Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Priorities and Politics

It's hard to balance your deadlines and priorities to begin with in this profession. We have transcripts to get out, attorney phone calls to return, bills to collect, families to run... and then you add the politicking into the mix and it all goes haywire.

Trying to make sure that the membership knows who you are is hard work. Getting in touch with the webmasters/mistresses, newsletter editors, state leaders, is time consuming. Answering questions, developing sales brochures (try that one - selling yourself in ONE PAGE is tough!), and getting them done right - or at least coherently - takes time.

Today I've had a challenge; two deadlines for political stuff and a couple of transcript requests that I really need to work on. I allocated set times for each of the projects, but it's 7:30 and I've yet to finish one of the articles and dinner is but a figment of my imagination.

The good news is that this too shall pass. And I guess that's something we all need to remember. Life gives us challenges and sometimes we have a lot on our plates; time continues to move forward and our burdens lessen. So we need to keep our heads high and our attitudes positive and remember that one day, even this will be a memory.

But for now, I've got an article to finish.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

And so it begins...

Well, I really want to run a clean, professional, respectful campaign. However, it's come to my attention that someone who is NOT EVEN RUNNING against me is campaigning against me. Why? They call me a "voicewriter" and that is the only thing (apparently) that this person has against me. Even though I'm a court reporter who sometimes voices and sometimes stenos. My challenger is a person who works for a major 1-800 firm and contract player. This person says he'd rather vote for the challenger because "she says" she's antiumbrella group and anticontracting. Um, so you'd rather vote for someone who works for a company whose ethics she's against versus someone who, for reasons of a physical ailment, sometimes chooses another method to report the record.

I'm a court reporter. I love my profession. When my body said "STOP DOING THIS BECAUSE IT HURTS," I listened. On days when my tendinitis flares, I have the ability to take the record another way. I don't lose my job. I don't have to take a day of vacation. AND I DON'T HAVE TO EXPLAIN MY BEHAVIOR TO ANYONE.

My court reporting career should speak for itself. My record on giving, on teaching, on mentoring, on leadership, on advanced certifications, and on sheer passion should outweigh the fact that sometimes, not every day, I don't use my steno machine.

I hope that none of you out there develop carpal tunnel syndrome, fibromyalgia, or some other physical ailment that precludes you from working in the profession you love (like losing part of a finger, perhaps?) - and that you have the courage to recognize that fear is no basis on which to make a decision.

Friday, June 18, 2010

What's the best way to reach out?

In this digital media age, we have so many ways to reach out to people. With this contested election upcoming, I've been trying to figure out the best way to reach the most people.

Not everyone is on Facebook (I know, it's surprising, but true!), so having a Facebook group (votetori4ncra) is a good start, but there needs to be more. Blast emails? Newsletters? Blog (oh, hey, here it is!)? Web site?

What is the most effective way to get information to YOU? What would YOU like to see/hear?

Inquiring minds want to know.
Thanks for your support!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Politics as UNusual

I don't believe in negative campaigning. My philosophy is to tell people about myself and why I believe I'm the best candidate. I'm not going to go out on a mud-smearing campaign to denigrate my opposition. A factual recitation of what each of us does where, our backgrounds, etc, is fair game. However, let's not turn this into what our national political landscape looks like; where people cannot even have a bumper sticker on their car without it being keyed, where someone's name is "bastardized" to make it crude. This is not civilized and we, of all people, understand the need for civility.

So please be kind in your debate and don't name-call or be intentionally mean-spirited. We are all court reporters, passionate about our profession. I would hate for friendships to be dissolved (or ripped asunder) because of a political contest.

May the best candidate win. Please vote on August 5, whether in Chicago or at home, online.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Up to the Challenge

When I was nominated for service on the national board, I knew that there was a chance that my position would be challenged. I had hoped it wouldn't be, but officially my fitness for service on the NCRA board of directors as a three-year director has been challenged. So now begins a campaign for a voluntary position, wherein my qualifications, motives, and even love of profession could be called into question. I'm not a political animal, per se; more a lover of what I do.

My philosophy throughout the campaign will be simple: no denigrating the opponent(s). I don't believe in name calling. I believe in reasonable people having honest discussions. I am outspoken and strong willed, but am willing to listen to all sides of an argument; indeed, I have been persuaded in the past that perhaps my original opinion on a topic was wrong. What scares me more than anything about this eventuality is the thought of losing friends or the respect of someone whose opinion I value. That's not exciting.

All I have ever wanted to do is give back to a profession that has given me so much. I've spent all of my reporting career volunteering, even some of my scoping career volunteering. Why? Because I found a place that feels like home.

Ask me a question. I'll try to answer (hypotheticals, though, are difficult). If we disagree, please let's do so without rancor and emotion. I know we're all passionate about our profession, but let's remember to use not only our hearts, but our heads, too.

I ask for your vote in August. Thank you.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Taking a Rest Day

Sometimes you have to listen to your body. After working all weekend producing a thousand-page transcript - a weekend that was a 3-day holiday for most people - I was tired and cranky.

I felt liberated, though, having made that delivery and sending the pages out of my realm.

So after court on Tuesday, I stopped. Did nothing. Well, not NOTHING. I took myself out to dinner and had a beer. Tasted good. Flirted with my favorite waiter (hey, a girl can have fun). Even had dessert (warm peanut butter cookie). Came home and reclined for several hours with a good book and two cats. Went to bed early. Woke refreshed.

Your body tells you when it needs a break. It's important to listen.
Remember to listen.