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The Duties at the Temple of Heaven

Last year, after graduation, a certain job offer caught my eye: Translator (from an Asian to a non-English European language) for a big company. Since I had majored in the Asian language and liked the company, I applied for the offer. I heard I would need to pass an exam, which I could only take once every two years, so I was advised to study well before taking it.

After a month of fastidious studying, I was eager to take the exam. However, in the final planning stage of the exam, it turned out that the contact person I was working with would soon go on vacation, delaying the schedule for three weeks. So I got back to the books and animated visuals. After those three weeks, I was told that the game company itself was now reorganizing and relocating. It would probably take a month. Again I delved into the books. After a month I received a final e-mail from my contact. The game company had decided to switch head hunting companies, and I was directed to the new one.

The contact from the second head hunting company was finally able to proffer an actual date to take the test. This was after telling me that the game company was now hiring all translators under different terms, i.e. reduced income and no more living arrangements included (the job was abroad). But that didn’t matter. It was still a dream job with my favorite company, and after a year or so, I might convince “my woman” to move abroad with me.

The day of the test came. I had prepared, specifically for this test, for four months now. I read all the guidelines, could make out the context of the extracts and which games they were taken from, and finished the test under the time limit. I was quite happy with the translation..

The following Monday I got back the results. I had failed. No further explanation. Four months of dedication to this thing, and that is all I got as an answer. The head hunter told me I should probably become a game tester and take the test again after two years. Often, I was told, it depends not on the quality of your translation, but on whether or not you minutely follow the guidelines they have stipulated. Only, as an outsider you cannot get access to these guidelines. So the game company wanted me to move abroad to become a game tester, on a wage that was just over half of the already reduced wage of a translator, and still rent my own place in a quite expensive town, and all that in the hopes of possibly passing a very ambiguous test two years later.

I declined, and thank goodness for that, for I have now read enough Tales of the Trenches to know where this was going. Now all I lost was time.