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.

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Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Abuse Me Once - Shame on You ... Abuse Me Twice - Shame on Me

Last week I finally got paid for a signing that occurred more than 90 days ago.  I guess paying your bills only four times a year is a pretty good deal if you can get away with it -- however, it won't fly with my creditors.

Today they called and wanted me to meet at a Kinkos in less than 30 minutes and about 20 miles away -- um, let's see ... we're in the dead of winter now, so I'd be getting the money just in time for my summer vacation! 

Not only NO, but  !!@#@%#%##%^%##^  NO!
[end of blog]

2:57 pm mst 

Saturday, January 26, 2008

BLOG - Double Rules, Double Standards

During my lifetime, I've had the opportunity to meet and or work with some pretty influential people -- Mayors, Governors, a U.S. President, Judges, assorted politicians ... and for the record, in all actuality, they are just people. 

I have never -- and WOULD NEVER take any of these contacts for granted, or attempt to get some sort of preferential treatment from knowing them.

Breaking many rules and laws won't put someone behind bars, however, bending the rules to suit oneself, does make one an abuser and user.
[end of blog]

4:34 pm mst 

Friday, January 25, 2008

BLOG - Greed and Money
Money can't bring back a life, but apparently John Ritter's wife, Amy Yasbeck who says "none of the facilities that treated him, nor the doctors or other personnel involved has admitted any wrongdoing or apologized, but she's planning to remedy that."

No doubt about it, John Ritter died entirely too young -- however, we've all lost people in our life that were too young, and the majority of us don't replace their life with money. How can someone actually place a value on a loved one's life after they've passed?

She has already settled with the Medical Center where he died for $9.4 million dollars and has received more than $4 million from other civil-suit targets -- but now she's going after the radiologist and cardiologist for more than $67 million in damages.

"My discomfort is nothing compared to people who are losing their family to aortic dissection. I can be uncomfortable for however long the trial goes. I'm ready." W-H-A-T ??? I guess she'll be cleansed of all her discomfort at the conclusion of the trial.

Amazing how a person is worth more dead than living. I for one, hope the jury sees through her greed, and awards her compensation of ONE PENNY!  ... It'd be interesting to know how much of the more than $13 million is still in the bank.

hmmmmmmmm - one week shy of being married four years - $80 million dollars divided by 4 years = compensation of $20 million dollars per year of marriage.
[end of blog]
2:10 pm mst 

Thursday, January 24, 2008

BLOG - Privacy
I just returned home from a loan signing.  The signing went smoothly, and nothing happened out of the ordinary.
As I was gathering my goodies, notary seal, pens, executed documents, etc., I told the Borrowers what I tell all Borrowers - "I don't keep any of the loan packet, whether on my computer or a hard paper copy, and I 'shift-delete' the whole 'kit'n'kaboodle' so nothing gets shifted to my computer recycle folder."

Mr. Borrower scrunched up his face and asked "What if two or three years down the road you get a new computer and sell or give away this one ... There is no guarantee or security that by simply deleting documents off the hard drive, *someone* knowing what they were doing, couldn't reconstruct the paper trail on the hard drive."

I quickly replied (and it wasn't just grabbing at something to appease the man) that, yes, I do get new computers every two years; however, I don't sell or give my old ones away -- instead, we strip them out for parts and take the hard drive and beat it with the hammer.  NO JOKE - THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT WE DO -- it's a great way to relieve stress !!

The man being an IT person was quite impressed and has never heard of anyone doing something like that -- whereas, looking at it from my side, I don't understand why more people don't do it -- but then again, I don't understand why so many people take privacy so nonchalantly.
[end of blog]
2:09 pm mst 

BLOG - Customer Service
Early last evening I met with a wonderful little old lady that needed some life insurance documents notarized.  On the drive back home, I decided to spend my notary profits and stopped at a family-owned chicken restaurant for take-out.

I ordered eight pieces of chicken, a pint of slaw and an order of large fries (a meal for two). We have frequented this restaurant for a number of years. The family used to do everything themselves - cook, run the take-out counter, and wait/serve in the restaurant itself. However, over the past few years, outside help has been hired to assist. Last night there were two teenage girls running the take-out counter. Like normal, I ordered, my name was taken and then I took a seat while the chicken and fries cooked. Up to this point, there was nothing out of the ordinary - except when I ordered a pint of slaw, she asked if I meant coleslaw -- well, uh, yeah.

My name was called after about 10 minutes. The same teenage girl that took my order begins ringing it up and repeating - a whole chicken, 1/2 pint of slaw, and small fries. I first thought I misheard my name and the order was for someone else, except I was looking down at the handwritten order with my name. I explained that I ordered 8 pieces of chicken, which I don't believe sounds like a "whole chicken" and I wanted one pint of slaw and not 1/2 pint, and large fries and not small fries.

By now the other teenage girl has shown up, taken the boxed/sacked supper back to the kitchen. I went ahead paid for the food and waited for the other girl to appear with the corrected order. She reappeared after a few minutes, handed me my sack--not offering an apology for the mix-up.

I take my food and once in my vehicle, I start it up, and am in the process of hooking my seatbelt when one of the young teenage girls comes running out. She comes up to my window and accuses me of not paying for my drink -- what drink?

Now had there been a drink, it would have been a fountain drink in a paper cup and a plastic lid - a fountain drink behind the counter that the teenage girls would have dispensed themselves. Would they have actually placed this drink inside the plastic sack without a drink carrier? I don't think so, at least I would hope not! But to appease the girl, and also for my own peace of mind (because of the snafu of this whole order), I flicked on the overhead light and looked inside the sack, and was quite happy to tell her there was no drink. Her comment was "oohhh" and turned around and ran back inside. Now even had their been a drink, the proper "customer service" thing to do, would not to have chased down the few cents this drink cost the restaurant, but to say, "please accept the drink as our way of saying thank you for accepting and excusing our mistake."

I'm a sticker when it comes to customer service, and whereas the majority of people (including my husband) would just go on with life and ignore all of this, I'm not one of those people. Today I will go to the restaurant and speak with the owners we have dealt with for years and rehash everything that happened last night. Petty, Stupid and a Waste of Time - probably, but it is their reputation and their right to know, if their business begins declining - the reason for the decline.

It's the little things that make or ruin a reputation. Clients may pay a little more for my services -- but they also get a little extra without expecting it or asking for it.  Just a few of the "no-cost" extras my clients receive: the work is not printed on the cheapest ream of copy paper -- but instead a quality-bond (usually watermarked) paper. Instead of loose, rubber-banded paper, depending on what the client is going to do with the paper, I'll sometimes spiral bind without being asked, and they will always hear a "thank you" in addition to a handwritten note of appreciation.
[end of blog]
6:58 am mst 

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

BLOG - If I Handled my Finances Like *Some* Signing Services
I quit doing loan signings for signing services last fall.  Poor cell reception is no excuse--two weeks before Thanksgiving I "unknowingly" accepted a signing from a signing service with one of the worst known reputations on numerous notary forums--I thought the call was from a regular title company.

After receiving the documentation and seeing who it was from, I took the stance that I would just suck in my stomach, and for the borrowers' sake, do the signing.  I sent my own confirmation to signing service regarding my payment policies - payment due upon receipt; rebilling charge added on the 31st day; second rebilling charge added on the 45th day and account turned over to attorney for collection on the 90th day.

Signing occurred on November 19. No payment after 30 days and no payment after 45 days. Already having one of the worst reputations in the signing industry, threats don't even phase them. However, hopefully, after correspondence to the mortgage and title company, the account will be stripped from this low-life scum of a signing service!

To add insult to injury, I received a call from the signing service on January 21 asking if I had received payment, and was shocked that I hadn't, because payment had been mailed on January 14 - yeah, right, and there is a Santa Clause and an Easter Bunny, and I was born at night, but not last night, so why lie? -- Today I received the check with a postmark of January 18 -- I suppose that is the fault of the post office, huh? The check was for the original signing fee (no rebilling charges included) and the check is dated NOVEMBER 29 - which only shows they were paid from the mortgage/title company immediately upon closing.

So just what gives this 3-letter named signing service (it's not SOX, but right down in the sewer with them) the right to hold my (or anyone else's) payment for two months, when they were reimbursed within a week-and-one-half?
[end of blog]
9:14 am mst 

Friday, January 18, 2008

BLOG - And You Thought Office Politics Stunk at Your Job
We've all worked with terrible people, but personally my feet couldn't move me fast enough to get me out of this job.
(excerpt from an on-line newsletter subscription I receive):

"I'm in a strange situation in my office and I don't know what to do. It all started with a "Secret Santa" celebration during the past holiday. I picked a woman whom I know fairly well, having worked with her for 3-1/2 years. I bought her something which I thought would suit her, paying the designated amount of money ($25.00).

She apparently disliked my gift, the way I packaged it and what she thought I paid for it, so she complained to other members of the staff, who agreed with her. Without my knowledge, she and her colleagues brought the issue to my manager. They asked her to talk to me and find out if I had indeed paid the right amount of money for the gift. They thought I had bought the gift at a drug store and paid $3.99, and that I hadn't been "in the spirit of it."

My manager approached me on their behalf. I was horrified and shocked that a) they would involve my manager in something like that and b) that my manager agreed to talk to me instead of nipping it in the bud right away. She told me that she felt terrible for me and that she would "set them straight." She also suggested that I photocopy the receipt for the item and put a copy of it in everyone's mailbox (which I did). I got no reaction from them, no apology, nothing.

A few days later I went to the supply room and overheard my manager and a few of these colleagues talking about me behind closed doors. They (including my manager) were criticizing my finances, my child (he's having some problems in school) and me as a person. What started as a discussion about this gift became a personal attack upon me.

What upset me more than anything else was that I heard my manager gossiping about me as well. When I confronted her, she denied that she was attacking me, merely explaining me to these people and asking them to try to get along with me. I told her specifically what I heard and she admitted it, assuring me that her 2008 resolution was not to gossip.

I've always known these colleagues were very unprofessional, but never expected my manager to lower herself to that level. Adding insult to injury, my manager is supposedly a seasoned HR professional whose speciality is Employee Relations."
Personally, had it been me -- I would have quit immediately--and with my departure out the door, I would have done something with the receipt, BUT it wouldn't have been photocopying and placing copies in the mailboxes !!!  Why do people put up with this crap and then turn around and ask "what should I do?" -- the last time 'me and my boots went walkin' was being told by an office manager "you need to be at work while your Dad is alive, because you'll need to take time off when he's dead."

I do have to admit that while typing this I have a smile on my face -- because a "Secret Santa" memory has come back to me. It's too bad that one of these nosey, busy-body, gossiping women weren't the recipient of the "pretty wrapped package" in the office freezer from one of the law partners--who had gone to his backyard, scooped up dog 'doo-doo' and so eloquently packaged it up in festive holiday gift wrap and ribbons and bows.
[end of blog]
8:09 am mst 

Sunday, January 13, 2008

BLOG - I don't do CHEAP!

Every so often I review my site statistics -- to see the different Google phrases used by individuals finding my site. 

I'd say that 90% are right-on, but how in the heck I'm found by the other 10% is beyond me:
     cheap notary services
     cheap typing
     cheap this and cheap that

I purposely don't list my rates.  For serious inquiries, my rates are based on "value."  If you are looking for cheap, I'm definitely not for you. 

Several years ago I read the following on a wall in a printing shop:
                                   Choose Two!

Which two are the most important to you?
[end of blog]

12:29 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?

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