Spoiler alert: Court reporters need (and want!) to work with transcript proofreaders.

Seasoned court reporter Val Melkus joins me on this episode for a frank, honest talk about why court reporters rely on transcript proofreaders and why she considers them an indispensable asset to her job.

She also shares what court reporters look for in a transcript proofreader and what’s important — and not important! — to a successful relationship.

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Intro: This is The Proofreading Business Podcast with Elizabeth Wiegner. For more, visit TheProofreadingBusinessCoach.com.

Elizabeth Wiegner: All right, y’all, I am -- I say this every time I have a guest on. I’m so excited, and you all are going to love this. This is -- I have Val on today. She is a court reporter, and she’s not just any court reporter. She is my court reporter.

Val Melkus: Aw.

Elizabeth Wiegner: We’ve been proofing -- I was trying to think how long. It’s been years that we’ve proofed together, but this is a podcast episode that people have been asking for. They’ve been asking to have a court reporter on because, I mean, I talk all the time about transcript proofreading and how good it is, but it’s like, well, let’s hear from the side of somebody like a court reporter who actually wants to work with a proofreader. It’s not just me making everything up. So Val, thank you so much for being here. I am so excited you took your time for this.

Val Melkus: Oh, I’m so glad to be here. It’s always so good to talk to you, and thank you for having me.

Elizabeth Wiegner: Val, kick it off. Just -- as a court reporter and you’ve been -- I think we were talking you’ve been a court reporter for about nine years now. What -- and I wasn’t your first proofreader that you worked with. What makes -- from a court reporter’s perspective, why do you want to work with a proofreader?

Val Melkus: I chuckle a little bit because it’s like, in my mind, it’s such an obvious thing. Like for example, somebody wouldn’t -- like a transcript is forever, right? It’s like a book or any other periodical. Once the newspaper comes out, that’s it. It’s done. That’s today’s edition. I mean it’s the same thing with a transcript, and so why would you not make sure that it was correct and good and readable and all of the above? So yeah, I love my proofreaders.

Well, I love you as my proofreader because you are amazing, and we do go back, but you and your students that I’ve used a few of and proofreading my stuff are just top of the line.

Elizabeth Wiegner: I love to hear that.

Val Melkus: I’m so thankful for you all.

Elizabeth Wiegner: So would you -- sometimes when people are asking about transcript proofreading, they’re like, well, court reporters are really smart people. I’m like, absolutely, I agree. Your talent is amazing to be able to take down people going 250, sometimes 300 words per minute and get it all accurate. Sometimes you hear, well, they’re really smart.

Aren’t you kind of insulting the court reporter saying they need a proofreader? I’m like, no, not at all. So can you explain from your perspective -- you all aren’t seeing Val, but she’s shaking her head really hard. Explain why court reporters want to work -- I mean I kind of asked you why is it important; it’s because the transcript is forever. But why can’t you proof your own transcripts essentially?

Val Melkus: So -- and this was something that -- actually, back when I was in court reporting school, one of my instructors told me and -- well, told the class, and she said, you never want to proofread your own work and clap, clap; let me get that into y’alls heads.

And I’m so thankful that she told me that because I heard that there are some reporters maybe that are like, oh, it doesn’t need to be -- a scopist is all I need, or I’ll just get this random person or scopist to do the proofreading, and I’m digressing. But that’s not my -- I would never do it that way because proofreading is such a niche -- you have knowledge that we don’t have. I rely on you 100%, Elizabeth, when I send transcripts to you.

For the life of me, I don’t know when a comma comes before because, and the few times I’m like, oh, definitely it goes here, and I’ll put the comma in and I send it to you, and then I get it back and there’s a big red circle, like no comma here, Val.

Elizabeth Wiegner: It was so close but so far away.

Val Melkus: And actually I forgot what your question was because I ran on a little bit.

Elizabeth Wiegner: No, that was perfect. It was like why can’t you just proof it yourself?

Val Melkus: Oh right. Okay. So yes, I mean, I think it’s proven that once you are invested in this document whether it’s a transcript or a book or whatever, you -- the way you see it and read it is the way your brain is used to seeing it and reading it and especially if it’s your own.

And so our eyes that have already -- know this transcript front to back will just glaze over things that are glaring to someone else, to a proofreader, to a trained eye. And I mean, even just when I do my scoping and I send you a job and I’m like, well, Elizabeth, I scoped this one myself, so you’re going to find zero errors, okay? And we both laugh because that happens never.

But I will think in my scoping, and I look at proofreading stuff too. I mean as best I can when I scope my own stuff, and I’ll send it to you and I’ll think it’s going to be perfect and you’re going to be like, hey, Val, you score 100 or whatever, A+. I don’t have many corrections for you. And I will get this transcript back that is red, just red marker all over.

Elizabeth Wiegner: It’s not that bad. I promise.

Val Melkus: Like, oh man, I have an extra word here. I got this comma wrong, this -- follow-up needs a hyphen and da, da, da, you know. But I tried my darndest and I still -- you find all kinds of things that my eyes just don’t see so for that reason. And I’m not even trying to proofread. I’m trying in my best way, but yeah, definitely need an extra set of eyes.

Elizabeth Wiegner: That’s -- I mean typo blindness is an actual -- I mean it sounds funny, typo blindness, and I know proofreading is -- obviously you talked about dropped words and hyphens and commas and all that.

It’s more than just typos, but typo blindness, we see what we want to see on the page, what we think is on the page, and it’s not like -- honestly your transcripts are very clean. It probably feels like a lot when you get it back because you’re like, I tried my best on it. But that’s just the nature of -- I mean I make typos in my own writing, whereas I’m sure if I send it to you, you’d be like, oh, Elizabeth, yeah, you have a dropped word here, or you misspelled episode or something like that [indiscernible].

Val Melkus: Yeah, and -- yes, absolutely, I agree.

Elizabeth Wiegner: So how does your confidence -- how do you feel when you’ve got a transcript back and you put the annotations in and you send it off? Is that a sigh of relief when you’re done with all of it? Is it a confidence booster? How would you explain that it feels -- or maybe it’s kind of like, great, I’ve got to put all of these in or -- what does it feel like when you get a transcript back from a proofreader?

Val Melkus: Like as I’m working on the annotations or like as I’m [indiscernible].

Elizabeth Wiegner: Both, putting them in and then actually sending it off, being done with it.

Val Melkus: I mean, it’s always interesting to me what the proofreader marks as incorrect or -- like, for example, I mean as a court reporter and then as a scopist, I have access to the audio. And so try as I might, if I don’t hear -- I don’t know. You take the way people talk, like they put the emphasis on this word so -- and then they pause so you think a comma belongs there, or even if it ends up not being a complete sentence or they are -- they left words off of their thing. I don’t know. I write on the record the way I hear things.

And so it’s always interesting to me what you mark as incorrect because I’ll go back and maybe there’s a dropped word here or something. And so I’ll go through and I’ll look and I’ll check my notes and like, no, there’s no dropped word. But that tells me that something about this sentence is, I guess, styled in a way -- like it’s confusing to the reader. And so I need to take another look. Do I need to add dashes? Was it maybe a change of thought that I didn’t dash off? So that’s always a little bit of exploring to see what you marked versus what it should be. And then honestly just turning it in is relief. It’s usually just relief, okay.

Elizabeth Wiegner: No, I don’t blame you. I feel that way when I’m done proofing. It’s like relief. I got it done. I accomplished this, and it’s off to my court reporter. That was really interesting that you said sometimes -- because we don’t listen to audio as proofreaders. That’s the scopist’s job. That’s the court reporter’s job. And so I don’t -- sometimes I’ll put dropped word or double-check or the three question marks for you to be sure.

One thing my students ask a lot is they’re like, you know, I don’t want to annoy my court reporter by putting a certain annotation there. And I said, well, if you can pick up on kind of the speech patterns, which comes with experience and practice, then, yeah, you can usually tell.

But sometimes you just -- there’s no way. You don’t have to read -- you don’t have the steno. You don’t have the audio. But I love what you said that if something is wrong, it’s not that you have to be 100% know what’s impossible to know without being there, but it just helps you know to go double-check something; look at your notes; look at your audio. That is really -- that’s encouraging to know.

Val Melkus: Yeah, I mean, it -- I can start -- I’ll start saving them and sending them to you because it happens more often than you would know. You draw my attention to such-and-such line, such-and-such word for whatever. There are multiple different things, and I’ll look at it, and it won’t be the correction necessarily that you suggested and had your little question mark by, like is this what it is. It won’t necessarily be that. Sometimes it is, but sometimes it’s something totally different where -- but I just know, okay, I need to change this a little bit because it’s just not reading right.

Elizabeth Wiegner: That will be encouraging for students and grads to hear and those who are thinking about it, like, okay, this is a lot to think about. It’s not that you have to -- you’re perfectly imperfect. You’re not going to get every suggestion correct that I send you.

Now, some things like commas and hyphens and periods and question marks, things like that, and sometimes very obvious, like “going to,” the “to” is really easy to drop. Things like that are more common, but sometimes that wasn’t -- that word was actually said, but I marked it because I wasn’t sure. So it’s encouraging to know that you don’t have to be all-knowing because it sometimes feels like you have to be as a proofreader.

Val Melkus: No. I mean, for me, I’m just -- I’m thankful that, as you’re proofreading, you’re spidey sense or whatever, your expertness, you hit this spot, and you’re like, hmm, something is weird here. And you’ll make your best suggestion, and sometimes that’s it, and sometimes it’s not. But that draws me to that section, which is just super helpful.

And I’ll say I -- this doesn’t happen very often, but sometimes when I’m doing corrections from you, I will go in and I’ll correct the word or the comma, whatever, and I’ll happen to notice that there was something else in that vicinity that neither -- that I didn’t catch when I was scoping and that you didn’t catch as the proofreader. And then I’m like, oh my gosh, but I never would have seen it if it weren’t for your corrections. And so that’s always like an extra like, yes, I’m so glad I went back to this area.

But I want to reiterate you are an amazing proofreader, and that isn’t -- that doesn’t speak to your expertise by any means. There’s this joke that if five or six court reporters were taking down the exact same record at the exact same time, hearing the exact same person speaking, all of them would hear things, to a small degree, differently. That’s just the human experience, and it’s the exact same thing with proofreaders and scopists.

None of us are perfect. You could probably have three proofreaders in a row look at this one transcript and each time somebody would still find something to correct. Nothing -- it’s not going to be perfect, but we’re going to get it as close as we can. And that’s where proofreaders come in.

Elizabeth Wiegner: So I love that because I tell my students that, that, yeah, you’re going to see me make mistakes because: human. And I’ve been proofing for almost 20 years, and I mean, I can’t even imagine how many hundreds of thousands of pages that adds up to. But I tell them it’s -- and my grads, my students have to pass an exam to get to start to work with court reporters, and my thing is, it’s not a matter of are you perfect. You’re not going to catch everything. I don’t catch everything.

But how -- with -- if you turned in this transcript to a court reporter, would it be helpful? And it’s so nice to hear because -- and sometimes students will really stress, well, I don’t think I could ever be a proofreader because I’ll never be perfect. And it’s so good to hear from you to realize it’s not necessarily the expectation.

Val Melkus: No one is going to be perfect. I’ve got news for y’all, no one. That’s just not how it is. But we can get darn close, but it requires more than one pair of eyes, and sometimes three-plus pairs of eyes [indiscernible].

Elizabeth Wiegner: Yeah, you’ve got the court reporter, the scopist, the proofer, and then when you go back in.

Val Melkus: And the court reporter again.

Elizabeth Wiegner: Exactly. So that kind of segues really into a question that I get asked a lot, and I’d love to hear your perspective on it is, with -- you hear a lot about AI, and it’s kind of like -- it almost seems like AI can do literally everything for you. And that might be nice if it could, but it’s not -- would you, as a court reporter, trust any AI program to proofread your transcripts for you?

Val Melkus: Well, no. You know, I was thinking about this. And so whenever you do talk-to-text, that kind of gives me an inkling of what an AI program would be like for proofreading or, heck, for court reporting for that matter. They’ve been talking for years that digital AI is going to take over our profession.

And the truth is, okay, maybe in, what are we, 2024? I don’t know, maybe in 2060 or something. You know what I mean? If it is, I think it’s so far down the road that the next few generations don’t have to worry about it. But as it is now, no, no way. Just doing talk-to-text -- homonyms, how would you know -- how would it know if you were saying, well, to be frank, or if they were saying, well, I went to see Frank, the dude? Something that comes up, and I’m going to talk about talk-to-text again, but that’s the only, I guess kind of AI texting thing that I have.

But I was doing that the other day when I was in the car, and I was like, oh, I’m going to the grocery store, which is next to the, whatever. And my talk-to-text said “witches” like a plural of a witch like with a pointy hat and the shoes, witches -- witches next to. And I was like, oh, okay.

Elizabeth Wiegner: Witches have entered the chat, not what I was planning on, but okay, they’re here now. What did you conjure up?

Val Melkus: Right, right. So and I always talk slowly and very clearly for talk-to-text because of that reason, and it still didn’t help it. So and that’s more like audio-related. But it translates to proofreading too. Like no, I would not trust them to get the which versus witch -- what do you calls those? Homophones?

Elizabeth Wiegner: Yes.

Val Melkus: No, I would not trust a program with that. And the “its” without an apostrophe and the “it’s” with an apostrophe are hard enough for me as a reporter to know on the spot which is which, and how would a program ever know that? You need eyes on that.

And they wouldn’t be able to tell me why did you make this change. Or did you Google search these names, AI? There are so many proper names that proofreaders -- I rely on you a lot of times to -- I’ll put a little mark and be like, I couldn’t find this business name. Can you help with this? And more time than not, you’re like, I found it! And we have a little cheers together. I hope that --

Elizabeth Wiegner: That -- yes, because when I -- like I was just proofreading a transcript the other day, and the guy’s name was spelled “-en” like at the end one way and then “-an” another time in the transcript. And it’s like, that kind of thing, I just knew it was the same doctor they were talking about, and suddenly it was spelled differently just one time. But thinking about things like that is just -- they’re just little nuances that really aren’t so little when you have something that’s, to your point when you started, it’s permanent. That’s the record that you’re looking at, and it’s there. It’s not going away.

Val Melkus: Right, right. I mean, and I think in CaseCATalyst, there’s a new option that you have to pay for, so I haven’t tried it because I don’t want to pay for that. But what is it called? Check It or something? I don’t know, and it’s like an AI. You’ve heard of this. Okay, yeah. So it’s like kind of an AI function that is supposed to go through and look at your transcript and just tell you different errors.

And I didn’t -- I mean, I haven’t used it personally, but the overwhelming majority of people I heard from that used it were way less than thrilled with the results and were like, why were they -- why am I paying money to use this? It’s suggesting things that don’t need to be changed, and it missed this and this and this and this, and it’s just -- no.

Now, would I use a proofreader who -- maybe in combination with a program like hand proofread and put their eyes on the whole transcript? Sure. I think a good program, maybe not the Check It one yet, but a good program can be a good tool to use in addition. But I would never want anything but actual eyes reading all of my pages.

Elizabeth Wiegner: That makes total sense. Yeah, just like I use Google and I’ll use my other resources, spellcheck, to double-check. I mean, put a sentence or two inside Grammarly just to see. But at the end of the day, I’m not relying on spellcheck or Grammarly or Google to tell me something. I’m going to make sure for myself that it’s correct for you.

Val Melkus: Yeah, yeah, exactly.

Elizabeth Wiegner: I agree, totally agree. You know, it is -- when you hear about AI, it does seem like it can do everything, but even like a program developed for court reporter software is not catching what it needs to.

Val Melkus: Right. I have heard some interesting things about that one.

Elizabeth Wiegner: Just get a proofreader. You’ll be happier, and you’ll feel more confident about it.

Val Melkus: Exactly, exactly.

Elizabeth Wiegner: So since you don’t want AI touching your transcripts as far as the only touch, what are things that you would look for in a proofreader? What’s important for you? Obviously, we’ve been working together for awhile, but make believe -- I’m not going anywhere, but make believe that you had to find a new one. What are some experience points that they would need, character traits that you’re looking for? What kind of things are important to you in a proofreader?

Val Melkus: I mean, as far as, gosh, experience, I hadn’t really thought about that. I mean, it would -- it’s tricky because I think there are a lot of newer proofreaders that don’t necessarily have the years of experience under their belt. But if they were properly trained, like they went through your program, if they’re properly trained and they’re eager, I think they’re going to try really, really, really hard. So I don’t know that having a ton of experience is necessary.

I think probably the top is going to be communication. I know probably my -- one of my most appreciated things about you is that every time I send you a transcript to proof, you email me right back that night or within -- whenever you’re available and say, got it and hi. It’s always good to hear from you in that way too.

But you always let me know you have it, which makes me feel better because I don’t know. There’s -- I mean, email and technology, it’s like you just never quite know. And when there’s something riding on, okay, this transcript is due on this day and then there’s always that chance if I don’t hear back from somebody, I fear that that day the transcript is due is going to come, and I’ll reach out to you and be like, oh my gosh, do you have the -- have you looked at this? And you’re like, I never received it. That is a nightmare, literal nightmare scenario for me. So the fact that you always tell me you got the transcript, it’s in safe hands, like I can breathe. So it’s a small thing maybe, but it’s a really big thing.

And I guess another thing that I would look for is -- or that I appreciate and would look for in a proofer is just attention to details. I know for me, when we have -- we have the title pages, which I have to input a lot of that stuff and then the very last page, which is the reporter’s certificate, I mean, that’s all -- that’s pretty much the same on every single transcript. And -- but I was super impressed because you sent me one back not too long ago, and you were like, hey, the date on this notary is different than the last one you sent me. And I was like, oh my gosh, I didn’t think you actually read those last pages because they’re always the same.

Elizabeth Wiegner: I always check the date, two dates on there.

Val Melkus: Oh my gosh. So that just -- the more stuff you can find like that, just little things that just blow me out of the water. I wasn’t expecting you to be even looking at that page, so thank you for bringing that to my attention. Oh my gosh. I guess that’s it: communication, thoroughness.

We already talked about how I would rather you put a comment or bring my attention to something that doesn’t seem right rather than be like, oh, well, I don’t want to bother the reporter or make them read too many of these or whatever and just not say anything. I can’t speak for all reporters, but I think most want to turn in the best possible product. And so if you see something that looks a little weird about the way this sentence is or -- tell me. Bring it to my attention. I will never be upset or like, oh my gosh. Why are there so many corrections here?

Elizabeth Wiegner: Would you stop actually proofreading, Elizabeth, please? I’m tired of this.

Val Melkus: Right.

Elizabeth Wiegner: One thing I really like that you brought up was that you don’t need a year -- a ton of experience in terms of years because I feel like sometimes people ask, well, do you need a college degree? I’m like, well, I’m a college dropout. There’s not actually a transcript proofreading degree to begin with.

But -- and I have years of experience just because I’ve been doing it for awhile, but like when my grads graduate, they feel like, oh, I’m a newbie. I don’t know what I’m doing. And I’m like, well, just because you don’t have years of experience, you have experience proofing, what, a thousand -- there are over 3200 pages in my course of pages of transcripts to work on. So it’s not like you have to have years of experience. My understanding -- like the training and knowing what you’re doing is more important to you. Did I understand that correctly?

Val Melkus: Oh my gosh, yeah, absolutely, absolutely. I don’t -- and this isn’t -- I don’t know how to say this and not sound -- I don’t know. But if somebody has been, say, proofreading for, like, 40 years, like a really, really, really, really long time, I would rather, frankly, have a new, out-of-school proofreader because I feel like it’s new, and they’re going to be so eager and they want to get everything right.

You know that feeling when you’ve got this new job and it’s like, oh my gosh, I’m going to wow everybody. I’m going to try so hard. And will it take them a little bit longer? Sometimes, maybe, and that’s okay. I mean, as long as -- if it’s a rush or something, I would, of course, let you know. Like expedite, can you take it? But in general, yeah. And that wasn’t -- I didn’t mean that. If somebody had been proofing for 50 years, I would still [indiscernible]. It’s just different. It’s just different. I appreciate both.

Elizabeth Wiegner: No, that is so encouraging because I’ll talk to court reporters -- or proofreaders who get brand new court reporters, and I’m like, that is exciting. Working with -- I’ve worked with brand new court reporters before, and they may be slower like you said, just like a proofreader is a little bit slower when you get started. But they just want to do so well, and it’s almost like you can -- you can tell a difference as opposed to you’ve been doing it for a while. But, I mean, you’ve been doing it for a while. My other court reporters have been doing it for a while, and I mean, transcripts are great. I love them. So yes, I totally get what you’re saying. It’s not necessarily that you just give up and don’t try after -- I’ve been doing it for [indiscernible] and I’m done.

Val Melkus: Right. That’s not what I meant at all.

Elizabeth Wiegner: No, I didn’t take it -- that’s so encouraging. Anybody who’s thinking about getting started or going through the course or just graduating, wherever y’all are at who are listening, that’s so encouraging to know that people aren’t looking at, oh, you’ve not been doing it for -- you’ve only had your business for a month, kind of thing. Well, you have training and you’re ready to go, and you’re eager to do a good job.

Val Melkus: Exactly. Eagerness goes -- for me anyway, it goes a long way. I have used at least one of your students, and they were a very, very, very recent graduate I believe when you suggested her. And I was like, okay, well, I think you were going out of town or I don’t know. Anyway, I was like, yes, that sounds great.

And you told me that she was so excited to be able to work with me, and I guess you used my transcripts in your teaching, and you said that you were so excited. She went back to review some of my old transcripts from class, and I was like, oh my gosh. I mean, that just -- I just hit the floor. That’s amazing. That. That’s what I want, and I still use that person to this day as my backup proofer who -- if I’ve been tossing too much stuff your way or --

Elizabeth Wiegner: Yeah, I’m about to go on vacation, and I emailed her and was like, hey, I’m going to be out, just want to make sure you’re here for Val. She’s like, oh yeah, absolutely.

Val Melkus: Yeah.

Elizabeth Wiegner: You know, I can tell others what I’ve heard court reporters say and what court reporters are looking for, but to actually hear it from you, a real, live court reporter who works and takes your -- you take a lot of pride in your work, and I know the discussions, if I send you something and you have a question on something or you would be like, hey, I actually do it this way. Can you proof it this way?

You obviously really care about your transcripts, and so to hear from somebody what you’re looking for and what’s important in a proofer is so encouraging. And I think it’s nice to know, yes, it takes work to get there, but you have somebody who appreciates you and excited to work with you and values the skills you bring to the table.

Val Melkus: Yeah, yeah, definitely.

Elizabeth Wiegner: That’s good. Well, Val, is there any -- I know I didn’t ask you this question beforehand, but is there any words of wisdom you would give to somebody who is thinking about becoming a proofreader or who is in the thick of it right working on mounds of transcripts, your construction transcripts --

Val Melkus: Oh, construction transcripts.

Elizabeth Wiegner: -- I’m like, have fun, y’all. Is there any words of wisdom that you would like to close off from a court reporter speaking to somebody thinking about proofreading, learning how to do it or who’s in the middle of it?

Val Melkus: Yeah. I mean, I guess just -- it is such an important -- it’s just -- it’s so important. I could not do my job without -- I could not turn in my transcripts without a good proofreader looking at them.

And I wanted to add this too, and this isn’t the question that you just asked me. But I’ve been asked on more than one occasion by other reporters if I could proofread their transcripts before they turn it in. And every single time, my eye probably twitched a little bit, and I was like, uh, no, no, I’m not going to do that. I’m not a proofreader. I -- do I remember most of the grammar rules of some of them? I don’t know. Yes, but not enough. There’s no way.

I rely on you so heavily for a lot of those things that I’m like, I should look that up. And then I’ll be like -- but you know, it’s also -- it’s busy. It’s stressful. It can be grueling. And so time is not always on our side when it comes to finishing a transcript and getting it to the proofreader.

So sometimes I’ll have that thought in the back of my head like I should look this up. What is this rule? I should know it. But then I’m just like, you know what? That’s why Elizabeth is for. I know she’s got me. So I’m just like, nope. I’m just going to leave it, and she’ll figure it out. She’ll tell me whether that comma goes there or not or whatever.

So I would just say to students or to recent graduates or not recent graduates thank you. Just keep up the thorough good work, and I don’t know. Kindness and easiness as far as emailing and -- goes a long, long, long way.

I’ve had some reporters -- I don’t know of a proofreader specifically but scopists will maybe say not -- some not very nice things about a reporter’s skills, and it just floors me. Why would you -- you don’t know what their job is like. You don’t know this or that. And I haven’t had a proofreader -- heard of them saying anything not nice, but I would just reiterate that.

And I know you talk about that on your Instagram as well. Just don’t say -- if you see this mistake and -- just correct it. There’s no need to be I’m better than you or I’m smarter than you or that mindset. No, we all have our expertise, and we all have our off days, and let’s just work together and create a beautiful transcript.

Elizabeth Wiegner: I couldn’t have ended on a better note, Val. That was so good. Yes, kindness is so -- there was a quote. I can’t remember the quote off the top of my head but something about be rare, and being rare was being kind because it is rare, but it’s so valued. Like you said, you have a grueling job.

You have witnesses and attorneys that are talking a million miles an hour or sometimes fighting with each other, and you’re in the room and the last thing you want is to come home and work on a transcript and then send it to a proofreader who’s not kind. And that’s not -- kindness, yes, so much. It goes both ways, a kind court reporter and a kind proofreader together. That is such a good relationship, and we create beautiful transcripts in the meantime.

Val Melkus: Yes, yes.

Elizabeth Wiegner: Well, Val, I’m going to let you go before your kitty starts scratching at the door.

Val Melkus: He’ll start yowling.

Elizabeth Wiegner: But seriously thank you so much. I mean, speaking of busy and you’ve got a lot to do, thank you for taking time to come encourage my students, my grads, those who are thinking about proofing. Thank you for taking time to do that. That just -- that means a ton, so I really appreciate you.

Val Melkus: Oh, you’re more than welcome, appreciate you too, Elizabeth.

Outro: Want to learn more about transcript proofreading? Then check out my free workshop: Is Transcript Proofreading the Right Money-Making Business for Me? It’s less than an hour, and it answers lots of FAQs around transcript proofreading so you can decide if this is the perfect side hustle for you. You can check it out on TheProofreadingBusinessCoach.com/workshopregistration.

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Meet Elizabeth

Elizabeth Wiegner is a work-from-home proofreader and business coach who teaches other readers and typo fixers how to build a life of freedom as a proofreader. Her energy, love, and personalized support are second to none in the proofreading world.