Punting, and Captioning Faux Pas Of The Century, Part II of III
By Monette Benoit, All Rights Reserved.
Suddenly, rain began to flow – sideways – as we pretested equipment.
Phone lines went down. Internet service was interrupted; electrical grids were diverted away from our area. And we, court reporting captioners, took it all in stride.
We calmly continued to plug in equipment, then more equipment, then additional equipment.
Much later, after a large table was filled with cords, boxes, TVs, encoders, decoders, BNCs, RCAs and plasma equipment, and IT people began to scratch their heads, I have to share – we, the court reporting captioners, sat taller, put our shoulders back, made eye contact with little blinking and avoided prolonged sighing. No, we had not had any lunch, though all others had dined sufficiently.
We continued to work and added additional surge protectors to send and receive NTSC composite transmissions, to create new transmissions and downconversions to analogue composites with conversions to SD/SDI components and connectors as new challenges continued to arrive – in realtime – and weather ramped up around our region.
Individuals were checking emergency BlackBerry messages, then quickly exiting rooms, pale and wide-eyed to run down a hallway.
Protein shakes were sipped among several people “to keep our energy up,” they shared.
(We were not given any protein beverages because “you have an empty stomach, and you don’t want that,” we were told.)
Then I closed the door to make one phone call while we continued to search equipment in our magic bag of tricks.
Within minutes a man opened the door with one swift motion and froze, staring at us (and the table with equipment), his feet apart.
I paused and softly said, “This is going to perhaps be an unusual question. Do you happen to have a new ‘female connector’ here?”
The man inhaled quickly. “I’m just a business person. I can’t help at all.” He exited as quickly as he entered and did not look back.
The captioner and I avoided eye contact (to avoid laughter) and went back to work.
After the towers providing backup equipment went down, we had to rethink our original plan.
We packed all our electrical equipment and looked out the windows to very darkened skies.
No, there were no umbrellas, no plastic bags. We were told to “run to your car.”
I paused before calmly sharing, “Court reporters do not run with electrical equipment during electrical storms across open gravel parking lots.” Then I smiled.
After loading equipment, I drained the rain from my hair and wrung out my skirt before I sat in the car.
Then we headed off to what I now termed the “Punting Plan.”
No one saw our scramble – as it should be, in my opinion.
When we succeeded with the Punting Plan and created magic appearing on the multiple huge dropdown screens for local and international viewing, we did not exhale or roll our eyes. We quietly went to work. Court reporters, CART providers and captioners get the job done.
We captioned all requests (with multiple schedules).
When we finished the last event and packed equipment, we strolled to the main suite to share that we were leaving.
As we shook hands, exchanging final work details, the man in charge of this entire international event looked to me and said, “That was excellent! Excellent!”
We beamed, standing tall, shoulders back, loaded down with equipment in each hand.
He continued, “But you would never believe the captioning error we saw years ago. It was the error of the century! We, videographers and technicians, still talk about it – it has traveled around the world! I can’t tell you; it’s much too crude. But it sure was funny.”
Part I of III is posted October 10, 2010, on Monette’s Musings at www.monettebenoit.com and www.CRRbooks.com
Part III of III is posted October 31, 2010, on Monette’s Musings at www.monettebenoit.com and www.CRRbooks.com
Monette, Court Reporting Whisperer, may be reached: Monette@ARTCS.com and Monette@CRRbooks.com
Monette Benoit, B. B.A., CCR, CRI, CPE, Paralegal
Tutor, Motivational Management & Empowerment Coach,
Multiple Title Author of Books & Test Prep for the Court Reporting, CART, & Captioning Industry
Realtime Court Reporter, Instructor, Consultant, Columnist
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Court Reporter Reference Books & CDs: www.CRRbooks.com
Blog: Monette’s Musings, www.monettebenoit.com
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About Monette Benoit:
As a 25+ year court reporter, CART provider, author of NCRA test prep material, and an instructor, public speaker, Monette Benoit has taught multiple theories, academics, all speed classes, and the 225 homeroom within NCRA-approved schools and a community college. She understands the challenges many adults now face in our industry and schooling.
Monette Benoit has worked with thousands of professionals, court reporters, CART providers, captioners, students, and instructors. She has also helped create new court reporting training programs, worked with federal grants, and assisted instructors in developing curriculum for both in-class and at-home students.
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