excuse me while I drill a hole thru my nose

Which is the gesture French people make when they're bored. I never understood it really but I guess if you're really really bored, you might as well drill a hole thru your nose? Or maybe it's to let off the steam or something of the frustration of being bored? Or maybe it's because the nose is the window to the soul?

I have no idea but I'm about ready to drill now anyway.

I'm at the city library downloading student audio composition files to listen to and grade. For some reason they are taking about 4 minutes each to download. I don't really understand why they have to download when I just told it I wanted to listen to them with the media thingy. This is one of my computer grey areas where I really have no idea what is happening, I just click stuff and hope for the best.

Anyway at school they only take a few seconds each to download but my computer is getting moody. I need to figure out what is wrong before Paris.

I'm at the city library because... well I might as well tell you since I have all this time...

About 8 weeks ago someone called wanting something translated. I said, "No," because I knew I was already too fried as it was and didn't need some stupid translation mucking up the works even further. I suggested other people the person should try. The potential client wrote back saying that it was just two driver's licenses from Quebec that needed translating into English and he had done most of the work already and please please please blah blah blah... I saw the files and he was right, he had done about 90% of the work and Quebec driver's licenses, like US ones, are not particularly wordy anyway, so I finished the work, finetuned one or two bits of his translation, got Joe in our department to sign a memo attesting to my employment in the dept. and my ability to translate, which the customer had said he needed and wrote up himself, saving me even more time. Client came early one morning shortly thereafter to my office to pick up the finished versions and my memo, gave me $25 cash (I gave him a hefty discount since he had done most of it). And I thought, "See, it was good you gave him the benefit of the doubt and welcomed something for once instead of saying no and growling about it all the while. It pays to be positive and say YES to stuff!!... yadda yadda yadda..."

Well.. 2 weeks ago the client writes me again. The state of SC would not accept the memo about me. I had two or three suggestions but the client said he absolutely needed HR to sign the previous memo. Given that the memo states that the person attests to my being qualified to translate French>English, I knew HR couldn't attest to that plus it's a conflict of interest for HR to have to do something like this when it's not my CU job in question. Finally someone at HR suggested I get an employment verification letter - that's the best they could do. I suggested to the client that I get another memo from Joe about my translation abilities stating that he's our current FR section head - maybe that would be weightier than the earlier version where it (only) said "Assoc. Prof." Client finally agreed and today (after my schedule finally allowed my making it to Admin. Svcs. before closing to pick up the verification letters) all of the paperwork is ready (of course all with original sigs, etc., no faxes/elec. copies allowed) and the client is meeting me to get it in a little while after he's done with his workday in Anderson.

Oh you still don't know why I'm at the library. We were supposed to meet at Jittery Joe's so I could get some more work done before (supposedly) being on break tomorrow but JJ's is closing early, yet I still had to meet the client in the parking lot there and I knew if I went home for the 1h30 interim, I wouldn't get any work done. So I'm off to JJ's in a second (one more oral) to meet the client.

Next time I lean towards saying no to a translation, someone make sure I go thru with it, 'K?


(And no, according to the client, even tho Quebec is known for being, um, BILINGUAL, they supposedly do not provide English versions of official docs. Yeah, right. Hmmm.)

ha! after this story you're probably ready to do some nose-drilling yourself! Aren't I nice to spread the love?!

1 commentaire:

Applecart T. a dit…

ah, see, now i know why it was SO IMPORTANT for my stupid state to vote to amend its constitution to make sure all legal docs and legal business for the state be conducted in english — you can't trust the 'other' language to not just take over and become like mono-lingual quebec. thanks for the insider tip ; )

ps, i still think it's interesting how there are no official "yes, i am qualified to translate" standards out there … or maybe i'm wrong / over-simplifying, but at least in spanish in this market, if you want to be a hospital interpreter or something, fine, there are some courses the public hospitals have cobbled together based on costal models, but if you want to have something translated, there's no way to know that the person doing it knows much.

finally, in the interest of ruining blogspot security (and proving that it's already spying on us in reverse), i will provide the word verification that goes so well with the boredom and drilling and french theme:


like "tres dull" or "tree drill" or even (unrelated) treacle, that stuff alice in wonderland had her sights set on. just too suspicious!