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Friday, April 18, 2014

Dear Caller-A letter from a Video Interpreter

Dear Caller, 

I have known you since you first turned on your first video phone. I remember how excited you were to make a call to your mom using your hands, how baffled you were at the simplicity of filling your own prescriptions through the press of a button. I remember, with more joy, the first time you made a mobile call. It was awkward for us both as you tried to figure out the best position for your phone hand. Signing one handed never felt so strange, I am sure. I have to admit, I was polite the first time and didn't want to embarrass you, I saw more of your nose hairs than your hands. We figured it out though, didn't we? And now you make calls from the grocery store, mall, park, doctor's office, and sometimes to test my cardiac health you make VP calls from your moving vehicle. Nothing says equal access quite like mobile VP, in my opinion.

Caller, I remember when you got your pet. They were so sweet and cute. We called every single one of your family members to tell them all about it. You were so excited and held your pet up for every VI to see, with pride. I remember all the calls we made to the groomer and the vet. I remember thinking of you and your pet when I would see someone walking their dog or petting their cat in my everyday life. One of the hardest days of my job was the day I had to call and tell you your pet had died. I am so sorry that you received that news. I am so sorry that I am the one  who had to deliver it. But, at the same time, I am so glad you didn't have to hear it alone, and I am so very thankful that you let me in to even the most intimate and trying moments in your life. 

I remember the first time I saw the inside of your office instead of your home. Placing highly technical conference calls for you has always been a pleasure of mine. Many people in the interpreting community would argue that Video Interpreters don't see the same level of challenges as a community interpreter does, I beg to differ. Thank you for filling me in on all of the technical terms you would be using. Working together, as a team, really made the call so much more efficient for both of us. By the end I felt accomplished and proud that you had kept up with your peers because of our teamwork. Another perfect example of equal access and how VRS really helps you achieve that. 

Caller, I know that there are times when I am less than stellar. As a human I can't possibly be on my A-game all the time. I know you don't know that my husband just lost his job or that my relative just passed away. I know that it is not your fault that the previous five callers were irritated as well. I know that we all have good days and bad days and I am just grateful that you give me second chances and understand that I am here to provide the very best service I possibly can for you. You make my day, honestly. I love this job and I could not ask for anything more than to provide you excellent quality customer service for all of your calls. 

I could go on for days. I spend 36 hours of my week in a cubicle interpreting phone calls for you and other callers. Some are super happy calls, some are super sad. Some calls are the best experiences of my life and others are just another call. Some callers like to thank me for my work, and others prefer to just hang up. Every call is important. Every caller is important. I work for you. Thank you so much for helping me every day to be a better interpreter and, more importantly, a better person. 

With so much thanks and love, 
Manda-your VI 

This letter is to no one and everyone. I felt an urge today to write a thank you note to my callers because I get to be a part of their lives on even the most intimate of moments. I feel so blessed and grateful every day to have the opportunity I have to provide a service to the deaf and Hard of Hearing community. I am also so grateful that I was shown the path so early on. Being an interpreter is really so valuable to me.

Also, I am grateful to ZVRS for being the best employer I have ever had. To some people it may just be a job, but to me it is a family. I care so much about my colleagues and my consumers, both hearing and deaf.

Thanks for reading.

Much love,


  1. This is beautiful! *Big Hugs* I, too am a Video Interpreter and am blessed to work for ZVRS, as well!

    1. Thank you so much, I am so glad to have you as a part of my VI family!

  2. Loved it. You go girl! -Katie

    1. Might not be here without you, sister! <3 Thanks for all your love and support!

  3. Couldn't have said it any better! You ROCK!
    - Z VI too