A day in the life of an information specialist and translator – Monday 26th November, 2007

Writing this is actually more difficult than I expected – I am under non-disclosure agreements with most of my customers, so I have to keep the contents very non-specific….

My day starts early – the broadband is turned on as the early morning tea is prepared at around 5 a.m.

A quick look at the mail boxes before the working day starts in earnest.

A final run-through of the translation I had done over the week-end and promised ready for today.
My subconscious has been working overnight and I substitute a phase that wasn’t quite right.

After breakfast I do the daily check on various companies and topics on which I run business intelligence projects. Mail the results and check email again.

The nine o’clock meeting starts on time, the client turn up promptly. This is the first time a client has come to my home office, I generally travel to their premises, so this is a pleasant change.

We discuss his project and go through the work prepared in advance for this preliminary meeting. The project, price etc are agreed, it seems as though it is going to be a pleasure working on this, as he is so open and full of suggestions as to how we can get the most out of the planned meetings.

A quick cup of coffee; check on the emails, deal with them and then post my blog entry.

Catch up on some reading and reply to an English colleague who wants help with a big information project – for free. I have learned from bitter experience to be hard – helped here by the comment from Charlotte Hammer who gave the example of her car mechanic who charges her the proper price for work done, even though they are friends. (Like many of us, I have spent entirely too much time working for nothing). But I do suggest which databases to search, and what search terms could be useful and point out that patent databases are probably the best place to start….

Lunch and then a quick walk with the dogs – quick because the wind is bitingly cold.


Contact some STN customers (I am the Danish training agent for the FIZ Scientific and Technical  Network databases) to find why a mailing re. Web-seminars couldn’t be delivered. Catch up with their news, alter my email contact list, my Excel sheet of contact details and inform STN.

Read through a prospective project for an EU project. Preparing a bid for these projects is time consuming and difficult. I work in close collaboration with Danish and colleagues in other EU countries and enjoy this international teamwork very much.

Do some more translation of ‘my’ current book – it is almost finished now, a fascinating topic, so it is interesting to do, though technically demanding as it is very specialised.

Check my ‘to-do’ list and sort out the most urgent things ready for the morning.  I have not done all the stuff I had planned (again).

A final check of the mailbox and the pc is turned off  at 17:30 – Monday evening is bridge night and a complete rest from all work topics.

Helen Martin