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Pharmaceutical patent case, so you can anticipate that it's going to be very technical and difficult. It's a contract case, and all the defense attorneys have decided that they're going to split the cost of the O & 1. So, yeah, they're going to SHARE. You MIGHT be able to get the other side to order one copy. You MIGHT have to provide more than one RT hookup. Doesn't matter how many RT hookups you end up getting on this job nor how many copy orders on the defense side. You will ONLY be paid for ONE O & 1 and 1 RT hookup, and maybe one copy if the other side orders it. So, an O & 6 (maybe 30 or 100) with 1 (maybe 30 or 100) RT hookup(s) job, but you will ONLY be paid for an O & 1 (maybe 2) and ONE RT hookup.
Are YOU going to be the reporter to take this job?
Do the right thing. Do YOURSELF, fellow reporters and the industry as a whole a favor: JUST SAY NO!!! Make that a HELL NO!!!
for breaking it down so concisely. I guess I glossed over the pertinent details.
I take the "keeping up with ..." as part of the job of being a court reporter. I don't mean to diminsh this profession in any way. And reporters who excel at their skills and talents should, of course, rise to the top.
I'm just getting tired of defending my profession to people who say, "why does it cost so much, you just type on that little machine and the words all come up, can't you just print me a copy?"
I always tell people the story about the great pianist Leopold Godowsky, who was greeted backstage by an excitable lady, who asked him "How do you play the piano so well with such small hands?"
He answered, "Madame, who ever said one plays the piano with one's hands?" I then make the point that we don't think with our fingers, that it's not our fingers that make us reporters, it's what's between our ears. This is a profession. (I HATE it when people refer to us as "stenographers")
I COMPLETELY AGREE!! We all have to stick together on this issue!! We are all professionals. We deserve to be paid for the job we do!
Please, other reporters, talk to your firm owners about this -- and if you are on your own, stand firm about being paid for what you are PROVIDING.
Alas, we had a taker. There will always be THOSE reporters, I guess.
Quyen, it doesn't matter if subpar reporters take this kind of work, because they are the best salesmen for topnotch realtime writers. They attys will get what they pay for: Cheap work for cheap rates ... and unreadable realtime, my guess. The thing that absolutely burns my ass is when excellent reporters step up to cover this work for nothing. That's what hurts us all.
that's why we need to band together and stand firm.
agencies have been undercutting reporters' pay for a while - I'm not saying ALL agencies, but any time I hear that an agency is contracting (a dirty word in this business) I think to myself - no way will I work for or with that agency. I think now that agencies just don't tell anyone they are contracting.
And it's important to look on their website to see if they have any points plans, freebies, unprofessional gimmicks, IMO.
Kathy, I am almost totally in favor of contracting, and I think I've explained it to death, but glad to do it again. Very simply, "contracting" is not a deal-killer for me. In fact, I have just 5 agencies I work with and every single one of them locks their clients in. Here's the thing: THEY LOCK THEM INTO BEAUTIFUL PAGE RATES and APP FEES! There's nothing wrong with contracting. There's EVERYTHING wrong with LOW-BALL contracting. It's that little descriptor that's always left out that's critical. Am I biased or prejudiced because these agencies I work for for fantastic page rates have entered into contracts? Puh-leeze. Oh, take that back. I AM prejudiced in a way, because it makes me jump to answer the phone when it rings and it's one of The Five, and I just let that bitch ring when I can see it's someone who offers me laughable rates, contract or not! How's that?
I can warm up to that, Mary Ann. ;-)
Well, that sounds great!!
I have never heard of agencies contracting with insurance companies and giving good rates to the reporters. Usually, it is the opposite.
Where the agency will tell the reporter - usually a newbie- that, yes, you will get less per page, but we will give you work everyday!
it is a difficult position to be in as a new reporter. you don't want less $$, but you need the work.
Kathy, being a new reporter does not mean necessarily having to take low-balled jobs. Pick a firm(s) that pays decently and take all their crap work that their regular reporters won't/don't like to take and, hopefully, earn your "in." The more old/new reporters feel like they "have" to take these low-paying jobs for any reason whatsoever, the more it perpetuates the problem. As long as there are ANY reporters willing to take these jobs, there will be no end to them.
Excellent reply, Quyen--that is exactly right.