Carolyn Bodley - Legal Verbatim Transcriptionist of Audio, Video & Digital Files
Services and BLOG
entries are strictly the opinion of Carolyn Bodley and may not reflect the opinion of others
(to see archived blog
entries, click on the links to the right of the top blog)
Some photos are compressed or removed in archived blog postings,
leaving only a description of the photo. The blog postings remain complete and unchanged.
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
BLOG - Oh where or where can my flag be?
11:45 am mst
All through the night and until mid-morning, we have had gusts of wind reaching 80 mph.
There has been thumping
on the roof and howling and whistling coming down the stovepipes. The water in the toilet bowl has looked like white-caps.
It's a great way for the people living across the street to "rid" themselves of their trash. They always
fail to get their trash out in time for pickup and leave the overflowing containers at the curb until the next week's
pickup. They can now move the containers back to the house as they are no longer overflowing -- there is not even a band-aid
wrapper to be picked up this week!
Every since 9/11, I have had a 3 foot by 3 foot metal flag attached to
the side of the house. The flag is gone and no where to be found. I've searched our own yard and the neighbors on each
side -- with no luck. It could be three states over as far as I know.
Wherever my Old Glory landed, as a projected
wind missile, you can be proud that you went out in a gust of glory! For your new owners, "although she could stand for
fresh red/white and blue paint and some straightening out tweaking, please cherish her and hang her with pride on your own
house -- and you might want to attach her with three or four nails or screws, as my two did not hold her!
Monday, December 29, 2008
BLOG - The waistband cinch of 2009
3:34 pm mst
As 2008 comes to a close and 2009 begins, many individuals -- businesses included, are resolving to get into better financial
shape. That's not ALL bad. There is a lot of waste in our personal lives and in business operating budgets.
Our bodies can manage on fresh-brewed coffee from our own home coffee makers instead of the $5.00 designer coffee on the
way to the office. Companies are cutting back and no longer furnishing tea, apple cider or hot chocolate -- it won't break
our bank accounts to bring our own -- although with some offices, you might be forced to hide your stash from the abusers
who see nothing wrong with eating/drinking what belongs to someone else --never managing to replenish the treats.
Concession is quickly becoming the new buzz word. All of us are going to have to get by with less. Office staffs will become smaller
with people doubling up on work because of the reduced staff -- in many instances, some people will be doing the work of two
Business should have gotten rid of the deadwood before the financial and economic crisis. I've
never understood how one or two people are allowed to sit and do nothing day in and day out, while people around them
are bustin' their butts to get everything done. For the "warm bodies" doing nothing, good riddance
-- getting rid of you is going to come as no loss.
With fewer staff, GOOD people are going to be under stress
and burn out. There are only so many hours in each day, and one good person can do only what they can do. When occasional
overtimes becomes routine and expected, morale will be lowered and sometimes even lost, work quality will be affected,
and attitudes becoming one of not caring whether they are there or not.
Verbatim transcription is an
art that takes time -- between 3:1 and 8:1 (three to eight hours to transcribe a one hour police interview, witness statement,
recorded phone conversation, etc.) It is imperative that discovery transcripts be true, complete, accurate and an exact copy
of what was said because the transcript can make or break a court trial.
So in evaluating your 2009 financial
budget, remember there are things that can be done without, people that can be done without, office supplies and company furnished
edibles that can be done without, however, transcription of audio/video files can not be done without
! -- and with
workloads being doubled up, verbatim transcription is definitely something that can and should be outsourced out to a professional.
Cutting staff down to the bare bones minimum -- or thinking you can do it all yourself, is business suicide and one
of the worst things that can be done in today's financial crisis. Don't be too quick to throw the baby out with the
[end of blog]
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
BLOG - Grandma kept her money in canning jars
8:56 am mst
I was making a credit card payment, and had a client's check which happened to be written on the same bank. The check
was less than $500, so I decided that I would cash it while there instead of making a special "deposit" trip to
my own bank.
I first made the credit card payment and then presented the check for cash. I do the attorney's
books, so I know that he has thousands of more dollars than me, and there was definitely not a cash flow problem to cover
the check. The teller asks if I have a checking account with them. I tell him no, but I just made a credit card payment on
a credit card that we've had with them for 30 years. "Well, that won't do -- since you don't have a
checking account with us, you will be required to pay $5.00."
W-H-A-A-A-T? We've never been late with
a payment, and we always pay more than the minimum. Recently, you raised our interest rate, like many others complaining about
interest hikes -- also never late with a payment -- and now you say that I have to pay you $5.00 to cash a check written on
I don't understand why the new credit card regulations that were just passed regarding the unlawful
interest hikes is not taking effect until 2010! Undoubtedly, the banks and credit card companies are going to nickel and dime
us until the law actually makes them accountable.
It's the greed of these banks who are now in financial trouble
because of the subprime mortgages issued for the past few years. Mortgages, credit cards and loans issued to people
that should never have been issued a mortgage, credit card or loan in the first place -- who would never have qualified
10-15 years ago when people actually had to qualify and were not just handed money because they could walk and chew gum at
the same time.
I've got all my Grandma's canning jars and I've got to tell you, they are looking
[end of blog]
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
BLOG - Listen up ...
1:05 pm mst
For four years I was a notary signing agent -- and a darn good one I might add.
However, this spring while reading the writing on the wall, and before the actual bottom literally fell out of the housing market,
I made the decision to not work with title companies, brokers, lenders or signing services any longer. The ONLY loan
signings I do are for individual borrowers who are told to find their own notary.
All of my on-line profiles clearly
state that I only notarize for the general public. So why is it that I am still getting calls, on a daily basis, from
the exact companies and unscrupulous loan officers that I don't want to be associated with?--probably because people simply
don't take the time to care -- we have gotten so rude and disrespectful with one another that we don't see, we don't
hear and we don't listen!
Make sure both your eyes and ears are opened before opening your mouth!
Monday, December 22, 2008
BLOG - Another wannabe transcriptionist
It just amazes me the Google search phrases people use that somehow find my site.
8:26 pm mst
The latest--typed exactly as it appears below:
"how many wpm do i need to know to become a transcription"
of all, a person does not become a transcription!
Transcription is the process of typing spoken or handwritten words on paper exactly as they were spoken or written. Once on
paper, the words become a transcript.
You don't "know" wpm, you "type" wpm (words
per minute). Words are combinations of letters in a dictionary. You can "know" every word in the dictionary, but
it's certainly not going to make you a transcription or even a transcriptionist!
And lastly, everything typed in
caps is SHOUTING; whereas, everything typed all in lowercase is juvenile and unprofessional.
I could probably smile
if it wasn't so pathetic.
I am a professional TRANSCRIPTIONIST -- not a transcription.
BLOG - Concession, Recession, Depression
11:42 am mst
Last week the Big 3 automakers were granted a $17.4 billion life line with conditions:
heavy emphasis on cost-cutting, demanding that wages fall, executives give up bonuses and corporate jets and dividends remain
suspended. GM and Chrysler must prove their future viability by March 31, 2009.
Something needed to be done because
of the already downward spiraling economic crisis facing the U.S. and the rest of the world. What I'm having a hard
time with is the UAW and the workers' attitude. Depending on the source and what you read, the "union"
auto worker is costing any one of the three automakers (including benefits) anywhere from $75/hr. to over $100/hr. --
with the workers earning $31 - $50 hourly. The biggest chunk of money taken out of most of our paychecks is health insurance.
Health costs are included in the UAW contract and it's not coming out of the worker's pocket. There is a "job
bank" where approximately 3,600 laid off workers continue drawing 90% of their salary and full benefits to stay home.
If they actually show up at work and DO NOTHING -- drink COMPANY coffee, read the newspaper, sit and shoot the bull they get
100% salary and benefits. Geez, by not working, they are earning more than the majority of us who work every day.
Even while workers at major companies are agreeing to pay concessions, the UAW and the workers claim they can't take
pay/benefit cuts. GM and Chrysler are shutting down 50 assembly and parts plants for the month of January -- the plants
will be shut, although the workers will continue drawing their salary/benefits. The rest of us, if we are sent home due to lack
of work, unless we have vacation/comp time built up, don't get paid for not working.
night there was a man being interviewed on television. He just didn't know how he was going to manage or how he was
going to survive on 90% during the month of January -- there were holidays, mortgage payments, auto loans, credit cards, etc. Hmmmm,
sounds like the general population -- many of whom have received pink slips and the loss of ALL pay and benefits. Last
week I went to my dentist for my twice-annual checkup/cleaning. He told me that medical/dental care is the first thing people
go without when money is tight or having lost their jobs. To make ends meet, he is now working THREE jobs.
union's response to the government bailout and "conditions" is less than appreciative. "We are disappointed
that President Bush has added unfair conditions singling out workers," UAW President, Ron Gettelfinger.
Singling out workers --
And in the same breath, the higher and mightier than thou Mr. Gettelfinger goes on to say "We will work with the Obama
administration and the new Congress to ensure that these unfair conditions are removed."
and unfair auto worker being singled out and treated unfairly -- ask any of the growing number of the unemployed
Americans, and they will disagree with Mr. Gettelfinger as to who the real people are that are being singled out and treated
I was raised in a union family -- however, the UAW has gotten completely too big for its britches believing
that the American public is going to close our eyes when Mr. Gettelfinger stomps his foot about the unfair treatment the auto
workers are receiving, and demands that the unfair condition of employee pay cuts in the bailout be tossed. How
dare Mr. Gettelfinger believe that he's got the upper hand and can demand this and that, and with a wave of the wand
the employee pay cut condition will disappear !!!! Is he wearing rose-colored glasses and can't see that the American
public -- many out of work, do not need new cars, are not buying new cars, and can't afford new cars in today's economy.
Let's consider the options: the auto workers/union continue saying they can't take
a salary reduction -- which forces the company into bankruptcy -- either putting the auto worker out of a job, or
the ultimate "breaking" of the union -- which in my own opinion, getting rid of Mr. Gettelfinger may not be such
a bad thing.
Nearly every worker, other than the auto worker, has found themself conceding to something --
agreeing to a salary reduction in order to keep a job; working only 3-4 days per week and the remaining 1-2 days not getting
paid. We have all tightened our belts and are doing without certain things -- NOT THE AUTOWORKERS who won't
take pay cuts.
Decision time: on one hand, keep a job by agreeing to concessions -- or on the other hand, planting
your feet in the sand and not budging. When there are no Big 3, Big 2 or Big 1, all that feet planting and greed isn't
going to have done a lick of good when there is no company, no job and no job bank!--and the end, of what would appear
to many of us, a free ride the auto workers are abusing on the rest of the taxpayers' money.
[end of blog]
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
BLOG - So Paul, when does the back scratching begin?
I've been doing my year-end transcription business inventory -- evaluating areas
where I can cut spending, where I need to "spend more to make more" -- what to leave alone and what needs changed.
2:31 pm mst
or so ago I was invited to join LinkedIn -- an online networking group where you invite "connections" to join
-- say I have five connections and each of my connections have five connections, that's 25 connections, usually
in different businesses with different skills and strengths.
I haven't actually finished my LinkedIn
profile. My own connections are attorneys, a business coach, another transcriptionist and a producer/screen/play writer.
One of my connections has over 200 connections and another has just under 200. A few months back I was invited to join and
be a part of Paul's connection. In doing so, he became a part of my connection -- making his information visible to
all of my connections, and all of their connections and their connections and so on and so forth -- and more importantly,
all of their connections visible to him. I believe Paul has something like 38 connections -- but the stink bomb
with Paul is that he has his connections blocked and unavailable to anyone else. Bottom line is that Paul has access
to thousands and thousands and thousands of network connections, but no one but him has access to his own network connections
-- so what are any of us gaining from having him a part of our network?
Who knows why Paul has
his connection list blocked -- possibly security and confidentiality issues? -- nah, people that joined LinkedIn did it for
the networking. Paul is just being greedy and has everything to gain and nothing to lose.
Networking is a
two-way street -- you scratch my back and I'll scratch your back -- and as soon as I find a way to de-connect Paul, he
is going to lose his free ride. If he wants to play in his own sandbox, he can play there alone!
[end of blog]
BLOG - Can you smell the smoke coming from my head?
I've been fine-tuning my SEO (search engine optimization) keyword searches and
was checking my search engine page rankings when I ran across the following:
9:21 am mst
audio hours - $150.00. Need transcriptionist urgently. Only experienced transcriptionist may apply. $10.00 for every audio
To add more salt to the open wound, a total of 38 candidates applied, with
an average bid of $137.34. Six were interviewed with an average bid of $138.52.
For the 38 boobs that applied
and the one that was selected, you definitely need a crash course in Business Economics 101. FIRST, an AUDIO HOUR
takes considerably longer than ONE hour to transcribe. In fact, you are looking at a MINIMUM
of THREE (3) hours to transcribe each audio hour. Since you haven't done your own arithmetic (yeah, it's an
old fashioned word), those innocent 15 hours of audio, will take you AT LEAST
45 hours to transcribe (that's right - 45 hours!) -- although I'm guessing you are looking more along the lines
of five hours (probably even longer) pushing the envelope to 75 hours of transcription time.
I never give
an estimate without first hearing the audio, however, to prove the absurdity of accepting $150.00 for 15 audio hours,
my own ballpark estimate would be $2,500-$3,000 -- a far cry from $150.00! That is the difference between a professional
and a kitchen table hobbyist -- no doubt working under the table, because it's not even enough money to sit at the table!
So lets see -- instead of making $10.00/hour, you are actually earning $3.33 an hour if you can finish in 45 hours
(3:1 = three hours for every audio hour); or
a whopping $2.00/hour for 75 hours (5:1 - five hours for every
But hey, you're going to have $150.00 in your pocket -- oops, since 38 of you actually
bid lower than $150.00 ($137.34-$138.52) , you will actually be working for less -- and let's not forget you must pay
taxes, business licenses/registrations, purchase equipment and supplies off the top of your $2.00-$3.00 actual HOURLY wage.
In 2008, are secretaries/transcriptionists working for $150.00/week in daily 9:00-5:00 J-O-B-s?
the second hey, is that you got the job, CONGRATULATIONS -- but I'd say about now you're bending over and grabbing
your ankles! I hope it felt as good for you as it did for the company laughing all the way to the bank.
Monday, December 1, 2008
BLOG-Complete lack of courtesy
11:54 am mst
My family didn't have a lot of money when I was growing up -- but we were
taught manners, courtesy, politeness -- "thank you" "you're welcome" "please" ... today
that's lost art. Somewhere back east a store clerk was killed as she was stampeded, knocked to the floor and
trampled after opening the doors for the "day after Thanksgiving" shoppers. The shoppers couldn't have
cared less, and when the store tried to close after the incident, the shoppers became irate.
If I give someone
a gift, especially if it is handmade, I *expect* a thank you -- believe me, you won't get a second gift (or anything for
that matter) from me without some sort of acknowledgement.
I'm constantly marketing my business. Over the
past two-three months, I've been testing different marketing avenues. Sometime back, someone suggested that I look
at Craigslist -- I shrugged my shoulders asking if the caliber of clientele I'm targeting are checking
out Craigslist -- or if it is just a scam? After more prompting, I listed my services and have received two replies.
Both were wanting a lot of service for very little money. Thanks, but no thanks, I'd like to at
least earn enough that I don't have to take my husband to the homeless soup line to eat.
Looking at the Craigslist
job listings, there were a few that sounded as though they could become clients. A couple of the listings were actually
looking for someone to work out of their office on a part-time basis. I went ahead and contacted them in the hopes of
educating them to the benefits of outsourcing the work on an "as needed" basis and the economic benefits to them
for doing so.
Did I get a response or reply? NADA, nope, zip, NOTHING. Okay, so they aren't into letting the
work go offsite. That's all right -- I responded to four listings actually looking to outsource their work to an
independent contractor -- sounds right up my alley. Three were attorneys and one was a real estate office. Again
N-0-T-H-I-N-G -- not even a boiler plate response "Thank you for your inquiry, however, we have found someone more suitable
to our needs. We will keep your info on file and contact you should we have an opening more appropriate to your skills ..."
What is the sense of posting an ad if you have no intention of following through? Are there any legitimate business
listings on Craigslist? I purposely didn't mention my rates, so that wasn't the reason they chose to ignore me. My
website link was available in my response/contact -- I've been told that my site isn't a turnoff, so that wasn't
it either. Goodbye Craigslist -- I'll stick to my proven marketing techniques -- even if I get a "no thanks -- we
aren't interested at this time" -- at least it is a business common courtesy to recognize and acknowledge me.
And as for the people asking for an attorney referral -- if you aren't even going to bother calling any of
the name(s) I give you, don't you dare come to me the next time you find yourself in trouble!
For the people that do show me business and common courtesy --
[end of blog]