Job Cancelations are Wonderful!

Every interpreter I know works their hands off to provide great interpreting services. This usually means spending far more time doing assignment preparation and professional development than they can bill for. Most of this work is thankless, socially undervalued, and quite often ignored. Not to mention, with the abundance of under qualified interpreters out there, being a great interpreter (with a corresponding wage) can just as often mean not getting the job. Also, clients can be fickle and cancel or re-schedule assignments repeatedly causing a loss in real wages if a canceled booking prevented other billable booking. 

So when an assignment gets cancelled and it’s still billable, an angel in heaven gets its wings. Every interpreter loves the feeling of having an hour or two of breathing time. Most of us use it productively: catching up on professional development, checking email, billing, paying bills, reading for fun, or grocery shopping.

We don’t talk a lot about cancellations, though, so I’m curious what you do with your “down time.”

What do you do with your extra time from cancelled assignments? 


2 thoughts on “Job Cancelations are Wonderful!”

  1. This did make me laugh, I read it only about half an hour after a UK interpreter friend of mine was huffing about having spent 5 hours travelling uselessly (and expensively) on the train, been forced to eat junk food for lunch, and then waited in the cold for a no-show, before returning home.

    It’s different when it’s cancelled in advance, I guess, and you get to use the time profitably 🙂

    We never did get the chance to really catch up at the AAG 😦

  2. My main work is a bit different in that I am Staff for a state agency. If I am cancelled under 24 hours, I am available for replacement work and have to go if called. I don’t mind because I am getting paid. But you are right, it is always nice to have a breather that was unexpected.

    I have never understood interpreters who complain when they are getting paid and a job is cancelled. It is the nature of the work.

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