One very helpful outcome of the pandemic has been the occurrence of live online notaries. Though our lifestyle involves sailing from place to place we naturally still have land obligations to take care of, as hard as we try not to, and such a service comes in handy. Often we find ourselves in rural coastal towns or out of the country all together which makes finding the procedure needed or a branch of one of our banks a little tougher. Once in Dominica it took a few days to figure out, cost us nearly $100 and was a fairly elaborate procedure to get something notarized. Now, stateside, we just scan the document in need of notarizing and go to a site that has a booming voice that announces, “noduhrize!” and it gets the job done. However, recently, while we were in West Palm Beach, FL we needed some time-sensitive documents notarized, with witnesses, to be returned overnight mail, so notarize.com would not do. It had to be in person.
It was easy enough to find a Chase branch in W. Palm, but first we needed our documents. The Federal Express website said they had not been delivered to the delivery site, when they should have been. So we went to the main shipping location in Riviera Beach to get to the bottom of things and thought perhaps they’d be there. When we arrived, they told us that the delivery location did indeed have them and it seemed as though someone perhaps simply did not scan the package as arrived. Off we went, fingers crossed since the clock was ticking.
When we arrived at Walgreens, where the Fed Express location and alleged delivery were, the two employees on duty seemed overwhelmed and there was no one manning the Fed Ex desk. We were feeling a little less optimistic than before but waited patiently as another gentleman cued up behind us to wait patiently as well. Soon enough, one of the two Walgreens employees came over and made it clear that this was not her store and that she much preferred her store, where there was not a Fed Ex counter to contend with. She then kindly began looking for our package, which we explained would be an envelope and gave her the necessary info for her to look it up. Alas, she did not find it in the system and then began to make a phone call to someone with more experience, while still visually scanning over the scattered shipments.
I not so casually scanned over the random piles myself and eventually looked over and saw a large envelope on a counter behind the main desk and pointed it out, as casually as possible. It had been overlooked and not scanned in, and yes, that was our package. “Good eyes” Paul and the man behind us in line agreed as we gave a sigh of relief. Good luck to the guy who was next, at this point, he had lost any remaining faith his issue was going to be resolved and left to go elsewhere.
Now, to get the time sensitive docs notarized and in the overnight mail for a next day a.m. arrival. The scavenger hunt thus far had taken us longer than expected and it was about 4 or so. No worries, there was a Chase bank nearby, off we went.
When we arrived at Chase, a manager seemed to be leaving, as it was nearing the final hour, but not without asking us if we needed help. She confirmed we had an account with Chase after we told her what we needed and then instructed us to wait in the lounge area since the clerk that could help us was helping someone else. We explained we had been running around all morning and hoped there was a bathroom we could use. There was, but not without her using secret passcodes to get us in. She was very kind. We were very grateful.
When the bank clerk we were waiting for finished helping the customer she was with, she herself whisked away, leaving her chair seat spinning. She disappeared behind the large tellers’ desk as we gazed on defeatedly and lost hope yet again. Soon enough another woman zipped over to our rescue, she had a large ring of keys in hand since she was on her way to lock the front doors. The clock was ticking but she took the time to scan through our documents and inform us that we needed two witnesses. Little ole me only counted as one and they did not provide witnesses. It was against bank policy. But we could return with another witness tomorrow. They were now closing. That was not going to work for us since we needed them signed, notarized, and in the mail before the end of the business day.
After Paul made a quick call to the gentleman that sent us the documents explaining the unlikelihood of it getting done and the possibility of having to do this all over again was discussed, Paul quickly said goodbye and mentioned that he was going to try one more thing. Paul never ceases to amaze me so I watched in wonder as he searched for a 24-hour notary. Poof, he found one half a mile away on the same road! I’d follow the man to the ends of the earth. Hmm, I kinda already do.
Once Paul had the 24-hour notary, Anthony, on the phone, he informed him that we needed another witness. Anthony’s brother was about to leave, but Anthony assured us he’d be willing to have him stay. Perfect, thank you very much, we’re five minutes away. Making u-turns on main thoroughfares in the state of Florida is intimidating but we were on an adventure and off we went. The main Fed Ex shipping location in Riviera Beach was open until 8:00. Hope returned and the adrenaline was pumping. We were feeling golden for the first time all day. Almost too good to be true and the pessimist will tell you that if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is. We were putting our optimistic lead foots forward as we figured out how to, maybe not so legally, u-turn on one of those crazy four-lane Floridian roads to get to Anthony and his brother without further delay.
Dream, Anthony’s brother, opened the door and introduced himself. Then we went in to meet Anthony. We shook hands all around and placed our documents on the tall table Anthony had cleared for us. A curtain was drawn for privacy, blocking off the rest of the apartment and a small area was reserved for business. Immediately you were surrounded by exotic smells emanating from the hundreds of tinctures of scented oils on display. While Paul and Anthony started reviewing the documents, and as we got our identification out, Dream introduced me to some of the more popular scents – the names of which I cannot repeat on our G-rated blog. Essential oils, Notary Public (and witness), fingerprinting, podcasting and a niece who reads tarot were some of the family’s eclectic endeavors, I learned, as Dream filled me in. I left with an arm full of scents, a hand full of business cards and yes, the documents we needed signed, witnessed, notarized and ready to be dropped off at Fed Ex. All for $80.00. If you’re interested in any of the aforementioned services when in West Palm Beach, don’t hesitate to drop us a line.