Thursday, May 24, 2018
Business

Notary wonders about conflict of interest

Q: My wife's boss has accused me of a conflict of interest. I am a self-employed notary public, and my wife is a bank loan officer. For years, I have been notarizing signatures on her loan documents. To be clear, I do not notarize her signature, only those of the borrowers.

During a recent argument between my wife and her manager, he said this arrangement constitutes a conflict, so she must stop using my services. I offered to work through a notary company in order to avoid receiving payments from the bank, but he also rejected this plan.

According to state regulations, I am legally allowed to notarize documents for my wife's employer. Since the bank has no written policy forbidding it, this feels like a personal vendetta. What do you think I should do?

A: Although this sudden change is understandably upsetting, you must try to view the situation with logic instead of emotion. Since this issue involves your wife's employment, you don't want strong feelings to cloud your judgment.

Keep in mind that an activity may be legal, but risky or unwise nevertheless. Even if state law permits using your services, the bank could still be reasonably concerned about what happens if these documents are ever challenged. While they may have no specific policy regarding notaries, there is undoubtedly a general prohibition against conflicts of interest. Directing income to a family member would typically violate such a policy.

Regardless of the bank's interests, however, you need to consider what will be best for your wife. Since she has been arguing with her boss, problems may have been brewing before the notary issue ever arose. Challenging this decision could further strain their relationship and possibly jeopardize her job security.

The bank apparently regards this matter as settled, so you would be wise to do the same. If you continue to fight this ruling, you could wind up winning the battle, but losing the war.

Transferred worker tired of commute

Q: For a long time, one of my co-workers was very rude and snippy to me. Our new manager recently decided that we should be separated, so she transferred both of us to other branches. My office is now located an hour from home, which is causing a lot of problems. Because this transfer seemed unfair, I made a complaint to our department head. Now he has scheduled a meeting with me and my manager to discuss the situation. How can I get him to move me back to my previous location?

A: Although you blame your snippy colleague for this problem, the fact that both of you were transferred clearly indicates that management holds you responsible as well. They undoubtedly view this as a silly squabble between two immature employees who put their dislike for each other ahead of what's best for the business.

Unless you can acknowledge your contribution to the conflict, your odds of reversing the transfer will be slim. Therefore, when meeting with the department head, you should not complain about anything. Instead, you need to convince him that this has been a learning experience for you.

For example: "I am truly sorry that my disagreements with Brenda created problems for our group. By taking her remarks personally and refusing to speak to her, I just made the situation worse. That was really childish, and it will never happen again.

"Although I completely understand why I was transferred, the hourlong commute is creating problems in my personal life. If you could give me one more chance to work at my former office, I can assure you there will be no more issues."

If you come across as mature, professional and contrite, management may be willing to grant your request. But if you still appear to be angry or resentful, they probably won't consider it.

Comments
Behind the deal: $52 million boutique hotel coming to Ybor City started with cafe con leche at La Tropicana Cafe

Behind the deal: $52 million boutique hotel coming to Ybor City started with cafe con leche at La Tropicana Cafe

TAMPA ó Joe Capitano Sr. invested in the 1400 block of E Seventh Avenue in 1985, never doubting the huge potential of the property for Ybor City.But the deal to build a $52 million boutique hotel on the site didnít start to come together until six ye...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Sprouts Farmers Market to open new store in Riverview

Sprouts Farmers Market to open new store in Riverview

RIVERVIEW ó Sprouts Farmers Market is opening a new location in Riverview, the chain announced Thursday. The new store will be located at Summerfield Crossing Shopping Center, though Sprouts did not have a specific opening date.The announcement comes...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Tampa Electric to shut down Big Bend coal unit that killed 5

Tampa Electric to shut down Big Bend coal unit that killed 5

APOLLO BEACH ó Tampa Electric Co. is taking a big step away from coal. The Tampa-based utility is spending $853 million to convert its coal-fired Unit 1 at its Big Bend Power Station to natural gas and retire coal-fired Unit 2 in 2021.Five workers di...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Hooper: More than a restaurant, Lee Roy Selmonís was a meeting place

Hooper: More than a restaurant, Lee Roy Selmonís was a meeting place

Itís where former Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Doug Williams had lunch with current Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston.Itís where University of South Florida fans often gathered to watch the programís biggest road games.Itís where folks showed up in...
Updated: 7 hours ago
An Amazon Echo recorded a familyís conversation, then sent it to a random person in their contacts, report says

An Amazon Echo recorded a familyís conversation, then sent it to a random person in their contacts, report says

A family in Portland, Oregon, received a nightmarish phone call two weeks ago."Unplug your Alexa devices right now," a voice on the other line said. "Youíre being hacked."Apparently, one of Amazon.comís Alexa-powered Echo devices in their house had s...
Updated: 7 hours ago
As home sale prices rise, a lack of homes makes it tough on buyers

As home sale prices rise, a lack of homes makes it tough on buyers

Home sale prices continued to rise both nationally and statewide in April as a prolonged dearth of available homes on the market is making it tough on buyers. A total of 24,804 single-family homes changed hands across Florida last month, up 4.1 perce...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Brink: A 25-cent hike in the federal gas tax is a rotten idea for Florida

Brink: A 25-cent hike in the federal gas tax is a rotten idea for Florida

No matter your politics, the proposed 25-cent hike in the federal gas tax is a lousy idea.Itís regressive, burdening the poor and working class more than the rich.Federal interference with state transportation projects can raise costs, layer on regul...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Tutor looks to empower athletes in Wesley Chapel

Tutor looks to empower athletes in Wesley Chapel

Rashay Hudson operates a tutoring business in Wesley Chapel, and NaDorian Hudson has played basketball his entire life, including in college and the ABA. Now, the husband and wife duo are combining their areas of expertise with a new program for kids...
Updated: 12 hours ago
Bar builder finds solid success in Tampa

Bar builder finds solid success in Tampa

TAMPA ó Ever since he was a little boy, Chris Davenport loved to build things with Legos and erector sets. As he grew older, he spent time working with his dad, a carpenter, and then took welding classes in high school. While in college studying engi...
Updated: 12 hours ago
Metro Diner brings fare to South Tampa

Metro Diner brings fare to South Tampa

Metro Diner, having already established several locations across Florida, including St. Petersburg, now brings its large portion-sized comfort food options across the bay.The local diner is slated to open Tuesday (May 29) at 4011 W Kennedy Blvd and w...
Published: 05/24/18