When you Goof
Any Vulcans or Androids reading this? As these characters on Startrek embody perfection; they have no need to read further. Oh? You’re human – then read on because as certain as death and taxes you will make a mistake when you notarize on a regular basis. Only do one notarization a year? Chances are that if you are reading blogs here on 123notary.com you will get those rare events perfect. But, for the rest of us; the many thousand details annually virtually guarantee some errors.
The gotchas come from far and wide. I always look at my watch to verify the date; every time. And, my watch is right “most of the time”. The date changes every 24 hours to the next number ranging from 1 to 31. But, alas, my watch does not know which months have less than 31 days. It’s not too hard to imagine an entry on a loose ack of Sept 31! Some names are lengthy and to many, difficult to spell. Even when copying directly from the driver license it’s easy to transpose a letter or two. Magicians use “misdirection” to direct your attention away from what they are really doing. In an “attention diverted” situation; resuming what you were doing requires extreme care.
You can defend against virtually all error by learning how to double check your work. It’s not as easy as it sounds. An error made the first time; will probably look “just as correct” the second time. When it comes to double checking, the safety expression “Speed Kills” sums it up perfectly. You cannot really do that verification of your work if you go “more quickly” than when you did it the first time. Actually, because you tend to “see what you want to see” – you really have to go much slower to check your work, compared to the time it took you to do the work.
Let’s assume that one slipped past your most diligent double check, what now? It’s a widely known fact that the “fix it” fairy exists, and with pixie dust plus a stroke of the pen; often “makes it right”. Many “up the food chain” don’t want to go through the proper procedures to redo. Those un-named processors just fix it. Illegal? Sure. But as the kids often say “do do do happen”. You will never know if you submitted perfect work or had an “assist”.
However, eventually you will get the call. “There is a problem with what you sent us”. If you have a high speed scanner and bothered to make a complete copy of the file, you can take a look and see if it was indeed your error. There is a good chance they are referring to the page they forgot to send to you. To prove this you need to be able to look at the file that arrived in your in box. Hmmmm, no such document was sent to you –and- you can prove it. Perhaps they claim you did not notarize the Mortgage. For that you need to look at the complete scan of the file you shipped back. There is a good chance that someone on the receiving end just lost the page. Thus, you need records of your input and your output to determine if you actually did goof.
Looking at the file you submitted, it is clear you missed the initials on one page. True it was a subtle miss, as the field was in the middle of the page; a spot easily overlooked. You now can defend your actions by being silly, claiming that they did not highlight the unusual but required location. Or, you can show professionalism and offer to do whatever is necessary to make amends. The policy of http://kenneth-a-edelstein.com is to make a “fix” my highest priority. It’s rare but when it happens I fix it very fast, and ship priority with a charge to my personal FedEx account.
It is times like this that many notaries truly “show their “tail feathers”” by making various lame excuses. They don’t want to hear anything other than how you plan to “make it right”. Telling them about the distractions from the howling dog, the bad lighting, or the cramped table is foolishness; and makes you look like a buffoon. Taking ownership of the problem and vowing to do whatever is necessary to make amends is the only correct response. If you have to take a taxi to the affiant, print at a Kinkos, and wait 2 hours for the signer who is in a meeting prior to going home; that’s exactly what you must do. And do it cheerfully; knowing your reputation is on the line.
Those who depended on you know that all errors cannot be avoided. Now it’s your attitude and zeal to make amends that will determine whether you keep or lose a client. Turn that “goof” into a “nice recovery” and be a hero.