Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Taiwanese and marketing II

“Hey, Eric man, I have the solution to your financial situation. I need your translation skills this weekend,”said Josh in his usual upbeat style while we were in the bar.

It was friday night and he had just got a call from a client who needed a product brochure and company profile by the next Monday morning.

When he started he had been expecting work on web sites that took a month to complete or larger marketing projects. Unfortunately, he constantly found he was being called up at the last moment to do copy writing, editing or translation of materials that had been sitting on someone’s desk for a month being ignored. Why? - Because it cost money and no one wanted to take responsibility for finding anyone. Josh could speak good Chinese but he couldn’t read or write. He was interested in knowing as much as he needed for effective communication at work, he wasn’t interested in reading ancient Chinese scrolls like Eric.

“Man, I have some museums to visit this weekend. I am a busy man.”

“You are also broke and you know it.”

“Don’t you know it is not polite to present the cold truth to a man. How many words?”said Eric.
“5,000 words."

"Fuck, dude, I ain’t going to get any sleep this weekend, am I?”

“You can earn 10,000NT. That will keep you in smelly tou fu and museum tickets for a while.”

Josh wanted Eric to do it because Eric, for all his complaining, was reliable. He had given the chance to so many enthusiastic foreign guys who wanted to grasp the mantle of opportunity, only to be let down.

Eric was reluctant notot because he cared about going out that weekend, but because he guessed what the content would be.

“Motherboards,”replied Josh.

“Don’t you ever get any interesting clients? Buddhist temples? Think tanks that need papers on Cross-Strait Relations translated.” It was wishful thinking, the last time it had been Flash memory chips, and the time before processors.

"This is Taiwan," replied Josh.

Eric went home, took a couple of deep breaths, hoping to exhale his interests and personality from his body, and settled down for what he knew would be an excruciatingly tedious weekend of hellish translation.

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