Monday, January 14, 2008

To Tip or Not...

Are you supposed to pay a Notary Public?

If so, I get the schmuck of the week award.

This morning I went to the bank and asked if I could get a Notarized signature for a form I've been meaning to fill out forever. This very nice woman came out from behind the counter and led me to an office in the bank. She shook my hand and signed my document. Then, when I thought we were done, she sort of stood there, expectantly, and said, "Did you have a great weekend?" I mumbled something about it being a great weekend since my Packers won and the Cowboys lost. I thought that was it, so I shifted and stood up to leave.

Then she said, "One more step to the SuperBowl..." But she still didn't leave. And she still was making eye contact.

So I said, "It would be a miracle to beat out an AFC team, but it sure would be cool."

And she said, "Miracles happen." And she paused. And then she got up and left.

The exchange sounds like it was friendly, and it was, but it was also awkward, and it all just seemed odd to me.

After I left the bank, I was walking back to my office and I had a sudden thought: "Oh shit. Was I supposed to TIP her??" It would make sense. It would explain the football chit chat between strangers. They don't teach you these things in college, so how am I supposed to know if I should tip a notary or not! Tipping rules should be advertised. Like did you know you're supposed to tip your priest when he baptizes your kid? How does one know these things without being told? Clearly I'm not great at nonverbal cues, if a Notary is indeed supposed to get a tip of some sort.

I feel like a total tool.


Jane said...

The only time I've ever needed a notary, I used the one at my bank where I have all kinds of accounts and other business. I didn't have an awkward moment like this, and I didn't even think of tipping, because I just considered it one other service of my bank, that I already pay through doing business with them. Good question though! I will be curious what your other responses are and I might even google it.

Jess Riley said...

Oh wow, I've used a notary at my bank, but I didn't tip, either! He didn't seem to care. Maybe your notary had something else going on in her brain? Maybe she's one of those people who has difficulty ending a social interaction?

Travis Erwin said...

I'm pretty certain we didn't tip the priest at our kids baptism but then again, I leave all things religious for me wife to take care of since I'm pretty much a heathen.

Andrea said...

I was a notary for several years and never got tipped. I did ask for anywhere between $5 and $15 if a stranger asked me to notarize something (depending on how many times I had to stamp the thing) because I was told this is what I was supposed to do. I only did this if they came to me after hours/away from work. At work I just notarized things without payment - my hourly wage was enough, especially since the company was the one that provided my notary bond.

Swishy said...

What? You're supposed to tip NOTARIES now?

Mom In Scrubs said...

I've used several notaries, and never tipped. Never even considered tipping. But they were always at institutions, so I assumed it was just a service.

Don't feel bad. Everyone's looking for a tip now. Like the guy who makes my sandwich at the deli? Or the person who pours my coffee at Starbucks? Screw that. It's their job. If I order at a counter, pay at the counter, and clean up my own mess, there is no tip. Period.

Barb said...

I've never tipped a notary and I don't think I ever knew anyone who did so, no you are not a tool! My oldest DD got married last year and EVERYONE expects a tip which is kinda crazy. I mean the photographer, DJ, videographer, wedding coordinator. I mean, come on ~ we paid these people thousands of $$ and they want a tip on top of it. The videographer and DJ were not the best so I did not tip them but I did tip the photographer cause she went above and beyond the call of duty taking literally thousands of pics and giving us the discs of all of them. Just my 2 cents

Anonymous said...

I have tipaphobia too. I am going to a Notary today and that's why I looked this question up. I wish tipping would end period. My husband is a painter and works long hard hours in the sun and never gets tipped and yet I have tipped furniture delivery men who spend 10 minutes at my house, out of guilt. Crazy or what? I'd prefer restaurants charging higher prices and including the tip in the prices so we don't have to tip at all. If you get bad service, you complain to the manager and the person gets reprimanded or fired at worst. It seems it all started there and has spread like wildfire. I think a tip for extraordinary service is indeed a nice thing, but people just expect too much today. PS. I go to a hair academy where students color and cut my hair. How much do I tip them? They do a fine job, but it takes twice as long as an experienced person which makes me feel they deserve a decent tip, but they are still learning. ???? Tipaphobic

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