Rule 52

I take pride in clear and effective interpretation, not in myself. If I am messing up don’t bother whispering in my ear, just take the microphone from me, fix the issue and keep going until I am ready to take it back. I will not be offended, I will be grateful.

(I give this speech to interpreters with whom I am working for the first time. The trick is, if you say it, you have to mean it.)

Rule 51

When a hearing person says “if you will not volunteer to interpret, you will leave this client without an interpreter,” the proper answer is:

No. You will.

I’m not refusing to interpret. I am ready, willing and able to interpret, but you are not willing to hire me.

The moment you are ready to pay for my services, I will provide them.

Rule 50

Interpreters! Go for gold medal work, always! But, realize that somedays your best effort earns a silver or a bronze; and accept there will be days when, if you are lucky, your sweat and tears earn a medal ranking somewhere between chewing gum foil and dental amalgam.