Making a Living
Like I had mentioned, I came from a very powerful family in Mexico. However, when I arrived in the United States, I became poor. My husband, which was the whole reason I remained in the United States, as it turned out did not make much money. After one instance where I blew an entire week’s budget on one dinner, I quickly learned that I was going to have to work for a living here. As my husband so aptly put it, I no longer lived out of my father’s wallet. Before I ended up as a translator, I had some rather interesting work here.
“You no longer live out of your father’s wallet”
To help make ends meet, I took a job at the hospital, Mercy Hospital here in Des Moines. I worked in the medical records department. I used to work there as a Discharge Analyst. It was just a job, something I got to make ends meet. Because I grew up Catholic, when I worked there I was invited to attend a round table meeting with the Mother superior and a priest, and several others who identified as Catholic. The discussion was about how we experience God on a daily basis. But really, it just turned into a competition of horrendous things in life. From rapes to abuse… It was quite the discussion. So when it came to my turn, I didn’t know how to tell them that I had grown up in wealth and that I had never really suffered. So when they all looked at me I quickly blurted out “I grew up in a concentration camp and I don’t wanna talk about it!” My husband used to make fun of me for that one. For me that place was just a job, and I was just doing what I could to get through.
I was doing anything I could to help our family make enough money. When I first started translating, I was already well established at the hospital. I switched my hours to the third shift, so I could do the translating during the day. I used to work at the hospital from eleven at night until seven in the morning so I had the daytime to work for the courts. So then I would get off from the hospital in the morning, go to my house, shower, and go to court to do some more work there. Working both jobs was going as smoothly as can be expected, until one particular case. There was this trial that was going to be in Davenport. So then, I asked permission to be gone that many days from the hospital, which they granted me. So, once we’re in the trial, the judge tells me that it’s going to be two more days than we originally thought. And I said right away “well, then I have problems”. I told the judge about my other job, and how I was scheduled to work. So then, without any further request, the federal judge, who was the federal judge, the chief of the federal judges, called Sister Patricia Claire, who was the mother superior for all of us at the hospital, a very intimidating woman. Sister Patricia Claire calls my boss and chews the shit out of her. And from then on I could back and forth whenever I wanted to.
I quit Mercy finally after I had gotten some stability with my translating business. I had fallen and hurt my knee at work, but instead of the hospital allowing me to take some sick leave and return when was healed, they insisted I go through workman’s comp. After I had done all this running around and did all they wanted me to, I realized they they had sneakily taken away my former position. I was not interested in going through a new job and training again, so I decided to just walk away and focus on my translating business.