The Final Frontier: Nolo Contendere, Guilty, Part III of III

The Final Frontier: Nolo Contendere, Guilty, Part III of III
By Monette Benoit, All Rights Reserved.
September 27, 2013

Part I and II began: Court reporters are a disciplined breed. This is reinforced as I move through my professional and personal world.

“The final frontier” is a metaphor. I was encouraged to write this as I trolled this topic past professionals, court reporters, broadcast captioners, CART providers, instructors, and students that I am tutoring and coaching. Guilty.

Court reporters listen with laser focus. I have listened to individuals, doctors, speak – a lot.

When specialists have finished long sentences, often I am asked “Have any questions?”

Often, I shake my head. When I am asked why I don’t have any questions I have replied, “The good news is that the patient does not have the diagnosis that you thought was causing the problem. The bad news is that you don’t know what’s causing the problem.”

Not often, the specialist asks, “How’d you do that?”

Rarely, will I share, “Degree in listening.”

Often, I reply, “I listened.” …

Part II: … Me: “No can do. Court reporter. Only time I see word ‘arrested,’ is with work. ‘Patient arrested’ … Not signing until defined.”

EMT: “Your mother arrested on the table. You’re not supposed to know. We’re not allowed to tell you. You need to sign. We must transport now; she needs isolation.” (Code for: “The hospital’s discharge policy was at 5:00 today, and it’s past 5:00 now.)

My court reporter discipline, in my opinion, appeared again. Guilty.

I will not be hurried when asked to sign documents. I quietly insist on reading every line…

Part III of III:

The final frontier involves so many court reporters, CART providers, captioners, and students who share that they will not sign anything without reading every line, too. They insist on a copy of everything they sign, too. When they read documents to sign, everyone in the room sighs – while they calmly read, too. Discipline, yes. Guilty.

A high-profile official court reporter. “I took three hours to read mortgage papers. I took five hours signing a 15-year mortgage. When I bought a car on 24 installments, the dealer closed at 8 p.m. I left at 9:30 p.m. It drives my family crazy.” Nolo contendere.

We are not rattled when we are asking for information at work or at home, regarding a family member and advancing our skills. We listen.

We have no shortcuts to listening.

When people need events preserved, we are there. Always present. Always listening. Guilty as charged.

Update: The cardiologist, after listening to me (I measured each word), said, “She really slipped through the cracks.”

Ah, a leader! I sat tall, softly asked, “Will you be Top Dog? I want all the other dogs to report to you. Is this doable?”

Wearing surgical scrubs (with booties), he said, “Absolutely! I’ll ensure I’m faxed daily details. I’ll write orders for it.” I almost hugged the man.

When transport returned my mom to her room, I watched the scampering with individuals who said, “We sent over the wrong paperwork again? And he wants what? Daily?”

Softly, I said, “That man is now Top Dog. Thank you for making this possible.”

The final frontier. I have now have Top Dog. This is our discipline. I am off the sidelines. I asked a doctor to be Village Chief to help with my dad when I saw Dad’s road turning (Robert Frost, “The Road Not Taken”). My Village Chief then was HOH (hard of hearing); we worked as a team. (In September 2011 I wrote an article for my column, “My Village Chief is HOH.”)

Now I have Top Dog to help my mom. Yes, Mom does have God as a roommate. Guilty. The final frontier necessitates continued attention to detail, continued focus, and much listening. Guilty without an explanation.

The day after submitting this article for my “Journal of Court Reporting” column, a “care nurse” phoned to schedule a meeting.

Me: “Sure. I request a list of all Mom’s diagnoses and meds.”

Voice pitched, she was off to the races. When she refused to give me this, I listened, believing I was not going to win this battle – on the phone. I know that I am entitled to this information by law and chose not to “word” engage with her.

She ended with, “This meeting is just for you to come and listen. It is not for chit-chat.” (Code for: “We have to meet with you approximately every 60 to 90 days per Medicare and our licensing.”)

We had our meeting. The “care nurse” was not present. At the end, with my copy of meds and diagnoses that I had requested on the phone, they asked me – oh, yes, they did – to sign a document.

Me in realtime: “I want a copy.”

Multiple people: “It’s for our files. Sign here (indicating).”

I leaned in, “If I sign, I get a copy.”

They actually said, “That’s okay, then.”

In a swift poker move, I put my hand on it, pulled the document toward me.

Court reporter here read each line with speed-reading skills. Then I lifted my hand. I stood, departed document-less knowing that they remain signature-less. Nolo Contendere.

Part I of III is posted September 5, 2013, and
Part II of III is posted September 16, 2013, and
Part III of III is posted September 27, 2013, and

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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.

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