Thursday, April 30, 2009

Service... it isn't easy

Tonight I have a telephonic board meeting for our state association. Technically I'm not even REALLY on the board anymore (I stepped down as president after three years - my term had been extended) this past fall. But here I am, volunteering as a de facto officer (immediate past president) and developing our fall meeting.

The stuff you have to do... develop speakers, find a location, see if you can find outside events to excite family members who may want to get away with their court reporter family member, develop menus and, of course, all for a cheap as humanly possible because court reporters, let's face it, are pretty much tightwads. :)

So about once a month or so we talk on the phone, see where we are - not just with the meeting planning - but updating the website (it's about 2 months behind... I can only do so much!!), adding a paypal account for taking dues money and registration funds... talk about licensure, joinder of our three state associations, the fact that the last school in our state is going to be a victim of the budget crisis makes for a pretty intense phone call. Add that in with the already busy reporter's schedule of working, taking care of family, eating, exercising, etc, you really can see how much we LOVE our profession - because we make the time to give back.

It's important to give back. Your profession/career has given you so much. A steady income. A job with great flexibility. A transferable skill (captioning and CART). Friends that you never otherwise would have met. The ability to travel. And on and on. Surely something that gave you so much needs you in return. Even if it's one committee. Stuffing envelopes. Making phone calls on a membership or fund-raising drive. Or maybe it's board service, reaching out to other court reporters in leadership.

This is a profession that needs its practitioners to be heard. Maybe not in a court of law or in the schoolroom or the captioning studio, but WE are our own best advocates. Step up. Volunteer. Make a difference!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Time flies...

You can tell when you get busy in this profession - you stop posting to your favorite places. There are transcripts to produce, forms to fill out, and all of a sudden, a month has passed.

It's amazing that we get so much accomplished in our time away from the office. Cleaning, cooking, spending time with friends - I mean, after all, we still have to produce transcripts. This job isn't JUST working the daylight hours when you're writing; oh, no, you still have to edit, proofread, and finalize. And let's not forget, sleep.

One of the greatest skills a court reporter can have is the ability to manage their time well. Sometimes I feel right on the ball - and then others (more, it seems) I feel like time is managing me.

Here's hoping that I get a better handle on it - and that you all already have a great handle on your time management and to-do lists. :)