Sunday, March 30, 2014
BLOG - I spilt the milk -- so what?
8:38 am mdt
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?
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]
Thursday, March 20, 2014
BLOG - Transcription quotes
3:42 pm mdt
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
2. How many people on the audio?
Answer: Two. My husband and another
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" !!!
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.
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
Sometimes it is better just to keep my humor to myself.
[end of blog]
Friday, February 14, 2014
BLOG - Accountability
8:02 am mst
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.
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]
Sunday, January 5, 2014
BLOG - Internet/email etiquette or oops ...
4:32 pm mst
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.
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]
Friday, August 16, 2013
BLOG - When it's time to move on ...
7:36 am mdt
For 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.
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.
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"
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]