By Monette Benoit
Copyright by Monette Benoit, All Rights Reserved.
Sheryl E. Stapp, RPR, CSR, CART provider is multi-talented, a dear friend. I profiled her in a prior article ‘Love, Signs, God and Numerology’ available on my web site, www.CRRbooks.com which prepares students and court reporters for NCRA and state written knowledge tests, expanding their skills. Sheryl and I continue to receive comments about the article – since 1998.
Sheryl’s wonderful attitude and approach to events is admirable and sometimes, folks, I continue to share with her that she “just cracks me up.” She has moments and events in her life where she chooses to look ‘up’ in her world, and this makes a difference in her world and to those who are blessed to share with Sheryl Stapp, RPR, CSR.
This day started out as a usual CART, communication access realtime technology, request to All American RealTime/Captioning Services, Inc., www.ARTCS.com.
Request: Go, do it, drive home. Not technical, not unusual — a request that many of us look forward to receiving. I scheduled Sheryl for this CART request.
When Sheryl phoned later that a.m., I listened and thanked my lucky stars that she is ‘in’ my world. Here’s Sheryl’s story:
THE PLAN: Up at 4:00 a.m.; gone by 5:00. One and one-half hours to CART job, arrive at 7:00 for 8:00 job.
REALITY: Up at 4:00; gone by 5:30. Heading out the door, I tell myself, “Make the call!” “Good morning, Lord. Please get me there safely on time.”
Major construction on interstate. Immediately I get over for my exit, I’m ready to merge. A little car zooms by. Heart rate accelerates; automobile decelerates! I noticed major crunch in bumper; he’s done this before! “Lord, keep the nerves in check, please!”
I have to pass my exit – it’s under construction — and remain on highway. No problem; I’ll take next exit, U-turn back. Wrong! Immediately, there’s a traffic standstill. What’s up with this? It’s 5:45 in the morning! Radio announces, “Major accident” at my exit.
And there we have it … My exit, easy U-turn, easy merge onto interstate …not anymore!
“Lord, this is three ‘bumps in the road’ already — late leaving house, missed exit, crawling in traffic and I’m not outside city limits. I know you’re testing me. I’m going to pass this test, you’ll see! Stay with me, Lord.”
Thirty minutes later, I can exit! Now I can make up time. I’m doing 80 mph on the interstate for 15 minutes when I see a patrol car on the highway, ahead of me. I hit brakes, look at speedometer. I’m doing 70 when I’m parallel with him. Whew! Besides, they can’t clock you on radar unless you’re heading towards them, right? Wrong!
I look in rearview mirror; here he comes!! I get into exit lane; there go ‘whirly-birdy’ lights. “Okay, Lord, bring it on!!” I’m thinking: not a ticket, not an insurance increase, not an out-of-county hassle, not today, not now! I decide I’ll take the ticket, send in fine, and keep all hassles to a minimum.
Officer asks if there’s a problem or emergency.
“Well, yes to both, but maybe not technically.” I explain about the bad wreck in city, concerned about timely arrival to job. I share topic, location.
“And you’re an attendee?” he asks.
“No, sir. I’m a court reporter; I’ll be assisting a hard-of-hearing attendee.”
“Oh, I see. License, please.”
Darn, just when I was thinking ‘court reporter’ title would get me by! It’s worked before! One officer told me once, “We’re all in this together, aren’t we? I’ve been a witness more often than I care to remember.
Then officer asks: “How do you work that little machine?”
Great, now he wants to chat about infamous little machine! H-e-l-l-o … I told him I was late!!
Minutes later, officer hands me a warning. “You are listening to me, Lord!”
Officer then explains I was speeding in a 65 mph zone.
“My misunderstanding; I thought interstates were 70. I’ll keep it at 65.”
He wants to chat, explaining how speed limits were lowered to 55 a few years back because of EPA regulations.
Officer asks, “Did you know you couldn’t do 55 until you were out of the county until a year ago?”
“Nope, didn’t know.” Gotta get to work, kind sir!!
Then he asks for my directions. I show him mapquest printout on dashboard. He wants to see them.
Officer shares, “The building is new. Mapquest usually has old directions.”
I do not share that I printed directions yesterday. Nod, listen, nod, smile. “Yes, sir.”
Ironic, huh? I’m running late, get stopped! Cruel twist of fate, officer was handsome!! Blond hair, blue eyes, deep voice!
If I wasn’t in hurry to get to CART job, I would’ve chatted with him, for days!! After I say good-bye, my thank you for ‘warning’ and no ticket, and merge back onto freeway, I’m hearing my personal theme song in my head, “Someday my prince will come!” But not today.
Get to building, 25 minutes to set up. Plenty of time. “Thank you, my upstairs neighbor, good Lord above!”
I explain that I’m a court reporter, here to provide CART at 8:00 a.m.
Registrations representative looks at brochure, sends me to first room on list. I set up, do quick check, good to go; ten minutes to spare. All is right within my world.
Since I’d worked with client before; I knew who to look for, and boy was I looking!
The seminar started promptly, but no client. I wrote as if he were there, so he’d have file to refer to later. Surely, he was just running late from same traffic. Still 15 minutes into seminar, no client. I try to exit room, continue search. Not happening. They were packed like sardines, chairs everywhere; I was stuck!
We broke 15 minutes early, I dashed to registration, asked where client was!
The woman walks across hall, returns ten minutes later, says, “He’s in that room.”
Bingo!! Why couldn’t they have gotten it right at 7:35?
I go into the room; there’s my consumer, listening as intently as possible; this seminar hadn’t broken early. I explain I was sent to wrong room, “I’m so sorry.”
He smiled, “It’s okay. Not your fault. I’m glad you’re here.”
Ever had an attorney say that to you? No way! CART work…what a treat.
After shutting down, relocating, setting up again, testing all is A-OK, I go outside to call Monette Benoit with update: “I’m here, good to go, but…GET THIS …”
After answering Monette’s “boss-service-provider to consumer” questions and business details, then I begin the traffic ‘patrol’ story. We both laugh till we’re about in tears!! Per her instructions, I immediately jot down notes about my “ordeal” for a future JCR article. “It’s a must have; we must share this one!” Monette said.
The rest of the day was as smooth as silk. I learned about current events, to include ‘in the event’ of hurricanes.
Many people require special assistance in any emergency situation: nursing home residents, hospital patients, homeless, prisoners, state school residents. And there’s pets — a major discussion. Gotta keep Fido, Fluffy safe, too!! In Texas there’s talk about horses, livestock.
Our consumer had his full attention on my screen. He was appreciative of my services and being able to help was a personal blessing to me, as it always is.
As I packed to leave, I had to ask for God’s ear yet again.
“Thank you for a great day, albeit a challenging start! Thank you for my skills. I’ve got plenty of gas in the tank and am in NO rush to get home, so you’re officially off the hook for now, Lord! I’ll check in when I get home and will use speed-control this time. I promise, Sheryl E. Stapp here.”
Monette: So you may ask me why did we name this article: 1-800-CALL-GOD-NOW?
Did you notice that the phone listing has additional numbers for a long distance call? Well, as we figure it, a direct call to God is out-of-this-world. Sheryl Stapp may be reached at email@example.com.
—-Monette, named the Court Reporting Whisperer by students, may be reached: Monette.purplebooks@CRRbooks.com
Purple Books – Court Reporter Reference Books & CDs: www.CRRbooks.com * Advance skills, pass NCRA and State exams the 1st time
Monette Benoit, B. B.A., CCR, CRI, CPE, Paralegal, CART Captioner, Instructor, Consultant, Columnist
Since 1990: Multiple Title Author of Books & Purple Books Test Prep for the Court Reporting, CART Captioning Profession
Have you failed NCRA’s RPR, RDR, or a State exam? *More than once?* Purple Books “Done in One” has a 98% successful pass rate on exams with sets as evidenced by thousands of students and professionals who pass their RPR, CSR, and RDR exams on the first test. Testimonials: www.CRRbooks.com.
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About Monette Benoit: As a 30+ year court reporter, CART captioner, author of NCRA and State test-prep material, instructor, public speaker, Monette Benoit has taught multiple theories, academics, all speed classes, and 225-homeroom within NCRA-approved schools and a community college. She understands challenges many adults face in our industry.
In 1993, she began to CART caption to a large screen for a Deaf mass, San Antonio, Texas. Wonderful opportunities then presented from Big D, Little D, Oral Deaf, HOH consumers -each with special moments.
Monette Benoit has worked with thousands of professionals, court reporters, CART captioners, students, instructors. She has helped to create new court reporting training programs, worked with federal grants, and assisted instructors in developing curriculum for both in-class and at-home students.
Her one-on-one tutoring, private coaching, has assisted thousands of students, novice and experienced professionals to reach the next level.
Monette’s Musings is an informative, motivational, and funny blog for busy professionals and students who seek to create their success and who seek to enjoy this special path.