I was just wondering how work is for everyone.  I am usually pretty busy with four consistent days a week.  However, this week I only was able to get one job.  Everything else canceled on me.

 

I seem to remember around tax time everything slows down every year.  Is anyone else noticing this?

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It's slowed a ton for me with my clients because of the horrible contracting and panels that are going on with insurance companies and agency owners.  My clients want to set their depos with me, but they are now told who they have to use because of some contracting done with insurance companies and agencies who are totally cutting costs to crazy numbers.  And the worst I've heard is that some reporters are working for a "flat fee" - no page rate!  Regardless how many pages, how long, wait time, etc., you get a set amount!  (Can you tell I'm a little frustrated? hee hee)  Have a great Friday, everyone!!!  And SO happy CSRNation is back!!! :)

Hi, Karen

Sorry you're going through all that.  That happened years ago with one of our clients and his insurance companies.  He actually got some of the insurance companies to agree to use us, but not all.

It's really sad, too, that the newer reporters don't really know what they're supposed to get paid so they take whatever they can get.

Depending on how well you know your clients you may be able to ask them to complain to the insurance agencies about the quality of the "flat fee" reporters or agency (of course only if true). 

That's how Southern California reporters ended up not getting copy jobs (so long ago that most reporters don't even know about it - maybe 15, 20 years ago).  It became so cutthroat among the reporting firms down there that the agencies were willing to put up with "the usual stipulation" where the O&1 atty gets the original transcript and then makes copies for all the other parties.  

I also remember the "bottle of wine with every transcript" promotion a firm in our area did back in the early '90s.   Just crazy.

Wow, this is the first I have heard of a flat fee.  I hope it does not come to that.  Unbelievable.   Hope it gets better soon. 

 

I freak out if I don't have four days a week, though.  Maybe I should just enjoy the time off.  Can't enjoy it for too long because the bills keep coming in.  Yikes!!

Hi, Kelli

You and I work in the same area (SF Bay Area) and I've had the last 10 of 13 depos cancel on me.  Of the ones that went, one was 15 pages, the other 24.   Yesterday's was two hours long.  Last week was supposedly going to be 3 days of depos, and on the third day an early evening depo too.  They canceled at the last minute so I couldn't get other work, and only the 3:30 on the last day actually went forward  (my 24-page custodian of records depo).  Times are tough - I had to give up my realtime depo diva attitude quite a while ago.  

I am actually working this Saturday (although not yet confirmed).  

Many of my reporter friends say that they are slow too.     

The only positive was my job canceled this Wednesday so I got to go to the Giants and A's exhibition game with my family - something we never get to do on a weekday.  You have to find a silver lining somewhere   ;)    

Thanks for your reply, Kellie.  You made me feel a lot better since I know you do the same quality of work that I do.  If you are slow, then I should not take it personally.  For some reason, I always do.

 

Same thing happened to me this week.  I was at MoFo for a three-day depo and while I was setting up for the first day, they canceled all three days.  Crazy!!

Hi again

I know of three other realtime reporters who are slow too. 

I don't know if you do this, but you can send out an e-mail to the firms you freelance for (put your e-mail address in the "to" and put their addresses under bcc or make a group so they can't see each other's names) saying you're available certain days.   Works great.   It especially works  with the smaller firms who tend to think I only take  realtime jobs.   

Kellie

Thanks, Kellie

 

I have never considered doing that.  Great idea.  Thanks so much.

I have found work to be slow for the last two months.  I have never seen it this slow. 
Christi, take the time to celebrate the twins' birthday - even for just an hour or two. You (or your husband) can make birthday pancakes with a candle in them in the morning or something really simple.  I obviously don't know how old they are, but I assume they're still young or you wouldn't be able to get away with working tomorrow.  Someone can get their transcript back two hours later, and you probably have to fix them breakfast anyway.

If they're 9, then, yeah, it's not that big a deal. They probably like it when you're busy because then they can get away with more.

Sorry, didn't know you're a single mom.  If you're the only paycheck, then it's a different story. 

I have a 9 year old daughter and 11 year old son so totally understand the gift thing.  my 9 year old kept hinting that her half birthday was coming up.  I am pretty sure she was angling for a gift or at least going out for an ice cream or something, but I didn't fall for it.  

I also like to vent when I have a mountain of work to get out - but I've been so slow that now I'm complaining about that.  Good luck getting your work done.   

We cover South Georgia and North Florida. It has definitely slowed down, but thank goodness, we are still busy.  Actually I am seeking two new reporters for Georgia, and I have been speaking with people from all over the country responding to my ad and everyone I talk to is slow.  I have spoken with reporters from eight different states.  They are all slow.  We are still busy here, but have seen a big difference since the contracting has evolved too -- although we are a "no-contracting" state....right.

 

Barbara

Work is good for me, I think because it has always been my habit that as soon as it gets slower than I like, I start sending out resumes.  I will work with almost any agency once to see what they're like.   Several years of doing this has given me a solid core of dependable agencies that give me worthwhile work, and I make sure they're taken care of.  At this time, though, I am doing some CART and a lot of work as a pro tem reporter with a Bay Area County.  (No, I can't help you set up a CART career; start by doing a Google search on it and learning something about Deaf culture.)  So I'm not anticipating a slowdown anytime soon.  I see this as a result of consistent effort on my part, though, something that can't be brought about in a day.

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