Lemons or Lemonade

After a week that included several very challenging transcription assignments, we asked one of our most experienced professional transcribers what she considers to be her biggest challenge in providing best-in-class transcripts to Transcription 2000 Services' impressive client list.  We found her answer interesting and decided to share her thoughts with you. 

"Corrinne" responded in an email: "There certainly are lots of challenges in this business of providing professional-quality transcripts. Some of the challenges I deal with are actually positives. I love putting on my "quick-thinking" cap to decipher obscure names, terminology, acronyms and such. Since I'm almost always working against a ticking clock, I find the challenge to be like mental aerobics, a super-charged workout for my brain. So I'm not daunted at all by highly technical or industry-specific terminology -- bring it on! 

Over the years, I've also become very comfortable with transcribing speakers for whom English is not their first language. After a while you get to know what to listen for with an Asian speaker versus a Brit versus someone from India. In addition, because of my years of experience and the confidence I've gained over time, I'm almost always able to work quickly enough to meet what are often pretty challenging time deadlines.  So overall, I think I'm pretty well equipped to handle most of the challenges we face in this demanding profession.

But my biggest challenge? Simply put:  I can't transcribe what I can't hear.  That's the one challenge which is sometimes just beyond my ability to overcome.   Whether it's poor audio quality related to an outdated recording system, or lack of attention to microphone placement at a business symposium, or several people talking simultaneously while papers are being shuffled next to the microphone in a conference room setting, those are the type of challenges that have me reaching for the Tylenol and Tums. Even though I understand that these type of issues are simply beyond my control, I'm still really disappointed when I'm not able to submit a picture-perfect transcript. It's a pride thing."

We can commiserate with Suzy's occasional frustration -- unfortunately, it's a challenge we sometimes have to deal with in this profession. Thankfully, the vast majority of our clients understand that even the most determined efforts made by our best-of-the-best experienced transcribers on occasion are not able to make lemonade out of lemons. These clients understand the value of a complete and accurate transcript and work as partners with us to provide an audio environment that helps ensure we get the desired outcome. 

We both understand that great lemonade doesn't come easy.