Wednesday, April 20, 2011

When the deadline teaches you something

So I am not usually one who likes to request extensions of time to produce transcripts.  We have 60 days for civil trials, 65 for criminal, in which to produce our pages.  I had to break down this week and request one.

At first, I felt I wasn't living up to my own high standards and expectations.  I mean, really, why SHOULDN'T I be able to meet my deadline?  60 days is a long time to get out 2500 pages or so.  But when I stepped back and took stock of my situation, I realized that it was not something I could do and maintain the high quality of work product that I strive to produce with every transcript.

I won't deny that it's been a crazy month/six weeks.  I've spent a lot of time on the road.  One of my editors went back to the "real" workforce and my other editor had some family issues to deal with.  It just was NOT going to happen by May 5.  Nope, no way.  So I asked for an extension.  Already, I feel the weight/pressure lessening.  My editor has been able to get back into her groove, I've had a couple of days locally (in other words, not commuting too far out of county for court!), and the attorneys were simply FINE with my request for an extension.

So what was I worried about?  In the end, my care and concern for the record are what shines through here.  I could have, probably, working many late nights, produced all the pages and delivered them in a timely fashion.  But would they have really been up to my high standards?  I'd like to think so, but I can't say for certain that in my mental and physical state of quasi-exhaustion that I would have been as attentive as I always strive to be.

While I recognize that this is a tool I have at my disposal, these extensions, I do need to be sure that I don't abuse it and continue to manage my time as best as I can.  But in the end, I believe I did honor to the profession and to the record by giving myself a little bit of breathing room.

My transcript is now due on June 6.  Trust me, I will have it done by then - what a birthday present that will be.

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