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, May 14, 2009
BLOG - Life lessons of doing business
3:19 pm mdt
I have a bookshelf in my office filled with mementos from my 17 years of operating
Fortunately, I have less than a handful of checks with insufficient funds or account closed. I have
an alarm clock to remind me of the all-nighters I pulled when I was younger. I have a typing eraser, typing ribbons,
correction tapes and 5-1/4 inch diskettes to remind me of technological advances. My newest addition is a spiral bound
transcript and a digital recorder -- not a very good recorder I might add. I guess if my husband ever goes to the grocery
store he can listen and be reminded to pick up milk, eggs and butter or tell him where he parked the car.
recorder belongs to a Master's Degree student. She purchased it to record an interview last week. Although I told her
to make sure the audio recordings could be downloaded to the computer, she chose a cheaper model without a removable media
card and can't be be downloaded to a computer -- which is the reason I have her recorder. I had to use a patch cord to
re-record onto my digital recorder and then download to my computer. She emailed me on Monday asking how much she owed me.
That is the last I have heard from her --
My husband, being the optimist that he is, keeps telling me that she
probably has to wait until she has the money. Me, being the pessimist I am, keeps telling him that with 4-5 more similar recorders,
I would pretty much break even on this project.
It's no wonder that more and more big businesses no longer accept
checks. To me, this is nothing but theft -- and it doesn't hurt the thieves -- it hurts all the innocent people that try to
do right -- they are the ones that have to pay for the abuse, and will be required to pay me in advance the next time. Being
a Master's Degree student, I even gave a rate reduction -- the innocent and honest people will now be required to pay upfront.
On another abuse front, apparently the California circus organization came through town recently recruiting signing
agents for loan signings. I've changed all my notary on-line profiles to reflect that I no longer sign for signing services,
title companies or brokers. I continue to perform mobile/general notarizations for the public. After the circus act,
a fresh, never before notary recruit contacted me to mentor her. I suppose she felt she wasn't a threat since
I openly advertise that I no longer witness mortgage loans. After talking with her for 30-45 minutes on the phone, she didn't
even thank me -- either on the phone, a follow-up email or an offer to buy me lunch or coffee. It's been nearly a month since
her initial contact. Last night she called -- she has her first signing today and wanted my assistance, once again in tutoring
her and got perturbed when I told her I didn't have the time. I may no longer do signings, but I'm also not the Goodwill Ambassador
for wet-behind-the-ears/don't know what they're doing signing agents that will ultimately add to the economic/mortgage
situation mess the world is now facing.
[end of blog]
BLOG - Baby boomers vs. 2009 young employee
7:00 am mdt
Are you finding yourself holding your head because you've made the wrong hiring decision?
There is a definite difference between the quality of the work, the quantity of the work and the general work ethics
between baby boomers and the younger generation of workers just entering the work force.
It's not just a generation
During the past couple of months, I've received three inquiries from attorneys just now seeing
what many an older secretary has recognized for years -- the younger worker doesn't know how to work. Attorneys are telling
me "I can't leave them on their own -- they need constant supervision -- I might as well do the work myself. Oh, sure,
they want a job and they usually show up, but they don't really want to work or don't know how. When they should be working,
they are surfing the Internet, answering personal emails or phone texting their friends. H-E-L-P me!"
boomers started at the bottom and worked our way up. If someone said jump, we asked how high. We were sponges while we soaked
everything up. Don't get me wrong -- we thought we knew everything -- no different than today's youth -- the difference, we
only got away with that way of thinking at home and would never have thought of trying it at work. "That's
not my job" was not in our vocabulary.
Baby boomers didn't grow up with cell phones, texting, Ipods, Internet.
I may be able to type 120 wpm, however, it takes me more than 30 minutes to enter a couple of lines of a phone text message.
Growing up and listening to Mom and Dad's lectures, I remember thinking how old they were and that I was never going
to be "that old." Today I find their words coming out of my mouth. I've seen the younger workers roll their eyes
at me and other boomers -- be happy that I only harp about work quality and ethics and I haven't began telling you about how
hard you think you have it, or telling you about my own parents walking to school -- what was it?--8, 10, 12 miles and uphill
in both directions!
The next time an employer is driven between the decision of hiring an inexperienced/unskilled
employee in order to save money, or hiring the experienced "been around the block a couple of times" employee --
take into consideration how much your own time is worth. Employers need to recognize and appreciate the boomers and the the
fact that we take initiative, use our own judgment, do something without being told and have the skills and dedication to
see a job through. We've earned your respect.
[end of blog]
Monday, May 4, 2009
BLOG - Tick tock
Time is money for me -- no different than many firms. Wearing all the hats as an
independent contractor/vendor/self-employed business person, I find myself juggling many projects. When I began my independent
working relationship almost 17 years ago, I spent many all-nighters to meet client deadlines -- either because I chewed off
more than I should have, or because of last-minute emergencies.
7:52 am mdt
I no longer pull all-nighters -- I've either
gotten better with time management, or I'm not as hungry as I was back in 1992.
Occasionally when my schedule
allows, I agree to work on-site covering vacations or illness. Most firms allow me to arrive at 8:00 in the morning and leave
at 2:00 -- that's six hours that they don't have an empty chair and a shut-down computer -- 3/4 of a day. Since I
don't smoke, I don't take a morning or afternoon break -- that's 30 minutes that I'm working when several
employees aren't. Leaving at 2:00, I don't take a lunch. All in all, except for a few minutes in the rest room probably
twice during this six hours, I'm sitting at the desk typing -- whether from hard copy or transcription -- that amounts
to 360 minutes or 21,600 seconds. Covering for a 5-day/week vacation, that's 30 hours, 1,800 minutes and 108,000
seconds -- more than enough time for attorneys to get their act, thoughts and work together in order for me to complete and
finalize it instead of insisting that they must have full-day coverage. My regular clients that I work on-site for, are more
than grateful for the 6-hour days I can give them.
Why only six hours? -- Because I'm no one's employee
-- I'm an independent contractor, and as such, I set my own hours -- and because I'm smarter and wiser and will no
longer half-kill myself working through the night playing catch-up. And the number one reason -- I no longer find myself sitting
idly at the desk doing nothing while waiting for an attorney to draft a pleading -- that will be given to me at 4:45
and needs e-filed that day! It forces procrastinators to manage their time instead of waiting until the last
minute -- who knows, something might even get e-filed today, when it doesn't need filed until tomorrow.
[end of blog]