Contests and Promotions from ResearchWritingCenter.comStart Writing and Get Us Laughing Contest Submission: Does That Translate? An Unbearable Customer Interaction

Contest from RWC Finally, guys! We get to highlight the winner of our writing contest.

This submission won our hearts, especially because we know that it’s a true story, which makes it even more humorous. Check out the previous submissions for our “Start Writing & Get Us Laughing” contest.

The point of the contest was pretty simple – write an amusing story about freelance writing (fictional or from your own experience).

We’ve identified 5 winners of the contest and wanted to highlight these contest submissions for you. Next week, we’re starting a new series of useful freelance writing articles. So be sure to tune in.

Does That Translate? An Unbearable Customer Interaction by Cynthia O.

It was an evening of the deepest quiet on the mountain. The silence was broken only by an owl cry, marking his territory through the wood of maples, oaks, beech, hickory and ash. One child already dozed in the car, ready to accompany me to the nearest railroad station 40 minutes away to pick up their dad. The other child had enjoyed a bedtime story and was preparing for our excursion with a bathroom visit. I was trying to resolve an issue with an editing customer, an Italian research scientist for whom I was proposing to proof-read an article.

“I understand that the article is not in final form, Sophia, but send me a draft. I can familiarize myself with the terminology. After all, it has been decades since I took Biology! I need to get up to speed in your specialty.”

There was a voluble exhalation of air at the other end of the line. Her lyrically accented rapid-fire delivery demanded my close attention. “Ah, but Cheensia (Cynthia in Italian), it is a – how you say – a nightmare! It is not even English! You could not…Ah, come si dice quella parola…sopportare?” She lapsed into muttered excavation of her linguistic memory, to which I did not respond, because just then, my son began screaming.

“Mom, Mom, Mom, a bear, a bear, a bear” he yelled from the other room. At first I thought that he was teasing, as he was approaching the age when joking and pranking become appealing ways of exerting personal power over adults. I ran to where he stood frozen and followed his gaze to the door…and began screaming myself.

Silhouetted against the rapidly darkening dusk was a sizable black bear. He was sitting up on his haunches, sniffing for my chocolate-chip cookies. In that slow motion way that perception operates under stress, I noticed something odd about our view of him. There was no door anymore. The screen was gone, and in fact was lying behind the bear, crumpled into a nearly unrecognizable origami of metal and plastic. Nothing separated us from his questing nose, teeth and claws except seven feet of air.

I picked up a chair with one hand, and began to pound the floor with it, this being the loudest noise I could think of at the moment. “Get out, you ##^^#$!” I howled, gesturing to my son to do the same. He was running around in circles, but at least he began yelling at the top of his lungs as well.

I realized that I had left Sophia hanging on the telephone, although only a few seconds had passed. I panted into the telephone, still crashing the chair (an antique that hardly deserved such mistreatment) against the floorboards, “Bear, Sophia, bear!” I noted, with grim satisfaction, the beast’s unwilling, ponderous retreat.

“Ah, certo, Cheensia” her voice floated out cheerily, “The very word: BEAR! You are always so good with words! You could not BEAR to read the article as it looks now.”

Editor’s note: thank you everyone for voting and participating in the contest. We’ll be working on new promotions and contests for you, guys!

Check back next week, as we’re going to tell you a little bit more about freelance writing and it’s benefits: we’ll compare freelance writing with a day job!

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