From Hot Chick to Hot Mess: Two radically different days in the life of a court reporter

by admin on January 3, 2013

By: Elizabeth Gangl, RPR

Minneapolis, MN:  One evening this court reporter put aside the transcript pages and attended a fundraiser for her favorite charity – Gilda’s Club Twin Cities.   The Brave New Workshop hosted a party for Gilda’s and another fundraiser, Coats for Kids, sponsored by Lindquist & Vennum, a law firm said reporter works with.  At the show, their annual Christmas Review, a fun and fabulous evening started for me by being called out by a cast member as the “Hot Chick in the Front Row.”  Pulled up on stage, and a martini or two later, I then became known as the “Bad A** Court Reporter in the Red Leather Jacket.”  When an opportunity such as this presents itself, a person has two ways to go – be a dud and hope to get excused, or just go with it and have some fun.  Those of you who know me, it’s no contest which path I chose.  During intermission I got high-fives from several audience members who congratulated me on a job well done!  They even thought I might have been a plant.  I didn’t know these people, and found out several of them were from L&V.  What an opportunity to do some marketing and self-promoting!  Some day I just may be reporting a deposition over at that law firm, and some lucky attorney might recognize they are in the presence of a star – that “Bad A** Court Reporter.”  I might even be sporting my red leather jacket!

Now for a 180-degree turn.  Feeling pretty cocky after such an event, I drive to St. Cloud for an all-day depo.  We’re going to start early and go late, so I plan on a little extra time to eat a decent breakfast once I get there.  I stop for gas, pump does not shut off, and now I’ve got gas all over the place, including my gloves.  Gloves go in the trunk to avoid the gas smell, it takes some time to clean up the car, and now no time for breakfast, a granola bar will have to do.  Get to the job site, slip on a patch of ice and go down total body sprawl – remember, no gloves on, they’re in the trunk.  Pick myself up, check for damage, fingers still able to move, on I go.  The receptionist takes one look and says “Are you okay?”  Look down, blood streaming from left hand and a golf-ball size lump already forming.   The witness, who has medical training, takes a look and pronounces a broken blood vessel.   Ice pack and bandage later, we go on the record.  After a long two hours before the first break, I stand up and almost knock myself out.  Apparently I must have bruised a rib, pulled a muscle or something, but cannot take a deep breath without getting dizzy.  Now I think nothing else can happen.  Au contraire – migraine hits mid-afternoon   Can’t see my computer screen to save my soul.  Refuse to call for a break because, after all, I am a bad a** reporter.  Just praying they don’t ask for a read-back until vision is restored.

I gotta tell ya – there are days and there are days – and it is WAY more fun being a hot chick than a hot mess.  Maybe I should wear my leather jacket more often.

Humility restored.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Jan Ballman
Liz, while this is hysterical in many ways, in many others it is SO you. First, you would not hesitate to jump on any stage and ham it up. But more importantly, you would never hesitate to do whatever it takes to get the job done on any given day. Thanks for rocking the Paradigm brand and being an awesome court reporter! In fact, Paradigm's 2012 MVP!

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