Sunday, July 11, 2010

That Work I Do

I love my work.  I always have and expect that I always will.  Of course there will always be both good and bad days, easy and hard moments.  The work I do demands concentration, confidentiality, trust and privacy.  Part of the intrigue is that as I move from job to job, I never really know what to expect -- will the Deaf person show up, what frame of mind will they be in?  Will the communication content be heavy, light, fun or troublesome?  Will the news be that of a job layoff or an unwanted diagnosis?  Perhaps I don't know the person: what do they look like, what is their signing mode, will communication be clear, will I understand the hearing person, and on and on the unknowns go.  
The unknowns are the same whether community or call center.  Call center interpreting at times is more stressful:  call after call after call,  not knowing who or what is coming next.   A call center setting also offers the pressure of call times, points earned, clock-in, log on, numbers here and numbers there.  The pressure of the clock when you are tied up on a call and need to potty or take a moment to regroup... still, it must never be more than 10 minutes out of 60.  However, there are many plus points and I love the opportunity to work in a call center for a few hours each week.
Community work on the other hand,  offers the driving time to the job, the chatting during the waiting process, the hugs and personal good-bys or see you again another time.  Community work can be very  intense but offers a moment to regroup for the next session.   And on those rare occasions, if the job is more than two hours with continous dialogue, the interpreter has a team. 
This is your peek into the  positive and negative of my work.  I can not tell stories of my jobs.   So I will talk about myself in the in-between times.    One example might be legal interpreting.  There is a lot of "hurry up and wait" at any court house.   Such was the case  not long ago in a court room....the wait.  Attorney's running in and out, judge opening door to see who has not arrived, court reporter sitting up her station and then tearing it down to go do her work in chambers.  There were the prisoners in chains and officers  to guard, there were nervous and angry visitors waiting .... and you may not guess, the deaf person is no where to be found!  
I was informed I would wait one and a half hours for the deaf person so as I sat, I analyzed the dingy ceiling tiles.  Then I took notice of the dust on the ceiling fans.  Know now, I have never considered myself to be an observant person, but honestly, the American and the Oklahoma flag both needed to be refreshed.....they appeared in sad condition.   After observing hair, clothing, attitudes, mannerisms and the such, I resorted to noticing everyones shoes.   Remind you, I am not observant, I am desperate for thought and I needed my camera to help me think.
Oh how I wished I could have gotten my camera out -- but in a court room -- and on a job --- I think not, yet, I wanted to so badly!  The officer's boots were massive - black, thick boots with what looked like two inch soles.  The snippy attorney's assistant with red, four-inch heels caused her to walk like a penguin.  The orange slides  decorated with ankle cuffs over orange jammies and clanking chains .  Then there were grey strips adorned with  chains of a different nature over bright orange loafers.  And the scene went on and on.  If I only could have used my camera, I would have created a masterful story of the shoe reveals the human.    Maybe another time when I am not being paid to do a confidential job.  sigh. 
Then, when the interesting court session began and I wanted to stay and listen, my hour and a half were up and I was allowed to leave.   double sigh.  ................  If you are wondering what the pictures have to do with anything....another job, another day, time and place while waiting.  I love my work and I love my camera.

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