Monday, November 10, 2008

Know Your Stuff

By Marcia Mickelson

A month ago, I was toying with the idea of going back to work. I did job searches, sent my resume around, and did a few interviews. I received a call from a children's hospital in town. It was the perfect job for me. It was part-time with great hours; I would be off in time to pick my kids up from school. The job was in the Interpretation Department. I would be translating for Spanish-speaking patients and their parents. I grew up speaking Spanish and am fluent. I've also had several jobs in the past that have included translating.

I thought about brushing up on my Spanish in preparation for testing I had to do, but I felt fairly confident. I've basically been translating all my life. It would be easy. Boy, was I wrong. The first part of the testing was written. If I did well, I would come back for oral testing, followed up by an interview. The written test was hard! What was I thinking? There were 40 medical terms written in English, and I had to translate them into Spanish. There were words like congestive heart failure, jaundice, and other medical terms that I have no idea how to say in Spanish, much less spell. There were also 2 paragraphs to translate. One from Spanish to English, which was easy and the other one from English to Spanish which was very hard, especially because it kept repeating the word pulmonary and I had no idea how to say it in Spanish.

I was overly confident prior to the test; thought I knew enough to not study the night before or at least brush up by looking through a dictionary and testing myself. Yes, Spanish is easy for me, but medical terms in Spanish not so much. I learned a very important lesson. Confidence will only get you so far; you have to know your stuff if you want to succeed. So, I never did get the call back about the oral exam. Guess I didn't do so well. I've decided not to go back to work. I'm just going to stay home and continue writing.


Tamra Norton said...

Sorry about the test, Marcia. But the good news--you get to stay home and write, right?! :)

Julie Wright said...

oh wow! What a great lesson and one that I have had to relearn far too many times in my life where I think I am so brilliant and then find out I'm not so much. You're awesome. Staying at home and writing is better anyway :)

Marcia Mickelson said...

Thanks Tamra and Julie. I really do just want to stay home right now. Maybe subconsciously, I wanted to do bad so I didn't get the job?