Telephone interpreting-is it worth it?
Thread poster: Alexandra Rychlinski

Alexandra Rychlinski
United Kingdom
Romanian to English
May 24, 2012

Hello,

I work as a telephone interpreter for a UK company and I have to wait by the phone 8 hours per day and get paid 60 pounds for that day. I was entitled to 48 minutes break until now and was allowed to decide whether I want several short breaks or one big one, but as of June, things are changing.

As of June, we will have slots of 4 hours and we won't be able to take more than 24 minutes per slot (even if I don't take the other 24 minutes from the other 4 hour slot). In addition to that, the company used to do the invoices for us and pay us per invoicing period (invoicing period=2 weeks). As of June, we have to do our own invoices and they will be calculated per slot...

Before implementing this new system, nobody asked us what we think of it or if we agree to the new rules... personally, I take some difficult calls and some of them take hours... I don't think it's fair to impose a 24 minute break over 4 hours as sometimes we need a cup of tea or something to eat, or we just need 30 minutes to recover and rest our brains after a difficult call ... I also think it's ridiculous that they pay us 7.5/hour in these working conditions... that's how much a housekeeping assistant gets paid...


Is there anyone else who is doing telephone interpreting and thinks we're being exploited?


 

akkek  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 14:54
Polish to English
+ ...
IKWYM May 29, 2012

Alexandra, why don't you join our FB group for telephone interpreters. You'll find plenty of like-minded people there, also working for this company.
I'm sending you details in a PM, check you messages.


 

Anna Warren
United Kingdom
Local time: 14:54
Polish to English
FB group May 29, 2012

Can I have details for FB group too, please? I've been doing face-to-face interpreting for a while now and I was thinking about telephone interpreting as well. Have no experience in this area though.

 

Yordanova
Local time: 14:54
English to Polish
Hi Anna May 29, 2012

What languages do you interpret to and from? Chineese? That must be so interesting. Do you have many Chineese assignments?

 

fbbest  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 15:54
English to Italian
+ ...
Frustrating conditions May 29, 2012

Dear Alexandra,

They have a serious shortage of trained interpreters, because most of us do not accept such conditions, unless in need and/or for other valid reasons.

The moment for our professional category is pretty bad at least here in Italy, and perhaps many of us will soon accept such frustrating conditions. But as you see, they will keep on changing interpreters, it is not possible to hold out for a long period of time.

I see now the reason why I was contacted a couple of days ago. Your language combination is demanding perhaps you might think of raising a 'small' issue'... Or simply limit your availability.

All the best from Rome

Francesca


 

Anna Warren
United Kingdom
Local time: 14:54
Polish to English
No May 30, 2012

Yordanova wrote:

What languages do you interpret to and from? Chineese? That must be so interesting. Do you have many Chineese assignments?

No, polish to english.


 

Yordanova
Local time: 14:54
English to Polish
I understand May 30, 2012

Anna Warren wrote:

Yordanova wrote:

What languages do you interpret to and from? Chineese? That must be so interesting. Do you have many Chineese assignments?

No, polish to english.


I see. I must have been confused by your native languages in your profile. So you are trilingual then. How exciting and fantastic. Chineese must be difficult to learn. I wish I knew it.


 

Anna Warren
United Kingdom
Local time: 14:54
Polish to English
Thank you May 30, 2012

Thank you for pointing it out. I've already taken an action to sort change it.

 

Gabriel Cabrera Mendez
Local time: 15:54
English to Spanish
+ ...
FB group May 30, 2012

Please, let me know the link of you FB group. I also work as an over-the-phone interpreter and i would like to be linked.

Thanks.


 

mjbjosh
Local time: 15:54
English to Latvian
+ ...
That's a shame! Jun 1, 2012


I also think it's ridiculous that they pay us 7.5/hour in these working conditions... that's how much a housekeeping assistant gets paid...

Is there anyone else who is doing telephone interpreting and thinks we're being exploited?


I agree. I get just above 40£/h, and then we have excellent working conditions. My house-aid gets more than that per hour! Yes, I think you are being exploited. In fact, you'd earn more if you did housekeeping.


 

Shahab Arif  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 14:54
Pashto (Pushto) to English
+ ...
Face Book Jun 1, 2012

Hi,

Please, let me know the link to FB group. I also work as a phone interpreter and would like to be linked.
Thanks


 


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