To Mask or Not To Mask

State of Washington opened up on June 30, 2021. Hallelujah!

Well… sort of. If you are fully vaccinated, everything opened up. If not, keep that mask on.

When I go to a signing now, per instructions from my clients, I continue to wear a mask. Borrowers repeated ask me if I am vaccinated, and upon being assured that I am tell me I may remove the mask. I respond with a pleasant, “I wish I could, but my contract still requires that I wear it. Thank you for the offer, though.”

Today, a borrower got quite upset. He said he preferred to see the face of someone who got to see his private information. I fended him off and got him back on topic with some adroit deflection. The signing closed with no further incidents.

On the way back to the office, I shook my head. The borrower wants to see the face of a person he’s dealing with regarding a loan? He agreed via a telemarketing call to start the loan process, he has never met his loan officer at all, much less any escrow or title person; and he has presented these faceless entities with all the personal information they requested. Yet he takes offense at my little blue paper mask?

Never a dull moment.


Hi Judi

I can respect your desire to keep your clients happy but when they start dictating how you perform your duties you’re not longer an IC - you’re an employee. Just as if they told you to wear a specific type of clothing to their closings - you’re now an employee.

In this situation you provided after the exchange of vaccine information, I would have removed my mask BUT I would also have maintained the 6-foot distance policy, Everyone stays happy.

On that note - I agree it’s laughable that he goes through all this online and in the end objects to a mask -

Oh, Linda…

Twenty years of contract management under this belt. The Independent Contractor statutes (at least for the State of Washington) are shattered so often by signing companies, it’s ridiculous. Even the big firms with their apps - “Have you arrived at this signing yet?”, “Have you completed this signing yet?” - toe an extremely thin line, particularly those that punish the Notary for not responding to the latter.

As Independent Contractors, we are responsible for completing an assignment for the fee to which we agree. We must maintain our own training, our certifications and insurance, as proof that we are professionally capable. Ostensibly, we cannot be told how to do the job, what tools to use, what color ink in our pens. We cannot be told what to wear, what to say, how long to take. We cannot be required to stand outside in the rain watching borrowers sign through a window. We cannot be required to shiver in an unheated garage during winter. We cannot be required to clock in (“Have you arrived yet?”) or to clock out (“Have you completed this signing yet?”). UNLESS WE AGREE to do so. Which, of course, we do every time we accept an order with instructions that explicitly state we will do so.


Hi Judi ~ I wear a mask for my protection even though I have been fully vaccinated. We could still get ill from variant even if we don’t die. I’m not in to being ill ~ not my thing. I also agree about checking in upon arrival, completion, etc. I really got ticked off at one contractor and said I don’t need a babysitter. They told me the secret for opting out of that feature on app. I would share but can’t recall who that was. Sorry if some Notaries have created that element of distrust but if they checked our history they would find the reliable Notaries.

1 Like

I wear a mask no matter what. I’ve had clients invite me to take mine off. I tell them that “my contractor has not lifted the protocols” and I don’t engage beyond that. I do the job in front of me and I hand in a good product at the end. All the rest I consider minor annoyances by overbearing employees (and sometimes signers) that I choose to pay attention to or not.

1 Like

I wear a mask at all my appointments. I signed a family last week who was quarantining they had covid positive. In my area there are people very concerned, last nights signing was in their back yard for this reason. They did not feel comfortable signing indoors and asked outdoors with masks. I wear a mask at each appointment because I am going home to home, sometimes nursing homes that week too. I honestly don’t even want the flu or cold and the masks have helped with that.

I wear my mask as well and I’m fully vaccinated. If the borrowers offer me to take my mask off, I kindly let them know that it is my preference to continue to wear the mask and it usually ends there. In some cases the borrowers don’t ask me to remove my mask.

CDC has updated a mask to be worn in all public places now. So I will continue to wear mine.

1 Like

Considering I’m in NE/NC Florida… and of the top five hotspots nationally, four are NE FL counties… I Will continue to mask… Florida had 17500 new Covid cases today alone…that speaks volumes. Many hospitals are at capacity…nuff for me.

I also work for the Census Bureau and am sure Biden’s new mask mandate for federal workers will trickle down to me as a Field Rep…so might as well stay in the habit

1 Like