I think I could write a book today entitled "Top 100 Excuses Why My Job is Late." Why is it that some people are chronically late with their transcripts? It almost seems like a disease.

Look, I'm a procrastinator, I must admit. However, when it comes to meeting deadlines, I do have a little work integrity. I am not saying I have NEVER been late, but there are some people who are late each and every job. What's up with that?!

I have heard every excuse in the book when it comes to being late. Here's some of my favorites:

"My dog ate the transcript."
"My computer crashed." (conveniently the morning the job is due)
"I overslept."
"My rabbit chewed my computer cord, and I lost everything."
"My mother is in the hospital." (same mother passed away a year ago)

I know it is an occupational hazard in this industry to be late. I think if people were docked in their page rate, they might start being on time.

Any suggestions on how to deal with lateness? Should people who are chronically late be penalized?

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"When I got my check, it made mention of "superior quality work" for which you could earn a higher page rate, among other things. This was effective and positive."

Can you elaborate a bit more on how the higher page rate worked? Sounds interesting.
Getting a better page rate does sound attractive for the person doing the job for sure. Good incentive.

I like the idea of rewarding someone for consistently being on time and providing quality jobs. I guess I just thought it an accepted practice that those who take jobs from a company should be on time with their transcripts and provide quality in their work at all times.

To be rewarded for consistency, though, is a good way to keep it going, I guess. :-)
Melissa, you just reminded me of something. If company owners were late on payment, the folks who did the work would be upset.

It is difficult for me to understand how people can turn in transcripts late and expect to be paid for the late jobs in a timely manner.

Eye for an eye, as they say, but it doesn't always work out like that.

It is a shame that some folks don't understand the importance of being on time with a transcript. It is my opinion that chronically late people will never get it. Maybe if the company owners are chronically late with payment to them, it may help them to understand the error of their ways.
Hi Jennie,

I have dealt with a chronically late person all my life... The solution I have found is to never tell them the real deadline. If there is a time something has to be in, I always do the calculations for that person so that she will be on time... ie. she's late half an hour everywhere she goes... so I tell her "the wedding will be at 2:30..." She shows up at 3:00... which is the time it actually begins, and she's on time, voila! Or, I would tell her "the job is due Tuesday" and it's really due Thursday... Do the math for them, because these people don't know how to budget their time, and are forever late. It's part of their personality, I think...

I haven't dealt much with these stresses yet, as I am only a student, but it doesn't sound right to me that we have to be rewarded to get our work done on time, or especially, rewarded for not making any mistakes -- especially with spellings of names on the index, etc. That is our job! We are verbatim reporters and we are supposed to produce the official transcript of the proceedings. Sure, everyone makes a mistake now and then, but people are expecting us to fail so much that they reward us for getting it right? I don't get that. Of course, I will be working in court and will definitely have a financial incentive to get the prelims done in the ten-day period. After that, they dock 50 percent!
Keith, I agree 100 percent, my friend. You're going to go far in your career with that kind of work integrity. This is what separates the lions from the lambs, as far as I am concerned. Good post! I'm starting to get a lot of good information from this thread, as well as some good tips!
I disagree with docking pay. I have been late, actually quite a bit this past month, either due to an overnight expedite/rough draft and scheduled to work the next day, and have a mother that is extremely ill. Thank God the firm I work for is very understanding, even though they want everything on the 8th day for them to have two days to prepare and send out. I actually had to call the agency two weeks after I turned in a job because of an error I realized I made on a transcript and wanted it corrected before the trial, and the transcript was still sitting in the office not yet sent out.

I think the best solution is not use the reporter again, or don't give the reporter any more work until all transcripts are turned in. It just doesn't sound fair to dock the reporter when reporters really have not had an increase in page rate in the last 12 years, and some firms have even lowered their rates to keep their clients.
Rosalie, first, let me express my appreciation for what you do with your mom. I had to take care of my mother after she had a stroke for two years, and though it was difficult for me at the time to take on all of life's responsibilities that were given to me, I am so glad I was able to do it. Today, looking back, I am so happy to have been given the opportunity to take care of her during the last two years of her life.

And I do agree that reporters have not received an increase in the page rate in the last 12 years. In fact, I'd venture to guess it's even longer than that, sad to say, and we have to expend more money to keep up with the technology, a cost we didn't have 20 or 30 years ago.

That said, remember this, Rosalie. If the court reporter hasn't gotten an increase in pay, neither has the agency or company owner, and they have expenses that have risen over the years as well, i.e., rent, websites, employees, office equipment, insurance, et cetera.

Reading through this thread, I am now understanding the opinions on all sides. Speaking for myself, though, when somebody is late with one of my transcripts, I cannot help but see red, especially the ones who do it all the time and don't seem to give a damn.
Glad I found this thread. I am an agency owner, and frankly, tired of fielding calls from clients looking for transcripts from reporters that are late. Bad for our reputation, bad for the reputation of the other timely reporters.

I have a memo on my desk about to go out that says, if they are late...they will now get paid when I (the agency) gets paid. Should take them about 30 days to catch on that being late, they will share the burden/risk with the firm re payment.

Does anyone else do this?
Debbie, I like your style, and I think I am going to keep this little ace up my sleeve for the future.

That is a great idea.

All's fair in love and transcripts. ;-)


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