Do you strike work for major sporting tournaments?
Thread poster: Balasubramaniam L.

Balasubramaniam L.  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 18:42
Member (2006)
English to Hindi
+ ...
Mar 28, 2016

Currently the T-20 cricket championship is underway in India, and in a cricket-crazed country like India, there is much euphoria and excitement, to which translators like me too are not immune, especially when the home team is doing remarkably well (so far and touch wood) and has entered the semi finals. The sterling 82-run-out-of-51-balls knock of Virat Kohli yesterday in which he pulverised the Australian bowling line up and single-handedly notched up half of the score put up by the entire Aussie team and propelled India to victory was just thrilling to watch. The once powerful Australian team in the process was driven out of the tournament, as were Pakistan and Bangladesh earlier. The latter match was a veritable nail-biter with fortunes swinging wildly in favour of each team with every ball. Finally, India salvaged the match by one run on the last ball of the match, much to the terrible dicomfiture of the Bangladeshi team and its supporters.

When such tournaments are underway, my work efficiency suffers and I practically hang up my computer and sit glued to the tv for the entire month or so when the tournament is in progress. How about you? Do you take a break from work when such sporting fixtures are underway? Also, do you inform your clients in advance about your likely reduced work output during these periods?

[Edited at 2016-03-28 15:29 GMT]


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Yasutomo Kanazawa  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:12
English to Japanese
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Sounds unprofessional to me Mar 28, 2016

We have some soccer and baseball fans here in my country. but I've never heard of people taking leaves from their job to watch the game on TV or at the stadium (maybe it's because the Japanese are notorious for overworking).

What are you going to tell your clients when they inquire you about a project(s) during that time? Are you going to tell them that you're glued to the TV set to watch the cricket game for a month and you will definitely not work until the whole championship is over?
Maybe if this client is a person who lives in the same country and a great cricket fan, s/he may understand your position. But what if not?

Perhaps this may be a cultural thing, but doesn't it sound unprofessional?


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The Misha
Local time: 08:12
Russian to English
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Unprofessional? Really? Mar 28, 2016

Yasutomo Kanazawa wrote:

What are you going to tell your clients when they inquire you about a project(s) during that time? Are you going to tell them that you're glued to the TV set to watch the cricket game for a month and you will definitely not work until the whole championship is over?


What you are going to tell them is that you are unavailable to take on any work at this particular moment in time. Period. The key element and the major attraction of being a freelancer is the freedom to make your own decisions as you sit fit. Of course, the price of all this freedom is having to live with any consequences or risks of your decisions, but deciding whether any particular risk is worth taking is also up to you. Me, I couldn't care less about watching or playing team sports of any kind, but if I did, I'd have no problem whatsoever getting myself "glued to the TV set" for as long as I felt like it - provided, that is, I could live with the consequences.

Perhaps this may be a cultural thing, but doesn't it sound unprofessional?


The only thing unprofessional would be to make a commitment and not live up to it, cricket tournament or not. What I also find unprofessional is trying to impose your own ideas of "professionalism" on others.

[Edited at 2016-03-28 14:32 GMT]


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Jo Macdonald  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 14:12
Member (2005)
Italian to English
+ ...
Sports Mar 28, 2016

I sympathize Bala and see nothing wrong with following your passions.

One of the reasons I started and continue translating is that it gives me enough flexibility to dedicate time to other things.

Before translating I had a beach bar in Italy and whenever the wind would pick up in the afternoons I'd leave the wife and bar staff to take care of business and go windsurfing.

About 15 years ago my passion for surfing and kitesurfing led me to buy an old camper van so I could work on the road or directly at the beach.

Just built a new office/camper van, we go to climb mountains in it or freedive, still kiting, still working from the beach at this very moment as I do every day. I've never missed a deadline and love my work.

I don't alert clients I'm having fun, just organize work and deadlines so I can do what I want whenever I want.
For me it's more of a question of taking a few hours off each day or half a day or even a few days or a week, but whatever really. I wouldn't stop working for a month to watch TV because I like to work and don't have a TV although I have been know to answer a phone call requesting an urgent page with, "I'd love to help but I'm half way up a mountain at the mo."
Enjoy the cricket
Go India Go Go GO!

Jo


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Balasubramaniam L.  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 18:42
Member (2006)
English to Hindi
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TOPIC STARTER
The way these tournaments are organized Mar 28, 2016

Yasutomo Kanazawa wrote:

What are you going to tell your clients when they inquire you about a project(s) during that time? Are you going to tell them that you're glued to the TV set to watch the cricket game for a month and you will definitely not work until the whole championship is over?


Cricket is a leisuraly game, played in a very relaxed mode. The original pattern consisted of games that went on for four or five days, with a rest day thrown in in between for good measure. The game has adapted to the much more stressed and time-strapped modern times by truncating the playing time first to 50 overs being bowled on each side, and then to the even shorter and even more fast paced version consisting of just 20 overs on each side. This mini version just takes about four or five hours to get over. Usually there is one and occasionally two matches lined up in a day during the month-long tournament. Although more than a dozen teams take part in the tournament, the real contenders are only a few and it is the matches between these that are much watched, enjoyed, commented upon, and vilified depending upon how your favourite team has performed.

Yet, during the tournament, you have one eye on the tv and the other reluctant eye on your computer screen. The brain is similarly multi-tasked between working and taking in the match.

I generally avoid such splitting of attention, which could be to the great detriment of the quality of the work completed and to my own reputation as a translator, and I devote full time to watching the important games.

As The Misha has explained, our freelance status allows us the luxury of taking such liberties with our time and commitments. Of course there is a price to pay in all this and we make informed, professional decisions regarding how we spend our time.

In addition to being professional, we are human first, and sporting events stir up within us even more primordial cravings. Professionalism and accepting the slavery of the clock is a much recent phenomenon dating back just to the industrial era when society began to be organized along the factory floor where work had to be completed in a synchronized manner by a large number of workers. The innate nature of humans militates against this type of organization, which is why we feel freelancing is a much superior way of functioning, as it allows us to work in a more natural and humane way, with time for entertainment thrown in according to our whim and fancy.

My question was also whether you inform your clients about your reduced capacity during these tournaments. Many clients ask us to report our unavailability, especially during festival and vacation times. May be they should also check on our availability during major sporting (or other) tournaments, so that they may schedule work load in a more efficient manner.

[Edited at 2016-03-28 15:27 GMT]


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xxxAdrian MM.
Local time: 14:12
French to English
+ ...
Yes, also for natural or manmad(e) disasters Mar 28, 2016

Balasubramaniam L. wrote:

My question was also whether you inform your clients about your reduced capacity during these tournaments. Many clients ask us to report our unavailability, especially during festival and vacation times. May be they should also check on our availability during major sporting (or other) tournaments, so that they may schedule work load in a more efficient manner.


Yes, if they are outside of the Indian Sub-Continent because clients in non-cricketing countries tend to be unappreciative and utterly bewildered by the nature of the sport.

During the European Soccer Tournament this summer, clients with a modicum of nouse should realise that many (especially male) workers will literally go on strike.

Yes, also if clients from a disaster scene try allocating translation or interpreting jobs straight after a natural disaster or a terrorist attack: it happened after the one in London on the 7th July 2005 (a firm of London Solicitors trying to allocate translation jobs within 2 hours of the bombings).

[Edited at 2016-03-28 21:23 GMT]


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