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.
Thursday, January 29, 2009
BLOG - A big thumbs down
Verbatim transcription is my niche -- but document design is my love -- and except
for the fact that I can't compete in price with professional printers, I would probably do more.
3:47 pm mst
At any rate,
a few weeks ago I was printing some brochure proofs and my cyan printhead died on my inkjet. I normally print the proofs
on my inkjet to keep the printheads from clogging and the ink from drying up.
I drove to Office Depot to find that
they no longer carry printheads in the store -- as well as many other office supplies I discovered -- although they
could be ordered on-line and shipped from their warehouse. The warehouse is 20 miles from me but I was not allowed to pick
the printhead up in "will call." With added shipping costs, I could have bought two printheads. I ordered the printhead
on a Friday and the 20-mile delivery didn't arrive until Wednesday afternoon. CAN YOU SPELL RIPOFF?
my belt no differently than everyone else, my laser printer has been telling me for quite some time that my magenta cartridge
was low on toner -- I did not replace it immediately, as I was trying to get every bit of toner out of the cartridge.
Yesterday it finally gave up the ghost. I drove to Office Depot to find that they no longer carry any of the four (color and
black) HP cartridges for my laser printer -- but I could order them on-line. Thanks, but no thanks.
stores in the area, they no longer carry the toner either. The printer is only one year old! I'm sure we are going
to be seeing this a lot more in the months to come -- less employees and less inventory -- however, if you don't have
your own backup supplies, you are going to be SOL when your work comes to a halt while you wait on shipment/delivery of on-line
I have always used original HP cartridges in each of my four printers. I know many people that refill them
or buy refurbished ones. From a cost analysis standpoint, there is no cost savings at all because they get less than half
the print mileage than I get from my original authentic HP cartridges. If you are buying cartridges twice as often, where
is the value of the lower-priced cartridges?
I called HP. They offer FREE next day shipping on all ink, toner and
paper -- no minimum purchase required. Memphis is more than 1,500 miles from me and I got my toner at 10:00 this morning.
I got an immediate $95.00 discount because I ordered all three color cartridges even though I didn't need the other two
yet. Enclosed in the shipment was another $10.00 coupon for my next order.
Goodbye Office Depot and Hello Hewlett
[end of blog]
Friday, January 23, 2009
BLOG - Transcription is more than hearing
8:31 am mst
Transcription involves more than just typing words on paper -- verbatim transcription
is putting each and every word and sound on paper as it was said. However, the improper placement of words can change
the entire meaning of what was said.
Out of caution, President Obama was sworn in a second time because of the
first oath being "bungled." The Chief Justice misstated the oath as "execute the office of the President of
the United States faithfully." The Constitution requires Presidents to promise to "faithfully
execute the office of the President of the United States."
A verbatim transcript means nothing -- even if
every word is there -- if it is not not typed exactly as spoken.
President Obama hesitated
before repeating the first "misspoken" oath. The oath is a perfect example how important words are -- and how even
though President Obama repeated exactly what was said, if a transcriptionist changes the order of words on their own, the
transcript is no longer "true and correct" and becomes tainted.
[end of blog]
Thursday, January 22, 2009
BLOG - Clueless -- and not just in Seattle
Do people just wake up one morning and say "I'm going to be a legal transcriptionist!"
I'm more or less getting that impression this month.
3:53 pm mst
Every month my site gets hits with *lookie lou wannabes*
and this month is no exception -- except for the fact that the number has grown considerably, and I'm getting numerous
"how can I" emails.
My site has clocked more than 15 hours this month. Clients and prospects are certainly
not staying on my site for 15 hours -- they hit and if they are interested, they get my contact info and then they're
gone. The only possible people that can log 15 hours on my site are people thinking this is easy and that the money rolls
in, or people working on their own site -- take note of my copyright BEFORE
you start cutting and pasting into your own website or using for your own marketing material!!!
Copyright ©2007, 2008, 2009 by Carolyn Bodley. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
Unauthorized reproduction or distribution of this website, or any portion of it, without first
obtaining the express WRITTEN permission of CAROLYN BODLEY, may result in severe civil and criminal penalties, and will be
prosecuted to the maximum extent under the law.
Search engine phrases used
to find me:
How can I become a legal transcriptionist?
Crash courses to learn transcription.
How much money
can I make as a legal transcriptionist?
What do I need to know to be a transcriptionist?
Where do I find transcription
Emails along the line of "I know absolutely nothing about legal transcription but I want to change
careers -- how do I go about getting started and getting my foot in the door?"
I'm in a pretty good mood
today and will offer my 10 cents worth of advice: come up with your own website ideas and content; learn to spell or use a
spell check; buy a book or take a class and learn proper grammar; don't have an email address of "hot chick";
and get your own email address and stop using that of your kids or husband. Lastly, if you put together one of those
canned web sites -- some of which are free, don't publish your site UNTIL you are completely finished. The software
may claim you can create your site in 10 minutes or one hour -- however, read through it thoroughly and make certain all the
canned paragraphs with canned names and canned "any place USA" have been edited or removed.
P.S. To the
offshore India sweatshops -- please do not contact me again. I don't outsource my work -- and even if I did, it would
stay in the UNITED STATES -- I GUARANTEE and RESPECT
attorney/client privilege, confidentiality and security 100%.
[end of blog]
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
BLOG - Welcome Mr. President
I didn't watch the live coverage of President Obama's Inauguration. Instead, I watched an hour special last night,
and I've got to tell you, that I'm pretty psyched up -- I didn't think I would be.
12:59 pm mst
I don't think
it should matter is you are Republican, Democrat, Independent, or whether your skin is purple polka dot -- we should all be
proud to be an American and a part of history.
Taking a passage from President Obama's Inaugural
"We remain the most prosperous, powerful nation on earth. Our workers are no less productive than
when this crisis began, our minds are no less inventive, our goods and services no less needed than they were last week, last
month or last year. Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the work of remaking America."
[end of blog]
Monday, January 12, 2009
BLOG - Walking billboards
10:00 am mst
Just a heads up if you drive a company vehicle -- whether your own or that of your
employer -- if the name of the business, phone number, address ... anything identifying you and the company appears anywhere
on the vehicle, you are a walking -- or at least in this case, a driving billboard.
In the past, when I saw "How's
my driving? Call ..." I thought, no one would ever call the number. However, I've changed my tone -- if a company
vehicle cuts me off, shows any kind of aggression or rudeness, I don't call the number to report the incident,
but you can be darn sure I make note of the company. If it's a company/business I use or frequent for my business
or my personal life, they've taken the last of my money. If it is a company/business I know nothing about, I will
continue knowing nothing about them!
First impressions are really that -- and for me, if the impression is less
than favorable, you don't get a second chance. Remember if you are driving a company-named vehicle, your driving habits
and discourtesies aren't invisible, but shout "look at me."
As a way of showing appreciation for
my clients, I give them business gifts. However, for the "*local*businessgiftsdotcom" van that came across
two lanes of Sheridan traffic on Saturday -- diving in front of me and then slamming on your brakes -- because
the vehicle in the right lane wasn't about to allow you to cut *him* off, you can be sure pigs will fly or a particular
place freezes over before I purchase any business gifts from you!
[end of blog]
Friday, January 9, 2009
BLOG - Time is money
For four years, before the mortgage crash, I offered loan signing witness notarizations
as an add-on to my business. I met borrowers at their home, place of business, restaurant, library -- wherever and whenever it was convenient for
them. Unlike many "point and sign" notaries that simply point out where to sign and say you can read later,
I never had a problem with someone reading "first" and signing "last." Refinancing and purchasing/selling
a home are probably the most important LEGAL papers someone will sign in their lifetime. Perhaps if more people
had taken the time to read some of these subprime loans, our economy wouldn't be in the state it is now!
11:52 am mst
There is one signing agent/notary in Colorado who brags that he will travel the ENTIRE state for a signing. This
is completely asinine! Colorado ranks 8th in size among the 50 states and is almost a perfect square. There are 104,091 square
miles in the state. From center point in the state, it is 387 miles in both directions east and west (Kansas and
Utah) and 276 miles in both directions north and south (Wyoming and New Mexico) for a total of 1,326 miles in the state.
I never took a signing that was more than 30-45 minutes away -- reason being is that 30-45 minutes took
an hour or an hour-and-one half round trip (depending on weather and traffic). Add a minimum of an hour for the signing for
a total of 2-1/2 hours or more out of my day. When you start traveling 50, 75 or more than 100 miles each way, especially
in the winter and traveling mountain passes, in my eyes, it's just not economically feasible if you are in a car for three,
five, six or more hours and the same amount of time for the return trip -- not to mention the wear and tear on the automobile,
maintenance expenses and gasoline.
An attorney trying to "do it all" himself is no different than this
signing agent traveling north, east, south and west. An attorney DID NOT go to law school to become a secretary, let
alone a transcriptionist. I've run across a few attorneys that have invested in "speak and type" software. Although
the software has improved since it was originally introduced, it is still a far cry from an actual SECRETARY or TRANSCRIPTIONIST.
It might be okay for Memo to File or short correspondence, but it has quite a few downsides. First, the software
has to be trained to YOUR voice -- which defeats the whole purpose for attorneys thinking it can be used with police interviews,
witness statements and recorded phone conversations which are not in a "trained" voice that the software recognizes.
It doesn't know the difference between "there/their, plane/plain" etc.
I've run across some attorneys
who really are great typists -- however, the same as sitting in a car for hours on end, it's just not an economically
feasible alternative for saving money when an attorney types and handles clerical tasks. There is NO WAY
that an attorney can charge clients their billable hourly rate for pounding on a keyboard.
will continue to "criminalize" (maybe even more with our country's financial crisis) -- allow me to
continue being a secretary and a transcriptionist, which allows you to be an attorney -- pleading your client's case --
if you have time on your hands, use that time marketing your expertise to attract new clients -- but DON'T use
the time to type your court filings and exhibits.
[end of blog]
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
BLOG - Ron Gettelfinger STILL doesn't get it!
GM and Chrysler have both received the first $4 billion installment of their federal "loan" checks. In conference
calls, one-on-one and group meetings, the two car makers are seeking deep concessions from bondholders, dealers,
suppliers and the UNITED AUTO WORKERS' UNION to satisfy conditions of the $17.2 billion emergency loans
approved by Congress last month.
3:57 pm mst
The car makers need to present detailed restructuring plans by February 17,
2009 and demonstrate that they can achieve a positive net worth by the end of March in order to secure additional TAXPAYER
funds aimed at securing their survival.
The December bailout request was received sceptically by many lawmakers
and TAXPAYERS and initially failed in the Senate. However, the UAW says it hopes for a "more balanced" approach
from President Elect Obama's incoming administration. Congress wants the car makers to push the UAW to accept lower wages
and the car makers to make smaller contributions to an employee-run health care trust. UAW President Gettelfinger insists
"unfortunately, the terms of the loans approved by President George W. Bush single out members of our union, by demanding
steeper and faster concessions from the UAW than from any part of the industry. That's not right and we'll work with
the Obama administration and the new Congress to implement a more balanced approach."
Explain to me HOW the
autoworkers are being "singled" out? The headline in today's newspaper "US suffers worst year of job
cuts since 1945" ... "the number of jobs lost during the year (2008) reached 2.6 million."
say bondholders might balk at swapping their debt for equity or pay-outs if the new administration relaxes the terms labor
terms of the bailout loans, and will support restructured bankruptcy.
The U.S. unemployment rate is growing daily
and larger well-known companies are announcing daily layoffs and wage concessions -- but NOT THE UAW!
whatever you're smoking, it's against the law and the U.S. public is going to relish the day you begin standing in
the unemployment line.
On Monday, January 12, 2009, the Big 3's biggest North American trade show opens. In
the past, GM has offered visitors free food and drink. Not this year. Chrysler has always turned a firehouse into a pub offering
free food and drinks -- like GM, not this year. Additionally, there will not be exhibit waterfalls and rows of computers with
Internet access. "Less glitz and no giveaways" is what appears in a trade show blog.
appears to me that the car makers are really tightening their belts in an effort to make their future
work. However, the autoworkers, who feel they are being singled out, will be more than visible participating in a rally
outside the tradeshow -- protesting Congress' demanded wage cuts.
I applaud the numerous cost-cutting
efforts of the Big 3, but I have absolutely no sympathy for the greed of the union and autoworkers!
[end of blog]
Monday, January 5, 2009
BLOG - 2009 Challeges for Solo Entrepreneurs
Working for myself, I represent a layer of the economy that is truly "layoff-proof" -- a rarity as we begin the
new year. Although I don't constantly have to look over my shoulder for fear of being downsized, I'm not
immune from budget-cutting clients.
9:16 am mst
I control my own destiny. Failure is not an option -- and it's up
to me, and only me, to see that my business continues to succeed. As a sole proprietor, I'm able to operate
my business on a much leaner scale -- although my success is dependant on businesses purchasing my transcription services. My
services are geared toward the smaller law firm -- many attorneys working as sole practitioners and with the questionable
economy, many attorneys are beginning to cut their own expenses and doing as much work as they can on their own.
An attorney is NOT a transcriptionist -- no matter how proud you are! There is no way
you can bill a client, at your billable rate, for attempting to transcribe a verbatim transcript!
Find other ways to cut costs -- because my fighting spirit is going to become my biggest asset during the 2009 recession,
and I REFUSE to allow the economy to kill my business.
Together, YOU and I, bonding together, are each
other's most valuable survival tools in getting through this economic downside!
[end of blog]