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Vacations with or without laptops?
Thread poster: Bertha S. Deffenbaugh

Bertha S. Deffenbaugh  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 05:15
English to Spanish
+ ...
Apr 14, 2002

Should we check mail during our vacations? Should we worry about our clients trying to get hold of us and realizing that we are not available?

How does this work against us?



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Olga Simon  Identity Verified
Hungary
Local time: 14:15
English to Russian
+ ...
We probably should be checking e-mails, but, alas, it is not always possible... Apr 14, 2002

I just came back from vacation myself. I was away for almost three weeks and the first two weeks I had the opportunity to once in a while check my messages. The last week I was travelling for fun and did not bother to open up the computer. Result? One job lost - the Client asked for my availability and a day later notified me that he has to contract out somebody else, since I am apparently not available. The second job was a potential one, also lost because of the timing - by the time I came back it had already been closed. Not as sad as the 1st one - ultimately one can never be sure that he will be the one to get this very specific job, but potentially it could have been me, too.

So, yes, we have to make a choice - check your e-mails and be on the top of every piece of news or have a vacation and enjoy yourself, that\'s it!



Although, I am still happy that I went to the Louvre and Versailles instead of sitting in a hotel room checking my e-mails. Yes, I lost a few dollars on those jobs, but ultimately vacation is vacation, no? How many times a year can we afford that?

))))



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Parrot  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 14:15
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
I just got a broadcast mail from Dusty saying he's on holiday for 2 weeks Apr 14, 2002

And if I were an outsourcer, I\'d understand this. Advance notice doesn\'t hurt.

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Werner George Patels, M.A., C.Tran.(ATIO)
Local time: 08:15
German to English
+ ...
Give them advance notice Apr 14, 2002

This is how I handle this matter. Give your clients advance notice (plus, enable, if you can, the auto-reply feature of your e-mail account in order to inform existing and potential clients of your time away from the office).



Fact is that we are human beings too. We cannot be expected to be on call 24/7/365. So, when you are on vacation, forget about your inbox, alright?


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ALAIN COTE  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:15
Japanese to French
A crazy solution? :-) Apr 15, 2002

I found a solution for this summer. I will rent a chalet in Canada (I live in Japan) for one month, get the phone line installed and stay in contact with the World through Internet... and Proz.com! So I will keep working while my wife and my son enjoy nature... without me. A bit crazy, but this is the best solution I could find. And if sometimes I don\'t want to work, I will find someone in Proz.com to do the work for me!

[ This Message was edited by: on 2002-04-15 05:43 ]


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athena22  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 05:15
Member
English
+ ...
Advance notice is key! Apr 15, 2002

I send an email to my regular clients (and to my new ones), about a week before I go away, letting them know when I\'ll be gone, whether I\'ll be checking email, and if so, how often. Then I also have my server send an automatic notice out that I can\'t respond until my return date, just in case something new pops up and/or someone mixes up my dates.

This seems to have kept everyone happy.


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Mary Worby  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:15
Member
German to English
+ ...
Advance notice ... and a mobile Apr 15, 2002

My solution is pretty much the same as everyone else\'s. Give the customers\' plenty of advanced notice that you are going away (this often encourages them to plan work better around the times you are there!).



I tend to switch my server off while I\'m away, so can\'t use the \'out-of-office\' auto-reply system. What I do do, though, is take my mobile with me. If the customers call, which they generally don\'t, it\'s not the end of the world, but with a bit of luck they start calling by the end of the holiday, and it\'s rare that I haven\'t got some work lined up for the time I get back



Good luck, and enjoy those holidays



Mary


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xxxwilliamson
Local time: 14:15
Dutch to English
+ ...
Internet Café and Twigger Apr 15, 2002

Almost every mayor city has an internet-café. If you enter www.twigger.com, you can check your emails worldwide (I tried this in the middle of Russia and it worked).

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Sonya Gerisch  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:15
Member (2004)
German to English
Another option--team up with someone you trust Apr 24, 2002

Hello,

I have thought about this in several different ways. I agree that advance notice for your clients is a good thing, but another option is to team up with someone you trust completely. I do that with 2 other translators of my language pair. If I want to go on vacation without a laptop, I can forward my email to them. I do let clients know ahead of time though. Then, if the clients can\'t wait, then at least there is someone to handle \"emergency\" translations. My collegues and I then handle payment between us when I get back.



This might not work for everyone, but I have been doing this successfully for a few years.

I think it is a good idea to team up anyway. What if you get sick or are otherwise unable to work for some reason?

Sonya
[addsig]


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Erika Pavelka  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:15
French to English
Good suggestion Apr 25, 2002

Quote:


I have thought about this in several different ways. I agree that advance notice for your clients is a good thing, but another option is to team up with someone you trust completely. I do that with 2 other translators of my language pair. If I want to go on vacation without a laptop, I can forward my email to them. I do let clients know ahead of time though. Then, if the clients can\'t wait, then at least there is someone to handle \"emergency\" translations. My collegues and I then handle payment between us when I get back.





This is an excellent idea. This, combined with advanced notice, is probably the best solution. After all, when you take a vacation, you want to get away from work and the computer, right? After all, we do need rest, especially since we work with our minds all day (and that gets tired out quickly!).



My two cents,



Erika, taking a 3-week vacation this summer

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Ian Wood  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 21:15
Japanese to English
+ ...
leave it at home Jun 1, 2002

I just had a 1 week vacation on a warm island in the pacific and I left all my work at home. After checking my email at an internet cafe I had to defuse a possible problem with a client that I forgot to notify of my absence, but it went fine as I had someone to cover for me. I am quite sure that if I had the PC with me I would have ended up doing the job myself instead of splashing about in the pool or running about on the beach with my daughter, so I am glad that I left it at home.



a holiday is a holiday after all









on another related note... I found that it took a few days after returning for business to get back to usual, but this could just have been a dry spell that was going to occur anyway.


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Richard Flight  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 14:15
Spanish to English
+ ...
This is only marginally related, but Sep 26, 2002

my GP takes five one-week breaks, spread throughout the year, as he says that is healthier than the one or two longer breaks we usually take in summer and around xmas. That could apply to translations, too - a one-week break with advance notice is more likely to go down well with customers, and loose us less work than longer breaks...?

By the way, if there are any good French-to-English transators willing to get into a holiday-covering arrangement, please give me a bell!



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Oleg Osipov  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 15:15
English to Russian
+ ...
Business trip/vacations Sep 29, 2002

O.K. guys, when I am on vacations or/and on a business trip, then I go to John Harvard\'s pub without my laptop and get ready for lectures. The beer is real good - believe me! If you study real hard, come to Boston with me! Satisfaction guaranteed!

Kot, Oleg, Stepan


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Dyran Altenburg  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 08:15
English to Spanish
+ ...
Availability Oct 1, 2002

Since 24/7 availability is one of the main reasons clients send me work (and pay high rates), I always travel with my laptop and a cellphone.



The laptop usually stays at the hotel, but I have my cellphone set to send me the first 10 lines of any message received at my work e-mail address. That way I can get in touch with my clients if necessary and only get online to download the messages I\'m interested in. Calls to my office phone are also automatically re-routed to my cellphone.



By being always available, I don\'t even have to tell anybody I\'m on vacation (or at the park, or riding my bike, or whatever).


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claude
Thailand
Local time: 14:15
English to French
Obviously ... Oct 14, 2002

The majority of translators are addicted to communication technology.

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