Remember the old line, “Do something you love and the money will follow?” It is very important.
In this profession, and right now I’m speaking to my Official friends, we need to remember that the transcript income is gravy. Truly. If you cannot survive on your reporting salary, then you need not be in this job. Transcript income is NOT guaranteed. And if you treat it like it’s your own personal slush fund, then you’re going to be in trouble. If you’re in this “job” for the money, you’re in it for the wrong reason.
For instance… let’s just say that in our state, in criminal cases we get 65 days to produce transcripts in criminal matters. This is the truth. Now, obviously longer trials will of necessity warrant an extension, perhaps. But here is the thing: If you are getting extensions, the parties in interest are having to wait to proceed in their due process. That is not fair. Especially if you could hire someone – a scopist, a typist, a proofreader – to assist you in meeting deadlines.
Granted, our state rates aren’t the best in the country, but they are for work “outside” the confines of the court. “Extra” pay, if you will. Surely, even if you only take in HALF of what you’ll be billing, and can meet the deadline, that is a GOOD thing.
The thing we do not want to have happen is have our transcript income taken away from us. If court reporters continue to miss deadlines and push beyond what is expected of them, we could all face the possibility of someone else producing our transcripts. That would be even worse for our pocketbooks than hiring our own help, wouldn’t it?
Let’s get serious.