What Interpreters ought to know about time Management

24 Jan 2019 Igloos

One of the renowned Kenyan Academics the late Professor J. M Nyasani whom the author of this article happens to have been his student once said “if you have appointment, make sure you arrive there latest 5 minutes to the designated time” He boasted of how he learnt time management while studying his PhD at the University of Cologne in Germany. In his book titled “ Philosophy of Development” published in 2012 , he argues that time management is an indication of development in an individual.

Professor Nyasani emphasized that time management is absolutely important and an essential aspect in judging one’s maturity. He always kept his word and ensured that he would be in a lecture hall or within the premises at least 5 minutes earlier.

When hiring the services of an interpreter, clients often pay for two things i.e Quality services and time. For the years I have been in the industry, this fact is undoubtedly true. Most clients inquire for professional services within a given period of time. The implication is that they require professional interpretation services within a given period of time and are willing to pay for a quality service within on time.

I recently got an inquiry from one of our clients, a reputable organization in the United Kingdom requesting us to supply a French Interpreter during their meeting in Entebbe. Upon agreeing on the payment terms, they sent a contract for the services. One of the clauses in the contract indicated as follows “ …. Reserves the right to make a deduction from the agreed amount if the interpreter fails to perform his duties within the given time or if he fails to turn up on time without prior information… and Igloos Consultancy Services, the supplier agrees to provide professional services at the said venue and time while pledging that the interpreter shall be available at the venue within the agreed time…” This implies that the client would only pay the agreed amount after the services have been offered within the agreed time and dates.

Imagine hiring the services of an interpreter who is a poor time manager. The outcome of such engagement is discouragement, inconvenience and NEVER to come back. The retainer effect is lost and this obviously puts the business in disrepute. Time management in an interpretation assignment is synonymous to professional work. One cannot boast of being a professional interpreter without being a good time manager. In fact, even if one attained training as an interpreter but failed to be a good time manager while executing their duties, their professional training becomes a matter of discussion and doubt because one would argue that time management should be an aspect during the training.

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