To win in Interpreting means writing texts. producing courses, reading, conversing/networking, and being available to several companies.
It is possible to reach the lowest levels of pertinence to human kind, since pertinence is possession of human rights, even through a single company, but this company has to be a big one, so a TIS, and the language has to be really needed.
Most professional interpreters serve at least four companies to reach the lowest levels of pertinence to human kind.
That means privacy (not sharing a place with anyone), lowest levels of property (a telephone set, furniture, basic clothes, etc.), and freedom (a few choices, very limited ones, but still a few).
That is when interpreters would be making about 40 K per year.
If costs are kept low (telephone, gas, electricity, Internet, food, rental, etc.), there will be money to pay the initial deposit for a property in two years' time.
That means nothing beyond the super basic (no restaurants, no parties, no pubs, no car or motorcycle, no nothing).
For that to happen, interpreters would be logged from 7:30 AM to 11:00 PM every day except for weekends, when they could log in for just a few hours.
Onsite jobs usually pay more and give more prestige, but also lead to more sacrifices (public transport, better clothes, a few hours going and coming without getting paid, invoicing people, etc.).
The advantages to the side of the onsite interpreting do not resume to written compliments, and higher pay: they also include not depending on electronic equipment, and things that cannot be changed, so say quality of the speakers.
Onsite jobs mean more freedom, money, physical exercise (moving), and social interaction, so that they are better for the body, and mind of the professional.
There may be loss of money instead of gain if a car is used to attend assignments instead of public transport or feet.
Cabs are still better than vehicles of the interpreter's household (insurance, fuel, accidents, parking, etc.).
A telephonic interpreter could be doing three calls (putting it all together: going and coming, serving, invoicing, etc.) in one hour, so that a one-hour onsite job could imply losing 9 calls (one hour to get to the site, one hour working, one hour to come back to the office).
There is a higher risk of losing voice, and hearing; acquiring cancer (mobile telephone, radiation), and other diseases, so lesion of the repetitive effort (holding the telephone set, typing in the computer, etc.) through telephonic interpreting.
A telephonic interpreter spends less money than an onsite one (no investment in clothing, hair, manicure, and so on), and all is more convenient for them (no need to get out of home).
In onsite interpreting, compliments may get lost in the system, so that the best strategy is making photocopies of those before giving them to the boss together with your invoice or material.
Plenty of compliments received in telephonic interpreting are never registered. The interpreter may never take notice of those.
With telephonic interpreting, a call may come when a friend is around. The conversation will be interrupted, and the interpreter may then feel awkward.
The quality of the equipment creates distress: the surrounding sounds, and all else.
If the fire alarm rings, grey hair may instantaneously appear on the interpreter's head: it could be the minister or immigration on the other end...
A rooming house may make of the interpreter's routine something very inconvenient (little acoustic isolation), so that telephonic interpreters prefer living on their own.
Immigration may call in the middle of the night: they cannot find someone else.
Perhaps emergency services will need interpreting at 1 am...
If there are no after-hours or weekend calls, there is never a 40 K per year.
Sometimes there will be long hours of recorded messages, so say when one of the clients is Telstra, Optus or immigration.
Answering calls on the street feels really bad: nobody is speaking to the interpreter, they have to keep the watch, and the other person, in case there is an acquaintance around them, cannot understand why they would be pretending to be busy (!)
In terms of bosses, the chance for abuse is much higher for the telephonic interpreters because, with the onsite, more people are around when they visit the company to drop invoices or when they are called to speak to one of them.
Telephonic Interpreting involves interacting with people who the interpreter would not normally meet, so that it will always be cold, and distant.
Even so, they are obliged to be polite at all times.
Onsite Interpreting may allow for the interpreter to form a little family
with those they serve or work with: their Christmas parties may be interesting!
There is a lot of repetition involved in telephonic interpreting, but the onsite jobs are likely to always bring a novelty.
With time, standard scripts are on top of the interpreter's mind.
That may be good, since, if the quality of the equipment is poor, they can complete from memory, but it may also be irritating, and change them into the equivalent to a robot.
Working with telephonic interpreting may make the person become more savage because they get used to not going out, frequently visiting the toilet, and receiving calls even when inside of the cubicles.
By the moment the interpreter is under the shower, full of soap, and wet, the telephone will ring, this even if, that far, there was a one-hour interval without any calls.
They get used to getting the towel, interrupting all, and getting out to serve clients.
That creates the illusion of the relationship
, and also of active social life
, since a good share of an individual's social life, if they are commoners, is spent on the telephone.
Those are clients however; not friends.
That is not a social interaction or living.
Since the interpreter must be available for the mentioned amount of time, this to make some basic money, they are slaves of the trade, and they lose quite a lot in what regards life and living.
All other professions allow for regular hours, paid leave, parties, get-togethers, course allowances, opportunities, normal social life, break for meals, and so on.
This is an extremely sacrificed profession.
To become good at this trade. the minimum investment is the equivalent to at least 20 years for the languages in terms of formal learning (10 for each), 12 years of training in Logic (Mathematics, Philosophy, etc.), and one year of specialised training (PG Dip or alike).
Simple calculations may prove this to be a bad choice.
There is much more disrespect for telephonic, and disrespect coming from everywhere (operators, managers, primary and secondary clients, etc.), than for onsite interpreters, as another point.
The book Translation and Interpreting, vol. 1 (Amazon.com), gives a good idea about the trade, and the difficulties involved.
The course on ethics (Udemy) gives an even better understanding, but nothing is as good as practice.