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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Friday, October 31, 2008

BLOG - What's in it for me?

The mid-part of October my son's scooter got stolen. If you've browsed my site, then you will see the details and a photo. There are approximately 250 posters plastered throughout the Denver-Metro area with a description, photo, phone numbers and offering a reward.

Several calls have been received with spottings, however, none have actually panned out -- i.e., if it is the scooter, it was traveling down the street going one way and the caller was traveling the other way, so the exact destination is not known; or, it was seen at such and such place, but upon arriving, it was already gone.

All calls are appreciated and all leads followed through! THANK YOU!

When I receive a spotting call, I always take down the particulars and ask their name and number -- so if it is *the* scooter, they can be paid the reward. "That is not the reason I am calling -- I just want to help, and please let me know if that was it!" Not ONE of the callers have wanted a reward -- not until a call a few minutes ago. A message was left on my cell stating that they saw the scooter for sale and that I needed to call ASAP and they would give me the price. Returning the call, the conversation goes something like:

"Uh, yeah, what's the reward?"
$100.00. Where did you see it at?
"Oh, only $100?"
Yes, where did you see it?
"I don't know if it's worth my time looking for it."  

Amazing, just amazing - if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck -- it sure sounds like a thief to me -- wanting to get paid for something he stole because why does the voice message go from seeing it for sale, to the return call seeing if it's worth my time to look for it?
[end of blog]

11:19 am mdt 

Thursday, October 30, 2008

BLOG - Yes, the economy sucks
The economy has taken a nose dive and who knows when it will improve -- with that said, however, do not contact me regarding transcription services, and in the same breath, once you find me, tell me how difficult it is finding someone that does this without being a court reporter -- and, oh yeah, your funds are limited.

Shouldn't being a service provider in limited quantity, place a higher value on my services? You'd think so, wouldn't you? (Notice I said VALUE -- not cost.) Not everyone needs my services, but when you do, just how valuable am I in the scheme of things? Can you do it yourself?

Just to get everyone's head straight, I'm operating a business -- and no, that business is not to listen to you tell me how expensive everything is, and that you really have to watch your budget -- if you want to discuss budgets, try living within a self-employment budget when people want everything, but don't want to pay for anything!

Now I feel better that I've gotten that off my chest.
[end of blog]
4:10 pm mdt 

Friday, October 24, 2008

BLOG - The election can't be over soon enough
My husband and I voted by absentee ballot two weeks ago -- before a major part of the mudslinging "crap" got out-of-control. No matter what time of day or evening, you can't turn on the television or change the station without an attack ad being aired -- it kind of reminds me of the Bible Thumpers when I was young--"if you don't join our denomination, you will most surely go to Hell" -- ironically, I was in several different churches and denominations, and heard this statement more than once.

In actuality, this political campaign is no different than any other -- just the faces and names have been changed. However, what I do see different, is the public making the campaign and the attacks personal. People/friends that I thought I knew are showing me an entirely different side of themselves -- and I might add, not a very pretty side -- and the hatred attacks on the Internet directed at someone just because their political view doesn't agree with that of the attacker's.

Two things I was raised not to discuss or express my opinion are religion and politics. I've mentioned both in this blog entry -- however, I have not etched or shoved my personal opinion for either religion or politics down someone's throat -- WHICH IS EXACTLY HOW IT SHOULD BE!
[end of blog]
1:53 pm mdt 

Thursday, October 23, 2008

BLOG - Mrs. Elmer J. Fudd
I just got home from the grocery store and must go back because I forgot half of what I had intended to get. I'm almost positive that many of the shoppers will find themselves in the same predicament.

Mrs. Elmer Fudd was doing her grocery shopping at none other than my grocery store -- apparently, Elmer is having a problem with his hunting skills. They say you begin looking like your spouse, and I can attest that Mr. and Mrs. Elmer Fudd are spittin' images of the other.

I didn't want to bring any more publicity to Mrs. Fudd by using my camera phone -- because most of the shoppers were already tripping over one another trying not to gawk, so I will just give you a detailed description -- she had a brown skirt, pantyhose and hiking boots, a vest and a very attractive hunting cap with the puffy ear muffs built in.

Just imagine Elmer in a skirt ...elmergun.gif
elmergun.gif[end of blog]elmergun.gif
3:36 pm mdt 

BLOG - $13,000 cosmetic makeover in September

Unless someone is living under a rock, in seclusion or without electricity, it's hard to miss the fact that the world is facing a financial crisis -- so let me get this right -- since announcing Sarah Palin as a Vice Presidential candidate, $150,000.00 (ONE HUNDRED FIFTY THOUSAND DOLLARS) has been spent on clothing at Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus -- clothing and accessories, which is now reported, will go to a charitable purpose after the campaign -- so does this mean that if she becomes our next Vice President, her brand spankin' new $150,000 wardrobe will still go to charity?--and if so, what will the clothing/makeup price tag be for an actual Vice President, or will she be going back to her 'plain Jane' style?

--and $13,000 spent on makeup and hair in a two-month period? Gosh, golly, darn -- tell me it ain't so.

And no, this is not a political dig at either side! It's actually a slap in the face on the price tag placed on image, instead of focusing on what is inside a person -- ANY PERSON and not just a public figure. We've definitely got our priorities in the wrong place -- which goes full circle to why the world is in a financial crisis.
P.S. How ironic -- I just received a broadcast spam email from the Republican party "3 Reasons Why You Need To Contribute Today" -- hmmmm, I didn't waste my time opening the email to see what the three reasons were, but possibly the money is needed for teeth whitening, hair spray, maybe a bobby pin, ... 
[end of blog]

7:41 am mdt 

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

BLOG - Customer Service at it's B-E-S-T
TexasRoadhouse.jpgLast night my husband and I took three of his business associates from Denmark to the Texas Roadhouse in Arvada, CO. Last year we took two of them (about this same time of year) and they enjoyed it so much, that they requested we go there again. The third one has never been to Colorado before.

The first server appeared at our table and she had no patience in trying to understand them. She left our table and the next young lady that appeared said that there'd been a change and that she was now going to assist us. The three Danish gentlemen graciously smiled and said "Okay" -- I was sitting on the outside of the booth and I told her that the men were from Denmark and that she would need to speak slower, and she said no problem. We helped in explaining to them what she was asking, and did likewise in explaining to her what they were saying.

The next person that appeared at our table was the Manager holding a plate with one slab of ribs. He asked if we had all been there before and the two from last year said "yes, the four of us had, but one had not." He placed the ribs in front of the "new" Danish gentleman and said that it was complimentary ribs so he could "taste test" for what he was in for.  We were in the restaurant for a total of two hours, and I didn't see the Manager offer anyone else a food sampling.

Now granted, the complimentary ribs didn't break the Roadhouse's bank, so to speak, but they eased some tension because of the language difficulties and the differences in the ways Americans do things and the Danish do things.

I have no way of knowing whose idea it was that we get a different server -- but I can tell you that the first one missed out on an excellent tip. The Roadhouse staff wear tee-shirts that say "I LOVE MY JOB" -- one of the guys went crazy over them, and I asked our "new" server if the shirts were for sale, and she said she wasn't sure but she would check. Now, it's not a shirt I would want to wear, but  ...  a short time later she appeared at our table and asked what size he wanted. Tomorrow he will leave on an airplane headed back home to Denmark wearing his new shirt.

No doubt, next year we will be taking the Danish back to the Texas Roadhouse.
[end of blog]
10:52 am mdt 

Monday, October 13, 2008

BLOG - If anyone needs a break, it's Dennis

DennisBike.jpgThere are people that no matter what they do, they just can't get a break. They have a black cloud over their head that follows them everywhere. My son, Dennis, is one such person - he has a heart of gold, but for every two steps forward, he gets pushed back six.

On Sunday, October 12, 2008 his scooter was stolen from 606 E. 13th Ave., Denver, CO (Capitol Hill).  His scooter (and sole means of transportation) is a 1983 Honda Passport 70cc. Scooters less than a certain cc are not required to be licensed in Colorado. Therefore, the scooter does not have a license plate. It is blue and white with some turn signal damage.

The scooter does not resemble the numerous "newer" scooters that are seen on today's streets. In fact, I have never seen another scooter that even resembles Dennis' Passport -- the body is narrower; the tires are narrower and taller.

Please if you spot it, either being ridden or parked, please call my cell phone immediately - 303-594-6453. A reward is being offered.
[end of blog]

10:07 am mdt 

BLOG - Rehash of bare legs/feet
I recently ranted about how lax office dress code has become. I suppose there isn't much I can do about it -- short of dressing everyone each morning.
Having too much time on my hands the past couple of weeks, I had the opportunity to do some "people watching" while downtown. I've come to the conclusion that I can force myself to deal with some of the more casual attire, however, I refuse to get off my soapbox when it comes to any woman past her mid-20's thinking her bare legs and feet are attractive and refusing to wear hose, pantyhose, tights, whatever ...uglyfeet.jpg
[end of blog]
8:46 am mdt 

Thursday, October 9, 2008

BLOG - WindowsXP SP3
Be careful, very careful if you are running XP on your computer and you see the message "updates are ready to be installed."

Do a Google search and you will see that there are numerous problems with this SP3 update -- it renders computers unusable. I have spent more than a month getting my Internet/Network to work after the installation and removal of the update. I have printed out reams of paper for "fixes" -- not sure exactly which fix finally worked or if it was a combination of many.

Microsoft, although not admitting fault, are offering free support until April 2009 in an attempt to fix the problems the update has caused on affected computers. Correct me if I'm wrong, but wouldn't the sensible thing to do--would be to remove the downloading of the update, correct the bugs, and then re-release it?
[end of blog]
8:21 am mdt 

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

BLOG-It's time to raise my rates
Even with the poor and uncertain economy, when people quit complaining about my charge rates, the best marketing books advise raising my rates -- my rates have been the same for two years, so it's time to raise them to get rid of the dead wood -- the people whose demands want the moon, sun and stars that expect to pay only loose change -- the people that have no clue as to the time involved to complete a project.

While a few clients will cease using my services when I raise my rates, my professional clientele will increase -- professionals that know how quality and charge rates equate -- professionals that know the definition of value and the dollar -- professionals that know that a cheaper rate doesn't mean the project will end up costing less -- professionals, the same as me, whose rates attract the "type" of clientele they service.

Maybe I'm just a little touchy after the past two weeks -- I was approached for two large jobs -- one was transcribing approximately 75 interviews. We went back and forth for several days and finally *nothing* after I wouldn't agree to charge a single digit (less than 10 cents) per line rate. The next was a discussion group of 16 students -- needing it ASAP -- 24-hours turnaround, using the speaker of the computer sitting in the middle of the group to record the audio. Quoting 10-13 hours to complete the transcript (because of the number of people and the thought of listening to audio recorded using a laptop computer speaker), and questioning whether 24-hours meant NEXT DAY or 2-1/2 to 3 days, I never heard another sound. People just don't have a clue when it comes to what is involved in transcribing an audio discussion/interview or the length of time it takes. The third blow that actually put me over the edge was when a friend pointed out to me that she doesn't understand why a school bus driver makes less than a secretary!

You really do get what you pay for!
[end of blog]

6:23 pm mdt 

Friday, October 3, 2008

BLOG - The sticker shock game

As a professional transcriptionist, I believe I am one of the fairest and honest service providers an attorney, business or individual will come across.

With that said, however, I am not a "kitchen table setup" working for milk money -- however, with a gallon of milk inching closer and closer to $6.00/gallon, milk money isn't the same as it was when I was a school child.

People that don't regularly have a need for a lot of "spoken words being put to paper," are usually of the belief that a one hour recording will take one hour to type. As was said in last night's Vice Presidential Debate "It's just not so, Joe!"

There are just too many variables that determine a finished price without first hearing the audio: the number of speakers -- the more speakers, the longer it will take; the clarity of the recording -- was it professionally recorded? How many microphones and where were the microphones placed?; What about background noise?--was the audio recorded in a locked up and sealed room?--most likely not, or is there noise from traffic, air conditioning, paper shuffling, coughing/sneezing, phone intercom announcements?, etc.

Anytime you are dealing with more than two voices, the time to transcribe increases -- dealing with a group of five or more increases considerably, and any group over 12 people, increases drastically.

Requesting verbatim - putting EVERYTHING said on paper costs more than just getting down the "gist" of what was said. A group of people, all with different voices, different tones, different dialogues/dialects increases the total transcription time.

Browse around my site and see EXACTLY what you get when you hire me -- still not sure, then please check around and inquire about other's prices and exactly what they provide and what YOU get in return. If my quoted rate and someone else's are way apart, ask yourself "why is that?"
[end of blog]

1:28 pm mdt 

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

BLOG - We all have a price ...
It was almost noon this past Saturday when I received a call from an attorney in search of someone to type approximately a 10-page brief he was dictating -- that he needed by Monday noon. He would not be finished dictating until Sunday mid-morning -- if he pushed himself.

Now anyone working with attorneys and the courts know that the filing process is time-sensitive ... you have 10 days for this, 20 days for this, 30 days for this, etc., etc. Therefore, the attorney knows about each and every filing deadline, and it's not just something that popped up last minute, or something he knew nothing about. If the filing deadline caught him by surprise, he has no one to blame but himself!

Although many transcription service providers charge additional RUSH charges or weekend surcharge charges, as a whole, I don't. I've even been known to "work" with my clients by slightly adjusting my charge rates in special circumstances -- a client that gives me work regularly, or for an unusually large project. However, in this case and for this unknown attorney who obviously had procrastinated, I quoted my normal hourly rate and my time estimate of a low of 3:1 to a high of 8:1 (without first hearing his dictation). There was this uggh from his end of the phone and he told me that he is used to paying in the $20/hr. range. IF THAT IS THE CASE, WHERE IS YOUR $20/HR. TRANSCRIPTIONIST THIS WEEKEND?--and why does he/she place such a low value on their time and skills?

Additionally, this attorney was approximately 30-35 miles from me. He did not offer to bring the dictation to me, nor to compensate me for my time/mileage to pick up the material on a Sunday. He begrudgingly told me that if he couldn't find someone more in-line with his budget, he would meet me about 3/4 of the way (3/4 for me and 1/4 for him).

My charge rates are based on my experience, expertise, knowledge and skills. I would never place my own personal outcome in the hands of a public defender and would find the money -- some how, some way -- to pay a reputable and knowledgeable attorney to represent me.

While I agree that there is a lot of excess and waste, and the time has come for many of us to tighten our belts when it comes to the economy, there are places to cut and places to spend -- the smart person is the one that knows the difference.

It is sad that there are attorneys who feel that all transcriptionists are equal, and that the quality of their work is the same.
[end of blog]
7:50 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?

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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