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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!!
Considering some states are certified and others are not, and there are some dang good reporters out there that don't have certification and probably some highly credentialed reporters that should consider getting out of the field, I'm not sure showing you their license is going to do a dang bit of good. SMAFT, I'd think it'd be putting you into a position that you wouldn't want to put yourself in (a co-defendant in a possible lawsuit).
Is there any way you could add a module to the site where people can leave feedback about a certain reporter/agency? From the very get-go, they have to agree that if they use your site to either cover jobs or get jobs, that they have to consent to having feedback left regarding that job? Kind of like ebay. Seems like that would be the only way to accomplish what you're looking for. And if you do find that "module," seems like it would be the answer to a lot of issues regarding agencies, scopists, proofreaders, AND reporters.
If people left negative feedback about any reporter or agency, I would get sued. I've had many threats from agencies when people were leaving negative comments. I doubt that's going to work.
I don't know why I can't just not admit people that aren't certified. I should be able to have anyone on here I want. I don't consider that making me a defendant. How could it? I just want to make sure highly-qualified reporters are accepting work here. That's all. That's crazy if I could get sued over that.
My comment about being a co-defendant is if somehow you're doing any research or background check on any of the people that are taking jobs from the site and then THEY get sued for incompetence, somebody might drag you in since somehow you're giving the impressing that you've given a thumbs up re that person. I'd talk to an attorney before I started giving anybody any assurances regarding another person's qualifications.
And if they knew going in that by using your site to cover their job that they HAD to submit to feedback, I don't know how you'd get sued if the reporter marked a box that said "easy to deal with," "l had a hard time understanding all of their rules," "received payment 30/60/90/+ days," etc.. SMAFT, it might keep the unethical people from using the site from one end of the spectrum to the other. Reporters that don't pay scopists would think twice, as would scopists/proofreaders that can't meet a deadline or overglorify their qualifications.
Just a thought.
Oh, I see what you mean. I totally misunderstood what you meant. That makes sense. Yeah, I don't want to ever give the impression that I've done a background search on anyone. Who has time for that and still make a living?
You know, bottom lline, everybody needs to take responsibility in this mess: The reporter and the agency... NOT YOU.
eBay has that set up, though people don't HAVE to give feedback. Perhaps there's a way to do it and have a statement of use or something as part of joining, and the reporters AND firms have to agree to it before being allowed in. And those who are already members, give them a time limit in which to agree to it; those who don't agree, kick them out.
You do realize there are 7500 members on this website, right? How time consuming do you think that would be?
Kelli, sorry for answering up here, but you have a "Message" click under the post instead of a "Reply." Same thing that happened to Janet. Strange.
But... probably less time consumming than keeping track of everybody's CURRENT certs. You'd probably have to delete the groups and make everybody rejoin, agreeing to the new terms.
As a working reporter/small agency owner for over 20 years who is NOT certified I don't think requiring certification is the answer. There are plenty of excellent reporters out there, myself included, who are not certified and would NEVER conduct ourselves in the manner in which this reporter did. In addition, as someone who has hired my fair share of reporters, I can honestly say that certified or not, there are plenty of flaky reporters out there who are working, and working regularly. The sad thing is there are many reporters who look at this as a job rather than a career. Their goal is the paycheck for that job rather than priding themselves in their work. For a reporter to say she doesn't have the gas money to get the exhibits to the FedEx drop box is inconceivable. There must have been flags when this job was being booked by the agency. s/m/h
How right you are, Judy, re: some reporters being out there who shouldn't be. I'd like to say the same about some agencies.......oooops, looks like I just did! :-)
So true, Tricia, so true! I wholeheartedly agree with the sentiments about the low-paying agencies and getting what they pay for. Although it seems this particular situation didn't fall within that category, it is so frustrating that rather than hire an experienced professional reporter some agencies would prefer to hire a cut-rate reporter to save a few bucks.
Completely agree with my fellow Lisa. It's on them, not you. I personally think you shouldn't let it get to you, but then it would get to me too, lol. But you in no way state here that you're providing any type of vetting service; so for anyone to imply that is deflecting their own negligence onto you. Maybe you could put a disclaimer on the home page, if it makes you feel better.