Tuesday, 6 September 2005
How many holidays do you have a year? One? Two? What about 26? If you’d like to have a week’s holiday every two weeks get a job with the BBC.
I’m currently translating two programmes for BBC Radio: they’re being entered in a competition in Spain, in November. I’ve done this job for 18 years. I used to have two months to do the work; this year, they’ve given me 11 days (I managed to get a two-day extension , but still… it’s crazy).
So I was already going to slap the BBC for drastically reducing my deadline every year. It’s not like those competitions land on the BBC unannounced. They take place every single year, at more or less the same period. It’s like when British Rail comes to a standstill if a flake of snow or a leaf falls on a railway track: it’s winter, for G-d’s sake!; couldn’t you prepare for it? BBC producers have a whole year to select programmes to enter and what do they do? – they wait until the very last minute.
Anyway, I got the scripts, but I also have to translate synopses and biographies for those programmes. Last Friday, I asked the person in charge of supplying me with them to get his ass off his chair and get them for me asap (oh, I so wish I could actually say that!). Rephrase: I left a polite message on his voicemail. He obviously wasn’t there (why should anyone work on a Friday: it’s gonna be the weekend in a minute). There was still no sign of anything yesterday so I left another message and sent him an email. Silence. Today I called his boss. Within fifteen minutes, I got an email from the guy, saying “Sorry, I have been on leave for a week.”
What sort of excuse is that?! I’ve been working for a week – for you! You knew I needed that stuff; why couldn’t you get it for me before you went away? Years ago, I practically stopped going on holiday: I worked in a publishing house, where no one else could do my job, which meant I had to think of everything that might need to be done while I was away and do it before I left. It was incredibly stressful.
The BBC guy is never stressed. When he has a week’s holiday coming, he just takes off. I know someone else who works for the BBC. He too has multiple holidays all through the year. I’m telling you: that’s the kind of employer you want.
But you don’t just need to choose the right employer; you also need to work full-time, because, as a freelance, you lose on all counts. When you go away on holiday, not only are you not earning but also you’re using your savings. As for getting paid to have fun, forget it.
Actually, come to think of it, it’s my money they’re using (through the licence).
Posted by Bela at 11:48 am