For the past four weeks, I have been the only interpreter at the hospital. (Now to be fair, I was gone for five working days in the middle, so technically it's only been three weeks.) Today, in honor of surviving that month without a single fatality or screamingly huge contract interpreter bill (well, other than the week I was gone but I digress), I wore a striped shirt and tennis shoes along with my jeans for Casual Friday.
For those scratching heads at the moment, interpreters tend to NOT wear stripes or plaid or anything other than solid, non-distracting, colors that contrast with one's skin tone.
There were days that I didn't sit down but once or twice all day. There were days that I was literally ready to fall asleep while actively interpreting just because I was so tired. Some days I could spell trazadone but couldn't spell my name. But it's over and Brian will be back on Monday.
I've learned that I know myself pretty well when it comes to my job. My flat out refusal to interpret anything longer than 45 minutes without a team interpreter does not come from laziness, as I'd feared, but rather from the fact that the message DOES indeed suffer when my brain and hands start to tire.
I've learned that I'm not as afraid of my job as I thought recently. It's hard to be worried that you're going to get socked in the teeth when you're running 90 to nothing all day long. Just doesn't occur to you.
I've learned that I really love interpreting and really don't want to do anything else. Ever. I don't want to be a teacher or a psychologist or a social worker or a secretary or anything...I like what I do, I know how to do what I do, and I feel that I do it pretty darn well.
I think I've earned a sick day next week...