By Catherine Theilen Burke
In an effort to raise the visibility of our association while helping out a worthy cause, a group of NCTA translators assembled at the studios of KQED on the evening of December 1, 2004 to take pledges for the public TV station in conjunction with its annual pledge drive. It was a productive, and fun, night for all.
Pledge night at KQED is, in fact, extremely well organized and participating is a pleasure. Our first activity, upon arrival and meeting our group members, was to eat a delicious dinner donated by a local Chinese restaurant, all while getting to know each other better. Languages represented by our group were Bulgarian, German, Farsi/Dari, Finnish, French, and Japanese. We then watched a video outlining procedures for answering the phones and filling out pledge forms.
After our training and an outline of the evening’s schedule, we filed into a large room with banks of bright lights and rows of seats with telephone consoles. On a blackboard was written the number of minutes remaining until the first pledge break, giving us time to settle down and review our page of instructions and the list of gifts people would receive for making a pledge.
Answering the phones during the pledge drive was quite easy. The forms were clear and callers were, for the most part, familiar with the system. In between the pledge breaks we mostly socialized, joking and coaching each other on telephone etiquette and engaging in shop talk.
Meeting other people was also easy, as we had a shared set of tasks and we had some good laughs accomplishing them. Translators who are pulled away from their desks and deadlines like to have a good time when they get together.
We were happy to be able to promote awareness of NCTA in the name of a good cause. Thank you to Brigitte Minault-Reich for organizing this fun and productive NCTA event. We look forward to other members joining us in volunteering for the next NCTA KQED pledge night.