Z for short

"To write more, write more." This is my writing notepad.

There are many ways to communicate

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I yell at the walls in my home office.

Writing prompt: Do you prefer to talk or text, or a different communication method?

All the business communication I used to conduct over the phone, I now do by email, and silence has descended on my home office. I do receive a text message, though, whenever there’s a new email from important customers. So, there’s me tapping away on the keyboard, the radio playing in the background, and the occasional Nokia beep on my cell phone. Otherwise there’s silence. Sometimes I yell at the walls in desperation: Anybody out there??? Hello??? At that point, it’s time for a visit to my regular coffee bar.

As translator, I work with customers worldwide, most of whom I have never met in real life. On the websites of new customers, I usually go straight to the “About us” section to find photos to see how the people look like. I don’t necessarily need to speak verbally to any of my customers or meet with them, but we need to communicate. For professional purposes, I prefer email.

Setting up your own business might be an insignificant step for mankind, but a huge step for you. There are social life sacrifices involved, however, and two of the things many self-employed professionals, me included, miss the most, are the lunches and the after work beer with colleagues on Fridays. To compensate and to restore a sense of normality in the freelance life, I published a post in an online forum to find other thirsty and alone-working translators.

Today, there’s a group of us meeting once a month for a Friday beer. Once we sit down, the words pour out, almost like we were survivors returning each from our deserted island. Some of us might rent an office together in the future, but none of us want to give up the freedom of being self-employed, wall-yelling or not.

Besides email for work purposes, which form of communication do I prefer? Well, I embrace the multitude of choices available because it makes us mobile and flexible and reachable wherever we are – as long as we don’t end up texting each other over the Friday beer table.

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Written by Solveig Hansen

January 5, 2011 at 6:48 pm

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