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!