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Do you have an emergency plan?
Thread poster: Christina Baier
Christina Baier  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 12:57
Member (2014)
French to German
+ ...
Feb 23, 2016

Most of us are working alone. What if something unforeseen (like you/a child going to hospital, sudden computer crash...) happens.

Do you have any emergency plan involving your family or fellow translators?

I keep a list with actual projects, deadlines, PMs/direct clients and their contact details on the wall, in case of an emergency, someone in my family could contact them.

(When the children were small, I did never break my arm because I just "couldn't afford it", sometimes, working as a translator feels the same )



[Edited at 2016-02-23 09:41 GMT]


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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:57
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Why does the website change these post titles all by itself? Feb 23, 2016

Thanks for the reminder. I keep thinking I ought to do this but actually planning for an emergency makes me superstitious; I fear I might bring one on!

But you're absolutely right.

Note to self: must give this more serious thought.

[Edited at 2016-02-23 09:24 GMT]


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Noni Gilbert
Spain
Local time: 12:57
Spanish to English
+ ...
Anyone got the time to write a checklist? Feb 23, 2016

I would be so grateful....

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Monika Rozwarzewska  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:57
Member (2006)
English to Polish
+ ...
Back up copy Feb 23, 2016

It is said that there are people who make back up copies and those who will.
I do it daily and save a copy on an external drive. In case something happens, I have my CAT tool and other essentials installed on my kid's computer.


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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:57
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Better Feb 23, 2016

Monika Rozwarzewska wrote:

It is said that there are people who make back up copies and those who will.
I do it daily and save a copy on an external drive. In case something happens, I have my CAT tool and other essentials installed on my kid's computer.


I clone my entire hard drive to an external drive, every day. Sometimes more often than that.

If my hard drive crashes or something else bad happens I can boot my computer, or any other Mac, from the clone, and continue working. Or clone "from the clone" on to another computer and continue working.

It's a safety net. A clone is better than a backup because it includes *absolutely everything* that's on your hard drive, all in exactly the same setup. Including all those system settings, saved passwords, email preferences, all system files, all music and videos, etc. Only takes about half an hour (because after the first complete clone, only items that have changed are updated).

[Edited at 2016-02-23 10:24 GMT]


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Angie Garbarino  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:57
Member (2003)
French to Italian
+ ...
Yes I do Feb 23, 2016

Christina Baier wrote:

Do you have any emergency plan involving your family or fellow translators?


Also, every time I fly (and it happens very often), I send to my son all pending invoices, so that he can claim payments, just in case... together with client's email for contacting them, and of course I touch iron (I am Italian so no wood but iron),


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Jo Macdonald  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 12:57
Member (2005)
Italian to English
+ ...
Do I have an emergency plan? Feb 23, 2016

Yeah, run like hell.


But seriously, got an older backup computer with almost all the software I use already installed on it, backup copies of work every time I shut the system down.

If I'm too sick/injured to work I'd cancel jobs I couldn't do and/or try to find someone else to do them. Same thing if there was a disaster in the family, volcano, earthquake, etc. Don't think there's much point in having someone "ready" to do the job because they'll have their own schedule.

If dead or in a coma I ain't going to be worrying about work.


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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:57
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Expecting to fly Feb 23, 2016

Angie Garbarino wrote:

.... every time I fly (and it happens very often), I send to my son all pending invoices, so that he can claim payments, just in case... together with client's email for contacting them, and of course I touch iron (I am Italian so no wood but iron),


Flying is the safest form of transport. Your chances of disaster striking are much greater in a car, a train, when walking or especially when cycling.

When I kick the bucket I won't be worried about unpaid invoices. Or indeed anything else.

An old friend of mine died in his sleep last night. If I could choose, that's how I'd like to go too.

But I still keep thinking (occasionally) that I should have a "hospital suitcase" packed and ready. Is that silly?

[Edited at 2016-02-23 11:42 GMT]


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Jack Doughty  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:57
Member (2000)
Russian to English
+ ...
I didn't, but I do now. Feb 23, 2016

Thank you, Christina, for the idea.

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Inga Petkelyte  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 11:57
Lithuanian to Portuguese
+ ...
Still in thoughts Feb 23, 2016

That "still" has been for a few years already. I thought about that when one day I received an email: "Hello, my name is .... You used to supply translations for my mother. Unfortunately, my mom passed away after a long illness. ..." Well, the daughter is acrrying the business on very nicely but those words...are still with me.

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Nicole Maina  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 12:57
Member (2005)
German to Italian
+ ...
Notfallmanagement für Dolmetscher und Übersetzer Feb 23, 2016

Someone has thought about this in very deep detail.

His name is Roland Hoffmann and I met him at the BDÜ-Conference in Berlin in 2012.

He has written this book for the BDÜ:
"Notfallmanagement für Dolmetscher und Übersetzer"
I am sorry it is available in German only.

http://www.bdue-fachverlag.de/fachverlag/publikationen/detail_book/93


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Texte Style
Local time: 12:57
French to English
Do I have a what? Feb 23, 2016

I don't have an emergency plan. I do have a to-do list and a weekly schedule that can usually be found very quickly on my desk and computer, so anyone who wants to inform clients that I can't finish a job would be able to work things out pretty easily.

I hope that if I am involved in an emergency, my relatives will be more concerned for my health than money.


I remember once when I was a PM, my most trustworthy legal translator had an accident and ended up in hospital.

Her ten-year-old daughter sent me a file with a message brimming with endearing spelling mistakes on the lines of "Mummy says it's only a draft and she won't bill it but you can have it if ever it proves useful"

It turned out to be an almost perfect translation. There were a couple of terms where she had left question marks, but which seemed to fit the bill, and there was a sentence or two at the end that needed to be finished. I told her to bill the lot anyway, in that her draft was much better than the finished product handed in by most other translators (and I said nothing about her daughter's message to the boss either)


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 11:57
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Not really Feb 23, 2016

- If I'm well enough to communicate anything at all, then I'll arrange things with someone (my husband unless we've had a car accident or something).
- If my computer crashes I'd be better off putting my energies in getting it fixed/replaced than anything else.
- If the Internet crashes completely (not just my connection to it), I'll probably be too busy sowing seeds to provide food for the family in the post-tech age.
- If I'm dead or close to it then I won't care and I won't want to burden my family with that care either.

I'll move heaven and earth to avoid letting my clients down, but there are circumstances when I imagine that a translation or revision job, or payment for one, would seem rather inconsequential.

However, it's certainly true to say that mothers and freelancers can't afford to be ill all the time like some employees without family responsibilities. I know some people that take to their beds with the slightest sniffle; particularly those in cushy jobs-for-life within the public sector.

[Edited at 2016-02-23 16:25 GMT]


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Alison Sabedoria  Identity Verified
France
Member (2009)
French to English
+ ...
A number of measures Feb 24, 2016

These have all proved their worth and saved my bacon (and reputation) more than once:

Second high-spec computer with all the same software on board and an old PC gathering dust which I could still use for handling most documents. My main work computer is not allowed to go surfing on the internet, so it stays "clean" and it never leaves the house.

Desk logbook in which I enter what I'm doing, contact details and progress (this allowed my boyfriend to inform a client when I was taken ill suddenly a few years ago).

Files backed up regularly on USB memory sticks.

At least 24 hours "just in case" added to delivery times, even for small jobs. This is the main way I keep stress at a minimum. I rarely take on jobs that need a rapid turn around. The internet was down over a large area around here for 24 hours this week as someone cut through a cable - I rather enjoyed the peace and quiet!

Trusted colleagues who might be able to take over a job if I am unable to finish it.

I have also taken over a large vegetable garden. Like Sheila, I plant seeds...


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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:57
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Why? Feb 24, 2016

Alison Sabedoria wrote:

.....My main work computer is not allowed to go surfing on the internet, so it stays "clean"


Why so? What will happen if you connect it to the internet?


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