You can’t enter the prize raffle at this company party. You don’t actually work here, you are contracted to interpret tonight.
Charades: fun at parties, bad at the doctor’s office.
The proper answer for a compliment is ‘thank you.’ Let’s practice.
“I was watching you the whole time and you do that sign language so well.”
If they charge people to get in, you get paid to interpret.
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.)
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.
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.