We belong to many social networks — sometimes we think too many trying to keep relevant with all the posts and the replies! One post in a court reporting Facebook group really got us thinking. A reporter was recommending to others to create “conflicts” in their dictionaries as they practice to get their speed up. Once they got their speed up, go back and get rid of their made-up “conflicts.”
We have to say we don’t agree with that approach. Maybe it’s because we come from a financial background and think of transcripts and reporting as our profession, not our hobby. We are in it for the money; to support ourselves and others. In the reporter’s world, producing more transcript pages results in higher income. Think of it as a highway versus a county road. On the highway, the idea is to get to your destination faster because there are less exits and no stop lights on the highway; therefore, less slowing down to allow for merging and stopping. Versus a county road, where on every block, there’s a stop light which may be red, green or yellow at any given time. If you had a short deadline to get to your destination, which road would you choose?
Completing final transcripts with a quick turnaround is the reporter’s ultimate goal and destination. Why? Theoretically, because you earn more income. Stopping to correct “conflicts” and mistranslates slows down the completion of the final transcript; ergo, lowering your potential income. The slower you are in producing transcript, the more likely you are to have transcript backlogs. Sometimes those backlogs become so overwhelming, reporters turn down jobs and assignments. The less assignments you take, the less income you make.
It seems overwhelming, the thought of eliminating all your conflicts. We all have our good days and bad days. There are days when we have a hard time believing we’ve been at this business for over thirty years, from the looks of our notes (believe me, it happens). Our approach is pick one or two conflicts, write them on a sticky note, stick them on your machine when you’re writing so you’ll see them and more apt to write them. Once you’ve eliminated those, move on to the next. Don’t bite off more than you can chew, but make the effort. You’ll be glad you did!