WHEN IT’S A PLEASURE TO GO TO WORK!
I am what used to be known as a verbatim court reporter, now referred to as a recording technician or logger. Basically, my job is to record and keep a log of everything that is said during a tribunal, hearing, inquiry, or inquest. When I have finished my work is then sent to transcribers who produces a hard copy.
Well, that’s not what I am writing about today. No, I have had the pleasure of being assigned to Surrey Coroners Court twice for some long and pretty harrowing cases. That, I can assure you, is not why it is a pleasure - far from it.
No, I wondered why considering I have to get up at 4.30am, because of a litany of medical issues, and leave the house no later than 6am to get them, the bus to the tube station, then the tube to Waterloo and then 7.10am or the 7.25am to Woking I enjoyed going to work every day.
One day it hit me! The people I worked with there were all in my age group and understood, having been brought up in an era when service, integrity, and good manners were the norm. It was so simple and was staring me in the face although it took me months to twig.
I always arrived early by 8.00 am, I technically didn’t have to arrive until 9.00. I would wait outside until someone came down and let me in with a bright and breezy, ‘Good Morning, Beverley”, I would go upstairs and organise my workstation and before I knew it someone was asking, “cup of tea?” Then someone else would come in for a 60-second chat and off again to make sure everything was in place for the inquest to start either at 10.00am or 9.30am.
The other thing that had to happen was to pad up. The temperature is set at 16C -that's cold. It does however keep us alert and awake. The secret is to be prepared - bring extra clothes.
The court staff all were super-efficient, knew what they were about, looked the part, smart and professional, sympathetic and courteous to everyone participating and just getting the job done. One day when I was not feeling 100%, unaware that was so obvious, cups of tea arrived to boost my spirit.
I finished working there last week because the inquest concluded and while I will not miss the long journey I will miss that working environment and the staff.
So this is to congratulate the Senior Coroner, Mr Travis and his staff for their consistent, pleasant, and professional service, and for making me feel welcome and part of the team!