The guy enters the bank looking like a walking heart attack, his broad shoulders sagging under the weight of his serious gut, his hair gray and sharply cut but disheveled, his face bulging and twitchy. I glance up from my deposit slip at him as he passes in front of me, and calls out to apparently the bank in general.
“Hey, where’s your notary?”
One of the girls behind the counter makes eye contact with him and so she inherits the question. She does the Cute Girl Grimace and says, “Ooooo, that’s Marcy and she’s out to lunch right now.”
So the guy makes a sound like several farts coming out of different parts of his face. “You got to have another notary around here.”
Not a question, just a statement about the way the universe works. There must be another notary here, because anything else is inconceivable.
But the unfortunate teller continues shaking her head, Cute Girl Grimace falling away in the face of the angry man’s demeanor. “I’m sorry, but Marcy is the only notary we have. She’ll be back in another half hour?”
Her voice rising at the end there, making the question mark. Is that okay, her tone wants to know?
No, it’s not. “You got to be kidding me,” snaps Angry Man. “What kind of bank doesn’t have a notary in it?”
“Well, we do have a notary, it’s just that she….”
And now I’m doing the Cute Girl Grimace, doing it poorly I imagine, but I just know he’s not going to be interested in a recap of where Marcy is. I know that Marcy’s metaphysical connection to the bank he’s standing in is not going to calm him down.
“You need to get me a goddamn notary,” he tells her, pointing at her now. “I got a million and a half dollars in this bank, and I need a goddamn notary.”
Spit visible in the air around him now, and a manager comes out from one of the cubes and says, “Sir, I’m very sorry that Marcy is out, is there…”
“I don’t need your sorry, I need a notary,” Angry Man tells her, and he starts to bark at her some more but then I’m tapping on his shoulder, my lips pursed in a tight smile, my eyebrows up. He turns to look at me, seems a bit startled for a moment.
Then I tell him, “I’m a notary. No need to yell at anyone.”
Very calm, too – his face looks like it might explode in the face of my possibly-smartass calmness. His jowls quiver. “Well, then go get your notary stamp,” he insists, about five times louder than he needs to.
I pause and sort of theatrically consider what he’s said to me, then I shrug and nod and say, “Okay.”
And I turn and walk out to my car, get my notary stamp off the front seat, and by the time I come back in, someone has explained to the walking Heart Attack Man that I do not work for him or the bank, that I’m just a random notary who happened to be standing there.
He looks a little sheepish now. He says, “They just told me you don’t work here and I…”
“Don’t even worry about it,” I tell him. “I can see you have some kind of situation here and I’m happy to help. Just need to see your driver license to confirm your identity.”
And he shows it to me and starts to explain that he’s settling a lawsuit and that he has to have this document in the overnight box and that it needs notarized, and I tell him, “Sure, I can see there’s something serious going on here, no doubt.” I examine his license and add, “Okay, looks good. Go ahead and sign right there.”
So he signs it and apologizes again and reaches for his wallet. I tell him, “No, no, no – forget about it, that was thirty seconds.”
But he holds out twenty bucks anyway. Do I bother explaining to him that I’m not allowed to take twenty bucks for notarizing a document? It’s more like a buck fifty, is the max, by law.
I stamp it and just tell him, “Seriously, I can’t take your money, I’m just glad you got it taken care of. Nothing these nice ladies can do about Marcy and her lunch break, you know?”
But he drops the twenty anyway, right in front of me on the counter. I look at it and he says to the air, “Where’s your FedEx box?”
“We don’t have a FedEx box,” someone tells him, way too quickly, and out comes his forehead vein, and he spins to bark at her, and I sigh heavily. For crying out loud.
“Hold on,” I tell him. “Come here, I’ll show you.”
And I walk him to the front door and point across the street and tell him, see that, over in the printing company parking lot?
He sees it. He thanks me again and casts another quivering, sheepish look around at the rest of the bank employees, and then he’s gone. The employees at the bank break out into applause.
“Think nothing of it, ladies,” I tell them, and then flick the twenty toward the first girl he barked at. “There – I’m pretty sure he meant to apologize with that, and buy you all lunch. But probably not Marcy, so much.”
And then I rock on out of there, another day in the life of an Extreme Notary, just handling the Emergency Notary Situations as they come, because that’s the only way I know how to roll.