WHAT DO SCOPISTS DO?
I work mostly at home but I do get to go out on dailies. And as I've
said before, while some may go on for months, especially in federal court,
they can't end too soon. Although I enjoy getting out once in awhile, I'm
just as happy working in my jammies. LOL I punched a clock for almost 25
years. This I love!
I do get burned out from being home alone all the time. Does anyone else have this problem or do people work outside the home as well?
Can't say I get burned out being home alone. I get burned out when I have
much work to do and can't seem to figure out where to start first!!! LOL
But seriously, I make time to go out and do things, be with other people so
I don't get to feeling too cooped up. I'm kind of a loner anyway (hubby and I
both are), so I actually prefer being able to work at home and not having to
deal with office politics, as it were. Been there - done that - threw away
the T-shirt! And I never want to do it again.
Believe me, this support group helps a lot, too! It's nice to have others
who are at home suffering right along with me (LOL) and can commiserate with
me when I need it - and coddle me when I'm feeling overwhelmed.
I don't get burned out working from home because I'm never alone. I have a
dog and three canaries to keep me company. They never talk behind my back
(that I know of) and they don't try to make me work harder or faster for
less money! Seriously, I've worked "out there" many years and as much as I
enjoyed my clients, customers, etc., I hated all the crap that always seemed
to float around every office. I much rather just be responsible for myself
and not have to worry about what others are doing or not doing.
What do you need to become a scopist?
All you *need* to have are reporters who want you to edit their work.
Of course, it helps to have a firm grasp of English, grammar and punctuation, an understanding of the lingo, a software package, and the desire to work very hard and accept as your own someone else's pressures.
And, of course, there's always proofreaders. They only need the capability
to read an ASCII transcript and keep track of the changes they think the
reporters should make.
Sound like fun? It is. And after doing this since the '70s, I guess I
You've come to the right place if you're looking for information...and
sometimes even referrals. But if you have the ability, the desire and the
equipment, you can go to Scopists.com, reporter, vendor and like sites to
list your name and all the pertinent information to post your availability.
I hope I've been of some help.
What you described is basically what I do, too - load it in the CAT
system, correct mistakes, highlight questionable parts, and send it
And maybe you do these things but just didn't mention them, but here's
some of the things I do for my reporters:
* keep the reporter posted as to my target completion date, and send
long jobs in "chunks" so they can keep up on the reading (if they want
* help build the reporter's main dictionary by globalling job dictionary
* do research to find spellings, etc.
* make suggestions for ways of resolving conflicts, writing numbers, and
spelling out words (if the reporter is receptive)
* add a humorous (flagged) note now and then to the reporter in the
transcript to break the monotony (for them and you!)
* maintain a spelling list for related jobs and give the reporter
periodic updated lists
* create fill-in-the-blank templates for cover pages, indexes, signature pages,
etc., and share them with the reporter
* share any tricks or tips you learn about the CAT system with the
Basically anything you can do to make YOUR job easier. That's right, it
makes our job as a scopist easier when we do as much as we can to help
the reporter. I have worked for very few reporters who didn't respond
in a huge positive way to this kind of "pampering."
I suppose you could say I scope "full time" along with my other jobs. I
work for a plumbing company, doing their scheduling, answering the phone,
inputting information into the computer, plus two attorneys and a variety
of reporters, some of whom I type from tapes, others for whom I scope.
I have reporters who are excellent writers, some who clean up
their work pretty well before they send it on, and others who are only
"so-so." But I've been fortunate in that everyone pays. They may need a
gentle reminder from time to time, but the money does come. The only one I
have a problem with is a reporter who does government contract work, and she
can only pay me when she gets paid. It's not unusual to have 6-month-old
invoices. When she gets paid, she does send me a hefty check, though.
But I feel fortunate that I can stay at home and do all of the above.
I'm on the East Coast, in Maryland, and in the winter when the weather is
bad, or the summer with horrendous thunderstorms, I can watch from the
window and not have to battle the traffic. It's a great way to earn a
living. I was able to raise my three kids myself, not have to resort to day
care, because of this wonderful profession.
For you new scopists, it is a challenge and can be very frustrating at
times, but if you stick with it, the rewards are many, and you can make a
lot of wonderful friends.
Do I sit at my computer for 8 to 10 hours a day? Nope, absolutely not. I sit at my computer between 16 and 18 hours a day. I do get up frequently. Keep in mind I live alone and I have my computer in my living/dining area so I can also watch tv from here. I sit in a recliner and keep my feet up so they don't swell. Am I scoping most of the time, yes, sometimes I do. It all depends on how much work I have and the deadline for it. I guess you either love this job or hate it. When I get bad messes, I send them back to the reporter.
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