Good morning, All. Not whining, just asking. I just got burned by a reporter I scoped a job for, and the question I have is directed mainly toward Scopists but invite any insight from Reporters as well.

I reported for nearly 30 years and never, ever did that to a transcriber or notereader! I did my own scoping when I became a CAT reporter in 1985, so, I never used a scopist, mainly because there weren't many available at that time.

How do you avoid something like that happening in the future, seriously? I consider myself to be very honest and very compassionate, but this has rattled me and I want to avoid the same thing happening again, if I possibly can.

Your advice, not your sorrow :-), will be greatly appreciated. And, yes, I believe this, too, shall pass. Thanx, Cynthia

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I'm sorry that happened to you. I really don't have any advice for you as I've never encountered that problem. I would just continue with your attitude of "this too shall pass", not work for the person again (of course) and realize that most reporters aren't like that. And realize, also, that you're a better person than the reporter 'cause you could really burn them back by sharing their name and advertizing who burned you, but you didn't, you took the high road and that's very admirable.

I hope your day gets better.
Karl, thanx so much for the encouragement!

Having reported myself for 30 years, I KNOW that most Reporters are not like that. And I would never think of giving someone's name or even their location, because I truly believe that in life "the best revenge is living well and being happy," a quote I just recently read.

My day has already gotten better because of your kind words. Cynthia
Hi, Stef. Thanx for replying and for the advice.

I don't know for sure if I will be paid, only because I can't see into the future. Without getting into any details, I do know that I have been told that 'the check is in the mail' on 2 separate occasions and still haven't received it and have been given other excuses that you wouldn't believe!!!

It was a 'big' job and in these financial times, not getting paid on even a 'small' job, can create problems -- at least for me, anyway.

This was my FIRST time scoping for this person and I thought we would have a good working relationship. As far as payment history, I don't know how a scopist would know that without first scoping for a reporter, so --

Right now, Stef, I don't have the luxury of taking a small, middle-size or BIG job, I just need to take jobs and have to trust that this won't happen to me again.

Again, thanx for your advice. Cynthia
I've been scoping for 14 years and must admit, this has only happened to me once. It was a very small job and after several months of sending e-mail, etc., to the reporter, I just decided to write it off. Needless to say, I never worked for the reporter again. I'm a very trusting person, but have been very lucky to work for very professional, compassionate reporters who pay their bills.

I don't think there's really any way to be preemptive so that you don't get burned. I do agree with those who say don't do a "big" job with someone unless you have already established a working relationship with that person. It just all boils down to how aggressively you want to pursue this, if it's worth the time, stress, headache of dealing with it. Thank goodness those type people are very rare in our business.
Teresa, thank you so very much for the kind words and thoughtful advice. I am doing just that, writing it off.

No amount of e-mailing or calling or threatening (I don't think) will get me paid. AGAIN, having been a Reporter for 30 years, I KNOW the majority of Reporters are NOT like that. I did tell the person that I would pray for them --

As I said in my original post, I'm NOT looking for sympathy, just advice as to how to avoid this happening in the future. And it seems, as you say, there may really be no way to be preemptive about such things. I appreciate your advice. Cynthia
Cynthia, why do you say the reporter stiffed you. Keep after her and persistent and the reporter will get tired
of being reminded and surrender. Were you given any reason? Take her to small claims court. Present proof
that she gave you the files for you to work on. Better yet, file small claims court in your neighborhood and if
the reporter doesn't show up, you have a judgment on their record. Or report it to a collection agency. Find out
what firm the reporter works, and threaten to report a complaint to the Better Business Bureau on the court reporting agency. Threaten the agency that you're going to call their attorney client and tell them you did the preparation and got no reimbursement for that.
There are several ways to fight it, and stick up for your rights. No more victim reporter, no more victim scopist. And have fun with the battle. Good luck. If you have any more questions, please don't hesitate to ask me.
Hi, Elise. Thank you so much for the reply.

Speaking of being stiffed, the first time I spoke with this reporter over the phone, she shared with me that she had been stiffed by an agency about a year ago to the tune of $5,000. I'm beginning to wonder if that was even true.

Your advice is well-taken, but as my daily post says, "It's Already All Right". I had heard that this type of thing happens at times, but was disappointedly surprised when it came from this reporter who 'said' the same thing had happened to her.

I guess you can say I am resolved to 'taking the high road' by (hopefully) being more cautious in the future and just putting this learning experience behind me.

It may sound strange (not naive), but my sympathies go out to 'anyone' who resorts to not paying someone for an honest day's work. And that's what I endeavor to be, honest with everyone all the time. Cynthia

P.S. No, I haven't received payment, yet, but I did get a job yesterday!!!
Kara, thank you for your encouraging and kind words. I absolutely agree with you. I am going to paraphrase, kinda, sorta, also: According to Him, "It's Already All Right!" Cynthia
Just to update all those people who provided me with great advice: I got the 'check' on Thursday, and after having to go to the bank three days in a row, the 'funds' were finally available on Saturday!! Yippee!!

What I did learn from this experience (and can be applied to living life in general) is that no victory is accomplished without conflict, but we must remember to fight effectively and not hysterically.

Again, I thank you all for your advice and encouragement. Cynthia

Cynthia...when a reporter inquiry arrives asking for my scoping rates and credentials, I send my rate/reference sheet.  It specifies the page rates for different turnarounds, supplies reference names, sets out payment terms:  First job is payable immediately; thereafter, within __ days. 

If the reporter, having read this rate/reference sheet, offers to send work, I ask if the terms laid out in the sheet are agreeable.  She/he says yes.  I make a copy of the sheet and a copy of the e-mail acceptance, put it in the job folder.

It's not a guarantee that I'll get paid, but it puts the reporter on notice that there's a specific agreement between us.

I can count on one hand the number of times I've been stiffed since 1979.  Reporters are great people to work with.  Sorry you had such a hard time with this one.

Joyce Davis


That's wonderful news, Cynthia.  I have to tell you, though, that I've been typing/scoping for reporters for 40 years and I've only been stiffed one time.  And to be honest, I probably was only stiffed then because I was too busy to follow up on it.  Reporters are usually great people.  I try to do a small job the first time I work for a new reporter, but I don't make any special effort about getting paid.  I assume from the get-go that I'm going to be paid.  I guess that makes me a trusting person, too. 


Another thing that has worked in my favor is that most of my reporters are local and most of my new work comes from their passing my name to friends. 


Good luck in the future.  I hope you hang on to your trusting nature and that it serves you well.


You could always ask for payment before sending the job back, but that may not fly very well.  I just used a proofer for the first time yesterday and I paid her immediately through PayPal, because she said she wanted to be paid right away just to establish a payment record with me and that I'm honest.  I had not problem with that and I paid her right away online.  You may want to request the same thing.  She was paid within 10 minutes, money in hand.


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