Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Sprechen zie boredom?

These days I'm helping out on a project. Ordinarily, one says "project," and images of construction paper and sweet, delicious paste come to mind. But the particular project I'm working on has no such creative outlet. I don't even have internet access: all of a sudden I have three extra hours in my workday that used to be strictly reserved for checking e-mail. 

My day is spent thusly: I get to review hundreds of documents produced in conjunction with a lawsuit against a multinational conglomerate. Relevancy, confidentiality, privilege - such are the slots into which I organize my many articles, e-mails, and memoranda. From there they are further broken down by keywords, issues, authors, etc. And ordinarily, even this ridiculously boring task would occupy me - people at work write some crazy stuff, believing their correspondence will remain forever secret. 

But not on this "project." Oh, no sirree Bob. No, the docs I have to review are about chemical compounds and drug cocktails (and not the fun drug cocktails, like heroin and vodka. Mmmmm, I love my Silent Killer). And sure, I'm not any sort of science person - a Mr. Wizard, a Bill Nye, Science Guy. Frankly, I think science is what people substitute for religion if they don't like a good story. And the formulas, the Venn diagrams? I'll take my invisible, omniscient deity, thanks very much.

Forget the science stuff, though. What really makes this job awkward is that most of the documents are in German. And no, I'm not going near the Jewness/German thing, just superficially, the language barrier makes my day endless. I'm supposed to discern what szprefrugenfargen means, and how it relates to ligands and chelates (who's the science guy now? Look out!)? All I want to do is read the frigging e-mail, and Dr. Fraulein has to be all consonant-y about some upcoming vacation. Helga! English! 

1 comment:

Ali said...

um, yeah, your project kinda sucks. :)