I recently broke down and bought a $300 conference room speakerphone and am wondering if I really need it.  It's really helpful on those telephonic jobs where the conference room phone is crappy.  I don't take that many telephonic jobs, but the occasional asbestos job does come up where dealing with whatever phone is at the location makes you want to hurt somebody. 

 

Just wondering:  Do other reporters have their own conference room speakerphone that they carry to telephonic jobs?

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Hi, Marlavous!

Timely topic!  My assignment yesterday was at the Costa Mesa Hilton.  

I signed the bill (acknowledgement only!) and the agency was charged $150 for the triangle-shaped conference call doo-hickey!  Yikes!  $75 for a gallon of coffee for which only three cups were had... One was for me!  Double yikes! 

So this would be a great asset for the agencies you work with...  Are you going to charge or just let them know you can provide it?

Also, we really need a "conference room connection" group here on "The Nation."  I won't tell ya' what they were charged, but it falls into the triple yikes category!!!  

 

You have a nice looooong phone line cord for it; right?

Yeah, I got a 50' phone cord for it. 

 

I really wish agencies would pay for all the things we're providing, like conference speakerphones, extra attorney laptops for RT hookups, etc.  Ooh, I just got an e-mail from Esquire saying they're going to start paying $25 to the reporter for client laptops.  Neato!  Too bad more agencies don't do that.

 

You should start the "conference room connection" group on here.  Great idea.  You're just full of 'em!

 

I had another idea...  Since Kellz will soon be charging for the "Cover Depos L.A." group and will soon be kicking me out... lol!  I was thinking she should really get a "Cover Real-time Nationwide" group.  That would be super-duper stellar for "The Nation" and for agencies.  

Heard through a videographer that there's just not enough of us in L.A.   Hmmm...

That I'd pay for.

Of course she'd have to screen the members to be sure they're top-knotch; then those high-maintenance, full-service, high-dollar agencies would have access to a superior real-time pool.

She'd bank off that!  ;).

Most of the jobs that come through on the "Cover L.A. are Work Comp or PI or medical."  And most of the agencies I've connected with over this site found me via my profile and not a mass email.

That "Cover L.A." needs to be weeded anyhow, there's people from Boston in there! 

Just a few ideas I had...  Haven't told her yet.  

lol!  (Guess I just did!) 

I'm not doin' the "Conference room connect."  I'm not an agency.   But it would be nice to be able to direct agencies to this site for help.  It's a bad economy.

I did get that email about the laptop rental.  Nice trend.

I agree, Jenease, but I am a full-time RT reporter myself and don't have the time to have every reporter send me a transcript for me to proof to see if they're up to snuff.  Can you imagine how much time that would take?

 

I have banned about a dozen reporters from this site once I find out there is a problem with them.  Otherwise, I am not quite sure how to screen them and not make it a full-time job for me since I cannot support myself with this website, not even close.  Maybe pay my gardener/housekeeper's bill and that's it.

Certifications?  Length providing rt?  Reporter/Agency referrals?  Years reporting?  Grand-fathered in?  IDK.  

Just an idea... is all.  A lot of us swap jobs between ourselves anyways... so.   Kinda like a baby grass-roots network all of our own.  ;).

That actually might be fun.   Okay.  I will start a conference room connection group and a RT nationwide group.  I guess I shouldn't assume everyone in these groups do RT.  I know that's not the case.

 

I put a requirement of 10 years of experience for the RT group.

That's the spirit!!!  ;).

You didn't reply about the charging.

Um-hmm.  That means you're charging...

Mrs. Marlavous!  Never want to share your secrets.

 

High-five, Girl!  You go...   ;).

 

Off to search eBay for a cheaper one...   hehehe...

I went on a job this week and my office in New York expected me to bring five laptops.  I did, but only four were used.  Of course, I don't get to charge for the fifth.  I think I should be able to since it was ordered.  I totally agree, Marla.  We keep providing more and more stuff at our expense.
I sure could have used one at my last chiropractor expert deposition, but I really do not want to carry one more piece of equipment around with me.  She put a wireless phone on speaker for us to listen to. I certainly would want one if I knew a certain case was always going to have one or more attorneys by phone.  Marla has also found a way to be indispensible to the attorneys because she makes their job easier too.   I know reporters who have taken this to the extreme and have bought iPads for the attorneys to view their realtime on.  It's a strategy on their part to get called back to these big money IT cases by enticing them with the latest gadget.  Sure beats homemade cookies ;)
Love the iPad idea...  I'm looking in to MyView, but just read on Facebook that Catalyst is coming out with an app.   Wonder if I should just wait for that one.   Maybe I'll compare prices, etc., when it comes out. 

I have a Polycom and had initially bought the $300 model at Office Depot, but returned it and ordered the $1000 model (VTX 1000, I think), because it has a 20-foot range and I was told the other model wouldn't be sufficient. You can dial a modem and get software upgrades for it, which has really helped keep it in good condition as far as sound and performance.   I've been told by attorneys that the sound over the phone is better than if they're in the room.

In some localities, the law firm will arrange for the speakerphone, and it isn't a given that people will appear by phone.  But you should always ask ahead of time, because attorneys can get really upset if you arrive without one.

If the conference room has digital phone lines, your Polycom won't work.  There is an adapter you can buy which I have but have never used, primarily because now, if the room has digital phone lines, they will usually have a hard-wired speakerphone set up.  (If they have digital wiring, the phone will be hard-wired and not something you can unplug.)

But back to your original question.  If I arrive and there is already a speakerphone hooked up, and it's analog (as opposed to digital), I always regret not unplugging it and using my own -- and usually do so during a lunch break or before the next day.  Because like I said, mine can be upgraded via modem and the ones in the conference rooms usually haven't been checked or maintained recently.  

 

I had a situation last month where every time the wind blew outside it caused interference.  I replaced it with my phone and that situation was resolved.  

I also recommend purchasing a 100-foot phone cord because you never know when you will arrive and they will have to plug you in to a room down the hall, because your conference room doesn't have a phone outlet. I also carry at least one power extension cord (long, orange) and one surge protector.  It's best to have two, though, because usually the attorneys will have laptops and want to plug into the one you're using.    (I just read where you have a 50-foot cord -- that should be sufficient.)  My husband found some orange ladder-looking things that you can wrap your cords around to keep them neat.)

Hiltons are a major rip off.  They will also "rent" the power cords, which is why I carry my own. 

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