Ever forge your husband's signature? Wife's? Parent's? Client's? Do you think the clerk behind the counter at Walmart is skilled in handwriting analysis?
I've always viewed a signature as a totally ridiculous form of authentication and a total waste of my time. Signing my name has always been burden and a frustrating task.
Nobody seems to know when a handwritten signature became a form of authorization. From what I can gather, it seems the modern signature was born when kings signed declarations.
"The fact is, a handwritten signature provides zero proactive security. The way I see it, signing your name to any document ultimately assigns liability.”
- Robert Siciliano
Eventually, villagers began signing their names to acknowledge accountability. So the signature was born during a time when we had kings and queens, moats, wizards, and dragons. And we continue to rely on this today.
Not too smart.
My signature has evolved from a time intensive, physically demanding, well thought out, legible spelling of my first name, middle initial, and last name, to a first initial, middle initial and last name, then to a quick scribe of what might look like an R, and S, and a squiggly line in place of my last name.
Today, my signature tends to be a straight line. Who the heck came up with electronic signature pads? Stupid!
Between my driver's license, credit cards, checks, e-signature pads, and whatever contracts I fill out on a yearly basis, my signature is completely different on each document.
I spoke with Robert Baier, a forensic document examiner and handwriting analysis expert, and told him about my inconsistent signatures.
Between his facial expression, shaking head and other body language, and his verbal response, I got the message that this is a bad thing.
Bob is what I call the "Document Whisperer.” He has savant-like talents and can size a person up by their signature. Which means I probably disturb Bob.
I don't really care about a signature. I don't know if it's because I find handwritten signatures so ridiculous or because I'm lazy with this task.
The fact is, a handwritten signature provides zero proactive security. The way I see it, signing your name to any document ultimately assigns liability.