I Work From Home So I Make My Own Hours? Yeah Right!

When you work from home, everyone thinks you have time for everything besides work. You can chat, run an errand, babysit, volunteer to bake for a friend’s upcoming dinner – anything, because you work from home.

The phone will ring and you say “I have to get back to work” and the person on the other end laughs and keeps on talking.  They know there is no time clock for you.  They do not get the idea of deadlines.  After all, you do work from home.

The doorbell rings and even though you know better than to answer it, they see your car in the driveway and continue to ring the bell or worse, bang loudly on the door itself, so grudgingly you welcome them in for a quick chat.

Kids will come into the room with the most inane questions or comments.  It seems as if they never want to talk until you say “I have work to do.”  They are easy though, just mention chores and they find a way to leave you alone.

The pets will make a mess that can’t wait to be cleaned up, the kids are hungry, the laundry basket grows fuller, the kitchen sink is full, the floors need attention from the vacuum, and the dust just keeps piling up.

So why do we work from home?

Because we can make our own hours?  There is nothing to make – the clock gives us 24 hours in a day, and sometimes we use them all and then some not to mention 7 days a week.

Because we can be with the family more?  Yeah, when they constantly interrupt with questions, because they are nowhere to be found when the work is done and the chores are next on the list.  And scheduling a family hour is just as hard sometimes as scheduling a week of vacation.

Because we can concentrate better?  Have you read above?

Actually, in my world, I work from home (actually let’s get this straight, most of us have an office within our home – yes it makes a difference) because I can be home for my family and friends, for the chores that need to be done, and for my pets, as well as the work that must be done for my clients.

I work from home because I can work 24 hours in a day if I wish, or 17, or 8 or even 2 depending on the workload.   Being available longer hours increases my chances of being able to help others, and in the long run, we all win.  I work from home because I can take care of business, take care of my family and take care of myself much better even with the added stress, longer hours, and many interruptions.

Lastly, I work from home because I find that I can learn more, do more and love it more when I am in the office I designed, organized just how I like it, and able to have those distractions to remind me that there are reasons why I work at all.  And the best part is the dress code!!!

I love what I do but it is not just what I do, it is who I am.

I am proud to be a mom, friend, sister.  I am proud to say that I am a US Transcription Company owner, transcriptionist, educator, and mentor with a home-based office.  I love the work I do for the journalist, writer, doctor, and corporation – from their most difficult audio to their voice mails to their conversion of PDF to WORD documents.  Those that work in a conventional office or those that like me that find working at home a way of life.  Feel free to bang on my door anytime.  Coffee is always on.


The Check is in the Mail Economy

I am tired of this “check is in the mail” economy struggle.

My clients have work.  I have plenty of work.  My IC’s have plenty of work, and we are diligent in our invoicing and billing.  We work hard and generate the income.  But when the check is in the mail economy rears its ugly head every month, it makes taking care of our own very difficult.

That money we had saved has been used to cover expenses.  That 401K has become grocery money for many.  The only market we check out is the grocery market.

All because of the check is in the mail economy.

If all of the checks in the mail were to show up tomorrow, we all may just be able to pay our mortgage, buy our groceries, take care of our utilities and other bills, and possibly put a little back into our 401K or other retirement plan.

Until then, when the phone rings and it is our credit card company or other bill calling us – we just tell them that we are working hard, we are cutting costs, we are eating macaroni and cheese five nights a week and the other two its eggs (they come in bulk you know – 12 in a carton) and that because of our wonderful economy we have a legitimate excuse – the check is in the mail and we are waiting for it too!!


Things I Love About Being a Transcriptionist

Just a few of the fun things that make others go “why?” and me go “why not?”

1.  The audio sent at 9 a.m. and need back by 10 a.m. – of course it is a 50 minute file.

2.  The audio sent that has only the interviewer (oops).

3.  The audio recorded outside in a crowded restaurant and the recorder is placed on the table next to the clinking glasses.  (not to mention the full mouths or the recorder taken to the bathroom by the doctor taking a moment to handle more than one business matter.)

4.  The audio with so many false starts, you can’t figure out what is being said at all.  You know, I mean, but, yes, just like that.

5. The speaker who says one thing so often you can auto-text it –  pick one – Yeah, yeah, yeah.  Right, right, right.  You know.  Okay, okay, okay.  I mean.  UHM,

6.  The doctor that starts out with the right hand, goes on to the left hand, comes back to the right hand and then says “transcriptionist please fix” without noting which is correct.

7.  The audio recorded on cell phone while driving through a tunnel so that every other word sounds like “OLIKEALHED”.

8.  The audio with ESL (English Second Language), which is usually fine, except that this time they speak in half-broken English and half whatever language is native.  Something like, “Hello.  Yes ja razumijem što si rekao very clearly.”

9.  The speaker who thinks we can SEE what they are pointing at.  “This here is what we call this column here.”

10.  The speaker who truly believes sounds can be transcribed understandably and uses them throughout their speech. Swoosh, Whoot, Whrrr whrrr.

Seriously…all very treasured moments in my line of business, especially when we can produce the best possible document in spite of it all.

We learn about things – random things through our work.  Ask me about cloud computing, real estate, foods, benchmarks, loan rates, pension plans, student savings plans, the stock market, parenting, any medical illness, drugs, LGBT and the military, credit scores, the movies, empowerment, the economy, and yes – the best new sex secrets and gadgets too.   (Actually you can ask, but unless its published, we take  our confidentiality of all work we do very, very seriously, so we may not answer – but you can ask.)

From seminars, to one on one interviews, to multiple speaker interviews (where everyone speaks at once), to presentations, coaching calls (no not the sex topic) to website material for posting, celebrity interviews, round table discussions, educational reports, and even voice mails.  If it is in any audio format or even written form – we can convert it into a document that will knock your socks off most times.  (Sex topic especially).

My career choice is an ongoing education with many, many educators.   They are not our words.  They are not our stories – we just make it a bit easier for you to get yours out there.

Learning is part of my job.  Transcribing is my career.  Loving what I do makes being a transcriptionist so much fun and worthwhile.


Why I Am Not Journalist!

I love to write.  I love to do research.  I love to read.  So, why am I not a journalist?  Because I love to write, but I read much better.

Seriously, though –

Because your job is harder than mine.

You are given or come up with a topic.  You work hard to find the right resources and work out a schedule to interview those resources and gather all the necessary information and make a powerful,  informative article that people will want to read.  Sounds easy to some, but I know better.

The topic must be something that you are familiar with, interested in, or can at least relate to.  Or for those who just have wonderful skills, be able to KNOW how to sponge the information from various research for use in a fabulous paper for print.

Resources can be anyone.  Can ramble so badly that you want to shout – GET TO THE POINT, or worse, could answer your questions without really answering your questions. Occasionally the smooth, precise, clear speaker is found, but it is a rarity. (trust me, this I do know.)

Scheduling the interviews – Resources can schedule the interview and change ten minutes before it was to begin, as if their time is the only time to consider, or can start the interview and have to go due to some conflicting appointment after just 5 minutes, or even want to do the interview so early in the morning or middle of the night – just because they can.  Others just want to talk to hear themselves talk and can go on and on and on.  For these however, many of you have your interview stopping statement to bring it to a close, and are so charming when you use it.

Those items can be tough enough, but what’s worse is when you are interviewing someone who is so arrogant, uninteresting, incoherent, or a double talker.  Someone who assumes you know nothing at all, questions your abilities and knowledge and lets you know it.  Or someone who said they could help you in your mission for a really good story and you find out they really have nothing at all. For example, you asked about really great marble to use in a bathroom remodel and they talk about port-a-potties.  You know what I mean.  And many of you are so diplomatic that you find something – anything – this person has talked about in order to say it was not a wasted appointment.

And then there are times the interview goes well.  You have what you need and you find that you did the entire 50 minute interview and forgot to turn on your recorder, or it malfunctions during the interview (or after), or your computer crashes and you lose the entire kit and caboodle.

All of this is just the items I can decipher from transcribing your interviews.  All of this is what amazes me when I see your final product after publication and am amazed how wonderful it is.  Your job is much harder than mine.

I just transcribe the interviews and other material.  If I had to deal with just that kind of “stuff” I would probably be unemployed from saying something like “hey, Buddy, do me a favor and just answer the damn question.  And while you’re at it, can you pay attention to what you are responding to and stop eating or calling out to your friends who are walking by as you talk to me,  and hey buddy – the phone works better when you talk into it.  Can you get any closer to the man yelling in the background, I am not hearing what he is so mad about.  I was ready yesterday for our 10 a.m. appointment and you changed it to 3 a.m. so how about pay attention to the questions so I can go back to bed.”

Me, I can sit here, transcribe your audio, and smile…better you than me.  I will just wait for you to go to print and see how amazing you made the information into something that others can understand and draw from.

That is why I am not a journalist.  I am just a transcriptionist, here to type your audio, help you meet your deadlines and watch you take all that hard work you do and make an article worth reading, sharing, and discussing for months and months.

Better you than me.   I will stick to reading your articles thus remaining employed.

Make plans to attend the ASJA 2012.   Conference in NYC.  There you can share other wonderful stories and find ways to deal with the stresses and absurdities of your profession that you love so much.


Made in the USA

I remember looking for my first job and being able to go just about anywhere to start part time after school. A laundromat, a pharmacy, a sub shop.  I remember working full time in what I called a computer warehouse – where the receipts from major department stores were processed by hand.  My aunt worked in the Black & Decker manufacturing plant making the tools so many loved.  I had so many friends that had parents who worked in textiles, designing and sewing clothing.  I remember working on a farm during the summers as a young adult.

I remember when I was growing up watching the TV commercials telling us to “look for the made in USA label.  Everyone was proud to say they bought American.  From clothing to autos to tools and furniture.

I have to ask myself  – What Happened?

Today, looking for that first job is a job in itself.  More and more companies are off shoring work and if they think it helps our economy, they are sadly mistaken.  Many of you may have seen the video – how not to hire American seen here:  http://bit.ly/8aGx4

I again have to ask Why?

Could this attitude be the reason many young people starting out have the attitude – why bother?  Could this attitude be the reason we don’t see those commercials anymore?  could this be why so many have concerns over our unemployment rate and at the same time the rate of illegal immigration into our country?

Work being sent offshore even affects our education system.  Many kids nowadays feel they have no need to go to college because they do not plan on ever working overseas.  Why pay for an education when the jobs that require it are no longer here?

I mean even our pet food is made overseas.  Our toys are produced overseas.  Why?  Is it because of better quality – No.  It is because it costs less to produce, and in some cases, as evidenced by global recalls – less quality.

Why can’t someone somewhere put the money here to begin a business that will produce jobs that will produce quality products with a label – Made in the USA?  Why can’t every nation, use their residential resources to build their economy by using their natives to develop their products and be proud to do it? Why is the first place people look to save a buck off shore?

Now don’t get me wrong.  I am all for the best possible people to do the best possible job.  Just don’t tell me you can’t find it within our shores.

I am sure money earned is better than no money earned.  Ask those people on the unemployment line.  They would be proud to work  and earn anything and would be proud they produced anything that read – Made In America.  Don’t tell me you can’t find educated, skilled, reliable, professional and Proud Americans to work for you.  I know different.

I am proud to own and operate an entirely US company.  Many people may off shore their work to save a buck.  What they choose to do is up to them.  I prefer to be able to say – my work – it was Made in the USA.

Why is a Great US Transcriptionist Important? I Will Tell You Why.

In this day and age, many professionals find the process of having their words transcribed in an accurate and detailed manner one of the toughest parts of their profession.  Many US professionals feel that off-shoring the audio for transcription is cost-effective, however the accuracy is lost due to the misunderstanding of the English language and the various manners in which people speak. They may save money on the transcription, but place more time and money into the editing of the transcripts.

Those in the medical field are finding that insurance companies and hospital administrators are demanding all items be dictated and transcribed, documenting every treatment, decision and prescription.  Having this completed and documented in the patient’s chart in a timely fashion is pertinent to the care and treatment of patients for several reasons:

In dealing with patients who have any type of disorder, having the written document of instructions, treatment plan etc helps the physician know that their patient understands what is going on in their care after they leave the appointment.  It affords the physician the knowledge that he has covered all bases available and given the detailed instructions, assisting in any liability claims he may come across in the future.  It allows all parties involved to document and review care given and projected treatment and assessments of the patient so that other medical professionals do not have to redo testing and treatments that may have already been done.

A journalist/writer/author must have their audio transcribed clearly and accurately so the truth in their work is unquestionable and forthright.  Transcribing  this audio accurately not only gives the author the ability to use the words and develop a terrific story, but it also shows the “flavor” of the spoken word and the attitude, and even in some cases the experience of the speaker, allowing the author/writer to “showcase” that in their work.

A great transcriptionist will take the audio of a client, tape or electronically recorded, and develop their reports noting every detail that has been dictated.  They will review the transcripts and if there appears to be a “problem” (example – medication dose, frequency, name of source, or inaudible word/phrase, etc) they will transcribe what is dictated but will flag this for the client to review.  They will review and proof their work so that the client can then review and verify accuracy and completeness, possibly finding a “hole” in the story and be able to follow through.

A great transcriptionist takes pride in their abilities and spends a lot of time and money to hone their trade and continue the learning process as well as maintain their equipment and programs to stay on top of the demanding needs of their clients.

A great US transcriptionist is important to our US clients in order to provide the best possible project, and the ability to negotiate our rates to accommodate  our clients is just part of what a great transcriptionist considers part of their job.

If you haven’t tried a US Transcriptionist lately, maybe you should.  We are here and we are not going anywhere…


A 100 Watt Light Bulb Moment – Voice Mail – No Problem

Have your voice mail transcribe by a US owned and operated transcription company for the same cost as other companies (Service starts 4/1/2010).  Contact me now to set up your account!

I have spent a lot of time marketing my transcription company and all the possibilities we can do for you.  I have added programs and system to allow me to accept just about every type of audio file out there at any time day or night – and get them transcribed for you with quality in a timely fashion.  I thought I had it covered, then a client/friend gave me a light bulb moment.

This light bulb moment allows me to expand my business and features I currently offer clients.  Will I make a fortune – probably not.  But if it helps my clients, and new clients, get on with their day and meet their own goals – then I have a win-win situation going all the way around.

I researched and found that YES, I can do this too.  I can offer the service to those who have their voice files transcribed for a comparable rate and return the transcripts to them in a comparable time frame as those other companies that do it, and with any luck, with better quality.

So I had a light bulb moment.  As of April 1, 2010, CLK Transcription, Inc. will in fact offer transcription of voice mail as a separate feature from the everyday transcription of seminars, conferences, interviews, phone conversations, webinars, and everything else audio that we handle.

For existing clients, the voice mail would be noted on your regular invoice with the number of calls and total billed in addition to the usual transcription we do for you.  For new clients, if you choose to only have your voice mail transcribed, your invoice will show the number of calls transcribed and the total billed in an easy to read format.

Contact me to set up your account today.  This service will begin April 1, 2010.   And yes, if you refer a friend to CLK Transcription during March 2010, there is still a $5.00 reward for both you and your referral (for their first over $15.00 and your next invoice period.)

And finally, thanks to flipping the light switch for me – you know who you are!!!!

Yes, it will be a new undertaking and a new path on my journey, but one I look forward to taking.

If interested in this new service  provided by CLK Transcription effective 4/1/2010, contact me at CarolLee@clktranscription.com.

A Transcriptionist’s Path…The Journey of a Woman in Business

I have not always been a transcriptionist/transcription company owner.

When I was younger I thought how wonderful it would be to be a teacher.  Then I began to write and thought it would be wonderful to have my poetry published, and when I did, it was great but I had to be honest with myself – not everyone likes poetry and my writing style is not polished and I did not have the patience to polish it in order to support myself and a family.  I still wanted to do those things, but had to understand how to do both in a way that was suitable for me and my skills.

My “career” path led me to try my hand at equestrian registration and monitoring, banking and brokerage, and health care – and then ultimately transcription.  I have not always been a transcriptionist/transcription company owner, but the path I took has assisted me in my journey and beyond.

I started in The Jockey Club many moons ago.  My first REAL job – registering thoroughbred horses for racing, and working on their export/import documentation.  During that time, while working my part-time job at a Burger King, I was approached by an employment agency executive and asked to apply for a position he had at Daiwa Securities America.  He told me he saw something in me that would make me shine.  (Thanks Mario S. for giving me a real shot.)  I LOVED it.  I worked my way up and held a position as assistant compliance/new accounts/registration administrator and got to know people from all over the world in all areas of business and finance.  The people were fantastic, the job was wonderful and educational, and I was respected for the work I did.

After an illness, I found myself in awe of the medical industry.  Not for the hands-on side.  I knew I did not have the talent for that.  I appreciate and hold great respect for those who have this gift, and a gift it is, but I could never do what they do.  But I do have a talent for organization, research, record management, and an eye for detail in documentation.  So I handled medical charts for home care agencies, handled their reconciliations of receipts/payments, scheduled home care workers…and again found that I loved the job.  It was while doing this that I found my mentors.

Barbara Rossoff and Michele Tiger of Omega Home Health Care taught me so much and allowed me to grow both personally and professionally.  They allowed me to see that the one thing I wanted to do with my career was to own my own business and to do what I know I can do well – research and record management, utilize my skill for details and documentation.   I wanted to be a proud professional woman in business owning and running my own business.

Yes, there were jobs held consecutively and other jobs here and there that have given me the experience I needed to move on to my goal- and each one taught me more.  They were never medial to me. I took many continuing education courses, seminars, attended conferences, read everything I could get my hands on, on every topic I could think of…wanting to know something about everything…nothing was considered mundane or boring.  I wanted to explore the English language – the spoken word – the why and how they were used – the meaning of each one used individually and each one used with others in the thoughts of many.  I wanted to learn the many facets of documentation and the importance of the details that others require in their profession.  I worked hard to grow professional and personally.  I kept my goal in sight.

Now as a transcription company owner, I can use the path I took and each personal lesson learned along the way to better myself.  I can manage my own books and records.  I can organize my life, my office, and my home environment where it works best for me.  I can use the path to assist me with the transcriptions I do – the job I do,  to better what I offer my clients.

If I get an interview or conference or seminar with a topic on banking – I know where to start.  Health care or medical reports – I got that covered.  The details of the format requested and why it MUST be done the way it is requested.  The importance of documenting and detailing the words of others.  Everyday conversations about anything – it all means more to me.  I listen to the words and understand what is being said – not just each word spoken that forms a sentence.  I learned that what people say and HOW they say it are equally important.  And what I don’t know – I have the research skills to find it or the ability to admit that I can’t.  I know I have a base of professionals to guide me through the process and I know how to use the tools given me to do the best I can.

My path has led me to where I am today.  I pull from my path daily to attempt to give my clients the best product possible.

And teaching  is still with me.  I assist transcriptionists who are independent contractors, who have their dream and who have spent time and money to start their path in this wonderful career choice we have made.   I enjoy growing with them

The most important part of my path was the ability to understand that perfection is a dream and not a goal, so when I miss my mark, I work to improve and correct my steps, but I understand I will trip and sometimes fall.  My goal is to remember that and just do my best and get up and keep on learning during my journey.

My path may have begun in one direction and made many turns along the way – but each turn has created a new resting place for a bit of knowledge that I can go back and rely on, and the path has made the journey all that much more exciting. I am a proud professional woman in business.

I wouldn’t want it any other way.

Transcriptionist – it’s not just what I do – it is who I am!!!!!

Follow, Friend, Connections…

I am positive that social media can keep us in touch with those we care about in a direct but less intrusive way than say a weekly coffee clutch with a family member/friend that after 5 minutes you wish you could show the door…I mean we love them but…

I am positive that social media can also help businesses grow.  They can educate us on items we thought we knew or didn’t think we should know.  They can be our best friends for our company’s growth and reputation.  It can talk more about our work than the actual work itself in some cases.

I am selective on who I follow on Twitter.  I am selective on who I “friend” on Facebook.  I am even more selective on my connections with LinkedIn.  Why you ask?

Because Facebook is friends and family with a smattering of people I associate with for my business.  I added professional people to this after trying to keep it just family and friends (always cautious when I mix the personal with business) but adding the professionals and “knowing” them and their “thoughts” as well as the information they share adds to my research library for the work I may end up doing for them.  I also find many of them to be really great and fascinating people regardless of whether I will ever work for them again (but please send work).

If they interview about a new drug, a celebrity, lifestyle possibility, financial opportunities, great museums, parenting topics, a new marketing strategy, et cetera, chances are they also mentioned it on FB and I can find that seemingly unintelligible word somewhere in the information they posted.

LinkedIn is just for clients or potential clients.  I certainly would not my friends and family coming on there and mentioning how they saw me at the grocery store with my hair a mess and no makeup on…it is irrelevant to the business plan I have for myself.  I like the idea my clients, past and present, can post a recommendation (or not) and I have a central location to send people to rather than request it repeatedly when necessary.  My clients are too busy to interrupt for a recommendation every month, so… I also find I can more effectively talk about my business and my business plan with other professionals without “personality” coming through from others who think they may be doing me a favor.

Twitter is a different animal.  I do follow my business associates, and theirs (as many as I can find) – I enjoy being able to spread their words and their opinions – especially if I agree although not mandatory.   I follow friends because it is a quick update one their day without having to pick up the phone and talk for hours on end.  And again, it gives me insight into their personalities better than the “watch what I say” attitude on FB.  I follow others who I have found to have similar interests, similar attitudes, and just plain interesting Tweets.

Twitter also allows me to market to a wider audience IF my tweets happen to get re-tweeted or mentioned elsewhere.  I have not been so lucky with this so far, but lucky enough I have to say.  But I Tweet what means most to me and what I find interesting and what someone somewhere might find interesting.  I certainly do not care if the world does not revolve around my Tweets, but an occasional mention here and there is enough to start.

I am also positive that there are just some things I don’t need to know…for my business or for me personally or even for my friends and colleagues.  Much of this is found only on Twitter because of the vast amount of Tweets sent on any given day – hell any given minute.  I also know that unlike LinkedIn or FB, if you don’t follow people, they can get downright offended on Twitter.  But seriously folks, why would I follow someone who just wanted to share minute by minute their day, when I don’t know them or anything about them except that they walk down this street, talk to this person, and eat this food.  And I certainly do not need to know how big their “deck” is, or who they slept with last night.  I promise I won’t share this with you either – and not because my life is so uninteresting either – just because I really don’t think too many out there will care either.

So, yes I am selective on who I follow and who I friend and who I connect with.   I am not saying you have to say something constructive to me all the time, or meaningful to me personally all the time – but something that would be interesting to others I know so I can reTweet or repost…something that may come in handy in the future, something that makes me go “hum”, something that teaches me something about something I knew little about, something to lift my day – just something about SOMETHING once in a while would be nice.   Just splash it in between the other Tweets and you will have my attention.

Oh and of course, if you need a transcription of your words – it doesn’t matter what you say, I am here to help.  I will even follow you and repost, retweet, and help in the marketing of  it for you.

Because in the end, the idea that you said it and I transcribed it MAY just get passed along as well.  Because isn’t that what social media marketing is all about anyway?  You want what you say to be talked about – positive or negative?  I know I want what I say to be talked about.  And we both want what we do to be known.  And no one needs to know that you slept with a celebrity want-to-be and regretted it.  That can be our secret.  (See my views on confidentiality)

Happy Social Media Connections, Friending, and Tweeting everyone.  Hope to read you soon.


In my business, confidentiality is a must.  I believe that all business has some areas of confidentiality that must be maintained.

Recently I have come across individuals that feel everything in business should be known – legal, contractual, employment, etc.  At the same time they will state that legal, contractual and employment information should remain confidential – of course when it applies to something they are involved with only.  Double Standard – ABSOLUTELY.

The shareholders, or members of a corporation are entitled to information, however ensuring accurate and detailed and complete information is given is utmost importance.  When confidentiality is breached – the risk of misinformation inaccurate information, and personal attitudes added to the information is rampant.  Information – whether it is a corporates board meeting, a journalists writings, or a topic of a round table discussion should only be provided by those who can maintain the integrity of the information and only when they want the information released.

I believe when confidence is destroyed by a breach – any and all cost associated with the fallout should be the responsibility of the breacher.

Whether the information is sensitive or not is not the issue.  If it is deemed confidential – regardless of someone else’s opinion of the information – it should remain confidential until such time the release will do no harm – big or small.

This information should never be released without full knowledge of any board, administration or legal entity, or any originator of the work, and when released should be released in full detail in an unbiased manner, and with the attitude of author/developer of the material only.

In my world, promising confidences is giving my word and my integrity.   My work depends on it, and so does the work of my clients.

So, when asked – do I sign a  confidentiality agreement – YOU BET.  But my confidence is implied with any project I accept, whether you have an agreement or not.