jueves, febrero 27, 2014

How Many Words Did I Translate for You, Dear Gosia?

“Good-bye and good luck” was the subject of the most recent email when I opened my mailbox this morning. The sender is Malgorzata, or Gosia,as she said she could also be called when she first introduced herself. She is the Project Manager of the translation company that I’ve been working for for the last few years.
Gosia and I have worked together for about two years now, and though we’ve never met, I have the impression that she’s a kind-hearted, educated, and professional woman. I always delivered my assignments on time, but on the toughest deadlines I always counted on her understanding and the possibility to ask for a 1 or 2-day extension.
Reluctantly, I opened the email and read her farewell message. As I quickly inferred, she is quitting the company, and writes a most gentle letter to express her thankfulness to us, the translators, for “all your help, support, patience and understanding with every single project! Thanks to your efforts I was able to deliver perfect translations always in the best time to our customer…”
Finally she gives us her personal email address and offers to be our tourist guide in case we can visit Warsaw sometime.
As I finished reading the email, my mind immediately brought me memories of all those translation projects that she assigned to me. Some of them were so lengthy that Saturdays and Sundays I turned on my computer with the dawn of the day and kept working until well past bedtime.
I saw the hours pass while I was sitting in front of the computer, only making short pauses to eat a sandwich or a taco, drink water, use the bathroom, select another Mexican movie, stretch a little, pace around, and have a cigarette (I used to smoke then). Long afternoons endlessly tapping keys, reading dictionaries, searching online, and thinking fast until it grew dark -- but I had to continue yet a little more because I had promised to deliver a translation on or before deadline for my dear Gosia and the company she has been working for until today.
The next day I would go to the office from 9 to 5, and would resume the job when I was back home – several days like this until I finished the job and was ready to deliver it. I really miss those big projects.
Gosia says that another project manager will be sending us more projects, and I sincerely hope so. Certainly there will be new projects, new words to translate, new movies to half watch while endlessly tapping keys, but this happy era with my dear Gosia has come to an end today.

6 comentarios:

  1. Since my paternal grandfather (whom I never knew) immigrated to the United States from Poland, I would jump at the invitation to visit Warsaw with my own personal tour guide and interpreter! Keep in touch with Gosia. Who knows? Maybe someday you will have the opportunity to visit Poland!

  2. Hi, Bill. Sure I'll keep in touch with her. Warsaw is in my wish list ever since I saw Krzysztof Kieślowski's The Decalogue (1989). It'd be just great to visit the apartment building where the 10 episodes were filmed. And the frozen lake! Regards.

  3. Oh, my God! I read the first sentence and thought, "He's been fired via e-mail; how cold!" Thank goodness that's not what happened. But I'm sorry you're losing a good project manager. Work can either be great or it can be hell, depending on who you're working for. I hope you get someone fantastic for your next project manager. Any chance you become the project manager?

    I'm rooting for you.


    Kim G
    Boston, MA
    Where we're wondering if you shouldn't just start your own translation company.

    1. Thank God I wasn't fired, I had a good PM before Gosia and I'm pretty sure I'll have a good one next -- my works speaks for itself. And about starting my own company, yes, I think the time to do it is coming closer. Regards.

  4. What does it take to start your own company, how do you get the clients? is that the difficult part or are there some others on the may?
    Hope you got yours pretty soon

  5. Well, I've been thinking about this a little... I need to start by creating an attractive homepage, and then start an advertising campaign. I have a full-time office job and it keeps my very, very busy, and it makes it a little difficult to find the time. But I will.


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