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Higher rates for late hours?
Thread poster: sokolniki

sokolniki  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 12:35
English to Russian
+ ...
Sep 16, 2007

My very good direct client invites me to interpret for their overseas partners or customers about twice a year. The program includes lots of business meetings (sometimes with domestic travel) and business entertainment - the latter oftentimes at very late hours. That leaves me extremely exhausted after working every day and coming home very late for several days or a week in a row.

The very last project was especially hard - I input 90 hours in 7 days and on the very last day came home at 2 am after a night of entertainment. And this time we also traveled for entertainment in addition to business travel.

Do you think I should start charging 50% (?) extra on top of my regualr per hour rate for hours exceeding 8 hours a day or 40 hours a week (5 work days)? When my clients are having fun after hours they want to have me with them without realizing that I am working and they are relaxing.

Thanks in advance.


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teju  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:35
English to Spanish
+ ...
Absolutely! Sep 16, 2007

That's overtime. Not only that, but your brain needs rest. The first thing that comes to mind is that such an assignment needs two interpreters, not one. That's too many hours without a break. I know that there are clients who insist in paying only one interpreter. If that's the case, and you don't mind the abuse, absolutely, charge at least time and a half for anything over eight hours a day!

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patyjs  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 11:35
Spanish to English
+ ...
at least time and a half Sep 16, 2007

Yes absolutely! Charge at least time time and a half, but I would say after 5 or 6 hours or less if you are working alone. Interpreting is a totally different kettle of fish and you can't just knock off and make a cup of tea when you feel like it, like you can when you're translating.

If you are being paid for these entertainment hours, then you are obviously working. Charge accordingly.

Good luck!

[Edited at 2007-09-16 17:37]


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ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 13:35
English to French
+ ...
Ditto Sep 16, 2007

I don't know about interpreting because I don't work in that field, but even for translation, I think that any work in excess of 6 hours per day is difficult and if you want to keep providing quality past those six hours, you would need to considerably slow down. Translation is already pretty demanding brain exercise, but interpreting is even worse.

Time and a half sounds reasonable to me, but I would apply it much earlier than past the first 8 hours. Even within translation, I would apply it starting at the seventh hour.

I'll keep my fingers crossed for you!


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sokolniki  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 12:35
English to Russian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks! Sep 16, 2007

I would like to thank everybody - your opinion and comments are highly appreciated!

Thanks again.


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Ramon Somoza  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 18:35
Member (2002)
Dutch to Spanish
+ ...
Mi 2 cents... Sep 16, 2007

It has been at least 20 years or more since I did interpreting, so the business probably does not look at all like it did then.

However, I DO remember it was quite stressful. I also had to travel around for that business and I also arrived late at home, much to the disgust of my family. (Yes, I was also tired, but then I was much younger).

In my opinion, you should change your business practices keeping in mind the following:

a) Your standard working time is 6-8 hours/day. Depending on how stressful the work is, you might want to reduce the working hours. Whether you also want to charge for getting to the business location is up to you, but I would include it in my rates (within reason, of course, I would charge extra if I was contracted for only 1 hour).

b) Anything above those 6-8 hours is overtime, independently whether it is a continuation of the meeting or business entertainment (e.g., dinner, etc.), and you should charge extra for it. 50% seems reasonable to me.

c) If the job includes travel, apart from the fare you should claim living expenses if they do not pay you all expenses, but the travel time should be also counted as overtime. It is not the same thing to take a car and be home in half an hour than having to take a plane and fly across the country (or even to a different country, like I did more than once).

I would spell this very clearly out to my prospective customers, of course before they contract you. You are not a machine!

[Editado a las 2007-09-16 20:26]


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Paul Merriam  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:35
Member (2008)
Russian to English
+ ...
Wage and hours law Sep 17, 2007

Since you are being paid an hourly wage, I am fairly sure you are entitled to time and a half after 8 hours, just as auto mechanics or retail salesclerks are. Check with your state employment people about that.

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lingomania
Local time: 03:35
Italian to English
Charge more definitely Sep 17, 2007

You should charge more for late hours.

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Manuel Aburto M
Nicaragua
Local time: 11:35
English to Spanish
+ ...
You Should Charge it as Overtime, don´t hesitate in doing it! Sep 18, 2007

teju wrote:

That's overtime. Not only that, but your brain needs rest. The first thing that comes to mind is that such an assignment needs two interpreters, not one. That's too many hours without a break. I know that there are clients who insist in paying only one interpreter. If that's the case, and you don't mind the abuse, absolutely, charge at least time and a half for anything over eight hours a day!


I absolutely agree with Teju. My first and main job is translation, but from time to time I work in interpretations, so when I send the quotation to the client, one of the clauses strictly specifies that after the 8-hour day I will charge twice the price per hour.

You should do something similar.

Hoping it works for you, I remain.

Regards from Nicaragua


Manuel


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