My favorite part about being a freelancer (that is, besides the whole working at home thing… and the whole no commuting thing… and the whole no daycare worries thing… and the whole pick my own hours thing… and… well, you get the idea) is that I have my very own personal stehmp.
What's a stehmp?
Funny you should ask.
Back in the Old Country, we used to refer to such an item as a rubber stamp – i.e. חותמת גומי (literally, rubber stamp) for the Hebraically oriented among you.
But this term doesn’t have the exact same connotation as “stehmp”.
Because stehmp, you see, is what the pakid (clerk) does -with great relish and extreme gusto - to all of your documents in every Israeli governmental office, in general, and to your passport at Ben Gurion Airport, in particular.
Actually, to be perfectly correct, what the pakid does is more like, “stehmp, stehmp.” Apparently – and feel free to correct me if I’m wrong about this! - stehmpim generally come in pairs.
So, imagine how excited I was to learn that I would be getting a real, live, honest-to-goodness stehmp!
And even today – several years and many, many, many stehmpim later – the exhilaration continues. Every time I need to issue an invoice, I’m thrilled that I have yet another opportunity to take out my precious stehmp and get to work. (Unfortunately, I’m only required to stehmp rather than the more authentic stehmp, stehmp, but one takes what one can get.)
In conclusion, a suggestion for our younger readers - are you paying attention, YAT?! – who are still considering their future careers: The first and most important question you need to ask about your chosen profession is, “Do I get to use a stehmp?”