21 June 2017

My work star is on the rise.

I recently got my first writing gig (articles on psychology for a foundation based in Chiang Mai), and subtitles work is flowing in. I’m on the fourth episode of my first Korean drama, and I was asked today whether I’d be interested in editing other translators’ work (Surely that must mean my translation isn’t too bad, right?).

I’m slightly concerned what it’ll be like come 3rd October when I begin my CELTA course. I’ve finished my application but have yet to submit it. I’ll do it soon. Now I’m wondering how it’ll be like time-management-wise. I’ll be working four days a week, studying three days a week. Granted, most of those are half-days. But there’ll be homework from CELTA. On top of that there’s the writing and the subtitles. And teaching my one private student. It’s going to be a tough 10 weeks.

I’m preparing for it though. I’ve started cutting down my sleeping hours to a maximum of 8 (from 9-10). I want my body to get used to sleeping less, and I think 8 hours is a pretty solid amount. I’ve also cut down on my nap time. No more long naps, 30 minutes maximum.

I’m also trying to not be lazy and get on the treadmill. I want my body to be in better condition. Plus, my weight has been creeping up these past months. So it’s a win-win situation.

Overall, I’m pretty happy though. I’m doing something that I really like. The subtitles job has truly been a blessing. And I’m enjoying it even more now that it’s a Korean drama. For some reason, it’s much easier to translate. The first time I watch the video, I already have a running commentary in Thai in my head. Maybe it’s because I’ve watched so many of them that I know how they work. Plus, this drama is really fun. It’s a medical investigative drama. The production and acting is solid, and the storyline imaginative.

So yes, I’ve been doing well. Slightly iffy about the future, but you never know until you try, and I’ve been pretty easy on myself these past few years. Time to buckle up and push forward.

Hope you’re all doing well!

Love,

Val

 

5 May 2017

I was up at 4:30am yesterday. To do – you guessed it (or maybe not) – subtitles work.

My work coordinator wrote me earlier this week to ask if I’m now available to take on assignments, to which I happily replied with an affirmative. So she gave me a project to work on, a Korean variety show which is being aired by Netflix. (I didn’t know Netflix does Korean programmes.)

It’s fun. It’s different. There’s a lot of on-screen text – you’ll know what I’m talking about if you’ve watched Korean variety shows. And the style of translating is different from the American shows I’ve worked on, though I can’t describe exactly how. Maybe it’s because I’ve watched many more Korean shows with Thai subtitles; that’s why I have a clearer idea how the mood and tone should be for this kind of show.

I woke up at 6am today to continue working on it. 6am is now considered late for me, which I think is a good thing. I’m generally an early bird when my laziness isn’t preventing me from getting up. I feel fresh and work best in the mornings. So by getting up earlier my productivity should go up.

I had my first part-time day at work yesterday. Damn 4 hours is short. I arrived and left before I got bored. Today I’m working the whole 8 hours though so we’ll see how I feel towards the end of the day. I’m not looking forward to doing the full day, though I’m looking forward to picking up my old duties and seeing how much I remember. This Coaching job is primarily about execution. Not much creativity and planning go into it. Bad in some ways, but good for me to work on my recently lacking discipline.

One alarming thing I want to mention though, is that although I woke up at 4:30am yesterday and only left for work around 3:30pm, I managed to get in only 3 hours of subtitles work. Yes, I did have a class to teach, but it was a one-hour class and I only spent one and a half hour preparing for it. Let’s say I spent 30 minutes eating and another 15-30 getting dressed. I would still have had 4 and a half hours, which I managed to spend doing God-knows-what.

I need to be more careful with my time if going part-time (and cutting my salary by more than half) isn’t going to go to waste.

Talking about time, I should get back to my programme now. I was working on it for a little over an hour and wanted to take a break. I figured writing a blog entry is a much more productive use of my time than scrolling through Facebook, so here I am.

Here’s to productivity and Korean shows! *raise invisible glass*

Val

p.s. I had the talk with my boss by the way. It went well. I don’t think he grasped the gravity of the situation from my point of view, but I was straightforward and I think we both gained something from it.

p.p.s. I was teaching in the Speaking Center yesterday and it was great. I hadn’t ‘taught’ so much at work for a long time, and I really did feel that I was making infinitely more impact helping students in the Speaking Center than sitting in my room planning students’ studies and giving advice on how to practice using English. I used to hate being in the Speaking Center but I’m seeing it with new eyes now. I hope I can keep up the enthusiasm as the months roll by.

p.p.p.s. I’m really struggling with my beanbag. I was sitting on it for many many hours yesterday, with the result that I woke up today with an ache in my back. My dad and I had gone to pick out a desk and chair. The problem is though that the desk in the colour that I want (black) was out of stock; they had only white ones which didn’t look nearly as good. We’ve been waiting on the black for over a week (maybe two) now. I have no idea when they’ll be re-stocked but I’m not about to cop out and go for an inferior model. If I’m going to spend 3k on something, it’d better be something I can’t take my eyes off!

28 April 2017

Yesterday was a momentous day.

Something happened which made me extremely upset. Angry upset, not sad upset.

I didn’t write about it yesterday. I didn’t think of it. I’m glad I didn’t. I was too emotional and would have written something extremely accusatory. That’s not cool. Not even when you’re angry upset.

I learnt yesterday that I had been excluded from discussions concerning the future of my soon-to-be-vacant position at work.

A little background: I decided to go part-time starting in May, which means one of two things – either someone takes my position or it is scrapped entirely.

When I had talked briefly to the big boss after making my decision known, he had mentioned that my immediate supervisors would discuss what to do with the position.

I hadn’t brought up the topic with either of my two immediate bosses, because it’s the end of the month and there’s pressure to reach service and sales targets. I thought better to wait until the beginning of May to sit down and plan what to do together.

Until I learnt yesterday that all had pretty much been decided, without my knowledge nor involvement in any form. I heard it mention in passing from a few other staff that someone is going to take my role, so I went to one of my immediate supervisors and asked her. She confirmed the news.

My reaction at the beginning was muted. The news made me feel down, but I didn’t quite know how I felt about it. After a short while though I realised I was really upset about it, and while chatting to a friend I figured out why I was so upset: I felt that by not seeking my input, I was being unceremoniously cast aside.

Not asking the person who piloted the role and worked at it for five months what she thought should happen to it after she left? Uncool. It shows how little I am valued by the team. And I am – as my friends and even parents agree I should be – extremely hurt.

So I asked to leave work early yesterday. I started crying a little bit in my supervisor’s office. She was concerned, but I didn’t tell her anything. I didn’t feel the time was right.

Cried with two of my friends at work in the supermarket after while waiting for my dad. They were supportive of my rage.

Then having got to a different mall (I couldn’t leave the mall I was working at fast enough. I wanted to get away so badly I went to sit and wait for my dad in the parking lot), I decided I wanted a day off work. So I called my supervisor and asked if it would impact the sales team too much if I didn’t come in the next day. Her answer made me even angrier than I already was.

She mentioned that they had meant to have the colleague who’s replacing me start calling the next day anyways. So I calmly told her what list to call, expressed my relief (genuine relief) that someone was helping finish my work, and thanked her for letting me take the day off (bless her she never asked me why – she probably knew).

The reason I got angrier was that her answer showed the decision to keep the position and replace me was pretty solid. If it weren’t, they wouldn’t have made plans for my colleague to start calling. And when were they going to tell me? On the day? Not at all?

So I didn’t go in to work today. I went and watched a movie, a very fun movie (Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2) with my dad. Had a generally good day. Inevitably thought about the situation at work from time to time. OK, fine – a lot of times. But I’ve cooled down.

Still upset. Still angry. But no longer emotional.

I hope I can find half an hour, fifteen minutes even, tomorrow to sit down with one of the bosses who were in the decision-making process. I want to officially let him know how pissed off I am. Calmly, politely, firmly.

I don’t know how that talk will go, but I really hope I can have it tomorrow. He knows something’s up. He said this morning that he was worried about me. Maybe he has an idea why I’ve asked to take the day off, what I’m upset about.

Anyways, I’m not feeling any surge of emotion (positive or negative) writing this, which is a good sign that I’ve overcome my feelings. If anything I feel determination to make my stance known.

All is good. All is good.

Hope this doesn’t happen to you guys, because in the event it does make one feel like shit.

Love,

Val

UPDATE: As it turns out, today is also a momentous day. I finished revising my short story about a dragon and a boy, “Cara”, just now. MY VERY FIRST SHORT STORY. Yey. Now it’s time to get feedback from my immediate circle. Keeping my fingers crossed and hoping they like it…