Tuesday, August 31, 2010

A Lack of Civility or Signs of Revolution?

How appropriate what the National Notary Association's September 2010 issue is about, a lack of civility in our society.  This magazine came at a perfect time just a matter of a few weeks after I had my first client who had practically yelled at me for not cooperating with what he wanted me to do. I explained to him that would be illegal and he still wanted to argue. 

I think the main reason for the lack of civility mostly comes down to money. People are getting ripped off left and right these days, especially the U.S. tax payer.  The government and courts aren't making things any better in their actually encouraging a lack of civility in many ways.  People are understandably fed up and beginning to show signs of stress and revolt.

Laughter Can Reduce Stress & Anger

Yesterday I did a refinance loan signing in a home built in 1890 in San Francisco.  In going through the documents, the borrowers came across an explanation to one of the banks fees.  The bank called its fee "padding".  We all laughed at how pathetic it was.  The banks look for any excuse to tack on fees and couldn't think of any valid description for their charging an extra $100 so they called it "padding".  The lady said she wanted to frame it and put it on the wall.  The couple were both attorneys who found it quite amusing.  Other less fortunate people might become angry under the circumstances.

At one point the attorney jokingly called one of the charges "extortion." I was glad I had refrained from my typical lawyer jokes at this signing prior to discovering the borrowers were lawyers.

The National Notary Association article points to Calvin Coolidge as the only U.S. President sworn in by a Notary Public and a good role model for civility.  I believe social environments and circumstances contribute to the character of people. Perhaps Coolidge would be a different man in today's American culture. I therefore don't believe it's helpful to refer people to historic figures of another time and circumstances as role models.

Sometimes you've just got to get mad as hell and say "I'm not taking it anymore!" There's a time and place for everything.