Working Nine to Five
Work is described in many different ways because it varies from one person to the other. Whether your job requires going to school full-time, taking care of children, or working as a service provider, it is all described as work. As shown in Chapter 6, to sign “work,” use both “S” hands, palms facing down. Tap your right wrist on the back of your left fist a few times. The sign for work can have movement variations that are used to indicate intonation and degree of intensity. When signing “work,” you can demonstrate how hard you might have worked by increasing the intensity and the speed with which one hand strikes against the other. Suppose you had a day at work when things went smoothly. You can also demonstrate this kind of easy workday by changing the intensity to a slower, softer tapping of the fists.
So it's off to work you go. The start and the end times of your job are very important. You've already learned some of the time signs in Chapter 12; therefore, you know how to point to your watch to indicate time. Now you'll learn how to sign “start” and “stop.”
BEGIN, START: Place the index finger of the “one” hand between the index and middle finger of your left hand and turn. Memory aid: Visualize placing the key in the ignition of a vehicle and turning it.
Don't limit the sign “start” just to the application of starting a vehicle. Think of this sign when you need to sign: “commence,” “origin,” “root,” “initiate,” “activate,” “instigate,” or “set in motion.”
The sign for “start” can be combined with many signs you have already learned. With this exercise, your vocabulary expands from singles to pairs. Here's how it works. Start with a basic phrase describing a common action. You visualize this action then sign the words that make it into a series of complete sentences. As you sign the words in the sentences, don't hesitate to throw in a little mime and gesture. All the words in these three sentences you know how to sign. Visualization is a great tool. Use it, and you will sign successfully. (Reminder: you do not need to sign any of the little words people say daily, such as “the,” “a,” or “is.”) Sign the following short sentences.
You wake up in the morning and then you …
Start to make the coffee.
Start cooking the breakfast.
Start the car.
The simplest way to sign these sentences:
Start cook breakfast.
Sign language is a visual language, and it is how you see the words not how you hear the words. This part of the journey often is the most difficult. Hang in there. Here are some more work related signs for you to learn:
STOP: Use the side of your “flat” hand to hit your left “open” palm once.
FINISH: Use “open five” hands, palms facing in, and snap them outward to the sides.
MAKE: Place “S” hands one on top of the other, then twist them back and forth.
HELP: Place the “A” hand in your left “open” palm and lift both hands upward.
In Chapter 4, you learned to sign the initialized version of “boss” by tapping the “B” hand on the heart. Another way to sign “boss” is to tap the “claw” hand on the right shoulder, representing the person who has the responsibility.
BEEPER/PAGER: Hold the “S” hand at the waist, flick your thumb, index finger, and middle finger, imitating vibration or pulsing.
“Office” is an initialized sign and it is formed with the same movements as “room.” To sign “office,” use the “O” hands and move them in a box shape to indicate two sets of walls; front and back, and both sides Presently, these signs for “fax” are the most popular versions:
“Fax”: Move the right “X” hand under the “flat” palm down left hand.
“Fax”: Form the letter “F” at the wrist of the left hand, then quickly change to “X” while sliding across the open palm to the end of the fingertips.
To sign “meeting,” use “open five” hands held apart. Bring your hands toward each other while closing and touching the fingertips together.
In this chapter, you have been all around and about learning common everyday signs. Keep applying the signs you know, especially the signs you just learned, at home or at work daily.