This article is part of a multi-part series on the best protests of the 2014 calendar year.
A court reporter in the United States came up with an original way to express his frustration over his monotonous job and to protest against his work conditions. Daniel Kochanski, who was responsible for typing up the protocols of a Manhattan, New York court entered the sentence “I hate my job, I hate my job” over and over, instead of recording the court’s proceedings.
Kochanski, 43, typed out what he was feeling — and liberal amounts of plain old gibberish, as well — instead of producing accurate transcripts for more than thirty court sessions. At present, the court is attempting to reconstruct the lost protocols, based on the recollections of others who were present there. A court source suspected that at least ten convictions could potentially be overturned on appeal over the contention that key evidence is missing, since it s not documented in the court protocols. “It should have been questions and answers — instead it was gibberish,” the source said.
“I never had a situation where a single court reporter was responsible for so much damage,” said Claudia Trupp of the Center for Appellate Litigation, which is handling an appeal for one of the affected cases. “This situation is terrible for everybody,” Trupp said. “It’s very difficult to come up with a sufficient record based on everybody’s recollection years after the event.”
In its reporting on the legal scandal, the New York Post drew comparisons to the fictional character of Jack Torrance that Jack Nicholson played to the hilt in the 1980 movie The Shining. In the seminal horror film, Torrance holes up in an abandoned hotel in order to write a book, but then suffers a nervous breakdown and scrawls “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”.
Kochanski’s act of rebellion may have been out of the ordinary, but it hardly qualifies as insane, and might even be regarded by some as a sign of excellent mental health. As expected, he was fired from his job in the wake of the disclosure. “The pressure of that job pushed him over the edge, leading him to lose everything,” said Kochanski’s ex-wife Heather.