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When one gets too many jobs at a time (maybe after weeks of drought)
Thread poster: Venkatesh Sundaram

Venkatesh Sundaram  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 03:14
Member
German to English
Aug 1, 2008

Perhaps many of us have been through similar situations - there are days, perhaps weeks with little to do. Meanwhile, two or more quotes which one had submitted earlier are accepted almost simultaneously. One then is faced with difficult decisions - Hobsons' choices really
* declining one of the jobs (and facing the prospect of getting blacklisted by that client)
* accepting both jobs but informing one of the clients that their work cannot be done as per the schedule committed earlier since their confirmation came in rather late (and run the risk of the client taking the business elsewhere)
Moreover such situations often seem to occur on Friday evenings (when its also unfair to expect colleagues to help out)
Suggestions anyone?

Thanking colleagues in anticipation
Regards, Venkatesh


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Tomás Cano Binder, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 22:44
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Try to reschedule the less-urgent job... Aug 1, 2008

...or let the job go, since you will not be able to do it within the expected time. Customers understand the situation quite well and they might give the job to another person and come back to you nevertheless later on.

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Noni Gilbert
Spain
Local time: 22:44
Member (2007)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Wise words from Tomás Aug 1, 2008

Tomás Cano Binder wrote:

...or let the job go, since you will not be able to do it within the expected time. Customers understand the situation quite well and they might give the job to another person and come back to you nevertheless later on.


So frustrating, but nothing to be done about it (after checking of course that you can't renegogiate the deadline!). Better let it go than do the job badly because of rushing it - that way you certainly won't get repeat work from the client!


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Venkatesh Sundaram  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 03:14
Member
German to English
TOPIC STARTER
Agree - better let a job go than do it badly Aug 1, 2008

aceavila - Noni wrote:

Tomás Cano Binder wrote:

...or let the job go, since you will not be able to do it within the expected time. Customers understand the situation quite well and they might give the job to another person and come back to you nevertheless later on.


So frustrating, but nothing to be done about it (after checking of course that you can't renegogiate the deadline!). Better let it go than do the job badly because of rushing it - that way you certainly won't get repeat work from the client!



Couldn't agree with both of you more. Still not the happiest choice! Especially if one has to make such a choice after days of having very little to do.


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David Van der Vloet  Identity Verified
Belgium
Local time: 22:44
Member (2006)
English to Flemish
+ ...
Work nights or outsource Aug 1, 2008

I would take both and work through the night, especially after "weeks of drought", when additional turnover is most welcome, but I realise that this may not be an option for some people. Alternatively, you could contact a colleague to help you out. Many people are prepared to work on Saturdays if it pays well.

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Noni Gilbert
Spain
Local time: 22:44
Member (2007)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Outsourcing yes, through the night no Aug 1, 2008

David Van der Vloet wrote:

I would take both and work through the night, especially after "weeks of drought", when additional turnover is most welcome, but I realise that this may not be an option for some people. Alternatively, you could contact a colleague to help you out. Many people are prepared to work on Saturdays if it pays well.


Passing the job onto a trusted colleague is sure to be beneficial - both to the colleague and to you eventually, but I cannot recommend going through the night (not an option for me with small children anyway) because of the quality issues involved.


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Tomás Cano Binder, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 22:44
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
From "Professional Practices for Language Service Providers" Aug 1, 2008

I reckon many of us agree with and endorse these "Professional practices".

One of them says:
- "accept only assignments that they have the knowledge, resources and time to do well".

I don't think subcontracting is an option without telling the customer. In my opinion the only fair ─even if disadvantageous─ way is to let the job go or stretch a lot, which surely many of us do too when needed.


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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 14:44
English to Spanish
+ ...
Bust your butt Aug 1, 2008

Yes, you might have to do that for a spell. Try to see if you can buy a little more time from some clients; if you tell them your situation they should cut you some slack. If you work well under pressure, even if you have to work long and hard, your quality should not suffer. But you will really have to concentrate, you cannot let quality slip.

Who said life was easy?


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Madeleine MacRae Klintebo  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:44
Swedish to English
+ ...
No outsourcing without client agreement Aug 1, 2008

Tomás Cano Binder wrote:
I don't think subcontracting is an option without telling the customer. In my opinion the only fair ─even if disadvantageous─ way is to let the job go or stretch a lot, which surely many of us do too when needed.

I'm a freelancer, not an agency. Clients (end or agency) contract me due to my skills. If I'm unable to undertake the assignment, I have two options:

- decline and loose the commission
- get the client's approval to outsource

Anything else is in my opinion fraudulent.


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Orla Ryan  Identity Verified
Ireland
Local time: 21:44
these things happen Aug 2, 2008

If you're already booked for other projects, then you're booked for other projects. You won't be blacklisted if you're not available to do a job, stop worrying! Clients do understand.

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Venkatesh Sundaram  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 03:14
Member
German to English
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks for the reassurance! Aug 2, 2008

Orla Ryan wrote:


If you're already booked for other projects, then you're booked for other projects. You won't be blacklisted if you're not available to do a job, stop worrying! Clients do understand.


Thanks for the reassurance!


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Jennifer Barnett  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 22:44
Member (2009)
Dutch to English
+ ...
there's nothing wrong with saying 'no'. Aug 2, 2008

I agree with Orla. That's life and work and everyone understands that - really.

Consider this (somewhat exaggerated): you win more respect if you can say 'no'. People who can never say 'no' end up being exploited without any thanks for all their effort. Then the minute you do finally do say 'no' there is an enormous outcry as the exploiters try to regain control of their obedient slave. I know this only too well because I was a former sufferer of the 'disease to please'. A bad habit indeed!


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Birthe Omark  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 22:44
Member (2006)
French to Danish
+ ...
State your realstic deadline ! Aug 2, 2008

Very often the outsourcer is able to give you some more time when you give them the delivery time you actually can manage. But don't overdo it - get on with it and work as long hours as you possibily can.

If the job goes elsewhere, then be optimistic and hope that you are now in for a good spell !!

Smiles ...

Birthe


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NancyLynn
Canada
Local time: 16:44
Member (2002)
French to English
+ ...

MODERATOR
Works for me Aug 3, 2008

I always try to negotiate a more appropriate deadline. If there is room to extend it, the client will give you the extension. If not, they'll find another translator - and I'm always ready to recommend someone. This has not worked against me; quite the contrary in fact - I think the client appreciates the fact that I'm working towards his goal, which is to produce a quality translation.

As it happens, this past Friday afternoon I turned down two jobs, a total of 31,000 words, because I'd already accepted 40,000 words the day before, and all three projects have the same mid-August deadline. I know my limits. I renegotiated the deadline for the 40,000 word project and regretfully declined the other two. It can be done!

Nancy


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