Monday, January 11, 2016

Trouble in Notary News Paradise
[Written in August 2015, not sure why I didn't publish it then!]

A few weeks ago, I penned a quick article about something I read in newspaper from another state.  If you want to dig around on The Notary News, it won't be hard to find. I gave an opinion, something that until recently I rarely do. The topic was a concern expressed by way of a letter to the editor of a newspaper in another state.  My blog entry drew the  interest of a drive-by reader of my blog whom I shall refer to as Mr. Z. You see, I wrote about Mr. Z's letter. Perhaps he did a search on his name, or keywords from his letter and found his way to my blog.

I began to get emails from Mr. Z asking if I was the editor of the "National Notary Magazine." If you have known me for any length of time, you know that I am certainly not the editor of the National Notary Magazine, a magazine that's published by the National Notary Association (NNA) -- you likely know that I write almost exclusively for the American Association of Notaries (AAN).  

Anyhow, Mr. Z got a little frustrated with me.  He asked me if I was the Brenda Stone who writes for the organization above.  I wrote back and told him I didn't, that I write for the AAN.  He wrote me again and wanted to know if I wasn't the NNA writer, then "...who is this Brenda Stone who writes for the national notary magazine?" I explained again that I didn't write for the NNA, I write for the AAN.  

It was a typical August-Texas-hotter-than-hell-o-kitty kind of a day, so the microscopic breeze Mr. Z's emails stirred by flying into my inbox wasn't unwelcome.  I felt bad that couldn't stop and talk right then because I knew he had a good story. I said I would get back with him on 8/10/15 (today). 

This morning, Mr. Z was on my list.  I was trying to get finished with my pressing work so I could call him, but he was already emailing me about "Let's talk!"  I called him because I didn't want him to think I was being rude.

Again, Mr. Z asks, "Are you the writer of the National Notary Magazine?"  Notaries understand that the NNA and the AAN are different entities--in fact, they are competitors.  Said I, "No. I am not."  

Mr. Z presses me about this question as if I am lying! He wants to know the difference between the two.  I tried to elaborate about that and Mr. Z says, "Well, excuse me for getting the Ns and As in the wrong place."  

I was getting flustered.  On my side of the phone, I was dealing with a little personal credit card fraud and working for a living. On his side of the phone, Mr. Z wants me to get on this-problem-that-he's-experienced immediately and discuss it right then.  

I told him that I couldn't do much to fix it for him right that minute, except hear his story and write about it on my personal blog which isn't the blog of the AAN.  I tried to explain that I can't commit the AAN to do something except listen to the story and MAYBE publish it. Finally, with the time for a conference call bearing down on me, I said, "Didn't this happen some time back?  I mean, there's no imminent harm that must be fixed right this minute, right?" I explained that if he had an immediate problem, he needs to contact law enforcement.    He didn't understand my intent by my remarks and he  terminated the conversation with a "Well, good luck with your blog." in that terse tone that made me know he was not really wishing me good luck.  I think he thought I was being difficult...or maybe he thinks I really small potatoes and don't deserve the story.

Nonetheless, I don't like making enemies.  So, I wrote him an email and explained I'd listen carefully after five o'clock today.  I think he's going to give "the story" to someone else.  But, thanks to Mr. Z, I have a story about him and writing an article that brewed trouble for The Notary News

Mr. Z, you know who you are...if you want to give me the whole story, I'm all ears!  The problem is that the only place I can guarantee your experience will be published is The Notary News. I don't work for the National Notary Magazine and I'm just a writer for the AAN--I don't own it and cannot publish on a whim whatever you think I should.

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