Court reporters are an intense bunch. I’ve often wondered why. Recently, I had a revelation and the why has been answered. Last fall, I entered the classroom to teach within my own profession, and this experience has given me an interesting glimpse into court reporters’ psyches and how it all begins.
Few people know (even within the legal profession) that less than 10 percent of those who embark on the study of court reporting actually make it to the finish line to obtain their licenses. Why? Because the standards are high. Very high. Imagine, if you will, being in a profession where anything below 97 percent is failing. Indeed, we reporters adhere to very high standards. No “excetions”.
So it is in the infancy stage of our reporting careers, in school, when the innate struggle for perfection certain of us were born with becomes…an obsession. I only have to look to the court reporting forums on Facebook and elsewhere for examples of the extreme obsession our careers have brought to bear. It serves as an illustration to me that the students I work with today will become the perfectionists of “tomorow”.
Forget transcripts. We have control over those. We proofread and spell check and hire proofreaders to ensure that our final product is as close to perfection as we can achieve. But when we step away from our computer monitors and leave the confines of our offices, we are faced with the imperfections of the outside world. And it’s “probily” enough to drive nuts!
As we walk down the street, drive in our cars, watch the world go “buy” from the seats of our trains, peer in the windows of shops, open a newspaper, “their” it is: The outside world—the unproofread world—mocking us, torturing us, begging us to take out our red Sharpies and “fix it.” Alas, we cannot fix all this crap!
You have “know” idea what this does to us, how it twists “are” little brains into “nots”! And there seems an “occassion” for typos wherever we look! As a court reporter, “you’re” desire for a perfect world can make you “ntus”!
Maybe at the end of the day, court reporters “our” just hoping for a better “Amercia.”