A two-month absence

from the Wibsite (although not the world of blogging, as I also blog elsewhere) and I’m back. I think my blogginglessness can be partly attributed to the fact that I have been bogged down in Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment. Raskolnikov committed the crime – I received the punishment. I was determined to read “the most accessible and exciting novel in the world” [John Jones] but progress slowed to a word a day at points. It couldn’t have been slower if I’d been reading it with a dictionary for every word in the original Russian.  I was just thankful throughout that I hadn’t had to translate it.  As you may have guessed by now, it was not my cup of tea and somehow it drained me of all my will to write.  The good news is that I finished the tome about 20 minutes ago and now life can resume more normally!

In other news, I sent details of my superlative 😉 translation skills to a particular agency today in another English-speaking country. To do this, I filled in an on-line form and attached my CV as requested.  I received an email saying “Please send your CV to xxx”. I clicked reply and sent a second copy of my CV.  A few seconds later, I received a reply and I quote the communication here verbatim and in full.

“No – you were asked to send it to xxx.”

Well, pardon me, Ms Extremely Curt not-to-mention-bordering-on-Rude! I considered responding to her that perhaps a more gracious way of dealing with this would have been to say “Dear Ms Tiggywinkle, I have forwarded your CV to xxx to ensure the efficient processing of your application.” But decided against it at this stage of our business relationship.

Had Ms Curt-and-Rude taken a route similar to the one I describe above, I would have understood the message and would also have felt a little embarrassed for not having been more assiduous in taking note of the name of the requested recipient of the CV. As it was, I felt as if I’d been treated like some sort of idiot with the brain development of a 3-year old.

One may feel I am making something of a mountain out of a molehill here and perhaps I am. But in my defence, I had complied with the original instructions on the on-line form –  so if they wanted a copy to go to xxx why didn’t they say so in the first place? or set up the form so that xxx got a copy automatically? Ms Curt-bordering-on Rude might also like to bear in mind that the particular type of work she was offering is not the sort that appeals to many people… and the world is not awash with German to (native speaker) British English translators. We are quite literally a dying breed. By being so abrupt, she may be shooting herself in the foot. I am a freelancer and am not required to work for anyone I do not choose to work for.

I shall see how things go with this embryonic contact. I might have to tell them I made a mistake in my quote. If all their staff turn out to be as charmless as my initial contact, my prices may have to reflect a charge for “damages to my soul and equilibrium”. On the other hand, I may just stick my nose in the air, turn on my heel and stalk off into cyberspace. They may, of course, turn out to be my bestest client ever-ever-ever and this little incident will not only be forgiven, but also forgotten.

The positive side of this little incident reminds me that most of my clients in German-speaking countries are unfailingly polite and usually fun to work with – and no doubt appreciate that without their freelancers, they would have no business.

3 thoughts on “A two-month absence

  1. Yes, welcome back, good to see you posting again. Since you last posted I have done a bit of translating myself – my best friend (German) got married to an English bloke in Germany and I translated/interpreted the wedding service and speeches later. Second career in case Plan A or B don’t work out 😉

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