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Off topic: Creative Answers to an Indecent Proposal
Thread poster: Nicole Johnson
Nicole Johnson  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 00:59
Italian to English
+ ...
May 25, 2007

I'm not sure if this topic REALLY belongs in this forum, but since the unsolicited e-mail I received from an agency today did actually make me laugh (it was either that or cry, and I didn't feel like wasting any tears) I've decided to post my question here.

How would you respond to an unsolicited e-mail (if you had the time and inclination to do so) asking you to collaborate on an URGENT technical translation at the rate of EUR 0.03 per word?

I didn't even bother to respond and just sent it directly to my trash bin, but I thought it might be fun to come up with some good comebacks if anyone else finds themselves in the same boat and needs a snappy response to put these types of agencies in their place.

Is anyone feeling creative and particularly sarcastic or biting on this Friday afternoon?


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Satto (Roberto)  Identity Verified
Colombia
Local time: 17:59
Member (2007)
Spanish to English
+ ...
I´ll Do it! May 25, 2007

Yeah right!...the problem is that there are people that accept that fee...so what are we going to do?

I think you did the right thing..and maybe your trash bin got "contaminated" ...

We should have something like Blue Board to post the agency name and all those that do these kinds of things to help us steer away from these people.


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Catherine Christaki  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 18:59
English to Greek
+ ...
Well, if that sounded crazy to you, then... May 25, 2007

The email I received a few days ago offering 0.02-0.03 USD would have enraged you! At the time, I thought it was a joke myself, but unfortunately it was a serious offer, to which of course I said no.

And listen to this: A fellow translator had recommended me to that agency, and when I called him to let him know what had happened, he told me that the rate might be low but since there is regular workload from that agency (around 15,000 words per month), he is ok with that rate.

So, you see, there are people who work with those rates for their own personal reasons. It is not the agency's fault, but our own. If the agency can find low rates (in combination with good quality), then why choose the translator who offers a higher rate?

And, one more thing. The fellow translator mentioned above is a good and professional translator with several years of experience. Some things are just inexplicable...


[Edited at 2007-05-25 15:09]


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John Cutler  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 00:59
Spanish to English
+ ...
How about these... May 25, 2007

To tell the truth, I received an email from an agency a week or two ago. The rate seemed a little low and I wasn’t particularly interested but I politely wrote them back saying I wasn’t currently available but I would get into contact with them soon. They also politely responded and said I could get in contact with them whenever I desired.

BUT, I understand you Nicole, and have often been very tempted to answer some emails with a series of responses that would go like this…


This is my job, not my hobby you …fill in suitable insult… (Make sure to place a smiley after it!).

OR

I’m sorry, I can’t accept this job but you can find charity workers at this address… (include a link to a charitable organisation).

OR

Take this job and shove it! (a classic)

OR

I’m sorry, I was surprised to receive your email, I generally receive emails from professional agencies. (Soooo insulting)

Answer with an email with a lot of words that look like this: "#$% &#"$ *!


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Hilde Granlund  Identity Verified
Norway
Local time: 00:59
English to Norwegian
+ ...
Inspired by another thread.. May 25, 2007

How about:
"When I want a McJob, I'll ask at the local burger joint"?


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Nicole Johnson  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 00:59
Italian to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
John, I'd personally opt for one of these two... May 25, 2007

John Cutler wrote:


I’m sorry, I can’t accept this job but you can find charity workers at this address… (include a link to a charitable organisation).

OR

I’m sorry, I was surprised to receive your email, I generally receive emails from professional agencies. (Soooo insulting)



Thanks for the suggestions...hopefully I'll never have to use them (Yeah right!).

Happy Translating!


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Nicole Johnson  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 00:59
Italian to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Good one Hilde! May 25, 2007

Hilde Granlund wrote:

How about:
"When I want a McJob, I'll ask at the local burger joint"?


Love it! They probably wouldn't get it though...maybe they could offer someone EUR 0.000000000002 to translate it for them!


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 00:59
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Don't you guys know how to negotiate? May 25, 2007

Nicole Johnson wrote:
How would you respond to an unsolicited e-mail (if you had the time and inclination to do so) asking you to collaborate on an URGENT technical translation at the rate of EUR 0.03 per word?


The offer is too low. So what do you do? It seems that the Western approach is to just say no. But why not negotiate? Make a counter-offer. And make it high -- the client will expect you do come down with it as he goes up with his, after all.


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Gianni Pastore  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 00:59
Member (2007)
English to Italian
My answer? May 25, 2007

Automatic answer: "Dear Sirs, thank you for contacting me. I will be out of the office fox hunting until June 28th. If you really (and I mean REALLY) need to get in touch immediately, please dial 0141.999.998.998.

Calls costs 0.03 EUR per second.

Thank you"
__________________________

PS.: I don't really go fox hunting. I love animals


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Nesrin  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:59
English to Arabic
+ ...
This is one I received just yesterday.. May 25, 2007

From: work2me@ ....... .com

Subject line: Translate that into English

Message body: (about 2 pages of text pasted into the message)

I only replied "You mean for free?" (and didn't get a reply), but I wish I'd added a hint of sarcasm too.


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Valentina_D  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:59
Member
English to Italian
+ ...
:-D May 25, 2007

Gianni Pastore wrote:


Calls costs 0.03 EUR per second.

Thank you"




Gianni, you're great!!!


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Nicole Johnson  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 00:59
Italian to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
I second that! May 25, 2007

tiny wrote:

Gianni Pastore wrote:


Calls costs 0.03 EUR per second.

Thank you"




Gianni, you're great!!!


Classic!


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Luisa Fiorini  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 00:59
Member
English to Italian
+ ...
;) May 25, 2007

tiny wrote:

Gianni Pastore wrote:


Calls costs 0.03 EUR per second.

Thank you"




Gianni, you're great!!!


Agree!!!!!!


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Nicole Johnson  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 00:59
Italian to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
This negotiation could go on for weeks... May 25, 2007

Samuel Murray wrote:


The offer is too low. So what do you do? It seems that the Western approach is to just say no. But why not negotiate? Make a counter-offer. And make it high -- the client will expect you do come down with it as he goes up with his, after all.



Given the "a-hem" low initial offer, my counter-offer would surely be WAY, WAY on the high end and I suspect that it would take several e-mails back and forth to this unsolicited agency in order to "negotiate" with them and MAYBE arrive at what in any case would still most likely be a rate below what I consider to be acceptable for this type of job.

I DO know how to negotiae and in fact I have done so successfully on several occasions. If a client contacts me and offers a "reasonable", albiet low initial offer, I will attempt to negotiate. However, an offer of EUR 0.03 per word for an "URGENT technical translation" is simply offensive and in my opinon doesn't deserve a (serious) response.


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xxxIreneN
United States
Local time: 17:59
English to Russian
+ ...
My old poll suggestion May 25, 2007

I submitted it ~a year ago:

Can't remember the exact wording but something like this:

The majority of jobs you accept through Proz are paid at:

2-4 cents
5-7 cents
8-10 cents
11-15
higher

I wonder if I ever see it. Not for the purpose of pointing fingers or like (I'm not implying that somebody else does), but simply to assess a real Proz/market correlation.

Different rates can ensure identical lifestyles - when you pay 6 to 13% flat tax and around $100-150/month total for housing/utilities you might have more left in your pocket for fun working at .06 than with our bills working at .12-.14. Too bad for Western market but I have no intentions to blame anyone from anywhere except when they produce garbage, which, to the dismay and disbelief of many, is NOT always a direct function of low rates.

Little excuse can be found for, say, $0.05 charged by US-based translators. I am with you here but there is nothing we can do.

Since rate limit setting is outside of Proz policy there is not much room for a discussion, IMHO. Even more so, the very moment Proz does that a copy-cat competitor site will emerge feeding on Proz experience and many outsourcers and members/users will rush there... Eat or be eaten. Of course, rate setting might make Proz a superb elite place but how much money will it be making from that moment on?:-) Business as usual.

We are on our own when it comes to rates. No criticism, a matter-of-fact statement only. It will not and can not be any different, it's take it or leave it.



[Edited at 2007-05-25 21:56]


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