Life As A Court Reporter: A Delicate Balancing Act


Amy LizotteBy:  Amy Lizotte

I have always been a planner.  I enjoy making lists and feel a certain satisfaction checking things off my lists.   I am a single mother of two teenage boys who seem to be involved in EVERYTHING and they do need to eat, right?  Not to mention my part-time job as a taxi driver, which I don’t get paid for and just seems to cost me money.  Let’s just say I am busy and planning is a must.

Life as a freelance court reporter is not conducive to my planning nature.  Every day in the life of a court reporter is different.  When I get a job assignment, I find out the who, what, where, when about my day either the day before or maybe an hour before it’s going to happen.  It’s typically not where I was yesterday or last week or maybe ever.   I don’t know how long a job is going to last until I hear those three magic words, “No further questions.” When I chose the profession of court reporting, I think a part of me wanted the fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants lifestyle.  Maybe I was sick of the mundane, go to the same job, do the same thing at the same time every day.  I wanted to take a walk on the wild side.

So how do I balance my inherent need to plan with the need for flexibility in my career?   Stay ahead of the game.  This means fast turnaround.  I try my best to turn in my jobs as quickly as possible.  Having a transcript to do is kind of like homework.  I never liked homework hanging over my head, so I get my “homework” in ASAP.  When everything is all done, wow, I might have some free time.  Which leads me to my “free” time.  Here is where my planning comes into play.  I plan for the next time I will be busy.  One thing I do is I cook like a madwoman.  I freeze meals so that on the days I’m running through the door trying to feed my two starving teenagers I can just pop something in before it’s on to the next activity.  I do everything I can to make sure things are in order and easy for the next avalanche of work.  I clean, do laundry, go through paperwork, organize, anything I can do in advance to be prepared for when I don’t have time for it later.

I love my job and not knowing what’s going to happen from day to day.  I am forced out of my box on a daily basis.  I meet new people constantly.  I learn new things regularly.  It is truly exciting.  I have found a way to incorporate planning into my unpredictable career, so I truly have the best of both worlds.