wouldn’t be any traffic — ever!!!
Fashion – is it safe?
Fashion could go either way. It depends on whether the other person has the same tastes as you. But, sticking to more “universal” topics like where the best sales are for general items is relatively safe. Talking about general items is politically correct, but when it gets into tweed blazers, you are entering an area of sociological barriers. The professors will like the conversation, and everyone else will raise their eyebrows!
Guns and Religion?
Obama really blew it with this comment. Religion teaches peace, so how can religious people love guns so much? Do they want to fight for peace? Don’t talk about this at a signing! But, if you can pull off talking about what happened at church last week without alienating those of a different caste, creed or faith, I’ll be impressed. If you can make this type of conversation “universal” in nature, you are a professional at knowing what to say and how to say it. I would personally give you a reward!
OHG… stay away!!! The most political statement you can get away with is how you bumped into Obama at the swimming pool. That will work. You can mention how he out swam you. I heard he keeps very fit!
If you follow these tips, you will be a more professional notary!
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