Welcome to CSR Nation
One of the agencies that I know sent out a job offer to Massachusetts for a three-day job that needed covered. This reporter, who I won't name, picked up the job. She's had the job for over a month and not turned it in.
Finally, she turned in the first two volumes with multiple mistakes. She still has not turned in the last transcript. She turned in a rough because the court reporting agency had to have something to give to the attorney because he's going to trial. The rough ASCII was literally unreadable.
Now, I don't understand why a court reporter would take work through this website if they are so incompetent that they cannot turn the work in. I wish there was a way I could filter all the bad apples off of here.
The agency owner called me and wanted to know if there is a way that I filter the qualified reporters from the incompetent reporters. I told her no, I have no way to do that. Once I hear someone has done a poor job, I ban them immediately from the website. I'm a full-time reporter myself; there is no way for me to filter through thousands of reporters.
I'm just very frustrated about this situation. This is not the first time it has happened either. There must just be a lot of lousy court reporters out there I guess. Unfortunately, it looks like it cost this agency their client. Unbelievable.
Reporters: Please don't take work from this website if you can't handle the work. You're giving my website a bad name!!
Excellent point, Judy!
And, you know, I've been thinking about that all day: If the agency owner was trying to insinuate it is your responsibility, shame on her/him.
You know, I can't say that she was coming out and insinuating that it was my fault. She said that she wanted to be able to tell her client something because he was not very happy. She just wondered if there were any filters for this type of thing. I told her there isn't and she's supposed to be the filter. I basically said she has to do her own "due diligence" is exactly what I said.
I'm not so sure she wanted to take any blame for the situation, but I can't say she was coming out an blaming me either.
Oh, yeah, the reporter also said she didn't have enough money to mail the exhibits. They told her to use their FedEx number to send them. She said she didn't have enough money to drive in her car (price of gas) to even drop them off. The agency had to send a courier to pick up the exhibits from this woman. Seriously, is that about the most pathetic story you've heard?
Oh, man, this reporter has some serious responsibility issues. Is MA a certified state? If it is, I'd definitely lodge a complaint against her if I were the agency (after I got all of the transcripts for her, of course).
@Kelli, this is more and more ridiculous. She didn't have the money to go to FedEx??? Doesn't she realize FedEx picks up????? Good grief!
@Judy No, MA is not a certified state.
Heck, California is certified and, I'll tell ya, we've got our share of flakes too. I can't tell you all the stories I've had/heard of flakey reporters. It'd fill up a phone book, though, I bet. Bottom line, if an agency doesn't do proper research on the reporter, then they have nobody to blame but themselves.
But I think some of these reporters (and it happens with scopists and proofreaders, too, even hairdressers, housekeepers (anybody that does work job to job), etc.) take the job and just flat out don't care whether they do a good job, whether they'll be called on again, whether somebody is pulling out their hair trying to deal with them... but they take it because they know in the end of the day they will get at least one check out of their victim, and that's all they care about. In the end of the day, there really are no consequences for being a schmuck.
I totally get that, that there are worthless workers in every profession. However, if you don't even have a CSR license, how do you weed out the people that are grossly under-qualified? Anyone can say they are a court reporter? That's pretty scary. I think it's the same way in AZ too, if I remember right.
That may be how this woman ended up taking this job. She was perhaps a want-to-be court reporter. I guess anyone can pull that if there is no license qualification. Yikes!!
There is no way for me to know who is qualified when approving people to join these groups.
That's sad. Some people aren't cut out for this job.
I knew a reporter who said she won't work nights, won't work weekends, and won't turn down any jobs. She'd have a huge backlog, and all of her jobs would be late, like a month or more.. The agency I was working for at the time finally stopped using her. I couldn't believe the attitude she had. She just didn't care.
That's not me, Janet?!?!?!/ :-)
Surely someone who doesn't know that FedEx picks up and who claims not to have enough money to unnecessarily drive to drop off a package must be showing red flags of incompetence such as unpolished and illiterate both emails and voice communication. If this agency is one who will only pay their low 15-year-ago rates, then they deserve this and I'm glad. I politely decline work with these rates and I pray that people who do accept those rates create chaos. These people make the rest of us look good and it hopefully becomes clear to FOs that it pays to pay current-day rates. For all we know, this person showed all these red flags but the agency was desperate due to experienced and seasoned CRs declining this job due to their low rates and it was getting late in the day.
I agree with Marge. If they had done a minimum of due diligence, the hair on the back of their neck would have begun to get all prickly. It's the same thing that MaryAnn keeps complaining about, incompetent realtime reporters. But, seriously, it's the agency's responsibility to ensure the reporter is capable of performing the work. If you need to put out an SOS on this site for an out-of-state depo (or even an in-state depo), be prepared to ask the reporter for references, a resume, a past transcript... anything to prove that they're a "real" reporter.
The interesting thing is this same agency owner in Northern California wanted to use a friend of mine that she had not used before and she personally called him and interviewed him before giving him any work. Not sure what fell through the cracks on this situation.