This year’s workload thus far has been non-stop and crazy. I’ve been very fortunate to be working so often as a freelancer in a field where it can be feast or famine, but I’m going to catch my breath a little bit and record what went down this winter so far.
In January, when I knew that workload is typically slow at the agency, I agreed to help a reporter in the East scope her daily copy transcripts for a two-week arbitration (which turned into four weeks). Um, I learned that not everyone writes cleanly and worst off when they know it themselves but still don’t speak up to let the speakers know about the unreportable speed and then expect her team of scopists to RE-KEY everything from the audio from scratch. Um…. Anyway, after 10 days, I actually quit that gig (as did another reporter for the same reason). It wasn’t worth it. I was getting carpal tunnel in my fingers from all the filling in.
Right after I quit that gig, I found myself in a world of non-stop back-to-back exam transcripts and orders. I had two-day full-day exams every week that either back-ordered right away or ordered. I was averaging 500 + pages of transcript PER week in February. One of those jobs was an intimidating one with a heavily German-accented witness too, but thankfully counsel did most of the speaking and the witness barely spoke. I had ongoing transcription assignments on the side during the month too. *cries*.
In the first week of March, I had another onslaught of back-to-back exams. My patience and motivation was starting to fray. To top it off, I had a two-day job that resulted in 700 pages. The speakers couldn’t stop talking all day and couldn’t stop interrupting each other. I’ve never had a job that was 700 pages before (320ish and 370ish pages per day respectively).
Then because I just did not have enough hours in a day, I sought the assistance of a fellow reporter who helped me finish the 1.5 hours of transcription assignment I had left. Phew!
Last week when I thought I would have a happy Friday finally, the job from Thursday suddenly ordered the 200-page transcript at 3, almost 4 p.m. as a rough draft delivery. Who does that?!
Mid-March, I did another 300 pages in total this week.
Finally, my plate has officially been cleared today. It took 3.5 months to be free of deadlines hanging over my head. Hallelujah.
I’m lucky to work from home and luckily can do so over the next three weeks when I believe that COVID-19 will be at its peak. I’ll be hiding away at home working across from my husband who has also been assigned WFH duties next week too. Hope the outbreak blows over soon, but until then I’m very thankful that I have the option to work from home.