Don’t know much about STAR, never needed to in my 14-year career, because it’s irrelevant. But I just wanted to put this out there for the digital court reporters that read my stuff. These folks are heavily influenced by, if not directly controlled by, Stenograph. Ask me how I know.
Stenograph, as we all know, is the company that spent at least a decade, maybe two, telling stenographers stenographic realtime reporting was the future and then quietly pivoted to calling digital reporting technologies realtime. Just for a quick recap, support times took a nosedive while they worked on the digital stuff, they encouraged the loss of stenographic jobs in Illinois, and Stenograph has a company president that calls citizen journalists that report things about his company intellectually challenged. Personally, I’m willing to completely forgive that they were part of a propaganda outfit meant to push agencies, students, lawyers, and even stenographers toward digital, but there’s that too.
The point I’m trying to drive home here is the company used us up and threw us away. We were treated as just another resource. That’s what you are to them, a resource to be used for as long as it’s convenient and profitable. They’ll put nice faces on it and use nice words because they know nobody wants to feel like a resource. But a call for unity is just transfer propaganda. You get good feelings from the word unity, but it doesn’t mean anything and is not a guarantee of anything. To many corporations and organizations, our emotions are merely tools used to extract more wealth from us.
You want unity? Start unionizing agency offices. Start talking to each other. Heck, start talking to us stenographers. We’ve got Digital Court Reporter Helpline open for such a purpose. I can admit that there’s some xenophobia among stenographers, but it’s mostly because our jobs are under constant threat by the tech bros that actively lie about the status of their technology in order to sell it and the multimillion dollar corporations using you guys to push us out. It’s not your fault for existing. I’m ready to acknowledge that. I believe most of the people that follow me are too.
And if you think I’m full of crap, that’s fine. But I’ve got a track record of treating you all like human beings. I wrote out hourly conversions at the bottom of my New York Shortage Squeeze article to make sure it was public info how bad digitals, transcribers — really court reporters as a whole — are getting screwed. I’ve tried to bring digital court reporters and transcribers to steno so they can benefit from the increased purchasing power and vast professional network. So hopefully you’ll see that I’m a straight shooter and take it to heart when I tell you don’t pet the snakes.