A day in the life of an ALS-registered interpreter – Part 1
I registered on the ALS portal to work as a court interpreter. The whole process was very easy. The only thing I had to do was to give them a name they could put in their template emails and a telephone number they could call me at. Experience? Qualifications? I kept changing them every two days, from nothing at all to 9,000,000 hours of interpreting experience. Still Tier 1. Without any assessment.
I got my first call the very next morning. A rather stressed gentleman tried to convince me to go to a court miles and miles away from me. Miles. It was around 8 in the morning and I had no chance to be there on time. I made the gentleman aware that it would take me around 3 hours to get there, if I am lucky with the trains. Interpreter arriving at 11 a.m.? Not a problem! I asked what the case was about, but they had no idea. Very well then, I will go. Of course, I was not lucky with the trains at all! The agency would have to pay for my ticket (long distance between two major cities) and my travel time. I arrived a few minutes after 12 only to learn that they adjourned the case in the morning because they couldn’t wait for an interpreter and they called the agency. Shame that the agency didn’t call me. The court staff – quite rightly so – refused to sign my timesheet. After all, they did notify their supplier that they no longer needed me. Well, nothing to worry about. As long as the job is in the system… On my way out I passed the reception desk and I think I heard another interpreter for the same case. Yes, the agency was kind enough to get two interpreters for the same case over two hours late. Wouldn’t it be much easier to get just one but on time?
But the day is not wasted. I just got a call to go to another court, 55 miles away. And guess what? I got £10 pounds extra for accepting an urgent assignment! I’m on my way!