So all sorts of bad news today…

To top it all off I received some very negative feedback on a translation job I just completed.

People at Opel marketing were pissed aboutit and said I made some bad mistakes with it. It doesn’t matter to them that I came in special on a Monday (normally an off day) to rush their translation through. Examples of the terrible mistakes I made were translating the German word paket into packet and not pack.

OK that is one that I really like. A case in which I'm not to blame. One example of a dumb mistake where I am to blame was not removing a reference to the VectraCaravan’ and replacing it with Vectra station wagon. I mean I was not hired to be a translator. I was hired because I’m a native English speaker with a journalism and PR background. So since starting my job in January what have I done? 99.9 percent translating.

I’m beginning to get tired of this. Everyone knew from the start I wasn’t a translator. That my talent lies in original writing and not German – English translations. Sure I can do them but I make mistakes. And since in our office we don’t have a competent quality control and editing program in place this means that often my work goes out without anyone to read it over other than myself. This is not working.

Matthew this is unacceptable.

So I talked with my boss. I offered to resign. I’m really bummed out today about this. He said not to worry that he doesn’t want to fire me nor does he think that is a solution. He wants me to resume my German classes, which I stopped when the company told me they would only offer me 50 euros a month towards them. It only benefits the company and my work was my thought and since there are no classes for less than 200 euros a month why should I spend 3x the hard earned cash that my employer was willing to put up? Now my boss (he’s new in his position and I really like him) says he supports the idea that the company pays for the entire sum of the classes.

Problem number two: So I have this new woman in my life and for the first time in a long time it all feels right. Our meeting was pure fate – she came to look at the room I’m offering up for rent in my apartment (even though its out of her price range). Well we met, we hung out and we ended up holding hands on a cold night at this festival in Wiesbaden. The next day we kissed and then after a day at the office we made love for the first time.

WE have much in common, including a desire to make the heart and spirit the primary factors in our lives. We are both artistic and extremely passionate and sexually expressive. We are both sarcastic, droll and self-disparaging. We are falling for one another – hard.

So problem number two. She is traveling around Germany for the last two weeks and won’t be back in Mainz until October. We want to see each other desperately. We are both unable to think about other things (no wonder I’m having problems at work) and are yearning for each other’s presence.

So sometimes I can get the company car and I had the great idea to drive to Bavaria and the Bodensee, where she is helping to organize an anti-globalization conference, to see her this weekend. Problem – the car is going to be used this weekend by another coworker.

OK maybe this isn’t such a big problem. After all for only 80 euros I can still take the train. I just hate taking the train and I would have rather driven.
But, I think considering the stress relating to my job that I better go and see her anyhow.

(side note: Two months ago I returned from a vacation in Chicago and I had decided to leave Germany next summer because other than my job there was nothing to write home about here. I had no friends, I hate Germans, and I hate the language and the authoritarian culture. I hate the Bahn and the weather. I miss America, I miss my family and son and seeing Phish and The Dead. So of course, fate would have it that, once I returned everything changed. I made friends, the weather was great and even the Germans seemed somehow nicer and less cold. Maybe it was just my attitude that changed, I don’t know.

Then I met Anna and things really picked up. I mean for the first time in more than a year I actually felt like here was somebody with whom I could communicate, radiate and spend my time with. And this was returned to me. I felt like I could imagine staying in Germany, spending my time and love and life with someone here who meant something to me … Fuck

And now that I’ve decided staying might be possible I’m having problems at work. The one area of my life that had been stable and secure through the long winter and spring months when nothing else seemed to be going my way.

Is this a seesaw of karma or what?!?!?
I wish I could just stabilize all the aspects of my life at once. This is not my fate. I seem to always be a juggler… with one or two balls up in the air (read aspects of my life – spirit, heart, body or mind) and one in the hand…

So what comes next … well I just had a meeting with my boss on the problems at Opel. I once again suggested that maybe I’m not the translator they’re looking for. (Why do I want to martyr myself over this?) My boss once again said to relax, that nobody has suggested that I be fired or that I resign.

We’re going to start using another native English speaker to control and edit all of our translations before we send them onto Opel. One day at a time. One translation at a time.

Maybe things will be better next week. Maybe so. Maybe not. I don’t know. I wish I could take the car and drive to see Anna and just forget about all of this shit. I wish I could just quit. I want to just quit. When the going gets tough Matthew wants to quit. Not a solution.
I’m gonna keep on keeping on…
I have the support of my boss and for the moment (this might last a day or a month or a season – who knows) I’m gonna stick by my guns.

Fuck the silly shit. Tomorrow I’m heading out to the Bodensee to roll in my baby’s arms. She’s gonna take me and rock me and hold me while I sleep. She’s gonna kiss me and make it all better. Even if in reality it’s not all better I’ll feel better about it this way.