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.


  1. Tori, I'm with you and respect your choice to use an alternative method due to your hand issues. I have major hand issues myself and can relate. My opinion is that since you're a certified/licensed shorthand reporter who occasionally uses an alternative method due to a physical condition that you're a shorthand reporter and can speak for me. My question is this: are you in favor of "voice writers" (people who use an alternate method of the mask) and who are not licensed shorthand reporters being part of NCRA.

    I am against this and would not vote for anyone who is in favor of non-shorthand reporters being a member of NCRA. Again, you, Tori, are firmly not in this group because you are a shorthand reporter first who uses an alternate method as alternative to quitting or calling in sick.

  2. Hi, Marge -

    I think at this point nobody will bring this suggestion, so it's a moot point. The membership at large has spoken and it's pretty darn clear that voicewriters are not considered to be professional court reporters, and competent, by many machine writers.

    Honestly, I can't think that any self-respecting voicewriter would want to be a part of NCRA anyway. Why would you want to be a part of an association so openly hostile to you?

    However, what if the whole of NVRA (their board, say) were to come to NCRA and say that they would like to merge associations to benefit all court reporters in a fight against ER/DAR? I would definitely like to hear the dialogue on that request.

    I don't have a fear of voicewriters, nor do I think they're less skilled/qualified/educated than machine writers. Many I know have advanced degrees beyond a Bachelor (I know several with Masters of English degrees).

    Those who are using realtime technology have the same issues we have with CAT, dictionary work, technology, etc.

    There are bad steno reporters who have certifications -- and there are good voicewriters who have certifications. I would challenge any steno writer to take and pass the voice CM test, which is 225lit/250jury/300Q&A at 97% accuracy.

    My personal opinion is that a court reporter is a person with a brain taking down the record. At this time, NCRA is a volunteer professional organization for machine writers and its bylaws define it as such.

    Not sure if it's the answer you want, but it's the only one I've got right now.