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Do you ever get out at lunch time?
Thread poster: Sonja Allen

Sonja Allen  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:16
Member (2005)
English to German
+ ...
Jan 9, 2006

When I was working as an employee, I always used to go out for a walk or made a trip to the shops in my lunch hour, to get away from my desk and get some fresh air. However, since I became a freelance, I have stopped doing this, mainly because I fear that some job offer might come in by email during the time I am out and I would then not be able to react quickly enough to get the job. Unfortunately, it has happen to me a few times now that I did not get a job because I had not replied within ten minutes of receiving the offer by email. The agency had then just turned to someone else. As a consequence I now only go out in the evenings after 5 pm. But because it is now dark and cold at this time of day, this is not much fun and I really feel that I am stuck in the house too much. What do you do? Do you just take the risk and go out anyway during the day or have you invested in some mobile email solution (e.g. BlackBerry, Email to Mobile etc), so you know when you received an email while you are out? Or have you just simply made arrangements with your clients so they know when you are available or when not?

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Burrell  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:16
Member (2004)
English to Latvian
+ ...
What about mobile or Blackberry? Jan 9, 2006

Have you tried giving your clients your mobile number? All my clients know that if they have urgent project they have to call me or send a message to my phone telling to check my mail which I can do from the mobile phone. Or maybe you should invest into Blackberry? This way you would always stay in touch with all your clients even when you are out having lunch, shopping or even gardening (I find this the best way to get away from my laptop).
As to answer to your question, no, I never go out for lunch. You know how expensive it is in the UK. To my utter shame I must admit I have my lunch by the side of the laptop anyhow. Sometimes I might sit down by the dining table and read a book while having lunch but that is as far as I can get away from my work place.

Cheers,
Ines


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Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 02:16
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
Relax! Jan 9, 2006

If you want to stay healthy you must learn to lay off in between. I go to the gym and swimming pool without mobile phone. Sometimes I lose a job because someone else answered faster, but I do not like customers who send offers to many freelancers at the same time. Usually they look out for lowest bids. Anyway I do most of my work in the morning, after lunch I do not feel much like working anymore.
Regards
Heinrich


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Fred Lessing
English to Portuguese
Lunch time? What lunch time? And what about HOLIDAYS??? Jan 9, 2006

That's a good question, Sonja. In my 15 years asa a freelancer now, I can confirm that translators who often cannot be contacted usually have less work than those who are always reachable. If your phone provider offers call forwarding, have them enable this feature for you. As for email, consider getting a small mobile device with basic email support.

The above things work for me, but what really bugs me is holidays: I haven't had a 'regular' holiday in almost ten years now. And this is not just paranoia: every summer I see my freelance colleagues here in Lisbon trying to recover from their summer holidays, and some of them never do (regardless of how good and reliable they are). I wish there were some universal trick to make holidays a reality again

Fred


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Marcela García  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:16
English to Spanish
+ ...
Lunch and holidays Jan 9, 2006

Sometimes lunch equals munching an apple while I keep typing but there are other times when lunch can be a long three hours event with friends. I manage my own time and the same relates for my vacations. This year I will move to the beach for over a month with my laptop (and family), they just launched high speed Internet at the small beach town I am staying at... so who know, maybe I could even move to a more relaxing place in the future!

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Agua  Identity Verified
Spain
English to Spanish
+ ...
Team up? Jan 9, 2006

Hello,

The thing about holidays got me thinking... Maybe you should team up with a partner and just cover each other for holidays, etc...

Best,

Mar


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Daniela Zambrini  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 01:16
Member (2005)
English to Italian
+ ...
Now that you've got me thinking about it... Jan 9, 2006

I usually don't, but now that I think about it, it's nearly lunch time, the sun is shining, the seafront is only 100 m. from my flat....I'm going to have a nice walk, grab a slice of pizza and enjoy leaving my mobile at home for once.
Will anyone call and miss me? Who knows? Murphy's law has hit me often: Prince Charming and the Perfect Translation Offer will surely be looking for me if I'm out, but they'll be back if they really miss me

Happy lunch break, buon appetito!

DZ


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Giovanna Graziani  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 01:16
Member (2002)
German to Italian
+ ...
You must live!!! Jan 9, 2006

Hi
My opinion is that you must anyway live and customers know that. And this doesn't relate to simple walks only, but to every aspect of very normal life. If you have children, you have to pick them up from school, to take them to their swimming or ballet course or whatever, you might need a dentist sometimes, and can't assume all this takes place after 5 pm!
Sometimes I have lost some small jobs, as the agency needed an immediate answer while I wasn't reachable but that's part of the normal life and never turned into bad, everybody understood that I can't be supposed to live in front of my screen and stop living elsewhere!
Relax, you have to work for your life, not to live for your work!
Happy New Year!


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Jo Macdonald  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 01:16
Member (2005)
Italian to English
+ ...
Prince Charming Jan 9, 2006

Dani methinks you have a much better chance of meeting Prince Charming at the beach than in your flat.


Sonja, get out, stop thinking like a slave to the wheel and have some fun. I used to go team up with my girlfriend for lunch and good times.
If you don’t go out, do something else for yourself. Take a break, be your own boss and remember, time is life.

Have a great lunch.
Jo


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Fiona Grace Peterson  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 01:16
Member
Italian to English
take the dog out Jan 9, 2006

I recently got a dog for the very reason that I was becoming far too sedentary and lazy. And it's a great way to unwind, plus a bit of pet therapy into the bargain...! I do understand that not everyone has this possibility though Living in the (semi) country is a plus though - I'd be slightly less inclined to walk around polluted and smog-ridden Bologna in my lunch hour!
I wouldn't stay home for fear of missing jobs - I would give out your cellphone, Sonja. Or get another phone for work purposes only, if you can afford it. That way you can keep your work and private life separate.


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Mieke Tulp  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 01:16
English to Dutch
alarm clock Jan 9, 2006

I could easily turn translating into the most unhealthy job ever. When I am working I forget to eat, skipping both lunch and dinner, and what is worse, I forget I have a life. My solution is to set an alarm clock, so I am reminded there is more you can and should do during a day. I have to force myself away from my desk, but once I am up and moving it feels good to do something else.
Mieke


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Aleksandr Okunev
Local time: 03:16
English to Russian
Exactly my point Jan 9, 2006

Heinrich Pesch wrote: If you want to stay healthy you must learn to lay off in between. I go to the gym and swimming pool without mobile phone. Sometimes I lose a job because someone else answered faster, but I do not like customers who send offers to many freelancers at the same time.
Regards
Heinrich


I sometimes translate contracts involving lottsa money and the clilents are quite important guys. Quite often there is no time left for anything, but I cannot remember a time when I was denied the right to a decent meal or just a break, they understand that I am a human being, probably this is what has taken them so high.

Once in a while I do minor, preprint changes in a completed project on my laptop halfway between town A and town B, having received an urgent SMS, but usually my clients warn me about this in advance. I also have call forwarding from home to my moblie and worldwide roaming, but I sort of reject the idea of working for a client who wants you to respond in 10 seconds or so. I just cannot imagine the circumstances it is caused by.

Once again...

R-e-l-a-x, and you will see a lot of other opportunities.


Stay well!
Aleksandr

[Edited at 2006-01-09 12:24]

[Edited at 2006-01-10 07:38]


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Aleksandr Okunev
Local time: 03:16
English to Russian
A good idea! :) Jan 9, 2006

Jo Macdonald wrote: Have a great lunch.
Jo


What a nice way to conclude messages in the first half of the day! I should add that to my e-mail templates.

Have a great lunch.
Aleksandr
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~>


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Erika Pavelka  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:16
French to English
Take the risk and go! Jan 9, 2006

I agree 100% with Jo. You cannot be a slave to your clients. There's much more to life than work. If a client cannot wait half an hour for your answer, then that's his problem.

I go to the gym for an hour 2x a week and I answer my e-mail when I get back. I want and need that hour a day to get away from the computer. So just go and do your errands during your lunch hour and enjoy!


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Astrid Elke Witte  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 01:16
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
Yes, I used to go out at lunchtime, like you Jan 9, 2006

Hi Sonja,

Your situation seems just about the same as mine. I used to go out in the lunch, hour, too, when I worked as an employee - for about 1 hour 15 minutes to 1 hour 30 minutes every day! I speeded up my metabolism a lot, because I had to really run round the shops in order to get everything done and get back to work on time!

Now I am a full-time freelancer, and I do not have the city centre shops to go to any more. I live in a small town, situated otherwise in the middle of the countryside (near the Alps), and they have a tradition in these parts of closing all the shops at lunchtime, for part or all of the time between 12 noon and 3 p.m.! That means I am forced to go out shopping either in the morning or the afternoon, which is a bit unsatisfactory from the work point of view. Also there is masses and masses of snow, and it's really hard getting along the lane to the corner of the main street. The temperature also goes down here very deep into the minuses in winter, especially when the sun shines and it looks an attractive day through the window. Therefore, I only go out in emergencies just now (e.g. no food left, or I need to post invoices). I guess we'll all have to slim down again when the better weather arrives (April here). There's really no solution at the moment, except to earn as much as possible, because, if you don't, you'll be stuck indoors in summer, too!

Astrid


P.S. If I go to the city shops now (which is necessary at least once a fortnight), I have to go on a weekday, because of the poor bus and train connections on a Saturday. In order to inform my regular clients (who will usually not give the job to anyone else, anyway), I now leave as early in the day as possible (to be back by 3 p.m. or 4 p.m.) and fix up an automatic e-mail answer, saying what time I expect to be back. Then they know they will hear from me regarding the job before the working day is finished.

[Edited at 2006-01-09 16:53]

[Edited at 2006-01-09 16:53]


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