I needed my signature notarized on four documents. Easy enough... Well, it wasn't that simple after all. After going the local branch of out bank, and finding out that there was no notary present, I was sent to another branch 15 minutes away, where there would be, I was told, no waiting. I got to the second branch, to be roughly told by one of the two notaries present that it would be a long wait. And it was. It took 30 minutes to finally talk to her. The documents in my possession all contained one paragraph in French, with the same text written in English underneath. Only, the woman did not feel "comfortable" notarizing my signature because of the French text. She wanted to know what it meant. I was stunned. Since when do notaries busy themselves with interpreting the contents of a document?! Despite pointing out the translated portion to her, she wouldn't budge.
The branch supervisor told me that the other notary was willing to look at my document. Fair enough. However, before I could talk with her, I'd have to wait till she was done with her customers, a couple with a young boy and a wailing baby. So I waited...40 minutes before her customers were gone, wailing baby and all. By then, I had developed a massive headache. Yes, this notary would sign my document. But only if I showed her a copy of my marriage certificate (which in 30 years of marriage, I have never had), or a Belgian passport with my maiden name on it, and a birth certificate. I had no choice. On the way home, my head pounding as I was driving, I called Gary, to ask him to locate my old passport. Something was wrong with the Bluetooth and the phones once again, because there was screeching metallic-sounding interference, with Gary's voice coming through the noise, asking "... passport? Where? I can't hear..." I got home and staggered out of the car, me and my headache. As I opened the door to the kitchen, Gary handed me the passport and birth certificate, and he told me that I had no patience. I snapped back that I have all the patience in the world! I just waited one hour at a bank, to get no service! With the passport and certificate in hand, I turned around and got in my car, to make another 15-minute trip back to the bank.
After close examination of my passport, and after I provided an impromptu translation of the birth certificate, the notary finally relented and certified my signature. From start to finish, the entire process took four hours!.. (and when I got home, I realized that I was missing a sentence on each, nullifying the entire effort).