The client is behaving in a very unprofessional and rude way-what to do?-What can I do?
Thread poster: xxxsavaria
xxxsavaria
Hungary
Local time: 20:35
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Aug 19, 2008

Dear guys,

I am both a tour guide and an interpreter.As a latter,I am taking part in a kind of exchange program,whose participants are about 15-18 year students,and their teachers.In the framework of this exchange program, right now , Basque, Irish, Turkish, Israeli, Italian, French, Iraqi, Saudi Arabian and God knows what nationality elementary and secondary school students are staying in Hungary for 5 days.I have a so called tutor(who is the nominated person in charge of the realisation of the nearly all the programmes),and who is pretty fed up with all his work...he cannot be more than 30...still,he drinks a lot of alcohol and keeps complaining about everything...
He is not really a good organiser either,as 8 programmes out of 10 he organised have already been cancelled so far.
He keeps repeating that all Israeli and Iraqi students are terrorists and that we should be afraid non-stop about whether they can explode a bomb(just like real terrorists).The students I am working with keep asking me about what he says.Then I am lyeing them,because I cannot tell them that my boss keeps saying any of you can be terrorists.(Remember ,I said that I was speaking about 15-18 year old boys and girls.) It is really frustrating to hear all this shit(sorry) day after day...,(well,I wonder why...he earns three times more money than I do,all this within 5 days).

As my boss seems to be pretty irritated of the kind of work he has to do(which is actually not more than merely counting the kids),nothing more,everything else is done by me,he behaves in a really irritating manner with everybody.He pokes his nose into everything,he can only speak sarcasticly and every comment of him is purely and inevitably negative.Why I do(or even say this like that and why not in an other way.He even constantly tries to make humour of what I am saying,or how.

He drinks 4 bottles of beer every evening,and then he becomes even more irritating.As he is not my child,neither am I his boss(actually,unfortunately it is vice versa),I cannot tell him to stop.
When I am interpreting the students' speech,he always tries to find a solution for their problem(or for what they ask) which is the most incredible,the weirdest and the most shocking in any of the given situations.

What can I do?

I have two(2) more days left to spend with them.


[Módosítva: 2008-08-19 13:42]

[Módosítva: 2008-08-19 13:49]


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Amy Williams  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:35
Italian to English
+ ...
The client is behaving in a very unprofessional and rude way-what to do?-What can I do? Aug 19, 2008

zsugabubus wrote:
He drinks 4 bottles of beer every evening


Woah there! Not 4 bottles of beer? Hell's bells. Sound the alarms.

On a more serious note, keep calm and stay professional. It's only 2 more days. Look on it as experience and do your job as best you can.




Hell's bells. It looks so wrong. Yet it's right. Arrrgh. Apostrophes are really freaking me out today.

[Edited at 2008-08-19 17:52]


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xxxPeter Manda
Local time: 14:35
German to English
+ ...
a referral ... Aug 19, 2008

It sounds like you should refer him to your local alcholics anonymous:

http://www.anonimalkoholistak.hu/



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lexical  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 20:35
Portuguese to English
Two more days is not forever... Aug 19, 2008

Put up with his weird ways and drinking for the last two days (it isn't that long), be professional and simply refuse to work with him again - ever.

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gianfranco  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 15:35
Member (2001)
English to Italian
+ ...
It is only 2 days... Aug 20, 2008

Just put up with him, for two more days, and you will be soon free...

bye
Gianfranco



[Edited at 2008-09-06 22:02]


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Kobe Vander Beken  Identity Verified
Peru
Local time: 13:35
English to Dutch
+ ...
Whose words are you translating? Aug 20, 2008

I'm not sure, but I was always thought that an interpreter should never interact with what his cusctomers say. I know that not everyone will agree, and I am not sure whether it is possible (for example in your situation), but normally you are just translating HIS words. If you translate something different you are really making a big professional mistake.
As an interpreter it is not your job to make your client/boss look nicer than he or she is. You are merely passing his/her messages.
I know a lot of interpreters have problems with this, because in the end the interpreter him self may come across as rude. That's why you should explain these students (or other clients) what an interpreter is and what he does, i.e. passing the message from one language into another (without changing it or making it sound nicer).

If your boss is rude, let these students know how he is. It's not your responsibility to make him better than he is.


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Eleftherios Kritikakis  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 13:35
Member (2003)
Greek to English
+ ...
Contact the Embassy Aug 20, 2008

It's got nothing to do with professionalism etc. Contact both embassies and inform them.

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Fabio Reboucas
Brazil
Local time: 15:35
Portuguese to English
+ ...
My former boss is no good too. Aug 23, 2008

I work for oilfield companies and I also had a very stressfull boss.

I couldn't talk to him. He didn't accept suggestions, tips.

He is stubborn.

He didn't let finish the sentences. It's not good to work like that.

I like to take some beers, but not like him. He used to drink on the fields, during the work.

Crazy!

Thanks God. Now he is in Mongolia.


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xxxsavaria
Hungary
Local time: 20:35
English to Hungarian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Conclusion,ending of the story Aug 27, 2008

My boss ended up totally drunk in a pub.His group -well,actually the group he was to be responsible for managed to get home with MY coach(yes,you heard it well,he was unable to drive,and the group had no drivers),driven by me.So I had to go to Sardegna(whatever its name is in English) to give a lift to the group.

The group had to cover all the expenses of my 4 day journey to Sardegna(petrol,bed and meals for 4 days,with 1-1 nights there and back in a transit motel)

All this shit (sorry!) because my boss got tipsy.


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gianfranco  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 15:35
Member (2001)
English to Italian
+ ...
Adventurous rescue mission... Aug 27, 2008

savaria wrote:

My boss ended up totally drunk in a pub.His group -well,actually the group he was to be responsible for managed to get home with MY coach(yes,you heard it well,he was unable to drive,and the group had no drivers),driven by me.So I had to go to Sardegna(whatever its name is in English) to give a lift to the group.

The group had to cover all the expenses of my 4 day journey to Sardegna(petrol,bed and meals for 4 days,with 1-1 nights there and back in a transit motel)

All this shit (sorry!) because my boss got tipsy.


This story seems to me a very unusual mission for an interpreter. I know that interpreters are called sometimes to perform the strangest tasks, to help their customers, but this is weird.

As you started to tell your story, could you please give us some more details about this adventurous rescue mission? Have you been to Sardegna (Sardinia in English), the large Mediterranean island, driving a coach, to rescue a group?

bye
Gianfranco

PS: I am from Sardinia



[Edited at 2008-08-27 22:46]


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Charlie Bavington  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:35
French to English
I am not a doctor Aug 27, 2008

However, you seem to indicate that it took you well over a day to reach the stranded party.
Surely the boss fellow would have sobered up before you arrived?
And could then have driven the happy crew wherever they wanted to go.
All most mysterious....


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Atena Hensch  Identity Verified
New Zealand
Local time: 07:35
English to Farsi (Persian)
+ ...
we are just voice nothing else... Aug 27, 2008

Kobe_vb wrote:

I'm not sure, but I was always thought that an interpreter should never interact with what his cusctomers say. I know that not everyone will agree, and I am not sure whether it is possible (for example in your situation), but normally you are just translating HIS words. If you translate something different you are really making a big professional mistake.
As an interpreter it is not your job to make your client/boss look nicer than he or she is. You are merely passing his/her messages.
I know a lot of interpreters have problems with this, because in the end the interpreter him self may come across as rude. That's why you should explain these students (or other clients) what an interpreter is and what he does, i.e. passing the message from one language into another (without changing it or making it sound nicer).

If your boss is rude, let these students know how he is. It's not your responsibility to make him better than he is.


I totally agree! We, interpreters, are just voice. We don't care what's being said and what it does to someone. We just need to interpret.

In the company that I work with as an interpreter, they have counselling services for the case like this. Maybe you can talk to a counsellor.


[Edited at 2008-08-27 23:21]


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Liliana Roman-Hamilton  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:35
English to Italian
some words of advice Aug 27, 2008

Charlie Bavington wrote:

However, you seem to indicate that it took you well over a day to reach the stranded party.
Surely the boss fellow would have sobered up before you arrived?
And could then have driven the happy crew wherever they wanted to go.
All most mysterious....


It took our colleague 4 days to go from Hungary to Sardinia to rescue the group.


The bad thing of the whole shebang is that the company showed absolutely poor professionalism in handling the situation.

Your boss, being always as drunk as a skunk, wasn't the reliable leader he should have been and actually his constant intoxication might have put the group safety in serious danger.

Working in the travel business as you once stated, you should know very well that in this specific case you should have eaten those expenses. The group was in no way responsible for being stranded in that place because your boss was too intoxicated to drive. The participants shouldn't have had to pay a penny to you because they didn't choose to be in that horrid situation. What your company did is absolutely unprofessional. You're lucky if some of the participants of this trip-to-hell (or their families on their behalf) will not sue your boss or your company for the way their trip went.

And you can bet your ass that all those people will never cross the threshold of your travel company again.

And a last word: your boss works in the wrong business, pal. Working with exchange students of different nationalities and races his openly racist attitude is totally unacceptable. Total jerk.... (the boss, not you)

[Edited at 2008-08-27 23:53]


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Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 14:35
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Liliana, I think you misunderstood the situation Aug 28, 2008

I am sure Gabor will correct me if I am wrong, but I think the relationship between the parties in this story is this:
The group of kids are on an exchange program where Beerdrinker is the "tutor", basically the person in charge of the kids whole experience. Beerdrinker (or whoever hired Beerdrinker himself) hired Gabor to be an "interpreter/tourguide/liutenant/sidekick/whatever-I-ask-you-to-do-you-do-it" type of assistant. At least this is my understanding of the situation from Gabor's descriptions.
So, Gabor is an independent contractor, and therefore he is not an employee of the same company or organization that Beerdrinker belongs to.
I have a feeling that Beerdrinker may also be an independent contractor, hired by the group itself, or whoever is sponsoring the group's trip.
So, Liliana, I don't think it is Gabor that should be responsible for the extra expenses - I guess you suggested this because you thought he had his own company organizing this trip.
But I may be wrong, the whole story is a bit messy and bizarre...


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Liliana Roman-Hamilton  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:35
English to Italian
I did understand the situation Aug 28, 2008

Katalin Horvath McClure wrote:

I am sure Gabor will correct me if I am wrong, but I think the relationship between the parties in this story is this:
The group of kids are on an exchange program where Beerdrinker is the "tutor", basically the person in charge of the kids whole experience. Beerdrinker (or whoever hired Beerdrinker himself) hired Gabor to be an "interpreter/tourguide/liutenant/sidekick/whatever-I-ask-you-to-do-you-do-it" type of assistant. At least this is my understanding of the situation from Gabor's descriptions.
So, Gabor is an independent contractor, and therefore he is not an employee of the same company or organization that Beerdrinker belongs to.
I have a feeling that Beerdrinker may also be an independent contractor, hired by the group itself, or whoever is sponsoring the group's trip.
So, Liliana, I don't think it is Gabor that should be responsible for the extra expenses - I guess you suggested this because you thought he had his own company organizing this trip.
But I may be wrong, the whole story is a bit messy and bizarre...



There are many obscure points in this story and our colleague didn't give us more details, but some time ago he also stated (and I quote) that he was "also a tour guide (...) a tour organiser, as well as a manager of a travel agency (besides being a translator-interpreter)". This is why I argued that being in the travel business he should know that the expenses he had to sustain shouldn't have been charged on the group, but on the company he works for which is in charge to take care of these exchange students.
I agree with you that he shouldn't be paying out of his own pocket, but on the other hand, neither the group that had the misfortune to find itself in such an unpleasant (and unwanted) situation should have had to pay for his expenses. This is what I meant.

However we look at this whole story, the whole program was handled with extreme negligence, period.


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