Unique Coffee Mugs only Court Reporters Would Understand

by AbbyFitz

You can't just run to Wal-Mart when you or a court reporter you know needs a funny or inspirational gift to brighten their day. These mugs are custom made just for reporters.

If you've been a court reporter for any length of time, sitting there silently on the sidelines, writing every spoken word has no doubt given you time to think.

It's your job to be neutral, but sometimes with the caliber of people in the room it's hard not to formulate opinions.

For instance, how many times have you told everyone that only one person can speak at a time?

How about when attorneys get the bright idea of ordering lunch and eating during the depo to save time while you're sitting there starving?

And don't even get a court reporter started on the subject of grammar.

Some of these cups are inspirational, some are downright hilarious, but all of them are perfect for that special court reporter in your life.

When Court Reporters Attack...

Nothing will make a court reporter turn on you quicker than talking over each other.

stressed out court reporterWhen I was fresh out of court reporting school, I was ready to conquer the world.

Then I had my first deposition with attorneys who couldn't even stand to be in the same room together and a witness who wanted to answer a question before it was asked.

I learned the hard way that scenario is more often the rule than the exception.

At first I'd sit there silently, fighting to get everything down. However, I was secretly hoping my audio was catching everything I wasn't.

Now I'm a little wiser and braver. Heck, I'm not above telling everyone to calm down and speak one at a time.

Not that they listen to me, though.

What part of "I can only take down one person at a time" do you not understand?
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Let's Eat Lunch in Front of the Reporter Who Can't

Eating in front of a hungry court reporter during the proceedings? Yeah, that's not cool.

In any other professional arena, it's perfectly acceptable to save time by eating lunch while working.

In a deposition, that doesn't work so well.

While attorneys are sitting there chomping on their hamburger and fries in between questions, the lowly court reporter is starving, but still faithfully taking down every word.

I once had a lawyer ask me if it was okay to order everyone lunch and eat during the depo. I politely told him it would be a little difficult for me to do that unless I suddenly sprouted an extra arm.

He took the hint and took a 30 minute lunch.

 

You want to work through lunch? No problem...just let me grow that third arm!
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Court Reporters: Recording the fall of the English language on a daily basis

If you look up the phrase "Grammar Nazi" in the dictionary, the definition would be court reporter.

Until I became a court reporter, I didn't even know what a Grammar Nazi was.

Now everyone tells me I've become one.

But, really, you can only listen to people say non-existent words like irregardless, supposably, or, more irritatingly, pacifically so many times before you just lose it.

So if you're a friend of a court reporter and we correct you, just give us a break. We hear witnesses on a daily basis who have no clue what grammar even is.

We're trying to save the English language and we're starting with you.

Seriously...it's called grammar. You should try it sometime.
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Not all stenographers are in the courtroom. Learn what other career opportunities are available to court reporting graduates.

Practice: The Necessary Evil

There's a special kind of purgatory for reporters. It's called court reporting school.

When prospective students sign up for court reporting school, they have no idea what they're in for. They're all full of enthusiasm and can't wait to become a working reporter.

Poor souls.

And then reality smacks them in the face. The next thing they know they've been in the 140 class for a year and they're not budging.

I remember my days as a court reporting student. My teachers kept telling me to practice, I kept saying it's useless, I'm a failure, and I'm never leaving. They're going to find my cold, dead body propped up in a chair with my bony fingers still clutching the steno machine.

Okay, maybe I was being a bit dramatic.

It turns out they were right and I was wrong. You don't get better by sitting on your duff doing nothing. Court reporting students have to practice to gain speed.

The practice doesn't stop once you graduate either. Working reporters practice for the RPR, RMR, or even just to keep up with Mr. Speed Demon, Esquire, when he's reading from a neurologist's clinical notes faster than the speed of sound.

There is no glory in practice, but without practice there is no glory.
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What can You Get Done in Five Minutes?

It's all that stands between a reporter and victory.

 

 

To graduate, students must pass their five minute Q&A testimony at 225 words per minute. 

Yeah, it's that fast.

Eventually, with practice and a whole lot of prayers they get there. It's all downhill from there, or so they think, until it's time to take the dreaded RPR exam.

Nothing can put the fear of God in a reporter quicker than when she's sitting in front of her machine on test day waiting for the proctor to press play.

Five minutes out of your life doesn't sound like a long time, but when you're tapping away at 225 wpm, it's a lifetime. I'm not sure I even took a breath when I was taking my test.

Taking a court reporting exam is like an acrophobic sitting in the front car of a roller coaster who's riding down that last steep drop.

All you can do is close your eyes and hang on.

 

Signed up for the RPR WKT exam but not sure what to study? This guide to preparing for the written knowledge portion of the RPR will show you what areas you should focus on.
The words "RPR test" strike fear in the hearts of seasoned and newbie court reporters alike. Here are some great tips to help you pass the RPR skills exam on your first attempt.

Yeah, it's Worth the Aggravation

What other job pays you to listen to others' dirty little secrets?

All in all, court reporting is an interesting and rewarding job. Congressional reporters get to hear all about the inner workings of the Government, officials get the inside scoop of a juicy murder trial, and freelancers learn odd trivia about everything from accident reconstruction to the effects sinkholes have on structures.

Even when we work through lunch or deal with difficult people, we do it all with a smile. Because no matter how bad a witness mumbles or how fast someone talks, we enjoy it when we get paid.

More Cool Mugs Only Court Reporters Would Understand:

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Updated: 07/29/2014, AbbyFitz
 
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AbbyFitz on 05/05/2014

Thank you Mira?

Mira on 05/05/2014

I like your mugs! Nice read, too!

AbbyFitz on 05/05/2014

It can be a pickle. You just kind of learn to deal with it. I'm glad you liked them!

dustytoes on 05/05/2014

This sounds like a stressful job. A funny coffee cup is a must I suppose! And these are good, but I definitely needed an explanation for some.

AbbyFitz on 05/04/2014

LOL I am so glad you liked it. That phrase came to me one morning while I was getting ready to go to work. I knew it wasn't going to be a good day because of what was scheduled. I guess I was mentally preparing myself :)

WordChazer on 05/04/2014

Seriously...it's called grammar, you should try it sometime. I WANT THAT MUG. (I've just shown my husband the advert, so it's a possibility!) It's just as true for proofreaders and editors also. Plus, Android phones are made of win, but I can now see, having owned mine for less than TWO FREAKIN' DAYS, why everyone types in lower case these days. Bleeding eyeballs can be supplied to those who do not see The Light. 140 class? I never graduated that either, and we're talking Teeline shorthand here, not kourpts.

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