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)

Some photos are compressed or removed in archived blog postings, leaving only a description of the photo. The blog postings remain complete and unchanged.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

BLOG - I spilt the milk -- so what?

Why is it that people can't admit that they did something wrong? But noooooo, they either try to sweep it under the rug (like who is going to look for it there ...) or they immediately point the finger and say that someone else did it. The "someone else blame game" always occurs when that person is not in the room or haven't worked there for ages. 

What is wrong with simply admitting you did something or you didn't do something?

At what age did the innocense of childhood disappear?--when kids didn't know how to lie or to blame?

I admit to anything I do wrong, but I WILL NOT take the blame for someone else's finger pointing because they simply are not man enough or woman enough to stand up to the plate and admit that they messed up.

When I quit making mistakes, I might as well die. How about you?

[end of blog] 

8:38 am mdt 

Thursday, March 20, 2014

BLOG - Transcription quotes

Yesterday I received a phone call from a woman in need of a transcript. I probably do just as many transcripts for the general public as I do for lawyers. I began with my normal questions that I always ask at the beginning of a phone conversation:

1. How as the audio recorded?

Answer: Using a hand-held recorder.

2. How many people on the audio?

Answer: Two. My husband and another man.

3. Was the other man aware the conversation was being recorded?

Answer: Yes. The recorder was placed in the middle of a table.

4. Is the audio legible?

Now most people usually lie when I ask this question. Answer: Well, no. The conversation took place in the middle of a Starbucks and you hear all the background conversation and noise.

The woman expects me to give her a rock-solid (and rock bottom) price right then and there on the phone. I won't give an estimate, let alone a final price before ever starting the project without first listening to the audio. I believe that is even spelled out several times on my web page. I did tell her my hourly rate and that a "good quality" audio usually takes 4:1 meaning four times the length of the audio. I continued that the poorer the quality of the audio, the higher and further apart the time it takes to complete and the audio recording time. I've had such bad and poorly recorded audio that it took me 11:1. Gasping in disbelief, this woman continues that "it's not all that bad" -- my how it changes from not being clear due to background noise and conversations to "it's not all that bad" !!! 

5. My final question was because of the poorly recorded audio, do they want it true verbatim?

Answer. Well, yes -- we will probably have to use it in a court proceeding. She continued that her husband had already listened to it and typed out most of it, but that she refuses to type it for him.

Okay. Let me get this right -- your husband and a man talked in a Starbucks. The conversation was recorded on a hand-held digital recorder. Because of the number of people in Starbucks and the noise from background conversations and all the coffee shop noise, the audio is less than pristine. Your husband has listened to it and typed out most of it, but because it is probably going to end up in court, you want a professionally transcribed verbatim audio transcript to present to the court? 

Once again I told her that I would not quote her a price until I actually briefly listened to the audio, but I again told her about the 4:1 ratio standard that 99.9% of transcriptionists fall into. She told me that the audio was only 36 minutes. I told her that transcription was not done in "real" time and that there was no way 36 minutes of audio would only take 36 minutes to transcribe.

I assume in trying to get me to discount my rates, she told me that she had found someone else that quoted a $1.50 per minute. I refuse to negotiate my rates with a low-ball client, so in concluding the call I simply told her to "go for it."  

I have known more than one transcript that determined the outcome of a trial. This has been my profession for far too many years than bicker with a client or a "maybe" client that begins with wanting to nickle and dime the price of a transcript that can be a deciding point in a trial. I actually wish the woman and her husband good luck -- the question that I bit my tongue from asking was: Yes, but how many minutes is the $1.50 transcriptionist going to take?

Sometimes it is better just to keep my humor to myself.

[end of blog] 

3:42 pm mdt 

Friday, February 14, 2014

BLOG - Accountability
Black and White Class Picture

I was raised to have a good sense of value, to stand up for what I believe in and to be responsible and accountable for my own actions.

There was once a saying that is very seldom heard today: You do the crime, you do the time. Today, however, the saying has been changed somewhat to: You do the crime, you pay the dime -- although much more than a few dimes are being paid to get people out of trouble.

Innocent people do get into trouble -- being in the wrong place at the wrong time -- choosing the wrong friends, or just being a little too gullible in doing something to fit in. I think that everyone should be represented the same, and it shouldn't matter one's financial ability to pay for representation. It should not just be a given that someone who can afford a high-priced attorney should get a better deal than someone not being able to afford an attorney at all. When money gets someone off with sometimes not even a slap on the wrist, what has that person learned? What is going to keep them from going out again and getting in some type of trouble with the notion that money got them off the first time, it will get them off again?

To me, accountability is a strong word and I'm proud to have been raised knowing what it means. 

[end of blog] 


8:02 am mst 

Sunday, January 5, 2014

BLOG - Internet/email etiquette or oops ...



 I realized today that it has been five months since I've blogged. I knew it had been some time, but I didn't realize that it had been THAT long. I have no excuse or explanation except that time just got away from me. 

I'm hoping that everyone's holiday celebrations were wonderful and that 2014 will be prosperous and joyful for all.

My first blog of the year is going to be not necessarily a slap on the hand, but a reminder that should really go without saying--probably all of us have been guilty of it at one time or another, so the reminder is really something we all need to think about -- maybe even make it a a New Year's resolution. BE CAREFUL OF WHAT YOU WRITE ON THE INTERNET, AND BE DOUBLY CAREFUL BEFORE HITTING THE SEND FOR THAT EMAIL, TO BE CERTAIN THAT YOU ARE ACTUALLY SENDING IT TO THE CORRECT PERSON !!!

I have been guilty of "replying all" when I should have just "replied." Doing so was not a big embarrassment, but an embarrassment--still the same, and a followup apology to the recipient that should never have received the email. A couple lessons learned -- I really try not to say anything in an email that I wouldn't say to someone's face, AND I *always* double check that I am writing to the person that I'm supposed to be writing to.   

Another thing -- the world is filled with different personalities, and I honestly don't believe that we were all meant to be friends. I have a handful of people that I've run across in my lifetime that I avoid like the plague. We are just too different, and I just don't have a desire to be around them. Does that make me a bad person?--I believe it makes me an honest person. Then there are people that I would never choose as a friend, but I try to be cordial anyway -- I'm sure we all deal with both types of people. Today I received an email that I wasn't supposed to have gotten -- but the email was *about* me. Hmmmm. Is it eavesdropping to read an email that was sent to you, but was intended for someone else, and discussing you by name in the body of the email? The writer and I are "those two cordial people" that put up with one another. The email wasn't really bad, although in the past I probably would have gotten mad and emailed it back asking "what's this?"--although today I simply deleted it without doing anything. I'm sure the sender, by now, has realized her mistake and worried what I'm going to do -- which maybe her worry is my justice.

Long blog short, make sure that not only what you are writing is something you really want to be seen and read, and more importantly, be doubly certain you are *sending* it to the right person.

[end of blog] 

4:32 pm mst 

Friday, August 16, 2013

BLOG - When it's time to move on ...

the-blame-game.jpgFor the past few days, I've been reading what has become a "woe is me" forum posting and has mushroomed into a rather outpouring of mean and spiteful "stick the knife in the back and turn" stabs at the woman's boss.

 The woman's husband has been on a donor transplant waiting list for quite some time. A few months ago, he was given his new life. Because of complications and having to go back to the hospital, the woman has missed quite a bit of time from work. She works for a small law firm -- and by small, I mean the attorney, his wife, this full-time woman and a part-time employee.  I'm assuming the woman found "her" position listed on Craigslist, and she posts that her boss is looking for someone to replace her. Needless to say, she was quite upset that the boss would post this listing behind her back.

 People began posting encouragement in her favor and saying what an SOB her boss was. Someone asked her about the Family Leave Act and she replied that because there is only the three of them, it doesn't fall under the boundaries. She did say that her health insurance was paid 100% by her attorney boss. Myself, no matter what size company I worked for, my health insurance has NEVER been paid 100%. The work has become backed up. She can't seem to grasp that this backlog is due to her absenteeism from work. Now I'm not saying that she shouldn't have been by her husband's bedside. she should have by all means. However, her attorney boss, his wife and the part-time employee were left in a lurch.

 She has become more and more hostile toward her boss with each additional posting. How dare, after 10 years' working for him, does he have the right to replace her? It turns out that the posting she found was not for her job at all, it was for the part-timer. Now, she's just going to show him -- she's been looking for a new job for some time, and this is her opportunity to actually find one. ???? Excuse me? The job market is tight, and if she is lucky enough to land another job, first, I doubt very seriously her health insurance is going to be paid 100%, and second, a new employer would be even less tolerant of excessive absenteeism.

 A law office has strict time deadlines. If a deadline is missed, the court simply doesn't pat you on the back and say, "do a better job next time." This boss has been more than accommodating to this woman, but she can't see it. Instead, she would rather have her own little pity party and strike out.

 I have been in both situations. I have spent days/weeks at the hospital and then turned around and spent all night at the office completing the work for that day. I have also worked for large and small companies where an employee was out for an extended time period. It made it difficult for everyone around to carry the load -- doing not only their own work, but that of the "missing" worker.

 This ungrateful woman just doesn't get it -- it is time that her boss does replace her. He needs someone that can carry their own weight, that is reliable and that he can depend on.

[end of blog]

7:36 am 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?

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