The most boring of all boring tasks

Transcribing interviews. Seriously. It does not matter how exciting a conversation was the first time around, re-listening to an identical conversation and taking copious notes has got to be one of the most boring tasks. Ever. And that’s re-listening to the exciting interviews. Now imagine what it’s like re-listening to a less-than-stellar conversation. Exactly.


So, you ask, why don’t you just take notes the first time around?

Well, I do. I take lots of notes. I scribble all over the place. But, I also like to pay attention to the person I’m talking to, and that’s a lot harder to do when I’m writing down what he just said. Ever write down what a person says, listen to what he’s currently saying and formulate what you’re going to ask him based on what he just said? The said part that you’re still jotting down?

It’s a skill, apparently. One I’m still working at obtaining. So, in the meantime I record story interviews.

Recording an interview also allows for more precision in quoting sources. I prefer to attribute words to a person that he actually said versus quoting something he “generally” said. It’s better journalism.

Which begs the statement: You’re not a journalist.

No, no, I’m not, but I like to think I should show some integrity and uphold some of the same standards.

Of course, when I’m three-quarters of the way through a second-time-over interview, I’m half tempted to throw integrity out the window, make up my own exciting quotes and call it a day.

Chances are they’d be more entertaining to read anyway.


3 thoughts on “The most boring of all boring tasks

  1. Jill says:

    Actually, I misspoke. Dusting might be the most boring of all boring tasks. Really. Ask my mom.

  2. Ronny says:

    Years ago when I was doing a little gig known as “the U.S. Presidency”, many a reporter wanted a chance at an interview. I appreciated those who actually listened rather than scribbling madly.

    I feel your transcribing pain. You know, whenever I had a menial task at hand, I would howler to Jimmy Baker to find me a lackey. Well, I recommend that you do the same, although not to Baker, as he won’t know you from Adam.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Dusting boring? U can take a sprayed clothe, dance unceasingly around a room, flicking here, dabbing there knowing that the dust is probably being rearranged so you can have more fun another day. Remember you might as well have fun with it because dust NEVER GOES AWAY. Love, mom

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