How long do you think is reasonable for a scopist to return a transcript to you?

I've been looking for a new scopist this past week to help with my pages and one in particular says she wants seven days to get the transcript back to me.  I'm like, "What???"  I have to have my job in in eight business days and she wants seven of them.

What do you think is reasonable?  I was thinking something like four, five at the absolute latest.

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Seven does seem a bit excessive, but it's hard to judge without more information. Is the job really long/technical/complex? Does this scopist always wants seven days for all jobs, or just this one job? Maybe the scopist already has work in her queue and she's saying that on the job you're discussing, seven days is the soonest she can get it back to you?

Three days.

7 days is too long.  I look for 3-4 day turnaround.  And scopists who say they don't work weekends go to the bottom of my list.  I work weekends.  I work before I go to the job.  I work after I get home from the job.  I work on my drive to the job. 

5 days at the outmost, and I mean 5 calendar days.  Not 5 business days.  Remember I've still got to proof.  Most agencies are looking for 8-day turnaround.  

I understand if the scopist is backed up.  All they have to say is that they won't get the job to me in the required turnaround and I'll move onto the next one.  But seriously, 7 days is too long. 

7 days means:

A They've already got a bunch of stuff they're working on

B My stuff won't get started for a couple of days  at least

C That means if anything goes wrong, and I get a bad job back on the 7th day or a call saying they can't get it done, then I'm up the creek without a paddle.

If the scopist calls me on the 3rd or 4th day, I can say, it's okay, when do you think you can get it to me.  I can gauge if they've even started.  If they say, oh, I've got an expedite, I'll say no problem.   I can start on it myself or find somebody else to work on it if you're overloaded.  Lot less stress.

Getting that call on the 7th day means an all-nighter for me and/or expedite fee to some other scopist in order for me to get it in on time.

Yes, I agree, seven days, as a general rule, is too long.  Occasionally, yes, if the scopist is backed up AND lets the reporter know in advance. That wouldn't fly in my world!

I had no job in mind when we were talking about turn-around.  This is how long she takes on everything.  I told her I'm more used to three or four days and she said that that's a expedite rate.  I was pretty surprised by that.  I don't think we'll be working together any time soon. 

My office will be calling wanting to know where the jobs are.  That only gives me one day to get the job done.  That just doesn't work with me.

I found the same thing when I was looking for a proofreader, they wanted four to five days.  I was just surprised after using a proofer for years, which normal was two days, unless expedited, to now four to five days, and then charge a lot higher than my normal pay on a two-day turnaround.  

Hi Kelli. 

As a Case CATalyst scopist, I advertise my standard turnaround time for scoping as 4-5 days.  That doesn't mean it will take this long, it's just that I promise I will get it back to you within that amount of time.  If you need it returned to you within 4 days and you let me know that, you will get it back in 4 days or less.  It depends on the job and my workload, of course, but that is my standard.

As to proofing, my standard time is 3-5 days, but again, that is just the max amount of time it will take.  If you need it back in 3 days, and that is what is agreed on, you will get it back in 3 days or less.  (There is no way it should take 5 days unless it is very large and I am super busy.)

I don't believe in waiting until the last minute to get my work done.  When I get a job, I'll start working on it ASAP.  Sometimes that means finishing another job (or more) first, thus the standard 4-5 days.

On the other hard, if I don't believe I can get the job done within your timeframe, I will let you know before accepting the job so that you can find someone who can, or I can suggest someone to you.

It could be that this reporter mostly works for official reporters, who I have heard sometimes don't need to turn things in for 30-45 days.

Well, unfortunately, I'm on Eclipse or I would use you as a scopist and see how things went.  That's nice you would work with a reporter on the turn-around time.  I've dropped this scopist to the bottom of the list.  I've found a couple more that I think I can work with.  Thanks for your comments.

I personally look for a 3-4 day turnaround for scopists and 48 hours for proofreading (calendar days, not business days).  Whenever I get responses back from scopists/proofreaders with anything longer, I just delete them from my system since it's just not a doable turnaround time considering everything else that needs to be done to the file.  Reporters are on a very tight schedule and it's unreasonable for scopists/proofreaders to think it's feasible for them to hold the file for that long.  Sorry if I've offended any scopists/proofreaders, but that's my opinion as a working reporter.

No offense taken, Judy.  We all have to do what we have to do.  

Scopists/proofreaders have to schedule their work just like you do, though.  The times I mentioned above are my standard times.  If a reporter needs it done earlier than my standard timeframe, the higher rate applies because I'll likely be putting in a very long day to get their work done as well as the work that was already scheduled.  On the other hand, if I have no work scheduled, I have no problem with giving the standard rate and getting it done ASAP.  See what I mean? 

Another thing I consider is whether or not the reporter is a regular client or not.  If s/he is a regular client, I probably already have a space set out for them, you know?

"Scopists/proofreaders have to schedule their work just like you do, though."

Precisely why it's a GREAT idea to have several scopists/proofreaders on your list so you can find out who's ready for more work instead of sitting in a queue for days and days.

Agree with you 100 percent, Judy, especially since most firms require jobs turned in by the 7th day now.



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