Juggling work and eating--how do you do it?
Thread poster: Sara Senft

Sara Senft  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 09:03
Spanish to English
+ ...
Jul 16, 2010

Today, I had an interpreting assignment that had me interpreting during regular lunch hours. That left hardly any time to eat, so I ate what I could when I could.

This has happened to me before, and one other thing I do to help balance work time and eating time is eat a little bit before I go in (to hold me over) and eat some more when I am done.

Admittedly, it may be a little different for those of you who primarily or exclusively are translators. (I'm primarily an interpreter.) Either way, I am interested in hearing other points of view. How do you balance your working time and your eating time?


 

Brian Young  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:03
Danish to English
don't eat! Jul 17, 2010

Eating is of course necessary, but for way too many people it is just a bad habit. Nobody needs to eat lunch, unless of course they are diabetic and need to keep some sort of balance. I have one meal a day, and have done that for decades. I just cannot tolerate having my stomach set any demands. Americans in particular have a compulsion to be constantly shoving food in their mouths. Hunger often has nothing to do with it. It is just a habit, borne of necessity, but now having taken on a life of its own.

 

Karletto
English to Slovenian
+ ...
careful Jul 17, 2010

Don't get into a situation when you won't be eating for +5 hours (depends on the digestion..), with the stomack grunting etc.
Mentioned situation is not a diet. It's just starving, the worst choice, most unhealhy and very demanding on the body.


 

KSL Berlin  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 14:03
Member (2003)
German to English
+ ...
Set up a drip line Jul 17, 2010

There are many different hydration vests on the market today. These are popular with hunters, cyclists and other sportsmen. However, they also have considerable value for busy professionals who find they have little time to eat.

With minor modifications these can be used to feed a steady intravenous drip of nutrient solutions throughout the period of intense work. The drip rate can also be adjusted to cope with various conditions, such as excessive heat causing greater fluid loss from the body.

Combined with catheters and/or workplace productivity aids such as Depends, this technology facilitates greater productivity of the language service professional under demanding conditions. While the competition wastes time on breaks for food, drink or restroom visits, you keep working and earning at full capacity.


 

Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 07:03
English to Spanish
+ ...
You decide Jul 17, 2010

You decide whether you want those kind of assignments or not. I'm primarily a translator, but I have done my share of interpreting as well. In the first place, you decide whether you want to work for hours on end without relief because the client is too cheap to hire two interpreters to trade off every half hour as should be done by professional guidelines. Naturally with bathroom breaks it can get even worse!

Once I worked 9 1/2 hours straight without a break and while everyone else ate lunch, I had to interpret for another speaker during lunch with nothing to eat. I also had to just plain get up and walk out for bathroom breaks. These people would not quit.

That was the first and last time I did that. At least I was able to prove to myself that I could actually handle it, and that was enough. I am not about to do it again.


 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 14:03
Member (2008)
Italian to English
smoke Jul 17, 2010

Karletto wrote:

Don't get into a situation when you won't be eating for +5 hours (depends on the digestion..), with the stomack grunting etc.
Mentioned situation is not a diet. It's just starving, the worst choice, most unhealhy and very demanding on the body.


I used to do bilingual interpreting Italian/English/Italian at long meetings that could last all day and would include lunch and dinner afterwards. Everybody smoked during these meetings. It meant I was speaking *all the time all day without stopping and without eating*. And breathing in everyone's smoke. It nearly killed me. Especially since I wasn't at those meetings as an interpreter. I was also contributing to the discussion. Luckily that period of my life is over.

Remember that recent scene of Presidents Medvedev and Obama enjoying a hamburger and fries together in a Washington diner? I wonder if you noticed the poor interpreter slipping in behind them. No burger for him !

It must be a translator's disease, but any time I see two politicans appearing in public who don't understand each other's language, my main interest is watching the interpreter. I wonder if interpreters ever get shot for knowing too many secrets?

I suppose the best thing for the interpreter is to stoke up with a hearty breakfast before the day begins. And always have a bottle of water handy.

[Edited at 2010-07-17 19:47 GMT]


 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 14:03
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Hilarious Jul 17, 2010

KSL Berlin wrote:

There are many different hydration vests on the market today. These are popular with hunters, cyclists and other sportsmen. However, they also have considerable value for busy professionals who find they have little time to eat.

With minor modifications these can be used to feed a steady intravenous drip of nutrient solutions throughout the period of intense work. The drip rate can also be adjusted to cope with various conditions, such as excessive heat causing greater fluid loss from the body.

Combined with catheters and/or workplace productivity aids such as Depends, this technology facilitates greater productivity of the language service professional under demanding conditions. While the competition wastes time on breaks for food, drink or restroom visits, you keep working and earning at full capacity.


Hilarious ! I may never need to eat again !!

icon_smile.gif


 

Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:03
English to German
+ ...
Yesss!!! Jul 17, 2010

KSL Berlin wrote:

There are many different hydration vests on the market today. These are popular with hunters, cyclists and other sportsmen. However, they also have considerable value for busy professionals who find they have little time to eat.

With minor modifications these can be used to feed a steady intravenous drip of nutrient solutions throughout the period of intense work. The drip rate can also be adjusted to cope with various conditions, such as excessive heat causing greater fluid loss from the body.

Combined with catheters and/or workplace productivity aids such as Depends, this technology facilitates greater productivity of the language service professional under demanding conditions. While the competition wastes time on breaks for food, drink or restroom visits, you keep working and earning at full capacity.


....


 

Ricardo Gouveia  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:03
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Something to fill your belly Jul 18, 2010

What I am firstly assuming (and I may be wrong, of course) is that you either were eating too much as you might have been nervous (I don't really know how much time it was), or you weren't eating well.
In those times I suggest you not to have a full meal in front of you, it'll just "hypnotize" your eyes and make you lose your concentration. Look for something that fills/fools your belly and makes you feel satiated. My personal suggestions are energetic bars (preferably a sweet one - unless it goes against your health/diet), some cereals (I usually take 20 minutes to eat 6 bowls - I'm pretty much a glutton), or some "diet waters" or anything else that you feel that can make you feel full and make you lose your appetite for a while.

Better luck next time.icon_wink.gif


 

Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:03
English to German
+ ...
You need to feed your brain. Jul 18, 2010

Karletto wrote:

Don't get into a situation when you won't be eating for +5 hours (depends on the digestion..), with the stomack grunting etc.
Mentioned situation is not a diet. It's just starving, the worst choice, most unhealhy and very demanding on the body.


Karletto is right. This has nothing to do with filling up or indulging in culinary delight. You need to keep focused and at full speed. Therefore you cannot allow yourself to be in a low-sugar state for professional reasons.


 

Textklick  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:03
German to English
+ ...
Thinking out of the box can indeed combat inefficiency Jul 18, 2010

My initial reaction to the post by KSL Berlin was one of scepticism until I remembered that here, we also have a very rationally-thinking scientist.

Despite believing that the problem under discussion primarily affected interpreters, (see other posts) I investigated the situation further, discovering some pretty nifty equipment that catered not only for the general problems of hydration/nutrition but also for the specific requirements of the translator, such as having DVD dicos, batteries, connection wires/adapters, mobile Internet dongles and similar to hand. See http://www.import-action.com/thvcd.html

Since it is now also possible to use a CAT tool on a cellphone http://lukespear.co.uk/how-to-cat-tool-translation-on-mobile-phone/ and I am not presently meeting my physical fitness targets, I intend to give this option some very serious thought indeed.


 

Sara Senft  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 09:03
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
I agree with both of you Jul 18, 2010

Both of you are right. I need to be fed and watered enough to interpret effectively, and I don't want to make a habit of starving myself because of my work schedule.

That is why I posted this question. I like idea of eating something that can fool my stomach, at least temporarily.


Nicole Schnell wrote:

Karletto wrote:

Don't get into a situation when you won't be eating for +5 hours (depends on the digestion..), with the stomack grunting etc.
Mentioned situation is not a diet. It's just starving, the worst choice, most unhealhy and very demanding on the body.


Karletto is right. This has nothing to do with filling up or indulging in culinary delight. You need to keep focused and at full speed. Therefore you cannot allow yourself to be in a low-sugar state for professional reasons.


 

Tanja Young  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:03
English to Serbian
+ ...
Bring your own snacks Jul 18, 2010

Hi Sara

Sometimes I work long hours too, but I make sure to have breakfast before I go out of the house. Even if you don't feel hungry at the time, it's a good idea to eat at least a piece of fruit if nothing else, a banana would be a good choice. I also bring my food with me too, for example a sandwich, a piece of fruit, a granola or a cerial bar, a small bottle of water, a fruit juice, etc. even if the refreshments are provided. You certainly do not want to starve, as you won't be able to concentrate. Having your own food with you puts you in control as you can always grab a suitable moment to eat, even if it's immediately after the assignment. And, then of course, you can have a proper meal when you get back home.


 

Suzette Martin-Johnson
Canada
French to English
+ ...
Solid breakfast Aug 4, 2010

Have a solid breakfast including something substantial like oatmeal - that can hold you for four to five hours. Do not rush breakfast. And never leave the house without packing some quiet snacks ie no crackling plastic wrappers should be heard from the interpreting booth!!icon_smile.gif

 


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