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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This string of responses was enlightening. I have been a scopist for over two years now and started to think it was not worth marketing myself or pursuing scoping anymore because I too have had little to no work in the last year - not to mention no responses from my flyers, emails, blogs, or word of mouth. Being new had its blunders and mistakes; but I was and am, like you, willing to learn and take constructive criticism as a stepping stone to bigger and better things. The few reporters that I have had the opportunity to speak with have indeed confirmed they are slllllllloooowwww right now.

Anywho, I agree that reporters and scopists should not be bad mouthed on a forum accessible to people that aren't even involved. The first step would definitely be to have a candid conversation with the offender (professional, of course) so that the air is clear. If both of you cannot come to a win/win situation, move on. It sounds like you have taken the "grown up" approach and I commend you for that.

On the other hand, despite the "slow" times that reporters seem to be having, it seems to me that reporters are the hardest people in the world to convince that it is okay to loosen the reigns on a transcript to a scopist. I think they sometimes forget how hard it was to earn the trust of an agency or catch a break when they started out. So my personal request and possible resolution to this dilemma is for reporters out there that are skeptical of scopists to give them a try with a sample (20 page) transcript first - something that is not really urgent and something that has errors, untranslates, format issues, etc... as a first time piece. Give the scopists your turnaround time request, a preference sheet with all your punctuation and format likes and dislikes and then see the finished product for what it is. At least this gives you a good indication of what you potentially will be dealing with.

Scopists: try to take on small jobs first from any new reporter so that you aren't burdened by a time crunch with a transcript that is hellish and so that in case of the dreaded "non-paying" reporter, you won't be losing out as much of your time and hard-earned money.

Anywho, that's my $.02 on the matter. I hope it has helped; and I definitely hope I start getting more work. LOL Good luck to all of you....

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