As said before, interpreters and translators currently struggle with juggling between jobs and companies. They must work for several to make enough money to simply pay their bills, and we here talk about basics only.
Oh, well, a few months ago, a particular company, which I praised a lot, but which was giving me jobs only rarely by the time I moved, called me to get me assigned to a particular onsite.
I accepted the assignment back then, since I was living in the same location as the job.
More than one month ago, I moved to another location.
More than one month ago, I sent website message and called the company, this time the branch that is where I am currently living.
HR instructed me to send a change of details form to them, and so I did, so that that was at least one month ago.
I looked at my diary and the date of the assignment was approaching.
Because I really liked that particular company, and the client involved, I wanted to make sure it was all OK.
I had the e-mail address for the manager, who was quite attentive by the time I am under his orders.
I then decided to drop him a line just to make sure the client that had been so nice to me would have somebody.
What was not my surprise when I received a call from the attendant as if she were outraged with me!
I was then basically being asked to prove that I had communicated with them, that I had let them know that.
It is really nice to be wanted and to have jobs and assignments, but sometimes things get a bit off mark, I reckon.
We have contracts, not normal positions, first of all. As contractors, we have a lot of problems, but also a few privileges. One of those is the right to simply move out of somewhere and tell the company that that is what we have done.
They then have to find a way around it.
It is a shame that people sometimes put things back to us.
We have the rights to say no, we have the rights to go, and we have the rights to go on the spot, quite sincerely.
The ethical code lets us know that we cannot ever get personally involved with the clients, so that if we feel that something like that is happening, for instance, we can simply say, it is not ethical for me to proceed, and leave.
I defend that we always have someone as a backup, since that is possible.
We should be able to do that on telephonic and onsite interpreting.
We just have to say, I am sorry, it would not be ethical for me to proceed, in what comes to all clients in general, so operators, NES, and the only exception should be our managers.
Our managers and the ethical organs have the rights to ask us why in detail, I think.
Our decision must be respected, however. We are a professional class, not an individual, and it is not because of an individual that our profession will be destroyed.
The individual has to be able to say I can’t proceed and the individual has to be respected when doing that.
Furthermore, we cannot be blamed for quality if we said we think it is unethical for me to proceed and the person insisted.
Even though nobody can force us to continue, everyone has bad days, and nobody wants to lose the job or get worse than they would get if stopping.
Stopping has to be our right and respecting our decision has to be their duty.
In Australia, the choices are incredible: People can, for instance, easily replace onsites with telephonic interpreters.
We really need to work more as a class, I reckon. We need to have uniformity in all we do and think.
Only together can we be strong as one.