My First Client

I remember the first time I had a transcription job. This was when I posted that I could transcribe audios in a day so I could send the transcript to the client as soon as possible. Yes, I am a fast typist, or a touch typist that’s why I could type and listen to an audio at the same time. It’s kind of multitasking, don’t you think?

Let me stay on the topic at hand, which is my first client. After I was contacted by a client overseas, it was for her dissertation, she interviewed foreigners. Back in 2007, our Internet connection was just dial-up, not the wired broadband connections these days. The fastest was the 64 kilo bytes per second at that time. And when you’re using a telephone line, you would not be able to use the telephone or else you would lose the Internet connection.

Okay, my client and I had settled on the price and she sent me the link in my e-mail account so I could download the audio. At one point, the downloading stopped at 5 MB of the file. I thought that was it as I didn’t know I’d have to ask the client how long the file was. At that time, the Internet connection was really slow so it took like half an hour to download a 10-minute or so audio. The downloading just stopped and I didn’t bother checking if there was more to it than that.

So I started transcribing and after an hour or less, I sent in the file. What happened next was unbelievable.

My client reprimanded me for sending in an incomplete transcription of the interview. Yes, I downloaded a five-minute audio, thinking that was the whole thing and transcribed it. Boy, did I get so frustrated and mad at myself for not realizing that was a boo-boo. My client even blamed me for not passing her dissertation because of the error I’d committed. I apologized to her profusely. For that, I told her that I’d transcribe the audios for free.

So I downloaded it again, transcribed the whole 20-minute audio, and submitted the transcript, even if it was too late. I still got paid P1,500 for the job, for the effort.


The dial-up days are over so a transcriber’s Internet connection should be something like 2.1 Mbps now to comply with the client’s requirements in downloading audios, or else, no transcription job.

After that mistake I made, from that time on, I’d make sure that all the audios I’d download, I’d ask the client how long the file was and wait for it to completely download.


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