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Off topic: Outsourcer Blackout...
Thread poster: Jennifer Baker

Jennifer Baker  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 13:15
Member (2004)
Italian to English
Jul 28, 2006

I wonder if this has happened to other people out there...
This morning for the third or fourth time, I had this totally absurd experience-
A month or two ago, I was contacted by an agency with a proposal of collaboration (this particular agency is a big, well-respected BB 5+!). Several e-mails, paperwork trails and phone calls later (I remember this PM quite well on the phone as she commented on my northern Italian accent), nothing happens. OK, no big deal... maybe they changed their minds, business slowed down, found someone with cheaper rates, etc.
Here's the absurd part- this morning, they contact me again AS IF THEY'VE NEVER HEARD OF ME! The same PM! And what's really funny is that this has happened to me with other outsourcers too in the past.
Am I that unmemorable, or or they that disorganized?! To tell the truth, I get a laugh out of the whole thing, and I definitely don't consider collaborating with such a messy organization-
Can you, as translators, imagine making a gaff like that with your direct clients? I can be pretty spacey in my personal life (I never remember a name!), but business is business!

Have a nice weekend!


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Aleksandr Okunev
Local time: 22:15
English to Russian
A perfect example of what BB is really worth Jul 28, 2006

JL Baker wrote:
• this particular agency is a big, well-respected BB 5+!)
• they contact me again AS IF THEY'VE NEVER HEARD OF ME! The same PM!

No comment
Cheers
Aleksandr


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PCovs
Denmark
Local time: 21:15
Member (2003)
English to Danish
+ ...
Has happened a couple of times or more Jul 28, 2006

I have had the same experience a couple of times, but some agencies at least admit that "I don't know if I have contacted you earlier" or something like that.

I don't think they mean to be rude or that they are actually disorganised - well some probably are ;o)

Perhaps they simply DID find someone else last time at a lower rate or whatever, and then they chose to forget all about me. Obviously. Why remember a translator you don't plan to work with?

Then some time later, they have found out that their first choice didn't work out, or that the workload calls for additional freelancers, and they simply start the search all over again as if nothing happened.


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Lindsay Sabadosa  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:15
Member (2004)
Italian to English
+ ...
Did the PM actually sign the e-mail? Jul 28, 2006

It could just be that various PMs use the same e-mail account/computer whatever. I've been in situations where the person I was e-mailing finally said, "Well, actually, my name is x, not y, y & I just use the same e-mail account." After the first contact, I hadn't thought to ask if it was the same person every time; I just thought, same address, same person. You never know...

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Stephanie Wloch  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 21:15
Member (2003)
Dutch to German
Northern Italian accent should be unforgettable Jul 28, 2006

In this case, JL, you first thought that PM was very attentive in recognizing your Northern Italian accent even interested in you as a person. But then you had to face the facts that you are just a number and that the PM is a rather superficial person.
Maybe just some kind of CAST (computer aided smalltalk).:-(

JL Baker wrote:
Can you, as translators, imagine making a gaff like that with your direct clients? I can be pretty spacey in my personal life (I never remember a name!), but business is business!

I write down most of the contacts with translation agencies (I do of course remember direct clients).
Do you record every contact with an agency? Even if they sent you a kind of spam, unpersonal mailing?


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Ford Prefect  Identity Verified
Burkina Faso
Local time: 19:15
German to English
+ ...
Happened to me this week too Jul 28, 2006

JL Baker wrote:

A month or two ago, I was contacted by an agency with a proposal of collaboration (this particular agency is a big, well-respected BB 5+!). Several e-mails, paperwork trails and phone calls later (I remember this PM quite well on the phone as she commented on my northern Italian accent), nothing happens. OK, no big deal... maybe they changed their minds, business slowed down, found someone with cheaper rates, etc.
Here's the absurd part- this morning, they contact me again AS IF THEY'VE NEVER HEARD OF ME!


Bingo - two days ago, huge, well-respected agency, great BB rating, seems everyone wants to work for them. Coincidence? Only the first contact was last year, they loved my test, I filled in several forms, exchanged lots of correspondence then all went suddenly very quiet. Then I heard from them again and they had my pairs wrong. It wasn't the same PM although I did get put back in touch with her as a result.

It's not the first agency that's gone quiet on me after asking me to work for them, but it probably is the first that actually got back to me without realising they already, supposedly, had me.


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Jennifer Baker  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 13:15
Member (2004)
Italian to English
TOPIC STARTER
I definitely remember Jul 28, 2006

Tuliparola wrote:

In this case, JL, you first thought that PM was very attentive in recognizing your Northern Italian accent even interested in you as a person. But then you had to face the facts that you are just a number and that the PM is a rather superficial person.
Maybe just some kind of CAST (computer aided smalltalk).:-(

JL Baker wrote:
Can you, as translators, imagine making a gaff like that with your direct clients? I can be pretty spacey in my personal life (I never remember a name!), but business is business!

I write down most of the contacts with translation agencies (I do of course remember direct clients).
Do you record every contact with an agency? Even if they sent you a kind of spam, unpersonal mailing?

No- I didn't think she was intersted in me "as a person!" No illusions here... And I absolutely do record all of my personal contacts with outsourcers, even if only superficial, so that I can be very clear about any specifics that were dealt with, no matter how long ago.

I don't want my post to be misunderstood- I'm not offended in the least! I think it's a sign of messy business practices, and I find it a bit funny to be on this end of it- just wondering how widespread this is.

Jennifer


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Gerard de Noord  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 21:15
Member (2003)
German to Dutch
+ ...
It happened to me four times Jul 28, 2006

The bigger the translation agency the higher the Chinese walls. PMs are constantly on the look-out for the best translators available in their price segment. It's often normal they prefer the internet to their own databases. The optimal situation for a freelancer is when they start competing.

Regards,
Gerard

[Edited at 2006-07-28 18:25]


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Luisa Ramos, CT  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:15
Member (2004)
English to Spanish
Gerard is right Jul 28, 2006

I have had at least three people from the same agency contact me, separately. It was clear they had not talked to each other. But you would think they would at least share one database . It seems they rather start their search from scratch. I wonder why they bother asking for translators' CV´s and building a database.

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