Dealing with Grief When Performing Notary Work

One trip to Greenville Memorial Hospital in Greenville, South Carolina some time ago did not go smoothly. Upon arrival, I learned that the signer I was about to see had a medical emergency and therein could not sign a simple document that would have set his beneficiary information for insurance straight. It happens quite a bit. We notaries are met with situations that are beyond our control. I learned shortly before midnight that the signer passed away.

The job of a notary can go from fairly simple to very complex in a matter of seconds. Many trips to hospitals, assisted-living facilities and hospices can be daunting on the psyche of a notary. One day you will see a patient in a facility who is in good spirits; and in a different setting the next day in Intensive Care. It comes with the territory.

Although most of my posts are ‘happy-go-lucky’, problems arise and things do go wrong in many signing situations, and they are not posted on this website as blogs; hence, why I post what I do post about signers being of sound mind, not incapacitated, held under duress, etc. Sharing information is caring.

One thing to consider in signing situations is the complexity of what’s really in front of you. If you pare people’s lives down to a piece of paper, there is a major disconnect. Yes, you’re just a notary public, but being a notary in a particular situation does not mean that you don’t have feelings and cannot empathize. People who deal with signing situations can get into the rut of ‘performing the job at hand and leaving’, but I must warn these professionals that in that 30 minutes to an hour of time you are before your signer or signers, unless you are a completely heartless human being, you will have some form of attachment to them and their situation.

Customer Service is key. I say that with capital letters because those two words are so very important. I’ve contributed to several articles regarding offering top-notch Customer Service. Knowledge is at one end of the Customer Service spectrum. Empathy is at the other end.

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