Monday, August 4

Something about work...

...staring at the ceiling fan again, almost 10 years since the reason came to stare at it. It makes you reflect your life, go on an emotional journey of sorts, check where you are in life and hopefully keep you on the right path.

Something about work, I realized just now, and actually got up from bed to write this. By the end of this month, I would have collectively translated 500,000 words in countless projects in 2008. Doing that in 8 months, and doing it almost alone, that 'must' be a big achievement. I dont know if I will get to 1 million words by the end of the year, projects are coming fast and thick and the deadline is seriously depressing to say the least. It is work, I have to remind this to myself everyday. All the time people think I'm minting money, but rarely do they stop to consider this is my job. And what money do I mint, I'm not sure, but if working 18 to 20 hours a day is considered worth what I get paid for 'from the mint', then this is not the life I want. But something is in there driving me forward.

Its all moving forward for a purpose, whether I realize it or not life is happening. And the reflection of life shows that I get to do things I thought would be impossible for me to do. Wish for the impossible. From my first job as a mall cashier till to date, all this are something I at countless moments say I will never be able to do. I guess it all started and ended in realization of I not ever going to socialize. But the first job made me face people. And the second and third and fourth job made me sit in offices staring at faraway windows thinking 'what the hell am I doing here'. And it went on. But this job, freelancing was something I did do out of fear...of deadlines. While most of the jobs required good amount of faking, and well strategy to get past the lunch break and counting down the hours till we get home, self employment leaves no room for a break. What pretenders can't do, what they cant pretend doing, is working full time completing projects imho - there is no escape route here unless you want to seriously damage your reputation and career path.

So how did it all come down to this point seems so trivial now, it was straightforward hit me one more time, countless times. I get to do this and that and never stop doing it. Finishing one file after another, learning one tool after another and just watch the money come (and disappear) in quantum solidarity. I did not break and laws of physics here. I dont want to answer questions to myself if I am doing the right thing. Because my brain wishes I slept a decent 6 hours a day, my body does too. Its a love hate situation, but at times the work manages to save my life. The materials morph enough times to keep my eyes see fresh new things. And I always think how this puzzle will fit, so the final product looks less scary, less of a linguistic disaster and more of a 2D flat world where our souls exists today. The electronic form.

500,000 words is really a lot in translators workflow, if I can calculate a generous 7 words translated per minute, this takes about 50 full days of effective work (the number of hours called effective which in practise equates to double the amount towards preparation, execution and quality control). It is also finger numbing, mind bending work. The amount of times I broke down because of this. Keeping in mind I dont know why I go forward doing this, but I just do it. In moments of madness where work goes on for more than a day, two days and even three, the quality suffers, fingers tremble and eyesight falters. And knowing how stingy I am in outsourcing and how harsh I can be on others who help on this work for me, all this 'errors' that I keep encountering is really degrading. But I keep on going. What drives me I dont know.

At this stage, I am still not sure what I want to be doing till the rest of my working age, I wished for so many impossibles but I forgot to wish for the impossibility of being a physicist. I always thought I am a scientist, thus marking the grand failure in that field. That was one ego that I did not think I had but eventually dealt a severe blow - To something I still am accounted for every time I hit the Indian equivalent of socializing. Deepavali. Birthdays. Hospital visits. And I dont know what to wish for next, I want to wish for something really crazy that I myself must go 'the hell I can do that to make it happen'. Maybe an architect, though I draw lousy. And there is no job driving around the world, is there?

This rant wont stop, but let me end it by saying thanks...

How did I ever enter this field. I must thank Stephen Baxter one day for that, for introducing Fred to me. What sparked of as a virgin idea, a small test and fluke maybe but eventually I did it. Fred showed me the way, the client list then tips, and not tricks since there is no tricks in this field - The client has considerably seen them all and done it all. A here I am following his path, his finger-clicks to projects which seemed so far fetched but surprisingly how near it is and how local it feels. How do I ever explain to anyone who asks genuinely 'Did you really do that?' Fred? Two guys commanding two major languages, great powers...etc etc etc. Or is this all a fluke of mine? And why am I turning this into some superhero thing? Translator Man!

My brothers, well this part will be even harder to sort out. But one translated a popular email client into Tamil and loads of medical materials and another is banging his keyboard to countless questionnaires and manuals - while loudly reminding me of paying him. Though he is still bugged at me for not invoicing his projects, he likes doing this I think. But they're not as 'super impressed' with this whole thing as me. Life goes on. Let them be the social version of me, and leave me being the silent Ghost. Let my fingers do the talking (?)

The BBD, partner in crime, in scheming diabolical plans to go into...well...farming. From computers to farms, well you might never know. He is the DTP extraordinaire. Dude, stay in office. Honestly :)

I seem to have everything covered at this point, but I refuse to plan it and put it into structure. I still prefer to work on the edge, still using my 5 year old AMD - PC for work. Still not doing proper accounts. It seems so loose and scattered but I do see organization in this chaos, sometimes witnessing everything stringing and joined together by lines of importance. And I hope this edge goes on for a long time, and saving me from falling at the right moments with enough of a recovery plain. Let the tapestry being knit by invisible forces accommodate my burdens more. Or share less of it with me.

What frustrates the mind is how fast this started, may well end unexpectedly. But lives of legends stand testimony of great things that happen, when we least expect it and when we dont wish for the return journey. It's a way forward. Only.

3 comments:

Nachi said...

hehehehe...its funny the way we actually start out with our work careers. and from there on it's a whammy! :)

not made my way anywhere around the gigantic pool of working grind that much as of yet, bro. but when i get to the part where i got me that 'nice uptown' Restaurant, you know who's buying the beer!

your's truly indeed...

ps: go get em' 1 million words!!! call me one to have a 'fancy flight of an imagination', but the way, in spite of all the seemingly meaningless detours, my brother, is always forward.

Cinderella. said...

Nachi's first line cracked me up big time bhai !!

Good one there !

You know, I feel I would have loved it if I had gotten the chance of trying a few more odd jobs n then eventually come to a realisation about what I love doing...and then zero in on that !

Geeting your piece of cake and eating it too, isnt half as exciting as chasing for it would be !

I's say tread on....as long as you're walking and walking ahead, it means destiny is being made.

Take care.
*hugs*

Kavi said...

when the thoughts are poured out to a key board, the rains dont suffice !

Beyond a point the numbers cease to matter ! Other elements take over !!

Yes. "It's a way forward. Only".