Transcription – why we are unique

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Today is a bit special because it’s one month since I started working for McGowan Transcriptions and it’s been a wonderful few weeks. For me this has not only been a pleasant new ‘place of work’ but a total revelation when it comes to working as a transcriptionist. When I submitted my application, I did so because the words ‘professional’ and ‘team’ were in Joe’s advert for audio transcribers. I thought that’s odd, because after six years working as a transcriptionist, or ‘typist’ as one agency liked to define us – call me arrogant and pompous if you like, but I happen to think the audio transcription of often hard-won qualitative research is a wee bit different to just ‘typing’ – I’d not ever particularly associated those words with the digital transcription services’ industry as a whole.

I told Joe I didn’t have six months’ experience of audio transcription, but did have six years’ worth if she was interested. My cheeky approach to the issue of applying to McGowan Transcriptions received Joe’s response that she ‘liked my letter’. Once I’d recovered from the idea that not only did they say they were professional and worked as a team but they seemed to have a sense of humour too, I was given a try out. With some other transcription companies that means a typing test and away you go transcribing folks’ confidential, sensitive, original research. Not with McGowan Transcriptions. Having filled in a zillion forms related to data security, information storage compliance, confidentiality, proof of nationality, my tax registration and applied for a criminal record disclosure, for two weeks I was given daily guidance, detailed feedback and support on tap.

For remote workers, like most transcriptionists are, this latter point is vital and I was made to know time and again that I could and should ask any question about anything. I really got the feeling that Team McGowan were pulling out the stops to not only enable me to meet what are their exacting standards when it comes to providing a transcription service for what are high calibre clients with their own rigorous quality benchmarks, but also to ensure my working life could be as good as possible.

Before my memories fade entirely of feeling like just another typing monkey, I decided to tell Joe yesterday how much I was enjoying working for McGowan Transcriptions and that I was still pleasantly surprised each day at the level of appreciation given regarding my work and the warmth I’ve felt from her and her team. Having gently pointed out to me that ‘her team’ includes me too now, she said, ‘Why would I not treat my most precious assets with anything other than respect and grace?’ Now how can we get that point of view to filter through to the whole of the audio transcription services industry?!

Even though my formal ‘on boarding’ is over, I still feel like I’m being inducted into a whole new lovely way of working. My only regret about now being part of the McGowan team is that I’m only celebrating a month of being a part of it!

Written by Marian Cleary