Carolyn Bodley - Legal Verbatim Transcriptionist of Audio, Video & Digital Files

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blog entries are strictly the opinion of Carolyn Bodley and may not reflect the opinion of others

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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

It's all right to return unfinished work

MR900422409.JPGI'm constantly reading that people are afraid of returning work to a client without finishing or without beginning.

Since 1992, I haven't done it often, but I have done it, and I can tell you that the sky didn't fall nor was I struck by a bolt of lightning -- and if I was bad-mouthed through town, it didn't stop people from giving me projects to be typed.

Sometimes the audio is just so bad that there is no way it can be completed. I learned that the hard way -- anyone going back to earlier blogs will see where an attorney was standing in front of a running jet engine while she dictated. I tried -- I really tried. I stayed up for two days and three nights bound and determined that I was going to complete the job. It didn't happen and if I got the same kind of audio today, it wouldn't take me more than five minutes to let the attorney know that it was impossible, and here it is back for you to deal with -- maybe even try to hear the audio yourself.

Recently I had a couple of weeks of a lull. I was contacted by an author who had interviewed an older gentleman in the middle of New York. I believe originally she said she had five tapes that she was transferring to CDs or DVDs. I thought fine, no problem -- it would fill in the two weeks lull and then I'd be back to legal transcription. I will NEVER, NEVER complain about legal again -- another lesson learned. First of all, I never heard from her again for over a month. Again, I'm not someone to call, call and call a prospect again asking where the project is. It's like begging for work and I'm not about to let someone know that I need "their" project in order to eat or pay the bills. I just won't do it. Thankfully, with where I'm at in my business, I'm pretty well past that stage of wondering where the next project is going to come from, or more importantly, when is it going to come.

When she finally contacted me again, I should have just declined -- although she said she was not in a hurry and had only copied three of the tapes and there would be more. It was obvious that she was a procrastinator in the fact that these interviews occurred several years before (the gentlemen had since died) and that she was going to be giving the audio to me piece meal. I should have still declined, especially when she gave me approximately 20 pages to be used as a "cheat sheet" with names, places, etc. It probably would have been different had they been organized even in somewhat of an alphabetical fashion instead of a hodge-podge of words. One copied audio tape should have taken me roughly three hours -- however, it took me about 16 hours -- which just was not acceptable to my own time schedule -- so I knew it wouldn't be acceptable to her checkbook. I just couldn't stand the thought of even beginning the next two, let alone, the remainder that she hadn't even given me. The audio was poor and I had to keep looking through page-after-page of the cheat sheet and the subject (classical arts/literature) was boring the living #$#$#@#$ out of me. I was finding all kinds of excuses that were calling me from the keyboard -- the lawn needed mowed, the dog needed walked, I needed to cook a 10-course meal, the toilet bowl needed cleaned ... I just couldn't get into these interviews and felt absolutely no qualms about packaging them up and shipping them back to her with a letter saying that they deserved someone better than me who could put their heart and soul into them. I printed off the one I finished and sent it along knowing that I had donated my part to the arts because I knew that I would not see a dime for my efforts -- which was fine -- the lesson I learned was more than payment.

Give me crime, murder and violence and I promise I'll sit in my little chair transcribing happily away -- culture and arts just don't do it for me.

[end of blog]

3:37 pm mdt 

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With a typing speed of 120 wpm, Carolyn Bodley began offering independent contractor/secretarial and transcription services to the Denver metro legal community in 1992.

I am not a court reporter or medical transcriptionist and I don't videotape depositions -- I'm strictly a legal transcriptionist which means putting spoken words on paper. All my transcripts contain a certification stating that to the best of my knowledge, belief and ability, the audio/video I received has not been altered in any way, and the transcript is true, accurate and complete. I have never been advised that a court rejected one of my audio or video transcripts. If my transcript is rejected by the court, you will be reimbursed in full for my services. Because I certify that the transcript is true and complete, the entire audio/video must be transcribed--I am unable to transcribe "just a portion" that you need. 

I guarantee that your transcripts will be typed confidentially, accurately and with attention to detail at a fair price.

  • Discovery is often turned over in a format other than hard copy. This discovery includes, but is not limited to, recorded telephone conversations, police interviews, depositions, investigations, witness statements, and more. The audio and video "words" need to be put to paper, and your already overworked legal staff often don't have the skills, equipment, the inclination or the time.
  • Discovery is often the deciding factor of whether a case goes to trial. Most of us hear, but do we listen? Recently I transcribed a video that had been viewed and listened to several times and by several people before I transcribed it. There was a one sentence statement that not one person caught -- this one sentence was not the only reason the case was dismissed one day before trial--however, it carried quite a bit of weight -- and I'm the only one that "heard" it. Had the video never been transcribed, how many other words would never have been heard?

Add-On Services:

  • laser color printing
  • laminating
  • spiral binding
  • proofreading/editing your work product

Your Documents are Your Reputation ...
Making Them Look Good is Mine!©1992-2016 Carolyn Bodley

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