The other day, I had the privilege of attending a Carolina Association of Translators and Interpreters (CATI) social event in Charlotte, North Carolina. I was enjoying a delicious slice of pizza and chatting with my fellow interpreters and translators. While we all shared experiences, one of my colleagues, Anna Gallant Carter of Gallant Language Consulting, totally blew my mind.
Her website is www.gallanttranslator.com. She recounted how one day while on the road, she received an emergency call from one of her good clients. They asked if she could come right away for a legal interpretation. Her reply: “OK, I am heading there now.” She parked her car and pulled out a box containing a professional, no-iron dress just for such occasions. She changed her attire, consumed a power bar, and promptly arrived to interpret. (By the way, she changed her clothes in a restroom, not on the side of the road.)
As far as I am concerned, she is an interpreting superheroine. Had this been me, I’d be facing a difficult decision. Either I would have had to swing by my house to change clothes and thereby arrive prohibitively late to the appointment, or arrive quickly and give a bad first impression to all other professionals present at the appointment. Obviously, my client would know that I’m helping him out of a jam, but what about the others? In either case, eating lunch would be completely out of the question. I don’t know about you, but when I am extremely hungry, I become irritable. My interpreting is nowhere near as proficient as it could be.
I walked away from that conversation with Anna impressed and inspired. From now on, just like any good superhero, I will be prepared. My car will be stocked with nutritious power bars and a quality no-iron power suit. There is no need for me to miss perfectly good opportunities because I failed to adequately prepare. This is why I join professional associations and interact with colleagues. The payoff is super!