De-Can’t The I Can’t, Part II of III

De-Can’t The I Can’t, Part II of III
By Monette Benoit, All Rights Reserved.
November/December 2010

Part I began: This November/December column was prompted after listening to an experienced court reporter express their “current mindset” during private coaching and tutoring.

The reporter, with vast experience, said, “I can’t do that. There can’t be no opportunities.” I was unclear if this was a comical statement or personal observation.

When the sentence was defined, at my request, the court reporter stated, “That’s really my opinion. But I really believe I can’t!” My reply was a simple, “Hmm. How’s that?”

This professional then listed a bucket of reasons and detailed explanations. Sentence after sentence began “I can’t …”

Due to “precise listening” in our court reporting field, we know there are high-frequency words and phrases. We know that all court reporting students are taught the phrase “I can’t” in a brief form.

As the holidays approach, I invite you to focus on the number of times you (I will include myself here) use the “I can’t” phrase.

What does this have to do with our work, our path? …

PART II: I did not know the man, though I knew the national corporation.

Rather than discuss my shoe size with a list of questions clearly being trolled with multiple captioning and CART (Communication Access Realtime Translation) offices (he confirmed this trolling, upon my request), I asked that he print the list and send the questions to me.

Mr. IT Man quickly said, “I can’t.”

I paused and said softly, “Sir, you are clearly reading from a list. You are clearly asking me proprietary questions about my business. I’d like to clearly see your name on letterhead due to the nature of your specific questions, which you are entering into a computer.”

(I could hear him typing. Yes, he confirmed that he was entering my information into a company database.)

Again the IT Man said, “I can’t.”

I thanked him for the opportunity to work with the national company and assured him that he would find competent help with this service request.

Approximately three minutes later, my office received two pages with very specific questions (and large blank spaces for answers) from the gentleman who had just said, “I can’t,” twice.

Students share the “I can’t” phrase often.

We know the bar of excellence for all court reporting training and programs is high.

We know that the profession graduates approximately 8 percent of students who enroll in school. (This is a statistic shared from reliable sources.)

Currently, court reporters, CART providers and broadcast captioners are facing the high-frequency question, “How low (as in cheap) can you go?” when we receive requests for work.

I have been prompted to begin sentences with “I can’t lose money to produce your work.”

Yet I have transformed that sentence into, “That timeframe is fully booked in our offices.”

Good business? This answer ‘clearly’ will change with each person, each request; this we know.

The art of avoiding losing money while producing a work product is a good lesson to remember once learned. Yes?

Pro bono work is a completely different kettle of fish and pot of coffee.

Yet, producing work based on “How low can you go?” is not a mission many professionals can maintain. Yes?

Our profession has opportunities to produce the spoken (and I softly tease “the muttered”) word within many powerful, unique, verbatim formats.

We provide instant translation for daily current historical events, educational settings, foreign languages, remote and onsite webinars and seminars transmitted around the world and down the hall. Our list of opportunities to share our professional skills is endless.

I have provided CART (Communication Access Realtime Translation) on small and large screens for church services; funerals; baptisms; educational classes; gatherings for businesses and families, technical events, children, teens, and adults; clairvoyants; puppets (really); the McGruff Dog; and a Deaf mime (who physically lifted me onto the stage to become part of his performance). All in a good day and evening’s work, yes?

Part I of III is posted November 14, 2010, on Monette’s Musings at and

Part II of III is posted December 2, 2010, on Monette’s Musings at and

Part III of III is posted December 15, 2010, on Monette’s Musings at and

—-Monette, named the Court Reporting Whisperer by students, may be reached:

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Monette Benoit, B. B.A., CCR, CRI, CPE, Paralegal, CART Captioner, Instructor, Consultant, Columnist

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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.

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