Hi everyone,
I just want to get your feelings on this. I understand the posts to warn others about someone's work (scopists) and/or willingness to pay at all or on time (reporters). But my problem with that is, there are two sides to the issue. How does a scopist or reporter recover from that if the post is vindictive and untruthful? A litigation would be timely and costly and hard to prove on either side, and I don't see how that would get their business built back up. I'm wondering if anyone has run into this problem.
I'll be honest and say that when I was a new scopist, I'm sure my work quality was poor. There was a lot to learn after passing the course and not many reporters have the time to talk about it, but rather pay you and move on to someone else. I've since grown exponentially as a scopist and get praise from the reporters I do work with. I'm reliable, and love to learn new tricks and take all criticism as a way to continually grow. I have high standards that I've set for myself. I'm professional and ethical. If I did a bad job I was happy to fix it or adjust the bill. That hasn't happened for quite some time.
Recently, I've had a run-in with a reporter that gave me the run around on paying, but still expected me to take more work. Every week told me that the check was mailed. If I told her I didn't receive it, she would reply with a, "I'll mail you a new one, but first send me a current bill." Another week would go by, "I'll send you a new one." This went on for months until I just couldn't take anymore work from her.
To make a long story short, she accused me of poor work after months of this going back and forth, and wanted a 25% discount on a large bill. She then bounced a check with me, not the first time either. She's complained to me about money problems. She sent me mean e-mails (swear words and all) and accused me of ruining her reputation. I've never posted anything bad about her, until now, but I will never post her name or initials.
Around the time this all came to a head, I'd recently had several reporters contact me interested in a scopist and said they'd be in touch when work was available. It's been about a month, so I followed up with them by e-mail and never heard back.
I'm now concerned that this reporter has me on a bad scopist list, which raised the issue in the beginning of this post.
Any thoughts?
Jessie

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Being good or bad in this industry is very subjective, I know this from experience. for example, Some agencies prefer to use a group of reporters which we (my reporter friends) refer to them as (*agencies name* top reporters)... reporters always ask me if I know who the top reporters are in some of the agencies I work for (obviously I dont know fr sure, but can guess from work appearances)
anyway, here is a true example, (am not naming names) an agency X top reporter is blacklisted from agency Y and they told me point blank that they would never use her because she is just bad with a terrible attitude!!
So one agency gives her lots of work and the other agency wouldn't call her if their life dependent on it.
I know little about scoping but I have a feeling it is very similar... I wouldn't worry about her too much. business has been really slow this last 4-6 months, hang in there. it should get better.

I am sure others will have a better input in this matter.
I wouldn't post her name here, it will only hurt your case. (but you can post it if you want, I wont stop you)
Thanks for the reply Monti.

I would never post her name, I think that would just put me down to her level and I don't want to do that. I understand why some people would, but it's my personal belief that that is just bad for business. And not only that, but for all I know it would just start a bunch of drama that I don't want nor do I have the time and energy for.
Jessie
Hi Jessie,

Just remember, it really has been very slow.. this is a major reason why your not getting work.
Have the people that you emailed are not responding at all? if so, that's not cool :(
Jessie,

There is a scoping site that posts initials of reporters, but no site that posts bad feedback on scopists (that I know about). For a while there was a vindictive site started by one individual that posted vile comments about reporters and scopists, but that's since been taken down.

As Monti has said, it's been VERY slow for over a year now. For me the slowdown started in November of '07, started picking back up the latter half of '08, and is now slow again.

As far as the reporters that have ignored your e-mails, maybe follow up again and ask some specific questions. Did you find my rates too high? Did you find my turnaround too long? Did you find errors in my e-mails so you've dismissed me entirely? Can you PLEASE give me some feedback? Tell them you want to please and do a great job and you won't know about any issues unless you're told, so please help.

I actually do not respond with criticism to a bad e-mail by a scopist/proofreader because I've found their response is ~usually~ nasty back at me, so I've learned to just keep my mouth shut and move on. But if somebody point-blank wanted my criticism/feedback, I'd probably provide it. I consider e-mails and posts looking for work as the "first interview" of a potential new hire. If it's all lower case, if there's spelling errors, if there's misplaced punctuation, boom, gets deleted.

Want my opinion about the delinquent reporter? Send her a certified letter, return receipt requested, telling her that if you don't receive a check by XX date, that you're going to file the appropriate court action. And then if she doesn't pay you, run down to your courthouse and file a small claims action. Do not threaten to call her agency or her judge or the attorney she was working for. She's trying to bully you. Call her on her bullying tactics. Oh, and charge her for the bounced check fees that your bank charged you.

If you had done only one job for the reporter and she refused to pay you because she thought you did a terrible job, I'd answer a different way. But since this was a long-standing relationship and she kept giving you more work, I think you have every right to collect your money.

Why do reporters use scopists and proofreaders when they can't afford it? You wouldn't go into the grocery store and fill up your cart and get to the checkstand and then say, oops, work's been slow lately, I can't pay you right now.

But kudos to you for not badmouthing her. I read posts from scopists/proofreaders who go off on tangents about "bad" reporters and I take note of their name and file it in a "do not use" cabinet in the back of my head. It's just not good for business, if you ask me. My first thought of multiple complaints about multiple reporters from one scopist/proofreader is, "Why aren't they paying her? Was her work that bad?" and "If she has that many issues with that many people, I don't want to potentially be her next issue."
Veronica,

Are you the same Veronica that worked for M&M back in the early '80s making manual corrections to reporters' transcripts?

Judy
"I actually do not respond with criticism to a bad e-mail by a scopist/proofreader because I've found their response is ~usually~ nasty back at me, so I've learned to just keep my mouth shut and move on. But if somebody point-blank wanted my criticism/feedback, I'd probably provide it. I consider e-mails and posts looking for work as the "first interview" of a potential new hire. If it's all lower case, if there's spelling errors, if there's misplaced punctuation, boom, gets deleted."

So Judy, you will never let me scope for you :)
My emails go something like this:-

Hi Judy, wass crakin!? I haz bin doin good thankz yoo!
I needz work please, you has any? email me back soon!
Monti
LOL

But you'd be surprised how many e-mails I've received all in lower case. Until you're hired, keep it professional and somewhat formal, you know?
Hehe..
I insert hidden humor here and there, I am glad someone notices :)
Thanks so much for all the responses. I appreciate the time all of you took to do that.
Jessie
Hello Jeanese!
I do agree that there should be a better way to do that. I think sometimes miscommunication is an issue and can be cleared up pretty easily. I also agree that reporters need to be on the lookout for bad scopists, there are bad ones. I would also hate for another scopist to deal with what I've been going through for the last four/five months with this one reporter. BUT, I also think that sometimes these things can really hurt a scopist's business by speaking badly about a reporter because another reporter may take it the wrong way. I would also hate for this reporter to be vindictive towards me for doing speaking the truth about her. In the end, some of these issues can be detrimental to both sides. You do have good points. I appreciate the post.
Jessie
Jessie:
If it helps any, when I am looking for a new scopist, I may get as many as 15 to 20 replies to a post. I weed through them, email them and let them know I received their response and will get back to them if I need their services. I pick the one or two I want to try and usually don't take the time to email the other 15+ to let them know I didn't choose them at the moment, only because I keep them in my "file" for future reference in case one of the new ones doesn't work out or I just need an extra hand. I wouldn't worry about reporters not getting back with you. I belong to pretty much all the reporting forums out there and haven't really seen anywhere where reporters name scopists as an attempt to badmouth or spread the word in any way. Once in a while you'll see a story that I have had a bad experience with a scopist, and maybe like they do here and on the scopist group give initials and city where they live, but I really haven't see that but once in a blue moon.
Thanks so much, Naola. That makes me feel so much better. I've seen one post with a reporter saying a scopist "screwed" her over, so I got a bit paranoid. Thanks for your time.

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