Picture this. You are among the leaders of “sten-tech.” Widely acclaimed. Admired in many circles. Supported by hundreds or thousands of stenographers by way of support contracts for the hardware and software you make.
Some of the largest companies in the court reporting industry decide digital is the future. They ostensibly create a shell organization to propagandize the field, claim the stenographer shortage is impossible to solve, and highlight digital reporting as the solution. Anticipating the direction of the market, you join. Unknown whether you joined with or without knowledge of the fraud, but whatever.
Some guy with a blog is writing some stuff about inequality and the shortage stats being misleading. Who really knows? Digital is the future. Ahead to the future!
Oh, crap. Well, if people figure out the guy with the blog was right about that, they might start to wonder what else he was right about. They might even realize you’re on the board of the organization that was trying to get rid of them. Time to make a blog about how much you support people!
There are a few ways to view Stenograph’s message. You can either see it as the markup is way above 1000% and therefore they were making way more money off of us than a lot of us ever really cared to think about, you can see it as they sacrificed or maybe even took a loss for customers, or you can just assume they’re lying. I won’t tell readers what to believe this time. I honestly don’t know.
I do know that if Stenograph wants to make it right with stenographers, there’s an easy way. Break rank with the companies trying to strangle the market, disavow STTI’s ludicrous claims that the stenographer shortage is impossible to solve, and detach from the STTI Bloc. NCRA Strong left the door wide open. If Stenograph can’t do that, then can it really say that Stenograph remains committed to the future of stenography? It’s literally intermingled with an organization that tried to bury stenography under a wave of shortage media. We may have big hearts and short memories, but anybody that was paying attention 2020 to 2021 is just going to feel insulted or gaslighted.
Stenograph could make history in our field by withdrawing its support from the STTI Bloc and denouncing the lies STTI told about our profession. Not only is it the right thing to do, it’s arguably the smart thing to do. Despite the media blackout, the illegal collusion of big box companies to manipulate a market, and the complete collapse of support from what I thought was our largest manufacturer, we’re winning. With minimal funding and relatively little institutional support, we’re winning. Even though most of us have to advocate in addition to and after our full-time jobs, we’re winning. We know we’re winning because if our numbers were so catastrophic that we could not bounce back, Stenograph wouldn’t spend any time trying to appease or impress stenographers. If Stenograph was suckered in by the bad stats and misinformation, a lot of us were, stenographers will forgive it. If it continues to dance around the issues and pretend we are stupid, don’t feel too bad about what happens next.