The Advantages of a Court Reporter’s Flexible Schedule


Kelley BW cropBy:  Kelley Zilles, RPR

Over the past 28 years of being a court reporter I have often heard how lucky I am to have such a flexible schedule.  When my daughters were young it was so nice to be able to pick them up after a morning job and take them down to the park in the afternoon, or even just let them play at home while I was working on transcripts in the other room.  Now that the kids are grown and out of the house, it’s really nice after a morning job to be able to run errands I need to do during the day instead of after work when the rest of the world is out there grocery shopping and waiting in line at the Post Office too.

I love the flexibility of producing transcripts at a time that works best for me.  My most favorite times are at night after everyone has gone to bed and the house is peaceful and quiet and there are absolutely no distractions, before the crack of dawn so that when I’m done I have the rest of the day to do fun things, or proofreading a transcript while sitting on a stationary bike and working out.  And now since having a cabin, it doesn’t seem so bad to be working on a transcript over the weekend when you have the benefit of sitting by the lake and listening to the water while editing.

I feel fortunate to have the flexibility to be able to say yes to jobs that involve travel.  Last summer I took a job in St. Croix Falls and was able to stay at the cabin while working.  I also say yes whenever there’s a chance to work near the Fargo area.  My youngest daughter went to college there and is now living and working there.  It’s nice to be able to have an unplanned visit with her and have her hang out in the hotel with me.

Having a flexible schedule definitely means you have to be a flexible court reporter.  There are those times when we were really counting on that two-day job that cancels the afternoon before, after you had already been thinking about how you were going to spend the money, rearranged a hair appointment, and cancelled a lunch date with a friend.  Or there is always the job that was only going to go until noon but didn’t finish until 6:00, and they decide they need it by tomorrow morning.  There is always that moment of frustration, but on the flip side, don’t you just love that feeling when you’re all caught up and your job finishes early and you have a chance to be spontaneous and go visit your granddaughter, meet a friend for happy hour, or go shopping?