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

(to see archived blog entries, click on the links to the right of the top blog)

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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

BLOG - Audio hour is exactly what it says ...
question.jpgI don't know why this is such a confusing topic. If someone says they will pay you by the audio hour, my suggestion is to run the other way as fast as you can.

Assume a client has an audio recording that is one hour in length and you are told that you will be paid "X" dollars per audio hour. Let's say they pick a figure out of the air -- $32.00. For some reason, many people would say "oh, my god -- I'm going to get paid $32 per hour, and if it takes me five hours to transcribe, then I will get paid a total of $160.00." W-R-O-N-G !!! Whether you are able to type this one hour audio in one hour (which is highly unlikely) or five hours or more, all you are going to be paid is $32.00 TOTAL.  That is the definition of being paid by the audio hour. It is quite the rip-off, isn't it.

Of course, for the person quoting you an audio hour rate, it is great for them. If you ever consider accepting a per audio hour, first you need to know how much you can actually type in an hour.

Transcribing from audio is not the same as typing straight from hard copy. Depending on how the audio was recorded, you can have background noise, voices that you can't hear because the speaker was not in a direct vicinity to mics, you have air conditioning noise, electric lights and/or other electrical interference causing a buzz or hum, etc. Heck, you may even be transcribing from hidden audio where a hand-held recorder was placed in someones purse, coat pocket, pants pocket, or other places I don't even want to think about. I won't even get into different dialects from different regions of the country. Each time you stop the foot pedal and reverse the audio to re-listen, you are wasting time and money -- your money.

For a one-hour audio, you should always consider a minimum of three hours and up to five, six, eight, ten or even more -- again, depending on the quality of the audio and the number of speakers. Calculate what you want/need to earn per hour -- not audio hour. If you need to earn $35.00 per hour, then you need to charge a minimum of $105 per audio hour (assuming you can complete it in three hours). Realistically, you should assume it will take four to five hours and quote $140 to $175 per audio hour (if you want to earn $35 per every hour that you type). If these figures seem way overboard, first figure the cost of doing business -- electricity, supplies (paper, toner, etc.), self-employment taxes (quarterly taxes), business licenses, advertising and marketing, and money put aside for new equipment purchases. No matter what I make on the job, I take between 35 and 50% right off the very top and put it aside for taxes, supplies and future equipment purchases.

Remember, that what you earn as a self-employed person, is not FREE money. The next time someone offers you an audio hour rate, think twice about the bottom dollar you will earn -- if you would be earning more money flipping hamburgers, then an audio hour rate is definitely not the way to charge.
[end of blog]
6:14 pm mst 

Thursday, November 15, 2012

BLOG -- Go home NNA
magnify.jpgNotary Commissions in Colorado last for a term of four years and are issued by the Colorado Secretary of State. Up until a couple of years ago, you could renew by mail or in-person.

I guess you can still renew in person, it just costs more. They would prefer you to renew online. My own commission expires in January, 2013. A few weeks ago, I received a postcard from the National Notary Association (NNA) reminding me of my renewal and that I could contact them and they would walk me through the renewal process, or I could pay them and they would renew my commission for me. W-H-A-T ??? Why would I possibly contact an organization based in California that can't even tell me correct notary law for Colorado, let alone in California?

No joke. Google them and you will see complaints galore about how they get people to join, taking their money while handing out incorrect information. Talk to two different people in the organization and get 4-5 different answers.

When your notary commission comes due, renew it yourself. You don't have to go through the NNA as their false advertising/marketing campaign claims.
[end of blog]
7:46 pm mst 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

BLOG - Christmas music NONSTOP three weeks before Thanksgiving
EggsHere is egg on your face KOOL 105 radio station, Denver.

Are you out of your flippin' mind -- turning into a full time Christmas radio station THREE WEEKS *BEFORE* THANKSGIVING ???

Okay, when I first heard you playing Christmas music on Saturday, I thought, fine -- it is cold and sort of snowing outside -- and the "I'm dreaming of a white Christmas" seemed somewhat appropriate at the time. However, when I turned on the radio on Monday and every song was Christmas and again today on Tuesday -- there is absolutely no way I'm going to listen to Christmas music for almost nine weeks -- and if you would take the time to read the comments on your Face Book page, there aren't too many people that are jumping up and down over the idea.

I've quite lisening to you before over what I considered stupid moves -- but, hey, it's your radio station. However, come January 2013, this listener ain't coming back again.
[end of blog]
2:32 pm mst 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

BLOG - If you don't like it here, then move!
Statue of LibertyThe nasty, mud-slinging, name-calling election is over. If you didn't vote, then shame on you. Keep your mouth shut because you have nothing to *itch about.

If you voted and you don't like the outcome, instead of continuing the nasty, hatred comments and opinions, do something about it -- BECOME A PART OF THE SOLUTION TO FIX THE PROBLEMS -- if you can't or refuse to do that, then I highly suggest you move to another country and say goodbye to the United States of America. I'm proud to be an American, but I'm certainly not proud of the venom spewing from the mouths of many individuals.

How I voted is no one's business -- the same as it is none of my business how anyone else voted. On election night, one woman was interviewed on television and when asked how she voted, she said she wasn't going to say -- "that there was going to be more to talk about around the Thanksgiving table than politics!" I concur.
[end of blog]
1:03 pm mst 

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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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