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Handling Missed deadline and abscond linguist!
Thread poster: Capita

Capita
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:39
Member (2012)
English to Bulgarian
May 26, 2010

Recently I have come accross a lot of Deadline issues, where the linuist has missed the deadline and often vanish before deadline by not answering any phone calls nor emails and sometimes contacts been removed from the Instant messengers(Like skype).

And most of them keep repling with the updates on how the project is proceeding positively and suddenly vanish before the dealine and leaving the situation worse for the PM's and the clients.

Some it shocks me the same person replies if we contact with the different email or IM!!

Please share your experience and ideas to handle these situation.

Kind regards,

Arun Prabhu
Resource Relationship Manager
arun.prabhu@appliedlanguage.com
Tel: +44 (0) 870 225 1533


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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 16:39
English to German
+ ...
A question May 26, 2010

Why would you bother any translator with disruptive emails and phone calls before deadline in the first place?

This indicates serious insecurity on the PM's side. Professional translators run a business, just like your agency. Frequent inquiries such as "How is it coming?" are highly annoying and insulting.

Not very professional.


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Capita
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:39
Member (2012)
English to Bulgarian
TOPIC STARTER
I agree!! May 26, 2010

I totally agree with you on this, but even translators who have done more that 30 jobs and been in the market for more than 5 years fall into this!! We all work on the name of trust in each other unless the moment of truth!!

Especially when you deal with big projects which is on-going/which has dealine over a month or more, the PM need to ask for an update!


Regards,
Arun


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Paulo Eduardo - Pro Knowledge  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 21:39
Member (2008)
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Touché Nicole... May 26, 2010

Nicole Schnell wrote:

Why would you bother any translator with disruptive emails and phone calls before deadline in the first place?

This indicates serious insecurity on the PM's side. Professional translators run a business, just like your agency. Frequent inquiries such as "How is it coming?" are highly annoying and insulting.

Not very professional.


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David Jessop  Identity Verified
Spain
Member
Spanish to English
+ ...
Not sure if I agree with this one... May 26, 2010

Nicole Schnell wrote:

Why would you bother any translator with disruptive emails and phone calls before deadline in the first place?

This indicates serious insecurity on the PM's side. Professional translators run a business, just like your agency. Frequent inquiries such as "How is it coming?" are highly annoying and insulting.

Not very professional.


Nicole,

There are a lot of factors involved. When I am working on a project and receive an email midway though to the tune of, "Hey, just wanted to see how you were doing and if there was anything I could do to help. Thanks!" I appreciate this because it shows that the outsourcer is genuinely wanting to collaborate.

Sure, if there are lots of emails and phone calls with the express purpose of making sure it´s going alright, I tend to agree.

David


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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 16:39
English to German
+ ...
Here is an example May 26, 2010

David Jessop wrote:
Nicole,

There are a lot of factors involved. When I am working on a project and receive an email midway though to the tune of, "Hey, just wanted to see how you were doing and if there was anything I could do to help. Thanks!" I appreciate this because it shows that the outsourcer is genuinely wanting to collaborate.

Sure, if there are lots of emails and phone calls with the express purpose of making sure it´s going alright, I tend to agree.

David



Im close to 50, I have been handling international accounts when most of the PMs that I am working with were still in Kindergarden. Also, I do not require much of hand-holding and nurturing mental backup.

I once agreed to a brutal deadline and I had 24 hours for the translation of a 7800 words contract. I can do that at times, no CAT tools. While I was double-checking and proofreading my work, the PM started to make phone calls every 10 minutes. Then every 5 minutes. Before deadline. "Are we there yet?", "Are we there yet?". Due to this annoying disruption I had to deliver the last pages without being double-checked. For the first time in my life.

Needless to say that I refused any future work for this "client".


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Capita
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:39
Member (2012)
English to Bulgarian
TOPIC STARTER
Cant be genderalized May 26, 2010

Im close to 50, I have been handling international accounts when most of the PMs that I am working with were still in Kindergarden. Also, I do not require much of hand-holding and nurturing mental backup.

I once agreed to a brutal deadline and I had 24 hours for the translation of a 7800 words contract. I can do that at times, no CAT tools. While I was double-checking and proofreading my work, the PM started to make phone calls every 10 minutes. Then every 5 minutes. Before deadline. "Are we there yet?", "Are we there yet?". Due to this annoying disruption I had to deliver the last pages without being double-checked. For the first time in my life.

Needless to say that I refused any future work for this "client". [/quote]

Nicole,

I understand the situation you went through on a tight deadline, and I agree it's insane and disturb the concentration but communication is vital and a gap in that leads the productivity in blind fold!!

Proper dosage of communication comes through experience and trust both the parties built on each other over time and understanding.

But betrayal of trust and wrong information leads to a very destructive result for the project or business!!

Well, a 200k project running for 2 months and every week the linguist notes a positive vector and suddenly done awol before deadline!! How good is that??


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amanda solymosi  Identity Verified
Hungary
Local time: 01:39
Hungarian to English
+ ...
scared off by material May 26, 2010

My feeling is that the translator took on the job in good faith, but got stuck half way through, or the computer let him/her down and was too scared to report the failure.
OR......a better paid, easier job came in during the assignment.
Neither is very professional, but human nature.
I don't see any problem with checking on progress, or wanting the work completed so far so that processing it can begin.


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Luisa Ramos, CT  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 19:39
Member (2004)
English to Spanish
The other way around May 26, 2010

I believe it is the translator's responsibility to keep the PM up to date, not the other way around.

If the translator took the job without being qualified for it, shame on her. If she confronted computer or any other type of problems, got stuck, and did not notify the PM, shame on her. If she subcontracted the job and did not inform the PM, shame on her. In other words, she should have kept every party in the loop, and let the PM decide what to do about it. It makes no difference how many times a PM contacts a translator, that guarantees nothing, the translator can be lying all the time and, in the end, if the translation is not done, guess who has to face the client and take the heat?

As for the PM, make sure your translators are competent, knowledgeable, ethical, and professional. But, beware, those are justifiably more expensive.


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Rebekka Groß  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:39
English to German
OT: just a small point May 26, 2010

None of you apart from Luisa have actually shared their experience (if any) with dispappearing vendors or made suggestions bout what to do in this situation. Instead the thread has completely veered off topic.

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Kevin Fulton  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 19:39
German to English
I prefer to be left alone, especially with a tight deadline May 26, 2010

Nicole Schnell wrote:
While I was double-checking and proofreading my work, the PM started to make phone calls every 10 minutes. Then every 5 minutes. Before deadline. "Are we there yet?", "Are we there yet?". Due to this annoying disruption I had to deliver the last pages without being double-checked. For the first time in my life.

Needless to say that I refused any future work for this "client".


I've experienced this a few times as well, with the same response -- dropped the client. My regular clients know I'm reliable and deliver on time.

On the other hand, if I have a lengthy project, I usually send an e-mail to the client about halfway through to provide an update on my progress and to mention any issues that may have arisen in the course of the job.

However, I recently had a job that required the use of awkward file management software, and was in regular contact with the client, as I encountered some problems. I found this embarrassing, as I'm usually the one providing assistance, not asking for it. Nevertheless, there was no doubt that I would meet the delivery deadline.


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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 16:39
English to German
+ ...
Uhm.. "she"? May 26, 2010

Luisa Ramos, CT wrote:

I believe it is the translator's responsibility to keep the PM up to date, not the other way around.

If the translator took the job without being qualified for it, shame on her
. If she
confronted computer or any other type of problems, got stuck, and did not notify the PM, shame on her
. If she
subcontracted the job and did not inform the PM, shame on her
. In other words, she
should have kept every party in the loop, and let the PM decide what to do about it. It makes no difference how many times a PM contacts a translator, that guarantees nothing, the translator can be lying all the time and, in the end, if the translation is not done, guess who has to face the client and take the heat?

As for the PM, make sure your translators are competent, knowledgeable, ethical, and professional. But, beware, those are justifiably more expensive.



She? Her?
What exactly did I miss?


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Luisa Ramos, CT  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 19:39
Member (2004)
English to Spanish
You did not miss anything, Nicole May 26, 2010


She? Her?
What exactly did I miss?


It was totally my fault for not following the correct rules of style. ("The use of he as a pronoun for nouns embracing both genders is a simple, practical convention rooted in the beginnings of the English language." The Elements of Sytle, Strunk and White, 4th Ed.) It is the same in Spanish.

Lately, I have observed this practice of using "she" instead of "he". As Strunk and White say, and I quote from the same book: "Currently, however, many writers find the use of the generic he or his to rename indefinite antecedents limiting or offensive". I just followed suit and caused yours, and probably somebody else's confusion. I apologize.


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Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 02:39
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
When to contact May 26, 2010

When I do a big project I usually deliver long before deadline. I would never like to work on a translation when the PM phones me repeatedly and the deadline is at hand.

The Pm should firstly use e-mail for inquiry, secondly SMS and only phone, if he is sure that the translator did not answer those mails. IN any case make sure that you contact when the translator is in the office, not having lunch or spending time with his family etc.
In big projects there should be no need for fast respond to inquiries.

A PM needs good nerves, I realise.
Regards
Heinrich


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Susan van den Ende  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 01:39
English to Dutch
+ ...
On topic: partial deliveries May 26, 2010

I've had the experience once or twice.

You live, you learn: I now cut large projects up into smaller ones with intermediate deadlines. Allows for closer monitoring, timely feedback, and more regular invoicing and financial risk management on all sides.


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