How to make your Notary Crazy

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How to make your Notary Crazy

There are many ways to make a notary crazy. This post departs from my usual “dry” factual entries, to, with a bit of humor; describe some of the situations that have substantially affected my brown hair to white hair ratio, favoring the latter. Money, time, and information seem central to creating a frustrating situation. “I just have 2 documents to notarize”, states my caller with a very sincere voice. I quote a price and arrive to find that in addition to the 2 documents there is a need to notarize the 57 copies! “But they’re just copies!” – sayeth the client. Now it’s time for a new fee discussion, and “out the window” with my carefully planned route / schedule. I always ask about the client’s ID – is it government issued with a photo? Then I arrive to find they have a Social Security card (no picture), and proudly present to me a photo ID from “Freddie’s Gym”.

As a – with emphasis on the “mobile” – I get to go to interesting places. Client apartments can be rife with distractions: squalling kids, barking dogs, flying birds, jumping cats; and let me not forget to mention: nudists. One rugged client; on a cold and windy day, wanted to sign papers (a thick stack of loan documents) on a park bench. There is nothing like hearing the “clang” of the metal door sliding shut when you enter a prison or secured section of a mental hospital facility – they warn you: “Don’t lose your exit pass, without it you become a new resident”. One rush job, considering New York City traffic, required me to use my motorcycle – and notarize the documents using a clipboard on the gas tank of the bike.

Notaries are strongly forbidden, unless they are also attorneys, to “practice law”; which includes the creation of legal documents or giving legal advice. “But you know more about this stuff than I do – tell me how to word the contract”, is an all too common request. I explain my legal limitations and the client simply rewords the same request – several times. I offer services at all days and times. However, being human, I need to sleep sometimes. Receiving a casual question, at 4AM, causes another hair of to turn white. On my site I request “wee hour” calls are limited to genuine emergencies.

Misinformation can be the greatest cause of notary frustration. My client has a serious problem and a tight deadline. However, the meeting address is not accurate, and they are not answering the now presumed to be incorrect cell phone number. I have other work to do. An hour after the scheduled meeting they call – outraged that I did not honor my commitment to meet them. I explain that the carefully logged address does not exist, nor did they answer their cell. “Oh – that address was “where I was”, “not where I want to meet you” – and my cell number changed last week – can you get here in 10 minutes? 


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Kenneth Edelstein

The only A+ Accredited BBB NYC Notary
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