Notary Blog – Signing Tips, Marketing Tips, General Notary Advice – 123notary.com Control Panel

January 2, 2011

Some of you people have a few screws loose.

When I ask people questions to test their competency, it is remarkable how many people have screws loose.

When I talk to my psychic, I talk to him for an hour every week or two. I do not ask him to repeat anything in an hour. When I talk to Carmen or Adine on the phone, I never have to have them repeat anything. It is remarkable how many of my clients have me repeat myself multiple times in a very short conversation. Do they not understand the confusing technical language I am using with terms like, “Venue, Notarial Act, Acknowledgment, Journal or Affiant?” If you don’t know Notary language, time to look up some terms in our glossary. That is your jour to know!

Normally when I ask people, “If you have TWO people each of whom is signing THREE notarized documents, how many journal entries should you fill out.” The Notary repeats back to me, “Okay, so you have THREE people each signing how many documents?” First of all, it is two people, how can you scramble that? Additionally, they are not signing three documents, they are signing three NOTARIZED documents. If the documents are not notarized documents, you don’t need to fill out any journal entries.

That would lead me to a great trick question — if you have two signers signing three documents, how many journal entries would you need to create? None! Because the documents were not designated to be notarized!

Changing the Scenario
When I ask, “If the ID says John Smith, but the name on the signature of the documetn says, John W Smith, without changing the scenario, can you notarize the signature?” Most people immediately say they would ask for another ID. But, asking for another ID is what I told you specifically not to do, namely, changing the scenario. I am trying to test your skills on saying yes or no to questions with limited parameters, not your skill at changing the question to a completely different quesiton that you prefer to answer. Answer questions as asked or you lose points. It is not rocket science — and the answer is NO. You are a Notary, yet the word you have the most trouble saying is, “NO.”

Talking endlessly
When I ask quick questions I have thousands of people to ask. If you talk endlessly and I have to ask you to stop talking, that is a huge headache for me. Just answer questions quickly without rambling and we can finish our quiz quickly.

Some people take forever to think of answer to questions. The most relentless question is when I ask people which Notary Acts are legal in their state. Most people have to think for a long time. You do Acknowledgements, Jurats and Oaths daily, why is it like rocket science for you to open your mouth and spit it out? Do you not know that those are considered official notarial acts in your state or in most states? A few states don’t have an official Jurat, but they have other acts similar to it such as Verification under Oath or Affidavits or Sworn Statements.

In short, the behavior of Notaries always seems somewhat mentally impaired. Less than 10% of Notaries on 123notary can just answer simple questions without asking me to repeat, scrambling information, changing the scenario, giving round about answers, rambling endlessly or taking a lot of my time. I just want to test your competency. I don’t have all day for nonsense. Try to discipline yourself to answer questions the way they were asked because the business world doesn’t have the patience for this type of nonsense. It is purely unprofessional.


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  1. Jeremy, I certainly don’t want to get on your bad side, but would like to make a few comments.
    1. My hearing has deteriorated with age,, and I sometimes ask folks to repeat the question to insure I heard it correctly.
    2. I might be able to respond more quickly if you would speak a little slower
    3. I have been called late at night while already in bed. It takes me a little while to get up to full function after being awoke from a deep
    4. You ask California questions that may not necessarily apply in my State., and it takes a little longer to process an answer to your
    5. If the FBI came to my door & asked for a thumbprint or anything else in my journal, I would not show it to them without a warrant.
    I do appreciate your help in cleaning up my notes & am glad I passed your most recent test.

    Comment by Larry Emsweller — June 2, 2018 @ 1:45 am

  2. You offer a wonderful service and thank you for that. But I have noticed how much disdain you have for non-CA notaries that try to make all this work in the rest of the country. We are in a time where the business slid into nothingness right along with the payments. Most notaries won’t waste their time on a signing here and there where the small payment would only come 6 – 8 weeks or more after the job was done. What you have now are those folks that can afford to take up this slack. We really are lucky they are there to fill in the gaps when so many others have moved on to other ventures. My hat is off to those who are trying to do their best to keep the business alive. I will support them in any way I can. Thank you so much for allowing me to comment.

    Comment by Carol Johnson — June 2, 2018 @ 8:34 pm

  3. Jeremy, I too don’t want to get on your bad side and totally respect your standards that notaries need to study and keep up to date.
    However, in the trenches things are much different than being asked questions over the phone at a time you are not mentally prepared for. When I am going to a signing and before ( even at the time of making the appointment) I begin resherasing, thinking, and planning for the possible events of the signing. I have more the one form of employment, so it takes me a moment or two to get in my Notary frame of mind. Honestly, answering question after question over the phone is not a full measure of the quality of a notaries knowledge or expertise. That said, you provide a valuable service to all and I applaud you. I know my phone call to test is coming, I only hope its in the am and you don’t mind my long pauses to think! jk

    Comment by David R Collins — June 7, 2018 @ 7:13 pm

  4. That is why I no longer ask questions you are not mentally prepared for, I ask questions you aren’t emotionally prepared for (just kidding). I changed my mode of operations to do questions by email. Most people do not respond and those who do give horrible answers for the most part (sad.) However, those who want to get certified can study from Notary Public 101 so that they will be amply prepared, and confident cause they are sure (sounds like a deoderent commercial).

    Comment by admin — March 21, 2019 @ 6:31 am

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