Back to the dark ages

dscn9649When the majority of your clients are in Sweden and Finland, it is slightly awkward to have to explain that an inch of snow means you have no electricity.

This was two weeks ago now. Fortunately I’d e-mailed the only job due out for the day at 8.30 when the power went off at 9, and I was in the part of town whose power lines were mended by late afternoon, not the bit that didn’t get fixed for three days.

All the snow has since vanished and life has returned to normal but it was quite a shock to realise just how much my business depends on power.  Of course it does, it’s obvious, but you do rather take it for granted until the moment it all suddenly disappears. No computer. No internet, no e-mail, and therefore complete inability to work. No landline either, until I climbed about in the loft and dug out an old phone that doesn’t need to be plugged in. All I could do was phone a colleague who e-mailed a couple of clients to tell them I was out of action, and go sledging instead. I made up the time lost on the long-running jobs over the following weekend.

Things that would have helped had I thought about it in advance:

  • Having all my clients’ contact details somewhere other than in TO3000 and Thunderbird, on my computer.
  • Having a working laptop. The keyboard on mine died a few months ago and now I’m working from home all the time, rather than switching between home and office, I haven’t really needed it. Replacing it would probably be a good idea. In this case it would have given me enough battery power to finish anything urgent.

3 thoughts on “Back to the dark ages”

  1. Hi Kate,

    I discovered your blog today and see that you’ve already added me to your blogroll – thanks! Good to hear that you, like me, are still getting plenty of work from good-quality clients.

    Last month’s snow chaos in the UK made the news here in Canada – causing, I have to say, a great deal of amusement and bemusement!

    Take care,
    (PGDipTrans, U of Surrey, 1995-96)

  2. Hi Tom,

    Yes, I found you when I was wandering around translation blogs. Looks like we both started blogs at the same time. What are you doing in Canada? I was assuming you were in Scotland all this time. Glad your business is still going strong.

  3. Hi Kate,

    I married Alison, a Canadian I met in Scotland, in 2006 and moved here the following year. I’m still working for largely the same Swedish and Norwegian clients, only with a slightly bigger time difference. I also get occasional work from Scandinavians here in Canada who need a certified translation of their driving licence, marriage/divorce certificate, immigration paperwork or whatever.

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