In our field, we face two concurrent issues: Communicating to each other that many court reporting companies are not being honest with us about their intentions for the industry and communicating to consumers that their choice as consumers is under attack. I recently came across the following post by Jeanese Johnson. Jeanese’s post is probably the most on-the-nose portrayal of the situation for communicating it to each other that I’ve seen, and I am very grateful to her for allowing me to host it here on Stenonymous.
By Jeanese Johnson:
When a digital-supporting company tells you that they only use the digiz for shit jobs you don’t want and you believe it, that’s akin to your husband saying… “Yeah, she didn’t mean anything to me.”
When a digital-employing company tells you they “sparingly” use digitals ONLY when you’re not available, ask them – “Why do you call them ‘reporters,’ though?”
If you “really” wanted us to be on the higher echelon, wouldn’t you call us “Certified/Licensed Court Reporters” and them… Well… something else?
Why aren’t there two tiers of pricing? Does the one tier — our tier — “Cure” the “shortage”? (I call BULLSHIT!)
Ask them, “Why do you charge the same as a real court reporter?”
Ask them, “Don’t you think that’s confusing the marketplace?”
Ask them, “Did you really want to send a first-year reporter to a multi realtime patent case?” (We don’t believe you) Because first-year reporters need the smaller jobs. And not all reporters only want all-day. Not all reporters are realtime. And the smartest reporter I ever met stood next to me in court and said, “Yeah, at this stage, I like short… all day long…” and I was too new and too stupid to know what she was talking about. And I still admire her to this moment.
Tell them that what they think is a “shit” job is one that many “real” court reporters prefer; i.e., short, light, fast, easy – over so we can pick up our kids. And tell them that we don’t buy their “new explanation” for why they’re raking in the money on cheap digital – I mean — excuse me/pardon me — “curing the shortage” by piling on millions and buying up companies — I mean — “Looking out for ‘precious’ us” – who “don’t want to take the shit jobs.” 🙄
Ask them if they network the job to an agency that does have reporters available.
I just attended a meeting where Esquire has purchased TSG Reporting.
Esquire came out and said they were going to address “the elephant in the room” (Hmmm… I remember saying these exact words, and I promptly got kicked out of the Veritext court group — by “accident” 😉 ) Can’t believe after all we know those reporters are still helping them. So sad. They must have stock in Veritext.
Anyway, I found the Esquire group to be just as I expected.
I found them somewhat phoney; i.e., “We LOVE court reporters! You’re our first priority! We’re nothing without you!”
If you’re not the type to believe “She didn’t mean anything to me…” then ask them to prove it. Ask them to see the invoices where a recorder person (because, remember, if you agree to work for them, you’ve already said they should not call them court reporters – because that’s insulting to everyone and confusing to the marketplace) took one of those dreadful, awful public meetings (the “new” reason for the using digitals – it’s not because we have remote now and better coverage – it’s NOT that they get to keep copy orders and all the profits like it was a real reporter) and show how much the client paid – then… that’s when you see why they use them. 💡 And that’s when you’ll see that it really did mean something. 💔
There was nothing in the meeting redeeming. There was nothing in the meeting inspiring – even though the presenters seemed to think so. Esquire — through all of its Gallo iterations — came to the meeting knowing how we see them – and that’s why it was yucky – and nothing was done to address… the “yucky in the room.”
Esquire was asked if they have CSRs transcribe the fake proceedings. And they answered yes. They seemed proud of that – where we’re likely disgusted.
Esquire admitted “vaguely” that they “only use digital in five states…” It was peppered down.
We should ask them: “Which five states?”
My direct question along with who was going to be their RIC in July and do they use digital in California — was not answered.
So looks like TSG will be removed from the job boards if we do not have this answer.
I understand the “get out” move – plenty have done it. And all have a right to do so. No problems there. Congratulations to Rixon – would have been nice if he was on the call – but I suppose he’s already in the Bahamas! Salut! 💃
In parting: They said their attys know and agree to using a DIGITAL REPORTER – they seemed also proud of this — there were all smiles on the face of the Esquire personnel – kind of creepy smiles, though – Why would you be proud of substituting your “precious” <— and they used that word —> court reporters for fake court reporters? And why are you okay with the marketplace being okay with this?
Because of the legacy that Veritext taught you. That’s the answer. They’re teaching all of these companies how to do it – and Esquire one-upped them by at least explaining to their clients that they’re recording. And Esquire claimed to have top-of-the-line technology and all the best stuff – they were also quite proud – while reporters sat and listened and asked the most degrading questions like we were still in the year 2000 — “When we get assigned, how…” “Will our rates be…”
So powerless they were.
So you’ll say, “But, Jeanese, you don’t want to take the shit public meeting either. We read your post about the first agency you worked with used to send you to the downtown L.A. Metro meetings and it was God-awful.”
You’re right. Absolutely. I have no fight there.
But I wasn’t recording anything. I was writing my ass off. And the agency I worked for didn’t charge rates for “just recording it” while using a licensed reporter – and keep the difference in profits.
Esquire said they don’t use people off the street. Hmmm, maybe they heard our complaint about CraigsList. They said their people have degrees and are AAERT certified.
And this tells me they’ve also been listening to our complaints about: Well, we have a license, so… why? What makes this okay?
But they haven’t told us that they denounce this — they just keep saying… “She didn’t mean anything to me.”
That doesn’t sit well with me. I’d still want to know how much a “degreed individual” is paid. Don’t just shake your head and agree to everything they say.
Their faces showed — it’s all bullshit.
If CR is the best – show me by only using CRs –
Or open another company and call them “We’re too lazy – so we just record it!” Company – and charge accordingly.
Then at least I could respect it. And the clients would know the difference. And we’d all have a job.
I saw a couple of reporters on the meeting nodding their head when Esquire was explaining their position…
This scares me.
Do we REALLY believe that a company that has people with degrees and higher education and employs salespeople and et cetera, et cetera, can’t think of a solution other than “recording it”?
That’s the best they got?
They can think of marketing tools. And they can bring tumblers and calendars – but they can’t fight for reciprocation? They can’t schedule around like interpreters do? Like doctors do? Like any valued — pardon me, excuse me — “TRULY” valued human would to your company? Really? We’re “highly valued…” but there’s just this little “work around…” “No, but really, You’re valued.” And… and… it doesn’t really mean anything…
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