Best/Worst Court Reporting Dream Ever

I'm not sure if it was the chili for dinner last night a la Homer Simpson in the chili cook-off episode of season 8, but I just had the craziest dream about court reporting ever.

Scene: A crowded conference room, up to 20 people in attendance.

I walked in to the deposition with all my equipment in tow, knowing full well that I was there 20 minutes early. I proceeded to set up my steno machine and laptop, sat down, and started warming up. Things were going well at first, and I remember making polite conversation with people at the table.

At about the two-minute countdown, I realized suddenly that my mouth and throat felt like they were filled with cotton and that I wasn't going to be able to report the proceedings to the best of my ability with a parched throat, wondering when they'd take the first break. I politely excused myself so I could go get a drink.

I left the conference room in search of the water fountain and figured I might as well use the ladies room while I was out there. Suddenly my surroundings morphed into a high school hallway maze, and I spent an undetermined amount of time trying to find the drinking fountain and restrooms and then my way back to the conference room.

When I finally made my way through the locker-filled labyrinth back to where the parties were waiting, I walked into a room filled with disapproving glares, only to find out they had gone on without me and had completed the deposition while I was out there lost in locker land.

I sat down at my chair to take the second deposition and placed my hands on my steno machine to start writing. I realized that while I was gone, someone had stolen my Stenograph 400 SRT steno machine and replaced it with a non-electric machine with no paper and no memory storage capabilities. You can imagine my disappointment at this time.

So they started the deposition, and I figured since I was already there, I might as well get some lap-tap steno practice and wrote the proceedings without my machine. After a few minutes, I raised my wriggling fingers up above the conference room table almost taunting the rude, mean-faced lawyer directly across from me, and also to let everybody know I wasn't recording the testimony. It was at this point that I looked around the room and all of a sudden realized that there had been a water cooler in the conference room the whole time. Come to think of it, I remember now that I also didn't swear the witness in.

And... scene.

Morals of the story: Arrive early. Make sure you have all your equipment. Use the facilities well before the proceedings, and it can't hurt to carry a bottle of water in your steno bag. Tightly sealed, people.

Keep an eye on your equipment. People do steal steno machines even though they don't know what they are. Ebay doesn't care what it is, just how much money it can fetch. My teacher had one stolen out of her car two years ago. Ask questions, and be honest with the people involved if you're having an equipment or other problems.

And last but not least, don't eat homemade chili within a few hours of going to bed. Trust me on this one.