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View Full Version : Just a little venting, I suppose.


Lehcar
09-26-2011, 09:53 PM
Well, now that I have identified this post as a 'vent' I feel it may or may not turn into a 'gripe'. Is there a difference? Oy ve. Forgive me.

Perhaps I could begin with a joke? That may lighten the mood and make you feel a little more open to reading the rest.

Two women are sitting on a bench.

One woman sighs. The second woman sighs just as loud.

The first woman says, "Well, enough about the children, how's your book club?"

Hyuck, hyuck.

I started seeking transcription work about a year ago. Oh goodness. I applied for a job and was given the opportunity to take a test which I tanked in the most epic of ways. I thought a solid grasp of American English grammar and thousands of hours spent perfecting my WPM in quasi-intellectual chat rooms complimenting other bored know-it-alls on exactly how much we knew about the world and how silly everyone else was could be enough to see me through my first transcription gig. I was so very, very wrong.

After that I knew that I would need to get a little more experience under my belt before I applied to an actual paying gig. *Insert a golden chorus of wrinkle-less, linen-clad angels...which, as a side note, is actually what I hear when I think of finally landing a transcription gig.* So I began to type. And type. And type. I typed transcrips of my favorite TV shows. I typed radio shows and lyrics to my favorite songs. I even typed conversations between my DH and myself (much to his dismay). Think Forest Gump's "From that point on, if I was going somewhere I was running."

I've made my mistakes along the way: I bought software/equipment/training bundle for $300 that never came in the mail; I did volunteer work for people who will never provide a reference; I took on jobs that never actually had any work to do...etc, ad nauseum.

So far I have had two job offers with seriously awesome potential that I had to turn down for the same reason: I have a 9 to 5 I am unwilling to give up. I love my job. I just deleted two paragraphs dedicated to how much I love my job. I could delete five more paragraphs dedicated to how much I love my job. Perhaps I am only cheerleading for customer service in general but this is truly the first position I have had where the management/owners are in cohoots with us peons in the Bat Cave. When my boss comes to me and says, "Take care of it," I know that he means "fix the problem, make sure it doesn't happen again, make sure they're happy" instead of "get them off the phone as cheap as possible". I know there are other positions out there that may pay more (woe unto my bank account...) and still have the same level of job satisfaction but really you have to work the specific job to know for sure and I would hate to throw away a pearl for a plastic ball.

I am not creative in the least. I'd like to think that I am creative (I present Exibits A through M: an entire room dedicated to half-finished crafts, projects and recovered junk with "potential"), who wouldn't like to think they are creative? I've tried to "blog" (poor, poor little blog-readers who suffered through my short-lived abberation about cooking), I've tried to sell crafts online (one potential customer's review: "Is that a frog?" My response: "It's a baby with a green onesie..."), I've tried Avon and Passion Parites (unfortunately at the same time...accidentally selling lipstick to someone who wants a dildo is not the best idea), I've tried everything that I could think of just to make an extra few hundred a month. No dice. I keep coming back to transcription again and again.

I'm good at it, I know I am. I follow formatting and I've gotten quite a few responses saying that my actual work was great (when I got a response at all) but my hours "suck". Yes. Someone actually told me that my available hours "suck". So much for professionalism. I can dedicate up to 8 hours a day to this position but every job lead that has responded wants me to accept, complete and submit my work between the hours of 9am to 5pm Eastern Standard Time. During those hours I am deliriously happy holding merchants' hands through swiping a card the correct way through their terminal and explaining to them the importance of settling their machine at the end of the day. Side note: I had four merchants today ask me why they haven't received their money when they didn't settle their machine for two months. Seriously? Who doesn't check their bank account for two months? Four of them?! I digress.

I've resorted to dirty texting but apparently my creative ad-libbing a la trashy romance novels falls on deaf screens. No one can take a joke anymore (who knew referring to the male member as a "throbbing frost spire" was offensive?!). Phone work is out of the question. I could barely keep a straight face through text so I doubt I would fare better live. I doubt I would have many return customers able to "seal the deal" with a giggling counterpart on the other end.

And so, here I am, plugging away searching and searching.

I must admit, this forum has been a wellspring of ideas and tips. I found six companies I have yet to apply to, one of them openly advertising for a return on a product within 24-48 hours no other schedule restrictions. What's that? Do you hear it? Yes. The chorus of angels is at it again.

There. Not so bad. Not much of a gripe or a vent and hopefully there's a happy ending.

Thank you everyone who has posted in this forum. Whether you know it or not, you inspire and assist with every post you submit.


pawp11
09-27-2011, 10:22 AM
I love your sense of humor! I joke all the time that I think I might be good at the over-the-phone work. It might confuse my dog though. :p

I hope you find something soon. All my contracts have a deadline with no strict turn in time. I can do it at 3 a.m. provided I have it in before the deadline. Some have had TATs of 24 hours to 7 days. My favorite has a TAT of approximately 48 hours. How many hours of audio are you prepared to do a week? Most companies I have dealt with don't want to bother with anyone who would do less than four hours of audio a week. That seems to be a deal breaker with some.

Good luck in your search for that hallelujah chorus!

MTHome
09-27-2011, 11:27 AM
You should look into writing. One of my cousins does it and says it won't make her rich, but it does pay the bills.

You seem to have a talent for it. :)


bostickd2@aim.com
09-27-2011, 11:37 AM
I second that motion. Looks like you will be good at a writing job. Blogging.

Lehcar
09-27-2011, 06:20 PM
I've tried blogging but really... I just don't have a competitive nature I feel is needed to create an income from blogging. It's one of those "take it or leave it" things. If I were to fall into it I would be pleasantly surprised but it isn't something I would actively pursue.

Thank you for the compliment, though!

How many hours of audio are you prepared to do a week?

I am prepared to dedicate up to 50 hours a week to transcribing.

If what I've read from this site is correct then:

1 audio hour = 4 transcribing hours for an intermediate transcriptionist or 5 hours for a beginner.

That would mean I could work on 10 audio hours per week. I'd say 8 hours just to be on the safe side.

aewtx
09-28-2011, 12:31 AM
I agree, you should look into writing professionally. You're hilarious.

Anyways, I'm a newbie too. From my understanding, there are lots of transcription jobs out there available that let you work on your own timeline, as long as it is turned in by the deadline. While there are some that do require set hours, there are more that don't. So I'm sure you'll find one soon enough.

In the meantime, try your hand at SpeechInk for real transcription work for practice (vs writing out movie scripts). The audios are usually about 3-minute clips, and they will also give you a report on where there were errors. It's a really great tool to know where you need to improve. You get paid for these too (There, I found you a lone chorus angel. Maybe the rest will show up when you get a real gig.).

Also, for a great reference on transcription formatting styles, I downloaded the Style Guide from Tigerfish (PDF file). It details the differences between verbatim and non-verbatim formats, timecoding, etc., in a clear and concise way, and with examples for each. Every company has a different formatting style, but I have found this is a great general reference sheet for me as a newbie that still can't remember all the different information on formatting.

Good luck!

On a side note, I'm in the process of setting up a creative blog if you would like to take a look at it. I've got different craft tutorials on it, as well as recipes. It's ImaginationStationCreations (dot) webs (dot) com. (I am a creative person - I'm a designer by trade.) This month has been crazy for me, so it's not completely ready (pictures and such), but I hope to have everything up and running by the end of next month. *Knock on wood*. I also plan to have challenges, when I eventually get enough participants. I'd love for you to check it out, you seem so interesting! haha

IAmSusan
10-03-2011, 09:24 AM
Wait. So that wasn't a frog? For real? LOL

That post cracked me up, and I needed it today while climbing a mountain of horrible audio!

Susan

Well, now that I have identified this post as a 'vent' I feel it may or may not turn into a 'gripe'. Is there a difference? Oy ve. Forgive me.

I am not creative in the least. I'd like to think that I am creative (I present Exibits A through M: an entire room dedicated to half-finished crafts, projects and recovered junk with "potential"), who wouldn't like to think they are creative? I've tried to "blog" (poor, poor little blog-readers who suffered through my short-lived abberation about cooking), I've tried to sell crafts online (one potential customer's review: "Is that a frog?" My response: "It's a baby with a green onesie..."), I've tried Avon and Passion Parites (unfortunately at the same time...accidentally selling lipstick to someone who wants a dildo is not the best idea), I've tried everything that I could think of just to make an extra few hundred a month. No dice. I keep coming back to transcription again and again.

ksmusselman
10-19-2011, 10:48 PM
You should look into writing. One of my cousins does it and says it won't make her rich, but it does pay the bills.

You seem to have a talent for it. :)

I was thinking the same thing!!!

Have you looked into doing little gigs here & there on fiverr.com? I made about $200 in a couple of weeks just doing little video transcripts; nothing more than 4 min. long for $5.00.

You can also write articles for other people who need content on their websites/blogs. Actually YOU could start a blog, get a huge following and then monetize the blog with AdSense and other paid ads. People are making tons of cash doing that.

Yes, all of that takes work - BUT - if you do a great job transcribing a few little 3-5 min. videos, you could pick yourself up a good following, some testimonials and work for yourself instead of waiting on larger companies to "hire" you - Hire Yourself!!

Your post sounds like you have a lot of talent for humorous writing. I think I'd put that to work before the transcription. Just my 2c.

Good luck!!

ksmusselman
10-19-2011, 10:56 PM
I've tried blogging but really... I just don't have a competitive nature I feel is needed to create an income from blogging. It's one of those "take it or leave it" things. If I were to fall into it I would be pleasantly surprised but it isn't something I would actively pursue.

Thank you for the compliment, though!


Rethink that - reposition yourself here. No competition required when you're blogging about what YOU want to blog about.

What you do is set up your blog as simply a daily journal of your trials and tribulations in finding work from home. You post what you would post here - your rants and vents, good stuff, bad stuff, etc. Your post above is exactly what people like to read. It's funny; it's down to earth, it's real.

What happens is your blog will gain a following on its own. It will naturally attract attention and with that attention comes clicks on links that are inside the blog.

So while you may not be "actively pursuing" it as a form of generating an income, it will eventually generate income on its own while all you do is write about stuff - whatever stuff you want to write about.

Just a thought...

Lainie23
10-24-2011, 10:42 AM
I agree that you're funny. You should look into writing. A few off the top of my head would be Associated Content, Demand Studios, Hub Pages, and of course your own blog.

In fact, if you can copywrite, I am looking for someone who knows transcription to write blogs for me (400-500 words). E-mail me at lainie (at) magiscript (dot) com if you're interested, and think you can write on that topic. Just let me know exactly who you are.

Also, my transcription company has 24-48 hour turnarounds. E-mail my assistant at anna (at) magiscript (dot) com and she'll send you a test and stuff.

ksmusselman
11-06-2011, 09:55 PM
You should look into writing. One of my cousins does it and says it won't make her rich, but it does pay the bills.

You seem to have a talent for it. :)

That was my first impression too immediately after reading this!

Okay - here's something that might help. Stop thinking about working for someone else around their schedule and trying to work for larger transcription companies that expect the transcript to be done within X amount of hours on the same day rather than 'I need this back in a couple of days.'

If you put up a simple website or even just post your services on craigslist, thumbtack.com and some other online directories, you can even skip taking tests for anyone.

I can't remember the last time I had to take a "test" to get a "job." And since you already have a full time job that you love, you don't need another "job." You need something that will work around YOUR schedule, not the other way around.

I read this a lot in these forums about these companies not "hiring" because the work wasn't good enough, couldn't follow directions, etc. So why bother? Skip the middle guy! Go out and market yourself with your writing abilities!

Believe me, there are lots of people out there who need transcription services (some may not even know they do, but they do!) and since they're business owners and entrepreneurs, they're not going to give you a test or ask that you work certain hours. They're just going to say, "Can you get this back to me by the end of the week?" They don't even give a crap what time of the day you do it. As long as it gets done.

I have a couple of clients like that. "Here's your next video." It's a 3-minute video and I get paid $5.00 ($3.90 net after PayPal), and I have TWO DAYS to get it done.

No particular formatting; they're going to code it for an html page or upload it to their WordPress anyway, so all they need are words in a file. What can be easier than that?

When you have the experience and you've got a couple of testimonials to back you up, you don't have to deal with anyone who thinks that YOUR hours "suck." Shoot, THEIR hours suck because they have to report in at a certain time, work during certain hours, meet specific tight deadlines. What could be suckier than that? LOL

And tests? Who needs them? Just on a whim earlier this year I decided to test for a company that I worked with - ready - 5 YEARS ago. They were the first company I worked with and the contact person and I got along great. She said my work was awesome and she wished she a few more of me.

That was five years ago. Earlier this year? I got denied because my work wasn't up to par. EXCUSE ME? Sheeeiiitt. Different contact person and I guess pickier people today. Who knows. I don't know. I didn't even ask why I was declined. I really didn't care. I actually sat here and laughed at the email.

But anyway, I'd move on. Take your hilarious writing skills (jealous - wish I could write that well!), typing skills, etc., build a WordPress site highlighting your skills, throw up a couple of videos talking about your skills, toss in a couple of content pages talking about what you do, why you do it and why people should contact you for whatever transcription you like to do.

That's just what I would do.

Oh, and compete with me on fiverr.com Might not sound like much, but I made about $250 last month doing transcription and PowerPoint videos. :-) No tests. No horrible deadlines and on my own hours. :-)