As we continue our celebration of Court Reporting & Captioning Week we would like to share our interview with Vesta York, CSR, RMR, CRR, from Wichita, Kansas. Vesta comes from a family full of court reporters and was kind enough to share a couple of her court reporting adventures with us. Thank you for sharing with us, Vesta. Keep up the great work! We’re proud to serve you.
How long have you been a court reporter or captioner? October 2020 was 48 years. Since people are doing math here, I want to point out that I was about 4 years old when I started because I can’t possibly be this old.
What led you to a career in stenography? I had a sister one year older who started court reporting school. It sounded like a fascinating career so I followed. We lived together in a teeny studio apartment while in court reporting school. We are from a small Kansas town of about 8,000 people. An attorney that was friends with my dad suggested his daughters go to court reporting school. The rest is history. My younger sister also went to court reporting school, as did her daughter and daughter-in-law, and a cousin of ours. From that one suggestion by the small-town attorney, six court reporting careers were hatched.
What is the most rewarding part of your career? The most rewarding part is learning a little something about so many subjects. I love people and interacting with so many different people. I have always said court reporting is like a free education about many different subjects.
What advice would you give a prospective student looking to enter the profession? This is the most rewarding profession. As long as there are students who enter the profession, we will not be replaced. There are opportunities in every manner of reporting, whether it be captioning, CART, officialship or freelance. The world is your oyster. Persevere in court reporting school because the reward is great.
What was the best job you’ve ever taken or show you’ve captioned? One of the best opportunities I had was going with a client to Guam and Saipan to take depositions about sashimi (raw tuna) and how it spoiled on the planes making its way to Japan. My client and I traveled with the owner of an airline who lived locally in Wichita, Kansas at the time. So he made sure we had a stop-off at Hawaii on the way home for 20 hours. When we went to dinner he insisted I try sashimi. He took us to USS Arizona and drove us around. It capped off the few days of work.
What was the most important thing you learned in 2020? 2020 for everyone has been a time of challenges and change. Learning to adapt to the change of working from home via Zoom required some equipment challenges. Once I got the equipment all worked out, Zoom is working great and I love it. It means everyone has their own speaker. Have there been some distortion issues? Yes, sometimes. Has there been crosstalk? Yes. But there were problems with crosstalk with in-person depositions prior to March of 2020. Yes, I have to interrupt more often on Zoom because of glitches, but, for the most part, attorneys are understanding about the technological challenges that arise in today’s “new normal.” And the best part, they all know your name because it’s on the screen.
What is the best show you watched on Netflix in 2020? Somebody Feed Phil. I also got invested in Virgin River, a show to let my mind really forget about work.
Do you have pets? It’s embarrassing to admit to my stable of pets. They are all rescue pets, first of all. I have a soft spot for all the rescues. We have two Golden Retrievers, Hank and Lady; two Keeshond, Ryker and Elway, and three lazy cats: Lucy, Rigby and Rocket. The pets we have named ourselves are named after songs: Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds, Eleanor Rigby, Rocket Man, and Lady Madonna for one of the Golden Retrievers. I really need to buy lottery tickets because if I ever won, I’d open a true no-kill shelter with veterinarians for all abused and abandoned dogs and cats.