Wednesday, April 12, 2017

ich sprach auf Französisch heute

My boss needed help with an international transaction today, so he recruited me to speak French with someone in France regarding whether he could finalize the transaction over the phone. This originally began with my boss asking me to translate an email into French—one requesting a price quote (un devis) for an item he had already purchased and wanted shipped to Korea. The French version of his email was sent to various shippers; one quoted a price of 500 euros, which was ridiculous; the winner quoted a shipping cost of around 250 euros. So around 5:30PM today (about 10:30AM, France time), we called France.

The lady who answered was chirpy and cheerful; her own accent was perfectly clear, textbook-classic French, and even better, there was no half-second delay, as often happens with international phone calls. I was relieved on both fronts; the lady proved very helpful and accommodating, and I don't think I spoke with her for more than three or four minutes. The transaction went off without a hitch as I rattled off the boss's card information; the lady narrated events on her side as the data was being processed ("autorisation en cours..."), et voilà—we were done just like that. I couldn't help thinking the lady sounded awfully cute. I wished her a good day, and that was that.

One of the good things about working at the Golden Goose has been the realization that I am useful to my boss. This matters because it translates into job security. Not that I've ever had to worry about job security in the past: whenever I left a job, it was on my own terms, and never because I'd been fired. Still, knowing that I have job security is a net positive. So I might be here for a while, even after I've paid down all my major debts. Then again, the prospect of university work, with its super-long vacations, is always calling to me. Once my debts are gone, I may plunge back into that market... but we'll see.

Speaking of being useful: tomorrow, I put on my graphic-designer hat to design the cover of a debate textbook that our company will be publishing soon.

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