Steven Axner was taken aback when he arrived at a loan signing near his home and found another Notary already there. “The same company had sent another Notary,” the California man said. “I could understand it if we were from two different services, but we were from the same company. They sent this other Notary from 45 miles away — it doesn’t make sense.” Axner said that he tried calling the signing service, but not only was he unable to contact anyone, he was not paid for his travel and printing expenses. “It left a bad taste in my mouth,” he said. He’s not the only Notary to encounter this issue. Whether it’s due to miscommunication, scheduling errors or other causes, sometimes you take on a signing only to find out another Notary has been given the same assignment. Beryl Butler of Florida says it’s happened to her more than once. “It was very uncomfortable, to say the least!” she said. In one case, she decided to leave since the other Notary had already arrived, but she was paid a travel and document printing fee by the signing service. Eva Cannon of Arizona discovered that she and another Notary had been double-booked for two assignments. Cannon got in touch with the other Notary to work out the scheduling conflict between them. “I let the other Notary have one of the appointments, because she was closer, and I took the next one we were double-booked for,” she said. “Luckily, we stay in contact to keep each other informed of our schedules.” Cannon said it’s best to stay professional if you run into these awkward situations. “It's not the fault of the borrowers, or the other Notary,” she said. She recommended waiting until after the assignment, and then contacting the signing service or company who double-booked you to try and resolve the issue. David Thun is an Associate Editor at the National Notary Association.