Pet Peeves

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Hello everybody,

After a day of transcribing on a new client system that is absolutely horrible – it’s taking me three times the amount of time to transcribe the work – I wanted to discuss a couple of pet peeves I have:

1). IM etiquette. If I hang up a busy sign in my IM profile, this means I am BUSY – don’t interrupt me! People will ask then, why if you are busy do you sign into IM, and the short answer to this is because if my clients need to contact me, they can. They know that the busy sign up there does not apply to them. Unfortunately, it does apply to everyone else. That’s why I have email – you can email me and I can get back to you in my own time. If there’s a “Do Not Disturb” hanging on an office or a hotel door, people do not disturb them – this folks is the 21st version of the same thing.

My frustrations are not limited to the virtual world.

2). Doorbell ringers. In South Africa we have a combination of factors that can become really annoying to some poor transcriptionist trying to work out of the back office of her suburban home. Factor one – horrible crime rates mean that we live behind big, high security gates and walls. Factor two – high gates necessitate an intercom on the outside gate. Factor three – unemployment, which leads to many hawkers walking the streets trying to make a living for themselves.

Hence you have me, the transcriptionist in the back office of her house working to a deadline and trying her hardest to get through a string of things before the kids come home from school – just recovered from the interruption of an IM coming through a busy sign – when – bing bong, bing bong!! Off go the headphones, and up I get to peer through the window to see who is at the gate. Turns out this is not somebody I’m expecting, and moreover, it’s a hawker, selling a ware I don’t need, and I’ve given my last R2 – yes, my last – to my son for charity at his school that morning. I ignore the bell. Yes, I know you can see me through the window. The fact that I’ve looked at you and walked away should be some kind of hint that I’m not interested. So why, why, does the hawker ring the bell again – and keep ringing it, until I’m forced to get up again and say something impatient throgh the intercom? If I market my service to a client, and I don’t get a response, I realise that now just isn’t the best time, and I move on. I’m not alone in my feeling on this. See what author Damaria Senne has to say about this:

Next blog post will be on pet peeves particularly related to transcribing.