Some years ago, I read a story that I'd like to re-read. Just about the only thing I'm certain about is that, to make a living, the MC translated how-to instructions from foreign languages (where machines were manufactured) into English. I'm not sure what kind of machines - though possibly big industrial stuff. I believe he was having marital problems (maybe because his spouse thought his job was insufficiently upwardly mobile). I think, but not sure, he was friends with a neighbor woman who was having marital problems of her own.