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LWA for someone you have NOT worked for
Thread poster: Lietta Warren-Granato

Lietta Warren-Granato  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 22:59
Italian to English
+ ...
Sep 24, 2008

I understand that the LWA is LITERALLY just that, but listen to what happened to me this morning:

I saw a job posting here on ProZ, I replied sending my CV, and I was contacted by the outsourcer.
The job had been posted as "Italian to English and Spanish to English", but when we started talking the outsourcer just said 'oh, sorry, in fact it's Spanish to Italian and Spanish to English'. We spoke on the phone for a while, and the o.s. finally said: "OK then, you can do the job; I'm sending the material straight away".
I waited a while (by now a whole hour had gone, between answering the ad, talking on the phone etc.) but no document came through.
After a while the o.s. 'phoned again, saying she had trouble sending the document, as it was very heavy, at 10 mb.
She said she would try sending it again, but she said "I'm having trouble sending this to people". I thought it very strange: who else was she sending it to? (ok, MAYBE i WAS NAIVE)
I checked my e-mail accounts and realized I DID have an account capable of receiving 10 mb, so I 'phoned to tell her this new e-mail account, but the o.s. didn't answer the phone. So I kept 'phoning, I sent her a text message, and an e-mail, until (1 hour later) she finally answered the phone and said: "I'm sorry, but I've given the job to a friend of mine: it's only fair, because I asked HER first".

Nowe what do you think of this type of behaviour?
I have lost 2 hours this morning, and have not looked for any other assignment as I'd given my word I would do this job.
Don't you think there should be a feature on ProZ.com similar to the feedback they give on e-bay? The feedback feature on e-bay lets you give a rating for each vendor/customer you deal with, and you can write an explanation.


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Yolanda Broad  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 17:59
Member (2000)
French to English
+ ...
You're the seller, not the buyer Sep 24, 2008

You're wanting to post a review as though you were the buyer, but you're not. If you take up a seller's time as a potential client on Ebay, or in a shoe store, and then go elsewhere to buy, you don't have an option to complain, either.

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Anna Sylvia Villegas Carvallo
Mexico
Local time: 15:59
English to Spanish
Very often... Sep 24, 2008

Some agencies, one in particular, do this very often.
They email me (with my name) offering the job; I reply saying, "yes, I'm available, please send the PO (since they already sent me the work file)"; on the next email they say: "Sorry, the job was already placed with other translator".

Then, why in hell do they keep emailing me with the same song???

I really don't understand.



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Magda Dziadosz  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 22:59
Member (2004)
English to Polish
+ ...
It seems that the job was not in your language pair? Sep 24, 2008

Lietta Warren-Granato wrote:

/.../
The job had been posted as "Italian to English and Spanish to English", but when we started talking the outsourcer just said 'oh, sorry, in fact it's Spanish to Italian and Spanish to English'. We spoke on the phone for a while, and the o.s. finally said: "OK then, you can do the job; I'm sending the material straight away". /.../


Hi,
it seems strange to me that she agreed - ES>IT and ES>EN are not your working languages, right? Perhaps she looked in your profile and realised that? In such case you can't really blame her that she gave the job to someone else.


Magda


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LegalTransform  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 17:59
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
YouSendIt Sep 24, 2008

In the future, you may want to suggest that they use a site like www.yousendit.com to send large files.

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Giuseppina Gatta, MA (Hons)
Member (2005)
English to Italian
+ ...
It happens all the time... Sep 25, 2008

...it is like when you have a shop, and clients come, they check and look at everything, and after a couple of hours they don't buy anything. You have probably done this too in your life

I guess it is just part of the business and there's not much you can do about it...


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Jack Doughty  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:59
Member (2000)
Russian to English
+ ...
Assigned job given to someone else within half an hour Sep 25, 2008

I did a small job the other day for an agency I'd never worked for before. I'm not actually complaining about it, because they agreed to pay me, but half an hour after I'd been given it, by which time I'd done it and was compiling the email to return it, I was told sorry, it was too urgent, we've given it to someone else.

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Natalya Zelikova  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 23:59
Member (2003)
English to Russian
+ ...
PO, etc. Sep 25, 2008

Unless I have the PO confirming all the details, I do not assume the job is mine.
Sometimes it happens that a client informs me that "tomorrow morning you'll have the PO and work file", but when they send them afternoon, I may reply that sorry, I need longer deadline now, because I already have another schedule. (Sometimes, confirming my availability, I may write that I will be available for this job if it's confirmed with PO within 1 hour, otherwise ...).
So I really do not think there is something to complain about - just don't bother about such offers and do not refuse any other "real" offers, while "the files are being sent".
The only exclusion is you regular client, you can be more or less confident in.


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Lietta Warren-Granato  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 22:59
Italian to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
got it! Sep 25, 2008

OK, so it seems it happens a lot, even AFTER they sent the files, like in Jack Doughty's case. Thanks for all your answers.
At the end of the day what Natalya is suggesting is true: you can only really trust your regular clients.
I don't quite agree with what Yolanda said though: this is not just like looking at shoes in a shop: this is more like saying: OK, I'll buy these: please wrap them up, but as they are too big for me to carry, just wait for me to come back with a porter.
NOT exactly what I would do, believe me.


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OlafK
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:59
English to German
+ ...
compensation Sep 26, 2008

I've had a job agreed over the phone once (and I turned down other jobs for the same period) and cancelled later. I politely asked the agency for compensation (it had been the end client who had cancelled the job), they asked the end client to pay and I received some money. I think that's only fair.

Just make a blueboard entry with an explanation.


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Charlie Bavington  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:59
French to English
see the files anyway, no? Sep 26, 2008

Lietta Warren-Granato wrote:

OK, so it seems it happens a lot, even AFTER they sent the files, like in Jack Doughty's case. Thanks for all your answers.
At the end of the day what Natalya is suggesting is true: you can only really trust your regular clients.

I never (or hardly ever) accept a job without seeing the file first anyway.

I think it's just a matter of how some people (some agencies, or some individuals within some agencies) operate. Some like to ask one person at a time; some like to ask several translators at once and the first to say yes gets the gig. Personally, I'm fine either way, especially since there are some times during the day when I may not respond even within 2 or 3 hours. I wouldn't expect an agency especially to wait that long unless there was a special reason (e.g. end client asked for me specifically!).

If the scattergun approach doesn't sit easy with you, then I guess you could mention it (especially if you are the sort of person who always answers within 5 minutes), or just decide not to work with them. it's just a matter of different working styles, in my view.
Have a good weekend


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Emma Gledhill
Local time: 22:59
German to English
+ ...
Common sense Sep 30, 2008

Natalya Zelikova wrote:

Unless I have the PO confirming all the details, I do not assume the job is mine.
Sometimes it happens that a client informs me that "tomorrow morning you'll have the PO and work file", but when they send them afternoon, I may reply that sorry, I need longer deadline now, because I already have another schedule. (Sometimes, confirming my availability, I may write that I will be available for this job if it's confirmed with PO within 1 hour, otherwise ...).
So I really do not think there is something to complain about - just don't bother about such offers and do not refuse any other "real" offers, while "the files are being sent".
The only exclusion is you regular client, you can be more or less confident in.


Surely this is only common sense?

With my supplier's hat on, I will never start a job until I have some sort of written confirmation, a PO or even just an e-mail saying "please proceed" as the client could always turn round and say, "sorry I didn't order that translation from you so I'm not paying". Likewise, unless the client is prepared to pay a retainer, I'm not going to reserve time for a job until I have it, confirmed, in my sticky mitts. If the client (or their end client) is delaying or is not in a position to give a firm go-ahead, then the deadline has to be delayed accordingly and/or they have to take their chances on my availability. It's no different from e.g. booking an apartment for a holiday, or a flight at a special rate.

With my occasional outsourcer hat on, it's equally frustrating to send out an enquiry for availability and rates with a file attached so the supplier can see what they're quoting on, only to get an uncommissioned translation as the reply. Yes, the job may be urgent, but it's never so urgent that I'm going to place it effectively blind, in business you as good as never have a situation of "money is no object". Money, i.e. a price point that is comfortable for all parties to the transaction, is always an object - unless the supplier has no availability anyway in which case rates become immaterial except for future reference - and that point cannot be found without at least the basic information, never mind negotiation. In an ideal world, every job you outsource has sufficient deadline to be able to give your first choice translator first refusal, then your second choice second refusal etc., assuming there's a chance they will be AFK for an hour or so. In practice it doesn't - cannot - always work like that, and something that's really urgent will have to be offered on a "spray and pray" basis and the first appropriate translator to respond will get the job. No supplier is "entitled" to be given the job unless that has been contractually agreed in advance. The flip side is that no supplier is forced to accept any job they don't want to either. That's life, innit?

Sorry for the verbosity, it's something that's been weighing on my mind for a while


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Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 22:59
Member
Spanish to English
+ ...
Boot on the other foot Sep 30, 2008

A few days ago a not so regular customer sent me a text to look at, then agreed a price and a deadline, and went so far as to write "OK, the job's yours" in an e-mail. They don't use POs, but I know them well enough not to be bothered.

After half an hour he rang to say "No, my customer's cancelled". The same thing happened with them about six months ago, and I have been in this business too long to believe the "my customer's cancelled" story. I think it was more a case of a cheaper and/or better offer sliding into the crease just a little on the late side (it was posted on a forum), but they are quite nice people, I was working anyway and hadn't rearranged my schedule or anything, so I wasn't that put out.

I should have been, though.

Reading Emma's "flip side" comment that no translator is forced to do any job they don't want to, I wonder, though, what my customer would have said if, after half an hour, I had suddenly decided I had better things to do and cancelled myself. I feel sure they would have been more outraged than I was.

I'll be testing it at some point because, sooner or later, they will come up with a job I will have no time for, and it will be me ringing them after half an hour to tell them some force majeure yarn.


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Emma Gledhill
Local time: 22:59
German to English
+ ...
... Sep 30, 2008

Mervyn Henderson wrote:

A few days ago a not so regular customer sent me a text to look at, then agreed a price and a deadline, and went so far as to write "OK, the job's yours" in an e-mail. They don't use POs, but I know them well enough not to be bothered.

After half an hour he rang to say "No, my customer's cancelled". The same thing happened with them about six months ago, and I have been in this business too long to believe the "my customer's cancelled" story. I think it was more a case of a cheaper and/or better offer sliding into the crease just a little on the late side (it was posted on a forum), but they are quite nice people, I was working anyway and hadn't rearranged my schedule or anything, so I wasn't that put out.


If you didn't suffer any loss or inconvenience then I would submit there was not a lot to get put out about Of course, had you already completed part of the job by the time it was cancelled, then clearly they'd have had to make good your loss i.e. pay you for what you'd done so far

Reading Emma's "flip side" comment that no translator is forced to do any job they don't want to, I wonder, though, what my customer would have said if, after half an hour, I had suddenly decided I had better things to do and cancelled myself. I feel sure they would have been more outraged than I was.


Naughty I said not forced to accept any job they don't want to. Once you've accepted and the contract exists, then either side is liable if they breach it, no?


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Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 22:59
Member
Spanish to English
+ ...
He did say "OK" Sep 30, 2008

Hi Emma,

As I said, I wasn't really annoyed, but I could have stuck to my guns and said: "Hell no buddy, you said the job was mine." Of course, then he would have said: "But there's no job to do." Then I would have been forced to say: "Don't give me that, of course there is." Or even, "You instructed me to do it, I'm doing it, and you're paying me for it". If I really wanted to waste my time, that is.

And yes you're right, I didn't quote 100%, but it was actually all innocence and naughtinessless - I just took a look back at it, and typed it as I remembered it.


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