Agency Owners-10 day turnaround...what to do when reporters don't comply

Some time during my 30 year + career, the 10 business day turnaround became the norm for transcript delivery.

Other than leaving one's staff reporters off calender, if possible, are there other remedies that anyone uses for reporters that are missing the deadlines? Do you diminish their pay in any way? Is there any way to motivate reporters to turn their work in timely?

Other than leaving them off calender, which is the most practical, but not always possible. I'd appreciate any feedback.

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Comment by Jolene on August 25, 2009 at 15:13
Try calling your reporter on the 8th day as a reminder that a job is due in 2 days. I try and do this especially if I know our client is not in close proximity of our office. I don't think reporters want to be late just as much as we don't want them to be late.
Comment by Debbie Landi on August 24, 2009 at 18:20
Wow.....I sure hope that helps them get it in on time at that rate. I am still trying to be the nice 'gal' here and not diminish anyone's pay, but it's a chronic issue that needs to hit people in their pocketbook.
Comment by S. Arielle on August 24, 2009 at 10:49
One agency that I work with, after the 10th day, they start deducting $50 a day from the reporter
Comment by Debbie Landi on August 24, 2009 at 8:30
Bill, trust me ...it's with a very heavy heart that I adopt this policy, as I AM still a working court reporter. I understand every of my reporters have lives outside of reporting, but ...really...when I leave them off calender because their work is late and they take work elsewhere, I don't get the warm & fuzzies that they care about my client....or when they suggest 'gosh, if they were more busy it's easier for them to get work in.' Again, I can balance the odd exception or life tragedy or work flow , but the norm seems to be "oh, I just didn't get to it today."

Everyone has the right to have lives outside of court reporting. Frankly, I DO feel bad about instituting this policy, but this is not the job market to be arrogant about your clients because someone else is courting them every day. When clients think about my firm I no longer want it to be "oh they're the ones I have to call looking for the transcript."

That all being said, I do not want to start taking percentages or money away from them by dinging 'em 5 or 10% for late.

If the reporters aren't going to care about how we service OUR clients, then I'm not so concerned when they get paid since I carry 100% of the burden in this regard, for Originals, copies.

When the work they take today and turn in at the 2.5 week mark doesn't get paid until 10 months from now....maybe they can understand more fully the biz side of the house.
Comment by Jennie Ann on August 24, 2009 at 5:30
I have been on both sides of the fence, and I understand and can appreciate each side.

I remember working in-house sometime in the '80s and '90s for an extremely busy court reporting company that had many clients to service. I would arrive at the office 7 a.m. and sometimes did not leave until midnight.

Today, I ask myself why I did that. It wasn't so much for the money. I believed I was a team player. I was proud to work for this company -- BEST ONE IN D.C. at that time -- and grateful to be given the opportunity to make a decent living.

My boss gave me several $500 bonus checks during one year, right from his personal account. He knew the hours I was putting in, and he wanted to show me how much he appreciated it. That went a long way with me, BTW.

Sometimes during a busy time, other jobs would come in, rush and same-day deliveries. The office manager would ask me if I could fit it in, as she just couldn't get all the jobs covered, and I did. I would take work home on the weekends. I was putting out a lot of pages, but it eventually took its toll on me.

I get PTSD today just thinking about those days -- the office politics, the menopausal women, sleep deprivation, no social life, slow metabolism from sitting at the computer 24/7, et cetera.

So, in these times, there were occasions when I was late, due to the office manager throwing jobs at me during the middle of other jobs. This kind of lateness can't be helped.

It is difficult to find people with work integrity. I am not talking about giving up your life, like I did, but, dag nab it, it would be nice if people could care enough about the company that gave them the job to at least be on time with the transcript.

I'm with you, Debbie Landi. Here's my new motto: "Late with the script? Pay will be nipped."
Comment by Bill Parsons on August 23, 2009 at 21:16
Seems such a rule as ten day delivery is an arbitary rule not taking into consideration the court reporter's lives and their priorities.

Each reporter should only be assigned the work they are capable and willing to do. Before agencies bring pressure on reporters for the reporters to do more work than they want to do, it would be well for agencies to assess the capabilities of their workers and not depend on particular workers to get agency out of situatin where the agency has taken more work than it can handle with its resources.

Of course, the best solution would be to hire more workers.

Bill
Comment by Debbie Landi on August 23, 2009 at 20:31
Thanks, April. I am still a working reporter, and know what it's like to be overloaded, but honestly, our summer has been so slow I can't think of any excuse to be as late as some of my reporters have been. Frustrating..time for new rules.
Comment by April McMillan, CRR, RPR, CSR on August 23, 2009 at 20:00
There is a very similar discussion going on right now under Forum on the main page, about three pages of posts. You may want to check it out. It's called "Late Again," and was started by Jennie.

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