Just a petit post from me tonight (speaking of petit – and petty – last night I dreamt Llew and I were in Paris. But no. That would be L, as of Monday. Bitch.) – would you look at the time! Nearly a quarter to eight and I’ve not even thought about dinner. It’s been a day of work-related pains in the rear. Transcribing: UGH. It takes forever, it’s sooo boring, and I am such a picture of mediocrity in the typing pool that it is one long stop, start palaver. Worse, my dictaphone seems to take severe umbrage to my attempts to conduct interviews on a mobile phone. I’ve tried tricking it by sitting as far away as possible, using a microphone, ear-pieces – basically every waxy accessory at my disposal – all to no avail. And yet sometimes it doesn’t mind at all. I can’t figure it out. Why do some interviews so enrage it? And look, it could be an Obsolete Item Complex. Remember how your Walkman got really nasty one day and ate your favourite New Order tape? It knew CDs were coming. And then remember how VCRs started gnawing through your video library and gouged the guts out of Top Gun? Spiteful obsolete items. So I look at my dictaphone and I almost feel sorry for it, because I think it knows its days are numbered. They’re certainly on the clock in this office; I can’t wait to throw this aggressive useless piece of crap in the bin.
I’ll tell you why.
Transcribing yesterday’s interview – just 15 minutes’ worth of chat – took me basically until lunchtime. There was so much static, ASIO couldn’t run interference more effectively. I was forced to hold STBOI (that’s soon-to-be-obsolete-item) right up close to my ear, just trying to decipher a key word or phrase that would help me make sense of the rest of it. I had to stop, rewind, and play every few seconds, trying to almost exorcise the ghost of my interview from beneath the aural squall raging above the machine. Excruciating doesn’t cover it. I was screaming and swearing at no one and nothing, shaking STBOI and sending Llew little text updates at enraged intervals, messages like, ‘This recording system is fucked. Makes job hard and unpleasant.’ A little while later, ‘I can’t even hear this guy over the fucking static on this fucking recording.’ The good news is, my virtual ranting in Llew’s own ear meant my dear, dear, dear, so beloved and wonderful husband went hunting solutions while I continued wrangling with STBOI (also known as Shit Technology Bastard Obsolete Item).
I LOVE LLEW.
I mean, I liked him before, have loved him for nearly 13 years, but today, we hit new heights of spousal adoration. He called and said, “Google 1300RECORD.”
I scrambled for a pen.
I complied. And then I signed up. And then I initiated my membership. And then I called Llew to do a test run, making sure to tell him that the conversation was being recorded because, well, that’s the law, and also because he’d just been to IVF to deliver a, um, sample, and I could tell he was on the cusp of saying something very indiscreet. After we hung up, I went back into the 1300RECORD site, and THERE IT WAS. I pressed play, and our conversation came through my computer like music to my ears. I nearly wept. It was biblical. Had there been a single cloud in the sky on this indecently perfect day, it would surely have parted.
This afternoon’s late interview was stress-free, and transcribing was a breeze. A breeze blowing on the pain in my arse that is transcribing, but a breeze nonetheless (if only they had figured out how to record and transcribe…). I just followed the prompts afer pressing 1300RECORD on my phone, and I was away.
So easy. Not cheap, mind you, but I tell you, I’d rather starve for a week – okay, a day, I’d never last a week – than have to sit hunched and broken-willed over that piece of shit dictaphone ever again. You hear that, obsolete item? You’re done here. We. Are. Through.