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Poll: Do you ever say "no" to a job because the deadline is too tight?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 13:32
SITE STAFF
Aug 5, 2008

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do you ever say "no" to a job because the deadline is too tight?".

This poll was originally submitted by Dr. Birgitte Eggeling

View the poll here

A forum topic will appear each time a new poll is run. For more information, see: http://proz.com/topic/33629


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Andrea Riffo  Identity Verified
Chile
Local time: 16:32
English to Spanish
... Aug 5, 2008

First, I ask for an extension. Then, if I'm told that the deadline is non-negotiable, I say "no".

Greetings

[Edited at 2008-08-05 15:24]


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tsosa1939
Panama
Local time: 15:32
English to Spanish
+ ...
If I am not able to get an extension Aug 5, 2008

If I cannot do the job by myself, bearing in mind that I will not submit a poor quality job, and the document(s) can be distributed, I sub-contract colleague freelancers and take care of the consistency and quality.

If the job cannot be distributed, I say no.


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Philippe Etienne  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 22:32
Member
English to French
Yes, I say No Aug 5, 2008

"I cannot take on this job for delivery by the deadline stated.
My best delivery date would be on [date] at [time] latest."
Then the ball is in the other party's court.

Philippe


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Parrot  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 22:32
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Of course Aug 5, 2008

I say no to many jobs and tight deadlines are just one reason. That doesn't mean I don't understand a doable urgency when I see one or flatly don't try to help the client (I can refer a colleague, for example).

What I don't like is "shoving" when you explain you still have a client with an equal amount of urgent need in the work queue, and they want to go first. It's just not fair.

Fortunately, some of those deadlines are negotiable. When I present the math about it, people generally find the reasoning acceptable.


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Maria Isabel Pazos Gómez  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 22:32
Member (2007)
German to Spanish
+ ...
The DL is more than relative for the client Aug 5, 2008

Hi,

I often get "super urgent" job request and a half year later they asked me for some editing and it´s my super- urgent translation.
Since I know this, I try to get never too much pressure because of the DL.

Greetings,

Mabel

[Bearbeitet am 2008-08-05 17:04]


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s_hokama
Japan
Local time: 05:32
Japanese to Spanish
+ ...
I replied "Other"... Aug 5, 2008

...because I have been lucky that no jobs so far had a deadline that was too tight. If that happens, I'll try negotiate the deadline first, before giving a "no".

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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 14:32
English to Spanish
+ ...
Extension Aug 5, 2008

My clients will nearly always agree to an extension, because they know that otherwise the job will just not get done.

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Joan Berglund  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 16:32
Member (2008)
French to English
I replied yes Aug 5, 2008

Although I could have also said no, I ask for an extension. Usually if I just say no, it is not only the deadline but the nature of the material or the price offered that I have a problem with. Realizing that I can't make the deadline just gives me a good excuse for saying no. If the job looks good to me and/or is for a good client, I offer them my best delivery date, usually they do accept it. But can anyone tell me why some clients think that the words "urgent" and "tight budget" and "most competitive rates" belong in the same email?

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Evonymus (Ewa Kazmierczak)  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 22:32
English to Polish
+ ...
@Joan Aug 5, 2008

Joan Berglund wrote:

But can anyone tell me why some clients think that the words "urgent" and "tight budget" and "most competitive rates" belong in the same email?


excellent point


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Sophie Dzhygir  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 22:32
Member (2007)
German to French
+ ...
Of course Aug 5, 2008

I ask for a deadline when it makes sense.

For instance this month, I've been fully booked in advance for 1 month and a half. So during that time, if I got a request for a 1000 words job that needs to be completed in 1 or 2 days, it made no sense to say 'I can deliver it within 5 weeks'...
There are times when, knowing how the project looks like and knowinf your customer, you know that negociating the deadline makes no sense.


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Textklick  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:32
German to English
+ ...
Statistics Aug 5, 2008

Does 70% suggest that demand exceeds supply?

Clearly in the case of those who voted for that option...

So who is calling the shots? Are we? Could be, maybe should be.


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Johanna von der Vring  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 22:32
Member (2006)
Italian to German
+ ...
Many times I had to say no Aug 5, 2008

It happens to me very often, that I have to reject a job, because the deadline is just crazy. Normally these offers come from agencies. I always try to negotiate, but often they say, that the client can not wait. Some weeks ago they wanted me to translate 2000 words in two hours. I always see very often offers with these deadlines in ProZ and I have the impression, that there are always more offers with these crazy deadlines. Sometimes I tell the clients, that a person who accepts there deadline is not behaving as a professional.

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Reed James
Chile
Local time: 16:32
Member (2005)
Spanish to English
Fast doesn't have to be bad Aug 6, 2008

Johanna von der Vring wrote:

Some weeks ago they wanted me to translate 2000 words in two hours. I always see very often offers with these deadlines in ProZ and I have the impression, that there are always more offers with these crazy deadlines. Sometimes I tell the clients, that a person who accepts there deadline is not behaving as a professional.


I agree that it may not be prudent to accept to translate 2,000 words in two hours. However, even if you are a slow typist, say 50 words per minute, in ten minutes you will have typed 500 words. Theoretically, you will have typed 3,000 words in one hour. Sure, you have to figure in those unexpected phone calls, maybe a short break, and who knows what else.

Still, I think that 50 words per minute these days is fairly reasonable, especially considering that most of us are using CAT tools or something to enhance our typing.

Also, what if you are using a CAT tool, and a percentage of those 2,000 words are already in your TM just waiting to pop out? What if it is a topic you are so familiar with, you could translate it blindfolded?

This reminds me of when I was taking high school French. I would usually race through my tests just to be done with them and read a book or something. I got high scores on them, and I honestly don't think I would have done much better, if at all, had I taken my time.

So I just wanted to say that quick can be, though not always, professional.


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Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 13:32
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
I like this answer! Aug 6, 2008

Textklick wrote:

Does 70% suggest that demand exceeds supply?

Clearly in the case of those who voted for that option...

So who is calling the shots? Are we? Could be, maybe should be.


You'd think that those of us in the 70% should be able to call the shots. Maybe eventually, but often the clients with unreasonable deadlines (or rates) often get turned down by the professionals and resort to undercutters. They get what they pay for and maybe next time they're willing to wait a little longer - or plan ahead.

I recently had a client wait 2 months before I was available. (I heard the job was in the pipeline and didn't really want to do it. I thought I had dodged the bullet by accepting to do a book in the meantime, but they insisted on waiting.)


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