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Impossible Deadlines and Adrenalin Rush June 27, 2008

Posted by Fantastic Four in Translation, Translation Companies.

Please find the source document attached. We would like to receive the translation latest by yesterday afternoon.

In her entire career as a translator, how many times will a translator experience such assignments of extreme urgency, I wonder. How many of these possibly impossible assignments have I been sent, I have never counted. I should have though, for schits and giggles, and mainly to satisfy my appetite for statistics.

I never blame the translation agency for sending me the translation with such near impossible and insane deadlines. I think it’s the lazy clients who leave everything to the last minute. Of course I am not completely leaving out the legitimate emergencies; urgent correspondence and communiques, breaking news needed to be broadcasted in another language.

And yet, most of the time, the urgency stems from a document sitting on some one’s desk until the last moment when it needs to be reproduced in a different language to submit somewhere important to do something important with it. The level of importance is a relevant issue naturally, but I can assure you every one’s business is most important to themselves.

My question then becomes “Why not treat this quintessential part of any business, which is conducted in an international level or involves at least some form of international contact, with the respect that it deserves?” Why send off a 10,000 word document to the translation agency at 5:49pm and demand that it is translated, proofread, formatted and submitted by 8am the next morning? Was it not known two days ago or even this morning that the translated version of this document had to be submitted to the High Elven Ministry of Health latest by 9am tomorrow morning?

I have to say, there is one good thing, actually a great thing about impossible deadlines: The stress, the intensity and the associated adrenalin rush. The sense of accomplishment and joy which follow upon the successful completion of the translation within the given deadline – after even having traveled back in time. Enjoying the triumph; laughing in the face of the impossible HA! HA! And ripping it apart, wrenching the prefix im-, which is a variant spelling of in- from the rest of that despicable, hopeless word and giving it hope and encouragement. Transforming it into the beautiful, positive word that it all along secretly desired to be.

So what, if the stress has billed you for half an hour out of your life expectancy. A breakfast full of anti-oxidants and everything shall be fine again.

So what, if you have another falling out with your self who claims you have no life. The excitement and thrill from tasting the unknown, the adrenalin rush, and the triumph. It’s all worth it. All worth it.



1. Baino - June 27, 2008

I used to work in a Design Agency and sadly the last minute scramble was always at our end. Presses were waiting for artwork and we’d often work into the night to ensure that we met deadlines simply because someone else couldn’t get their act together. I must admit, it didn’t give me a ‘rush’ I found it exhausting and simply an act of poor time management on behalf of others. The beauty of your craft is that you can bill them for ‘overtime’ instead of relying on a salary that doesn’t pay you for the extra hours! Clearly you love it sweets! (and secretly I’m ashamed that I only speak one language – and badly at that!)

2. Gayé Terzioglu - June 27, 2008

I think I function better under pressure. Maybe that’s why the “rush” is not so bad. I still don’t like too many urgent jobs in a row, but every so often it keeps me on my toes and cheaper than going bridge climbing or bungee jumping. Instead of having to pay for the adrenalin rush, I get paid for it. 🙂
Speaking one language is nothing to be ashamed of, if you have no need or interest to learn another one, why bother? Although, recent studies show that learning a language a day keeps dementia away. Or was it an apple a day keeps the doctor away? heh.
I told my mum and now she is studying English, mainly to be able to chat with Niall but still! 🙂

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