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I (don't) believe in miracles! (On deadlines, negotiating, client understanding)
Thread poster: Rita Bilancio

Rita Bilancio  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:56
English to Italian
+ ...
Sep 24, 2007

Don't you ever feel you're like a robot trying to cope with impossible deadlines?
Do you try to negociate terms?
Do your clients and/or agencies understand that you always do your best?
I need your opinion...

[Subject edited by staff or moderator 2007-09-26 11:55]


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Andy Lemminger  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 00:56
Member (2002)
English to German
Miracles Sep 24, 2007

No.
Yes.
Not always.



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Giovany Rodríguez Monsalve
Colombia
Local time: 01:56
English to Spanish
+ ...
Neither do I. Sep 24, 2007

No.

Yes.

No.


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Giuseppina Gatta, MA (Hons)
Member (2005)
English to Italian
+ ...
Not anymore Sep 25, 2007

Rita Bilancio wrote:

Don't you ever feel you're like a robot trying to cope with impossible deadlines?
Do you try to negociate terms?
Do your clients and/or agencies understand that you always do your best?
I need your opinion...


1) Not anymore
2) Sometimes, otherwise I just say "No, I can't". It depends on the clients, if they are my best clients I try to accommodate them, but usually my best clients are also those which do not ask for impossible deadlines.
3) I think they do, otherwise they would not come back.

I think that this happens at the beginning of a career, but after you get established, you can decide what to accept and what not. Unfortunately, this phase of "getting established" may last many years...



[Modificato alle 2007-09-25 03:51]


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Elisabete Cunha  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 07:56
Member (2006)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Well... Sep 25, 2007

Rita Bilancio wrote:

Don't you ever feel you're like a robot trying to cope with impossible deadlines?
Do you try to negociate terms?
Do your clients and/or agencies understand that you always do your best?
I need your opinion...


Hi, Rita!

I don't feel like I'm a robot but I do feel that sometimes some clients put too much pressure on me regarding deadlines.

I negotiate terms whenever I know that I won't be able to meet the deadline. It's better to do so than accepting and then let the client down.

I do believe I am lucky, because I have wonderful clients. They constantly show appreciation for my work and that really makes me feel fullfilled.

Don't feel bad just because there was a client whose attitude made you feel less satisfied. Maybe he/she was just having a bad day. But I guess this is also part of our job as translators, to be able to cope with all kind of situation. At least this is how I see it.


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Anna Sylvia Villegas Carvallo
Mexico
Local time: 00:56
English to Spanish
I totally agree with Giuseppina Gatta Sep 25, 2007

Exactly.

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megane_wang  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 08:56
English to Spanish
+ ...
Not anymore (either) Sep 25, 2007

1. No, no, no. I try to negotiate, I learned to say no and/or suggest a reasonable deadline instead. It's not that difficult as soon as you demonstrate that you work well.

2. Yes, see above.

3. Look, I am the ultimate responsible when accepting a deadline, and I do not blame my customers for that. During the project I usually keep in touch with the customers so that they know what I'm doing. I send questions, tell them how things are going, and If there's anything that affects the deadline they can anticipate it and manage it correctly with their customer.

By the way, not too surprisingly, only non-customers bother me asking for miracles and then disappear because they already found someone else. This just happened last week with a "prospect" (it's not a customer until you really work for them); she wrote me for an URGENT edition "for Monday". That came in on Friday, but it could be done. I said "yes". I did not really reorganize my job to coup with that because on Monday it was holiday here, so I simply would have taken a few hours out of free time for that. Just an hour later she sent an e-mail telling me that she had found another editor. Yesterday noon I received a disperate e-mail from the same person, telling me that the editor had turned down the job. I said "yes, for tomorrow noon". Fortunately, years ago I learned not to touch my agenda too much for a "prospect"... half an hour later I received an e-mail saying she had managed to find an editor for that, because it was SO urgent.

Of course, I just put a black cross next to that prospect's name. The whole thing just makes you think about their working habits. I'm used to rush jobs for trusted, reliable customers; I can do many things for them. But I'm not just a "last-in-the-list, emergency option" anymore. Period.

Ruth @ MW


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Gabriella Fisichella  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 08:56
German to Italian
+ ...
I also agree with Giuseppina Sep 25, 2007

That is my case too:-)

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Daina Jauntirans  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:56
German to English
+ ...
Depends on your specialty? Sep 25, 2007

My answers are

1. Yes.
2. Yes, usually successfully. I do say no when I absolutely need to.
3. Yes, for the most part.

I am established and am not accepting tight deadlines for lack of business or experience. My specialty is financial translation and this type of work is constantly shifting. All sorts of factors play into this - PR people trying to pin down board members for approval on texts, companies delaying and cancelling deals, many sets of changes to texts already translated that need to be incorporated before publication, etc. The end clients here are frequently under great time pressure themselves. It's difficult to plan when the parameters of your jobs change frequently, but it's good work, and I get a constant flow. The trick is just not overbooking too often. Fortunately, the clients who outsource to me are on the "front line" so there is a "we're in it together mentality" and more often than not, a chance to extend deadlines when needed (especially when they know I will work all hours for them during a true emergency).

I'm curious as to whether other financial translators have these same issues and whether the situation varies by specialty.


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biankonera  Identity Verified
Latvia
Local time: 09:56
Italian to Latvian
+ ...
Same here Sep 25, 2007

Giuseppina Gatta wrote:

I think that this happens at the beginning of a career, but after you get established, you can decide what to accept and what not. Unfortunately, this phase of "getting established" may last many years...



[Modificato alle 2007-09-25 03:51]



I agree with Giuseppina 1000%. Like in every job at the beginning you tend to believe everything including the fact that impossible deadlines are normal. But then you realize its not really so and then you learn to say no to impossible deadlines. However I must say Im lucky to work with clients who give reasonable deadlines (even if now and then one or two tend to go insane and say they need everything like a week ago...).


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younes-01
Local time: 07:56
Arabic to English
+ ...
A robot? Sep 28, 2007

[quote]Rita Bilancio wrote:

Don't you ever feel you're like a robot


As a matter of fact translators are robot-like. They always struggle in order to please their clients. Therefore, i totally agree with you in all of the ideas you mentioned. Being a successful freelancer, translator or interpreter entails having a solid experience, but mostly working like a machine. One more thing, clients/agencies never respect a translator for what he is, but for what he does. That is to say, if your work, as a translator, is flawlessly executed and with a very high quality, then, you will certainly be appreciated.


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