Most Simple Appears Too Simple, Part II of III

Most Simple Appears Too Simple, Part II of III
By Monette Benoit, All Rights Reserved.

Part I: During private coaching, a professional recently said, “The weak point is finding a direction.”

This experienced court reporter has reported work that is impressive. Each day she preserves the record.

Each day her world is filled with lay testimony, expert witnesses and multiple surprises.

How does one find ‘a’ direction when swimming like a salmon, upstream?

“Most simple appears too simple,” was my reply.

I hoped that I did not sound like a Chinese fortune cookie.

Court reporters, broadcast captioners, CART providers, and court reporting students with whom I work often share many – oh, so many words – sharing what they are “trying to do” to expand their skills.

Emphasis there was on ‘trying to do’ to change a well-honed, finely-tuned discipline.

The majority of people I listen to now want to work from home. They want to work “over the Internet.”

Now, the majority of individuals within our field – changing their goals – are older (by their own admission) and many have children who are “not under-foot” (a frequent description).

When we, court reporters, report, caption, CART, and take dictation at school, we process words.

We work with accuracy, speed, and instant translation.

“How can I be expected to write every word in the dictionary?” is one question I am asked.

I am asked this question so frequently that I try not to gasp and think of the court reporting instructors, firm owners, and captioning managers who would swat me if they could for not answering that one question succinctly.

I know I could open a can of small insects here for sharing that I do ask when each person attended school.

(A sizeable percentage have never set foot in a school or online program, nor do many ‘intend’ to, by their own words. Many insist they want a free education, yet ask how they can earn top dollar working from home once they ‘can’. Hmm.)

To assist individuals to reach their goals, I ask questions (which are always answered with great honesty).

Part II: I know I could open a can of small insects here for sharing that I do ask when each person attended school.

(A sizeable percentage have never set foot in a school or online program, nor do many ‘intend’ to, by their own words. Many insist they want a free education, yet ask how they can earn top dollar working from home once they ‘can’. Hmm.)

To assist individuals to reach their goals, I ask questions (which are always answered with great honesty).

Each time I hear their truth, their ‘knowing’, I am honored.

It’s not easy to answer (as someone recently said,) “about my warts and all.”

Many of the responses are profound. Many are gut-laughing funny.

One person wrote asking how she could get the hair translated, which she has recently lost working towards her goals.

Another person shared proudly that she is a great reporter and a sloppy eater. She included ‘eating soup’ as her sloppy lunch that day, “but it will be great, and I will work on the new assignments you’ve given me after I finish my sloppy noodles!”

Simple is one step, focusing upon the work and class dictation you are now producing each day.

Start with simple.

Broadcast captioners are captioning with outstanding tran rates each day.

News broadcasts frequently lead with “late-breaking news” and the words I dread (immediately moving to the edge of my chair), “This just in …”

Programs (news and comedy) lead with updated realtime protests in Egypt, Afghanistan, covering daily current events in the Middle East and Europe – before words and phrases ‘remotely’ approach our American and Canadian borders.

Within Texas, we listen to news anchors discussing “freezing-up pipes” and “changing up the running of water in outdoor pipes” as temperatures reach historical all-time lows.

And the yearly rodeos – with (free) Cowboy Breakfasts and freezing temps create new scenarios (new words), too. Just another day in the life of a captioner.

Many times I have watched flawless captioning and listened to people commenting, “That must be a machine. It’s perfect.”

I ‘simply’ smile.

I know each broadcast captioner worked very hard to have the text, words, ‘simply’ tran accurately across their screen.

In my mom’s multiple hospitals (December 2010, January and February), each time she was moved into a new room, I hunted for the control box (maybe in her bed, maybe on the bed’s side panels) to turn on the captioning.

(Sometimes I stood on my tiptoes, reaching up into the air for the older, ceiling-suspended, TV.)

I was successful 100 percent (while stretching and pressing every switch, every button).

Once the captions were ‘on’ the TV, nurses, aides, technicians, respiratory staff, housekeeping, staff and hospital crew trolled into Mom’s room to watch.

Small clusters of people in odd colored-shirts (many wearing tops with animals or flowers in bright pink or green) stood just steps within the doorway, near Mom’s sink.

They huddled, leaning together as a group, peering towards the TV.

I simply watched from my (uncomfortable) chair.

I did not comment until I was asked “What’s that?”

Not one person knew this could be accomplished in the hospital(s) – and many did not know they “could do this” in their home.

I beamed with pride when people discussed “all those word, how fast they come up – and they’re correct!” Go captioners.

(Yes, I had a few mini-interventions sharing that patients and family members would benefit …

Each time I was told, “Oh, we have children and adults that could USE that!”

I did not sigh once. Not once. And that was ‘work’ to not have that “are you kidding me?” look that I free-frame on my face when the hospitals and crew asked.

I wanted to get the drawing board and say, “Okay. Everybody. Over here. You, too. Here’s where we are. Square one. That’s where we are.” I never did that. Lord, knows I wanted to after so many conversations were routinely initiated from “Hey! What Ya Got In There?” Really.)

Monette Benoit may be reached for tutoring and coaching: and

Part I of III is posted May 4, 2011, on Monette’s Musings at and

Part II of III is posted May 17, 2011, on Monette’s Musings at and

Part III of III is posted May 26, 2011, on Monette’s Musings at and

Monette Benoit, B. B.A., CCR, CRI, CPE, Paralegal
Motivation Management & Life Coach,
Tutor and Multiple Title Author of Books & Test Prep for the Court Reporting & Captioning Industry
Realtime Court Reporter, Instructor, Consultant, Columnist

Court Reporter Reference Books & CDs:

Blog: Monette’s Musings,
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About Monette Benoit:
As a 25+year court reporter, CART provider, author of NCRA test prep material and an instructor, 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, 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, remote, students.

Her one-on-one tutoring has greatly assisted thousands of students, novice and experienced professionals to privately reach the next level.

Monette’s Musings is a blog containing information for busy professionals, students and individuals who are fearless and seek to create their success each day.

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