Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Since when is Miss Universe a charitable organization?

Every year, dozens of stunningly beautiful women take part in the Miss Universe Pageant, amid glitter and luster, sponsors and luxury.

But beauty (they tell me) is more than just skin-deep: the Miss Universe Organization must be a charitable one (although it is jointly owned by Donald Trump and NBC).

At least, this is the only explanation I can think of for the message I received yesterday from a translation company: I was asked if I were willing to interpret without pay for a full week:

My company is the official provider for interpreters to the Miss Universe Pageant and as such it is my duty to seek interpreters that would be interested in participating in the event. This year the event will be held in Las Vegas, Nevada on August 23rd. The tentative arrival date in Las Vegas is 8/16/10 and departure date from Las Vegas is 8/24/10, directly after the event. This is strictly a voluntary type assignment in the sense that the Pageant does not provide any type of monetary compensation for services. They only provide transportation […] hotel accommodations, […] per diem […] for meals [..] and […] dry cleaning […]. However […] interpreting at the Pageant is a wonderful and enriching experience. […].

I’m sorry, but while I might consider working pro bono for a worthy case (Amnesty international, for example, or the WWF), I’m not interested in working without pay for a beauty pageant.

If the Miss Universe Organization needs professional services, they should be prepared to pay professional rates. No to Peanuts!