Why Do I Love Interpreting? Let Me Count the Ways…
A stimulating didactic experience
Firstly, because I am the epitome of the eternal student, I am enamored of the fact that it is such a stimulating experience that I construe as didactic. I’m constantly working on something new so I’m always learning as I study different industries and processes to formulate glossaries, or when travel is required, which is an education in and of itself. Luckily, from my research I have learned that this intellectual activity leads us to forge new synapses in our brain that among other favorable effects, fend off many symptoms of aging. I enjoy the feeling I get of being settled and prepared when I report to work, with the conviction that I have done my best to learn the subject matter. To further this feeling of calm, I always strive to arrive early with ample time to anticipate surprises. I am very punctual so this is something that dovetails with my nature. It is very important in our industry, because many people are dependent on us, from conference attendees to judges and attorneys who cannot proceed without us. I am grateful to my Dad for having instilled this trait in me and my siblings because it has always stood us in good stead. When we were children, he would drive us to church on Sundays and wait for Mom, my four brothers and I in the car, way ahead of time, while we got ready. The ritual was he would honk the horn only once, and woe to us if we were not ready to leave promptly. When I got married in Miami, “Little Havana” back then, he paid no heed to “Cuban Time”, which is always at least an hour after standard time. When we arrived at the church, naturally there was no one there. He insisted we walk down the aisle anyway because punctuality is “de rigueur”. It was only at the end of the wedding, when I walked out, that the pews had been filled. Nonetheless, I value the concept.
Interaction with other players
I take pleasure in the interaction with other players at interpreted events. Making new acquaintances, be they colleagues, employers, judges, presenters, litigants, etc.; creating bonds that will strengthen my network of relationships. We never know, when we could be of assistance to someone else, or they to us. I remember helping an American court reporter once by making a comprehensive list of dozens of proper names and addresses in Spanish, of individuals, companies and institutions mentioned during testimony that took several hours. It was not always easy to do because at the same time, I was interpreting complex testimony. This allowed her to concentrate on the record and not have to chase different witnesses during a recess or after hours, to get the spellings. She was very grateful and soon thereafter recommended me for a well-paid assignment. I am not encouraging you to help others with the expectation that they will reciprocate, but when someone does you a good turn you often naturally want to return the favor.
I like the recognition of being selected to do particular jobs based on a track record, that in turn was the result of a long- term solid endeavor to improve my output. I enjoy the satisfaction of being asked to come back, of having contributed to an effort, of having helped others to understand something that is important to them.
It’s a positive feedback loop
I appreciate feeling energized and mindful when I work and it is all engendered by the above. It’s a positive feedback loop. When we focus on constructive, favorable actions, they create the memories which are the filters for experience, the building blocks that dictate how we perceive occurrences in our life, based on how we have assimilated past events.
Please share with me what you like, or to the contrary, in a constructive way, what you don’t like about the profession. I look forward to your comments!