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When honesty probably doesn't pay...
Thread poster: Tina Colquhoun

Tina Colquhoun  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:00
Danish to English
+ ...
Jan 29, 2009

Hi

This afternoon I received an invitation (from an agency I seldom work with) to answer a 'financial crisis' survey. It only consisted of a few questions asking things like: How has your workflow been over the past 6 months? Have you been able to maintain your rates over the past 6 months?

I think I can guess where they're heading with this one...

Tina


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Aniello Scognamiglio  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 23:00
English to German
+ ...
I can guess where this thread is heading... Jan 29, 2009

Tina Colquhoun wrote:

Hi
This afternoon I received an invitation (from an agency I seldom work with) to answer a 'financial crisis' survey. It only consisted of a few questions asking things like: How has your workflow been over the past 6 months? Have you been able to maintain your rates over the past 6 months?

I think I can guess where they're heading with this one...

Tina


Hi Tina,

please don't tell me you are going to answer those questions unless the answers look as follows:

- How has your workflow been over the past 6 months? -> Excellent! Getting better and better! I had to even outsource projects.

- Have you been able to maintain your rates over the past 6 months? -> Thanks to a good business year I increased my rates by 20%.

It may reflect your real situation or not, but please don't tell them what they want to hear/read.

Best,
Aniello


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ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 17:00
English to French
+ ...
Time to look for greener pastures Jan 29, 2009

It seems to me they don't realize some translators may be smart enough to see through this. My intelligence would be a tad bit insulted...

I wouldn't even bother replying. Instead, I would probably return the "favor" and ask questions like:

- How much profit have you been making off my work for the past six months?
- Has the number of unpaid jobs (quality issues) at your agency increased over the past year?
- Etc.

If this should be a sign of anything, it is a sign that you need to take your prospection really seriously, because you will need the clients it will turn out to replace those who are in the process of building airbags, as somebody put it recently.


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Aniello Scognamiglio  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 23:00
English to German
+ ...
Building airbags Jan 29, 2009

Viktoria Gimbe wrote:

If this should be a sign of anything, it is a sign that you need to take your prospection really seriously, because you will need the clients it will turn out to replace those who are in the process of building airbags, as somebody put it recently.


Nicely put, Viktoria,

it could be also a (bad) sign that the company in question is struggling to survive in tough times ... In Chinese, "crisis" means "chance", my grandmother in China used to say.


[Edited at 2009-01-29 16:12 GMT]


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Vanda Nissen  Identity Verified
Australia
Local time: 08:00
Member (2008)
English to Russian
+ ...
me too^) Jan 29, 2009

Tina Colquhoun wrote:
Hi

This afternoon I received an invitation (from an agency I seldom work with) to answer a 'financial crisis' survey.

I've got this e-mail too and decided just to ignore it.


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xxxPeter Manda
Local time: 17:00
German to English
+ ...
didn't get the e-mail Jan 29, 2009

Honesty always pays.

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KSL Berlin  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 22:00
Member (2003)
German to English
+ ...
Are these jokers in France? Jan 29, 2009

I got a call the other day from some French agency wanting to "conduct a survey". Unfortunately, the caller spoke such miserable German and English that I told her to call back Friday when I might have time - simply too much work at present. If she's fishing for rate cut justifications with me, she won't find them. I have gotten so damned fed up with my workload in the past year that I have set the top end of my rates 50 to 100% higher than they were until recently, and it looks like I'll have to raise them more if I want to scare off some prospects and get a bit of quiet and time to arrange things in the new house. Or write invoices for that matter.

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Diarmuid Kennan  Identity Verified
Ireland
Local time: 22:00
Member (2006)
Danish to English
+ ...
Better and better Jan 29, 2009

I received this too. 2 questions with yes or no answers. I'm looking forward to seeing the result (they promised it within 24 hours)

)


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Margreet Logmans  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 23:00
English to Dutch
+ ...
UK Jan 29, 2009

They're in the UK.

And since it is anonymous, I don't see why I should not answer honestly.

What could they do anyway?


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Sara Senft  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 17:00
Spanish to English
+ ...
There's something similar in Japanese Jan 29, 2009

I heard that the most similar Japanese translation for "crisis" is "opportunity."

Are there any Japanese translators reading this that can clarify? I only know a few random words of Japanese.


Aniello Scognamiglio wrote:

Viktoria Gimbe wrote:

If this should be a sign of anything, it is a sign that you need to take your prospection really seriously, because you will need the clients it will turn out to replace those who are in the process of building airbags, as somebody put it recently.


Nicely put, Viktoria,

it could be also a (bad) sign that the company in question is struggling to survive in tough times ... In Chinese, "crisis" means "chance", my grandmother in China used to say.


[Edited at 2009-01-29 16:12 GMT]


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 23:00
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Why didn't they ask ME??? Jan 29, 2009



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Niina Lahokoski  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 00:00
Member (2008)
English to Finnish
+ ...
What on earth... Jan 29, 2009

would a translation agency do with such information?? Very fishy.

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Taija Hyvönen
Finland
Local time: 00:00
Member (2008)
English to Finnish
+ ...
For the second time today... Jan 29, 2009

... I wish you were making up this stuff (the first one was the "what button do you press to make WordFast translate the text" question").

I suppose they will make a poll and announce the results which state that translators must lower their rates to save the global economy from going under. The wording is silly though, it doesn't get more obvious than that.


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Sharon Sarah Schmitz  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 23:00
English to German
Surveys Jan 29, 2009

Like Kevin, I also got a call from a French agency asking if I had time to participate in an "urgent survey". Unfortunately, I was quite busy and expressed this fact in no uncertain terms.

The other day, said agency e-mailed their survey - okay, I had told them to go ahead and do just that cause I had to meet a deadline and am generally not too talkative on the phone, all the more when it comes to cold calling. Turns out they're asking really urgent questions about a certain CAT tool, discounts, and stuff. They also happen to be engaged in a partnership with the producer of said CAT tool.

Well, of course, this might just be a very complicated way of getting in touch with freelancers, but doesn't it smell a wee bit like a sales pitch?


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LegalTransform  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 17:00
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Direct Clients Jan 29, 2009

What these companies that compete for jobs solely based on price don't seem to realize is that we can also "maintain" or even "improve" our rates by working with clients directly and avoiding them altogether.

If there really was a "crisis" and things were really so drastic to the point where we absolutely HAD to lower rates, wouldn't it make more sense for us to work for direct clients at the reduced rate of .10 - .15 a word, rather than take jobs from these companies at .03 - .06 a word??





[Edited at 2009-01-29 22:08 GMT]


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