Working for colleagues / Mutual help
Thread poster: Patricia Posadas

Patricia Posadas  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 12:33
Member (2002)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Jun 21, 2004

Hi,

I sometimes work for a colleague who is short of time for delivery and the other way round. I'm talking about just passing work on to the other person at the rate the customer pays and then the person sending the job reviews the colleague's work for free.

My question is about usual practice regarding terms of payment, for instance:

Do you ask to be paid within, let's day, 30 days or wait till your colleague gets paid?

If there are bank fees, who supports them?

I'd like to hear from other colleagues' experience...


 

Julia Gal  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:33
French to English
+ ...
Yes, but it all went pear-shaped! Jun 21, 2004

For several years I worked with a friend in this way and it all went very smoothly. We would pay as soon as the customer paid and at the usual rate for that customer. In fact, when she had a baby, I took on all her work for several weeks, as she had some complications with her pregnancy.

Last year, though, she suddenly decided to start taking on more work that she had time to deal with, and in languages she didn't know, and started sub-contracting to lots of people, taking a cut for herself (i.e. paying me less) and generally treating us like cattle because she was so stressed out and unable to handle the pressure! Needless to say I gradually stopped working with her and we are no longer great friends like beforeicon_frown.gif

I've done odd jobs for other translators since (and vice-versa), but I'm not sure I'd get into it as a regular arrangement like last time...

[Edited at 2004-06-21 13:00]


 

Claudia Iglesias  Identity Verified
Chile
Local time: 08:33
Member (2002)
Spanish to French
+ ...
Hi Patricia Jun 21, 2004

Let's imagine that "C" is the outsourcer of the job, and "A" & "B" the translators: they know each other, they know how the other one works and, very important, they trust each other.

"A" gives work to "B" at the same rate that "C" pays. "A" profreads for free. I think that "B" should be paid only once "A" got paid, otherwise "A" would be paying money from his pocket while he was doing a favor to "B". I also think that all the charges (bank or tax or anything) should be taken in charge by "B" who is the only one who benefits from this operation.

Problems could appear whenever client "C" doesn't pay.
I think that "A" is responsible as if he was the direct client (as well as agencies), but the difference between two colleagues is that there should be more understanding. The amount of this "understanding" will depend on the amount of the bill.

Anyway, it would be useful to make things clear since the beginning.

Claudia


 

brigidm  Identity Verified
Norway
Local time: 13:33
Norwegian to English
Who's doing the favour here?!... Jun 21, 2004

Claudia Iglesias wrote:


"A" gives work to "B" at the same rate that "C" pays. "A" profreads for free. I think that "B" should be paid only once "A" got paid, otherwise "A" would be paying money from his pocket while he was doing a favor to "B".


Anyway, it would be useful to make things clear since the beginning.

Claudia
Who is really doing whom a favour in this set-up? Isn't it more likely that A is passing the job on to B not as a personal favour - but more likely because A doesn't have the time/competence/desire to do the job, but wants to keep the client contact in case of bad times down the road? Couldn't it be possible that B is doing the bigger favour by actually doing a job which A has committed himself to doing, knowing that he won't be able to do the job himself? Your last sentence says it all, in my opinion. It would be not only "useful" but very wise to agree on this beforehand to avoid unpleasantness and the loss of a good colleague somewhere down the road.


 

Claudia Iglesias  Identity Verified
Chile
Local time: 08:33
Member (2002)
Spanish to French
+ ...
It can be seen both ways Jun 21, 2004

You may be right, Brigid, I think that it can be seen both ways.
In fact, if "B" has no work, he'll be glad that "A" called him and not somebody else, don't you think so? That's why I saw it as a favor. Of course, "A" is glad that "B" was available and accepted, of course. "A" will keep the client satisfied.
But the situation that I was imagining was that sometimes "A" will give work to "B" and sometimes "B" to "A".

Anyway, even if "B" is making a bigger favour to "A" than the opposite, I do think that "A" shouldn't have to pay more than what he gets from the outsourcer "C", this would mean that he's paying for having work.

You're right about my last sentence, wise is better that useful, please put this on the account of my written English.

Claudia


 

Brandis (X)
Local time: 13:33
English to German
+ ...
as you work for a college Jun 21, 2004

Patricia Posadas wrote:

Hi,

I sometimes work for a colleague who is short of time for delivery and the other way round. I'm talking about just passing work on to the other person at the rate the customer pays and then the person sending the job reviews the colleague's work for free.

My question is about usual practice regarding terms of payment, for instance:

Do you ask to be paid within, let's day, 30 days or wait till your colleague gets paid?

If there are bank fees, who supports them?

I'd like to hear from other colleagues' experience...
Hi!As you work for a colleague, you are working in your interest, hence you are working for yourself. You don´t mean to sacrifice yourself and your skill!!
Greets
brandis


 

Russell Gillis  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:33
Spanish to English
Share work and share bank fees Jun 21, 2004

I occasionally get small jobs that aren't in my pair, and I always pay the exact same rate that I am paid. I also pay part of the wire transfer fees, as I think the other translator is doing me a bigger favour by relieving me of work that I can't do.

Another important point I want to mention here is honesty to the outsourcer. I always let the agency know that I am having the translation done by someone native to that part of the world, and so they will get a better, smoother translation. The point I make to the agency is that I would rather give them a natural-sounding translation, than turn in something that sounds translated.

As far as payment terms, I will usually pay when I get paid (if it is a larger job). For smaller jobs, I will try to pay before 30 days.


 

Patricia Posadas  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 12:33
Member (2002)
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Solidarity Jun 22, 2004

Hi, I find all the points raised are very interesting.

As for the who is doing a favour to whom, this may vary all the time in a relationship between 2 people. I mean if I accepted a job and I can't do it the other person will be doing me a favour. If I accepted a job for X to do because I know X is not busy these days, or is always looking for work, or if I asked X before accepting (are you free /would you do this job), it is the other way round.

In both cases, I don't pretend that my colleague advance the money out of her or his pocket. Either because I really benefited from the work received (i.e. I had nothing better to do) or because I accepted it as a favour and favours don't have a due date or the like.

Another thing is what happens if you don't get paid. As Claudia said, the person accepting the job from the customer is responsible for payment.

I think this mutual help must be reduced to a maximum to avoid problems. It is hard for me because I usually get far more offers than I can do myself and at a time I thought refusing them was a bad thing, I was afraid that I could lose the customer etc. all of which has proven wrong. I have had more problems with translations passed on to colleagues than with customers I said no to.

When I can't really do a job (wrong pair, not my speciality) or that I am away etc. I tell my customer to contact one of my colleagues. However, this is not free of risk: how many colleagues do you have whose work you could send without even opening the file? I mean, you are somehow accepting responsibility for a translation you won't be doing or even proofreading...


Regards,

Patricia


 

Jesús Marín Mateos  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:33
English to Spanish
+ ...
Honesty to the outsourcer Jun 22, 2004

I am with Russell here.
There may be many different issues but I think the outsourcer needs to know becuase they have chosen you for your experience/skills/qualifications and I don't think we, as translators, have the right to pass on work without letting the outsourcer know.
Good luck.


 

Patricia Posadas  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 12:33
Member (2002)
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Outsourcer agreement Jun 22, 2004

Of course! The customers which work I may pass on to a colleague have expressedly told me they don't mind this as far as I proofread it and remain responsible for quality. Their general reaction is "well, if the price is the same and you do the proofreading..." I am talking about regular customers, here. In fact they often ask me in plural if "we" can take on the job. And sometimes the colleague invoices them directly, depending on countries of residence etc. so that we get the least possible bank fees.

 

Anjo Sterringa  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 13:33
Member (2003)
English to Dutch
+ ...
Favours vs subcontracting Jun 22, 2004

Charging the same price only works if the favour is returned - we pass on work, but at some point we get to do a job that a colleague cannot take on.
If that is the case, then I think it is only fair that the colleague doing the job gets to pay the bankcharges and gets paid when the client pays - which again leads me to this: far better if my colleague invoices the client directly. It makes things more transparent.
On the other hand, if you are subcontracting the job (and making a profit), then you will probably be proofreading the job and remain responsible for the quality as well. In this case you should pay your colleague when payment is due, even when the client does not pay (on time)- as simple as that. Bank charges should only be shared for the second transfer, not the first one - when I get paid from the USA and it costs me XX to receive it, that is my problem - I have a contract with the client and my colleague only has a contract with me.
I hope I have expressed myself clearly enough as this is a typical 'legal' view (guess what my backgound is...).

I can also imagine a 'third' way - when you start out doing a colleague a favour: check after say 1-3 months if the favours are 'balanced', if not, review the relationship!


 


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