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Time-waisting: a new term is born
Thread poster: Alison Sabedoria

Alison Sabedoria  Identity Verified
France
Member (2009)
French to English
+ ...
Mar 29, 2010

I normally ignore ridiculous job postings, but yesterday evening, feeling up for a little mischief, I sent an e-mail to an agency based in Mexico offering 0.025 USD/word for an "urgent" job, contents as follows:

"I am not quoting for the above job because the rate proposed is totally unacceptable. Would you translate, revise and proofread 1900 words – a full day’s work – to a professional standard for a commercial client, all for $47.50?! No? Neither would I.
If you or your end clients are unwilling to pay a decent rate, I suggest you use Google Translate. It’s free, and as far as I know it doesn’t need to eat, and doesn’t complain (yet) about unfair working practices."

I was highly amused by the terse gem of a reply I received:

"THEN DO NOT WAIST MY TIME" (my emphasis)

Could time-waisting catch on as a new term!? icon_biggrin.gif

Have a good Monday,
Alison Sabedoria


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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 05:45
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
It was not the intended purpose... Mar 29, 2010

... but these prices do help to reduce our waist size! Have a nice week,

Teresa Borges


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British Diana
Germany
Local time: 06:45
German to English
+ ...
Careful, Clients, : don't let us waste away Mar 29, 2010

I wonder whether the agency concerned coined this term deliberately in order to draw attention to the tiresome habit of flesh and blood translators (you yourself referred to it in your mail) that they need to fuel their bodies in order to produce text, and in order to buy this fuel demand what could be called a "living wage" (such as 5 cents/word).

Time-waisting is the new slimming!

Working so long and so hard for so little that one has neither time nor money to buy food.

Clients must just look out: PLease don't allow your workers (real-life thinking, feeling translators) to waste away completely. When they are gone you will wish them back.


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apk12  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 06:45
English to German
+ ...
You might laugh, but... Mar 29, 2010

something similar happened to me yesterday, too. also got upset (0.02 USD) and sent a no-application-reply.

you know what really bugs me here? this offer was posted on a neighbourhood site (not G...F, where such rubbish belongs, there are a lot of people there ready to simply enter the source in a MT and do their data-entry-"translation" job with a smile, delivering exactly what these outsourcers deserve for the rates they offer), so, this time not on G...F, and it was posted by...

hm?

by a proz-translator. who now decided to try a career in "outsourcing" a few bits away from this site here. a quite frequent kudoz-asker, btw.

so it looks like the translator applied with a trash-0.04-rate here, got the job and now went on to the neighbour website to find a cheap monkey to do the work for her.

I admit I exploded somehow in my answer, but I couldn't do good translation work today if this stress still would be in my bones. one has to leave a shouting sign from time to time just in order to be able to breath again.

as for the "waist" of a PM (yes, not only translators' waists can get lean. PMs too, can learn to eat less if they keep decreasing their own quality with rubbish rates) - waists which could get even leaner with time if outsourcers waste the time of professionals by posting rubbish: someone should remind your "outsourcer contact" too, about the expensive time of job opening reading professionals.

btw. what if proz job offers would be posted for free only above a rate minimum? and if posted with cheaper rates, they would cost money? wouldn`t this be a good solution and business idea for the site staff who seem still to think about what to think about their discount job posting users, the site staff from who we still are awaiting an answer statement to the last job posting policies poll, the poll which is right now discussed vividly on the link...din proz group?







[Edited at 2010-03-29 17:22 GMT]


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xxxOlivierDeVri  Identity Verified
Belgium
Local time: 06:45
English to Dutch
+ ...
TW by LSP's Mar 29, 2010

@WordEffect: I really like the neologism you'are proposing. Time-waisting has actually been refined to the status of art by some LSP's. I'm all for free-market and competition but some of them...should put themselves out of business the sooner the better.

I'm following the discussion/topic on LinkedIn and feel that we could do more to support each other and find a healthy way to channel our outrage and disgust with these TW-(wannabe) LSP's.

Perhaps it would be good to start a permanent Topic in the major global (professional) translation fora to keep colleagues posted of the latest TW'ers. It could work both as a deterrent to them and also save us time if we'd keep each other posted.

Just my 5 cents...

But worth looking into. Your ideas and comments are more than welcome.

Olivier


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Monika Coulson  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:45
Member (2001)
English to Albanian
+ ...
Sure, my waist is wasted during that time Mar 29, 2010

Ha ha ha!
On a more serious note, they do not want us to waste their time, but it's OK for them to waste our time. How convenient!

Monika


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Brian Young  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 21:45
Danish to English
weight loss Mar 30, 2010

Weight loss is a multi-billion dollar business. Maybe this is just a new twist on "waist reduction". Why pay good money to join a gym, or buy Jenny Craig, when you can just work for starvation wages. This might be just what everyone has been waiting for. Translate and lose waist at the same time. A lot of people would pay to be part of such a great new movement. Don't waste a good opportunity like this.

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jyuan_us  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 00:45
Member (2005)
English to Chinese
+ ...
A direct client posted an Eng - Chi job Mar 30, 2010

for $0.01/word a couple of days ago.

So, the $0.025 thing is not very time waisting.

[Edited at 2010-03-30 02:34 GMT]

[Edited at 2010-03-30 04:49 GMT]


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Laurent KRAULAND  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 06:45
French to German
+ ...
"Transsourcers / transsourcing" Mar 30, 2010

apk12 wrote:

something similar happened to me yesterday, too. also got upset (0.02 USD) and sent a no-application-reply.

you know what really bugs me here? this offer was posted on a neighbourhood site (not G...F, where such rubbish belongs, there are a lot of people there ready to simply enter the source in a MT and do their data-entry-"translation" job with a smile, delivering exactly what these outsourcers deserve for the rates they offer), so, this time not on G...F, and it was posted by...

hm?

by a proz-translator. who now decided to try a career in "outsourcing" a few bits away from this site here. a quite frequent kudoz-asker, btw.

so it looks like the translator applied with a trash-0.04-rate here, got the job and now went on to the neighbour website to find a cheap monkey to do the work for her.


"Transsourcing" is indeed the newest trend. I think some of us can name names of colleagues (ahem?) who are only too eager to accept low rates and to outsource jobs that were assigned to them, thus becoming KTA (kitchen-table agencies).
There is not much we can do against this, but ignoring those colleagues when they post jobs or forum messages seems the best thing to do.
A not too old post of mine in the German forum as per this matter and related ones: http://www.proz.com/forum/german/148756-jobs_bewerten.html#1264129




[Edited at 2010-03-30 04:19 GMT]


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Natalia Mackevich  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:45
Member (2009)
English to Russian
+ ...
Looks like a pearl of a term! Mar 30, 2010

I've recently started collecting quotations on the subject, so here's my top-2 so far (I found both online, in my colleagues' messages):

1) There is hardly anything in the world that someone can't make a little worse and sell a little cheaper, and people who consider price alone are this man's lawful prey.
(John Ruskin)

2) Cheap things are not good, good things are not cheap. ~ Chinese Proverb.


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Charlie Bavington  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:45
French to English
Guerilla tactics Mar 30, 2010

Laurent KRAULAND wrote:


There is not much we can do against this, but ignoring those colleagues when they post jobs or forum messages seems the best thing to do.


Realistically, I agree.
What I sometimes daydream about is setting up a large group of maybe 300+ people, who are prepared to spend a little time writing up a "oh yes, that sounds brilliant, I'm interested" reply. All different, all our own work. We then select one job - any pair, any subject - every so often, and we ALL reply positively, and in our own way, but all on the same day, ideally at roughly the same time.

If and when we get the files/details, we just reply with a "oops, sorry, the file is corrupt and my hamster just died so I can't do it now". (Obviously, we won't all get this far). If we had a large enough group and did it often enough, some would surely be deterred from posting their crap on here.


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Alison Sabedoria  Identity Verified
France
Member (2009)
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Guerillas with hour-glass figures... Mar 30, 2010

I have enjoyed reading all your replies so far. It’s good that we can still (sometimes) keep a sense of humour. Thank you for the nice quotes, Natalia!

Woah there, Charlie - steady on, lad! Guerilla translators? Should we prowl the city streets after dark “free-translating” posters, signs, etc. into obscure languages or gobbledygook, perhaps? Sounds like fun!icon_biggrin.gif

Seriously though, some sort of high profile publicity stunt (preferably both relevant and positive) might be good. Any ideas?

For anyone still unsure how to identify time-waisters:
• They want the job done yesterday
• They expect you to effectively pay to work
• They want full editing / rewriting but post it as “proofreading”
• They are in a real hurry to pass on to others jobs they would not touch themselves
• They seem to live in a financial time-warp, having apparently fallen through into our world from some Dickensian universe.

I still have two slices of lemon drizzle cake left, but my hour-glass figure seems unlikely to be under threat, at least for the foreseeable future.

Best wishes,
Alison



[Edited at 2010-03-30 13:56 GMT]


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Monika Coulson  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:45
Member (2001)
English to Albanian
+ ...
Cheap things cost you more Mar 30, 2010

Natalia Mackevich wrote:

...

2) Cheap things are not good, good things are not cheap. ~ Chinese Proverb.



"Cheap things cost you more" - Old Albanian saying


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Laurent KRAULAND  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 06:45
French to German
+ ...
And in French! Mar 30, 2010

Monika Coulson wrote:

"Cheap things cost you more" - Old Albanian saying


« Le "bon marché" est toujours plus cher »...


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Krzysztof Kajetanowicz  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 06:45
English to Polish
+ ...
erm Mar 30, 2010

I don't mean to be the grumpy one in this hilarious thread — but if it's a waste of time to respond to a $0,025 offer then what do you call responding to one just to tell them you won't take it?

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