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What do you consider to be a "Rush Job"?
Thread poster: Jennifer Baker

Jennifer Baker  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 16:53
Member (2004)
Italian to English
May 6, 2004

I'm interested to know what kind of jobs some of my colleagues consider to be worthy of a Rush Rate...
Do you have definite specs? Do you have a definite percentage mark-up? What about weekends? (probably wishful thinking!)
Any input would be appreciated.

Thanks to all. J.


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Atenea Acevedo  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:53
English to Spanish
+ ...
My standards... May 6, 2004

Hi, J.,

My clients know that any assignment demanding me to produce over 3,000 words/day and/or demanding me to work weekends will be considered a rush job (because of their tight deadline or delay in sending me the document when agreed by both parties).

Cheers,
Atenea


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Cristiana Coblis  Identity Verified
Romania
Local time: 01:53
Member (2004)
English to Romanian
+ ...
6/pages per day limit May 6, 2004

A rush job would require work over this limit. For a general text, you would be able to translate (without CAT) 6 pages in 8 hours (you also have to do your research, terminology, revision, not to mention coffee breaks). For a technical text, the limit should probably be somewhere around 3-5 pages in 8 hours. If you work with CAT, than it all depends on the number of new words, but generally, the limit would be the same and you would have to include time to check the repetitions from the TM.
So if someone calls at 9 p.m. and would like to have translated 5 pages for tomorrow morning, this is clearly a rush job. The same thing applies for orders placed on Friday afternoon due on Monday morning.
Of corse, if the client would have a short text (3 lines) from Friday to Monday morning, this can hardly be called a rush job.
But it all depends on you and your clients. Of course, there are situations when you can translate more than 6 pages in 8 hours, but it is always best to have extra time in case you may need it.


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Orla Ryan  Identity Verified
Ireland
Local time: 23:53
mark-up May 6, 2004

For me, a rush job is when the deadline is only a couple of hours/"yesterday"/ASAP. For this I charge an extra 20%.

O.


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ntext  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 17:53
Partial member
German to English
+ ...
Suggestion May 6, 2004

surcharge = [total - (daily allotment × days)] × 0.5

surcharge: the amount of money you charge extra for fast delivery

total: total job cost before surcharge

daily allotment: the money equivalent of how much work you're able to do per day without feeling rushed (only you can know how much that is)

days: the number of work days available to do the translation (you decide whether or not you count weekends as work days)

0.5: 50% as a suggested markup on the portion of the work in excess of what you consider non-rush work

This gives you a floating rush fee that depends on how much of a rush job you're dealing with.

I would like to add, however, that I find it more important to negotiate decent regular rates than to insist on rush fees — for me, this is the area where I'm most willing to be flexible.

And one more thing: If you're really busy, any additional job can be a rush job. In a situation like that, you may want to say: "I'm pretty much booked, but I'm willing to do the job for fifty-leven thousand euros." If they want you to do the job anyway, you'll just have to go without sleep for a few days and look forward to all that money ...


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Susana Galilea  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 17:53
English to Spanish
+ ...
agree with Norbert May 7, 2004

Norbert Gunther Kramer wrote:
I would like to add, however, that I find it more important to negotiate decent regular rates than to insist on rush fees — for me, this is the area where I'm most willing to be flexible.



I normally indicate my rush surcharges in my schedule of rates. Everyone's average output is different, but I average 1,500 to 2,000 words/day. I reserve the right to add a 30% surcharge to assignments with a 24-hour deadline, or exceeding an output of 2,500 words/day. I also reserve the right to add a 50% surcharge for jobs assigned on a Friday for delivery the following Monday, but will not charge extra for weekend work that has been scheduled in advance.

I will never apply a surcharge without discussing it first with the client, and might waive it altogether at my discretion.

Basically, it is up to you to decide how you like to work, and use your discretion regarding exceptions and accommodations.

Hope this helps

Susana Galilea
Accredited Translator EUTI
sgalilea@ispwest.com
www.accentonspanish.com


[Edited at 2004-05-07 00:13]


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MariusV  Identity Verified
Lithuania
Local time: 01:53
English to Lithuanian
+ ...
rush jobs May 9, 2004

from my own experience (I work as an independent translator for almost 8 years and can say I have seen a lot of everything), I generally think that "rush jobs" are not a very good thing ...

1) almost no one is willing to pay extra
2) the translator also takes a risk because of quality - if you work much more than normal and under pressure, you can miss something...
3) point 2) might get even more complicated if the translation material is highly technical...
4) good-standing (reputable) translation agencies manage to arrange their work (and to negotiate with the client) such way, that they have no rushes...Just reasonable and sometimes a little bit more demanding deadlines and schedules than usual (but not e.g. 80 pages ordered at the end of Friday to be done by Monday morning...).
5) Moreover, all good quality translations are done with tehnical proofreading (it's either on translator's behalf or the client does it by itself - that takes also quite a time, at least half of the translation's time).

CONCLUSION IS THAT:
1) better have no work at the moment that take rush jobs from some "unclear" clients...and waste no time and have no problems with payment, quality, and your reputation
2) if the client is a good standing one, ask for e.g. at least 40-50 per cent extra price...If it seems to be "a problem" for the client and he starts to ask "why"..., then it's the first and the strongest signal that you send it away....

Do not follow this stupid rule that the "client is always right"... the real rule is that "a GOOD client is always right", meaning the client who has no organisational problems, does not undertake too risky deadlines and respects you and does not refuse to pay a reasonable extra price for the job...


JL Baker wrote:

I'm interested to know what kind of jobs some of my colleagues consider to be worthy of a Rush Rate...
Do you have definite specs? Do you have a definite percentage mark-up? What about weekends? (probably wishful thinking!)
Any input would be appreciated.

Thanks to all. J.


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Kevin Fulton
United States
Local time: 18:53
German to English
Don't take rush jobs May 10, 2004

I agree with Marius. Most clients aren't willing to pay a premium for rush work (that is, short deadline requiring more than my usual words/day output). I have some regular clients for whom I'm willing to work a few hours extra if I'm familiar with the material; usually the jobs are part of an ongoing project.
If you can't fulfill the deadline without compromising the quality of your work, don't take the job. I do have a couple of clients who offer a small premium for weekend work or short deadlines, and I frequently take the work, because clients like these are rare, not because I need the money.

If, however, the bill collectors are pounding at the door, and you've received notice that the water/electricity will be shut off, you will be amazed at how much you can accomplish in a short amount of time.
Kevin


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Jennifer Baker  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 16:53
Member (2004)
Italian to English
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks to everyone for their responses May 10, 2004

I appreciate the feedback. J.

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