Inner agency working
Thread poster: Jessie Nelson

Jessie Nelson  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 18:51
French to English
Sep 16, 2010

Hello to everyone,
I am working for an agency.
I have completed at least 20 projects for them without interpersonal problems, not easy when communicating only by e mail and phone.
I am an independent contractor working mainly in medical translation.
The subject matter is easy for me because I have a long nursing and insurance background.

Here is my dilemma.
I have had 2 recent instances in which I believe I was treated unfairly
One concerned a project manager who sent me 4 files to translate. One was out of my language combination so I quickly advised her so she could replace. The second I translated and was then told I should not have after it was sent to me. I was not paid for that file.
There were two remaining files. I thought I had better get clarification on these, and emailed for clarification. It was over the weekend.
While waiting for a response,I translated one file and was half way through the other when I tried phoning the agency but couldn't get through. I emailed again, and did get an assistant who emailed me I might have received the files by error. On Monday morning I received a brusque e mail from the project manager advising the second file was pulled since she had not received it.
I called and spoke to her supervisor who told me to send her the emails and QM would investigate.

The second incident occurred this week. I was working with a very nice young man, who had sent me several other files.
This was a large medical file, a hemicolectomy and thryroidectomy. While it is always possible to make an occassional error I am confident my actual translations are right on.
There were six files involved. Now began a fiasco in which files were returned all week for 3 or 4 errors involving very small ommisios with no real bearing on the cases, but of course I corrected them and saved and returned. It was the same 3 or 4 entries and although he claimed I was not correcting them I was.
Each time I re-saved and resent. I even resorted to sending each one individually so confusion would not ensue. I even got an email saying part of the file was missing, and a second e mail with the complete file needing some track changes.
I received a phone call Sunday night at 10:30 asking me to review again. This is my first agency work so I agreed. I reviewed and resent.
This morning I receive an e mail saying that this must be reported, accusing me of not making changes.
This man now does not respond to email, so I have placed a call to his supervisor as well.

Is this a typical agency operation? It is a very large firm with many offices.
Was I foolish to defend myself? Does it matter if I speak up?

What do these reports say. Does anyone contact me?

Thanks to anyone who can reply.


Kevin Fulton  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 18:51
German to English
Disorganized agency Sep 16, 2010

Be firm, but polite in your dealings with this agency. It sounds like they have problems with project management and their QA process.

There are lots of good agencies; I suggest not taking any more jobs from them.


Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 18:51
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
I am not sure I understand Sep 16, 2010

So, are you saying that you are revising files and sending the new versions and they do not see the changes at their end?
Could it be a simple technical issue?

Are you working in MS Word?
When you said you made the changes in the files, how did you do that? Did you open the file directly from the email attachment, made the changes and saved? (If you do that, the modified file may only be in a temporary place and you may still be attaching the old file to your reply email.)
Or did you first save the file from the email you received, made the changes, and saved it with a different name (perhaps a number appended to the filename)?
Is "Track Changes" on, while you are making the changes?
If yes, perhaps they are looking at the file with "Show Original" setting?
(It is better to "accept all changes" in the file and turn off tracking before sending it off, unless the client specifically requests otherwise.)

You need to find out why they do not see the changes you are making.
Check to be sure that the changes are in the file before you send it out. Taking a screenshot maybe a good idea. If you are sure you are sending out the correct files, then ask them what they see, ask them to send the file back, or better than that, ask for a screenshot.

In any case, changing the file name every time you do another revision maybe a good idea - include the full filename in the body of the message.

I hope this helps.


Jessie Nelson  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 18:51
French to English
"accept all changes. Sep 17, 2010

Hi Katalin,
Thank you for taking the time to answer.
Is this a setting "accept all changes".
I am downloading and saving the files so it cant be that.

Thanks again.


Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 18:51
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
MS Word function Sep 17, 2010

I am not sure whether this was the question, but here is a short explanation on the Tracking Changes function in MS Word.
(I have Office 2007.)
If you work in MS Word, and the file has Track Changes turned on (Review->Track Changes), the changes are not finalized until somebody (you, or the next person opening the file) accepts them. Until the changes are accepted, you can get different views of the file by selecting "Original", "Original Showing Markup", "Final" or "Final Showing Markup".
To accept or reject the changes, you use the Changes pane. You can accept/reject individual changes or use the "Accept all Changes in Document".



Soonthon LUPKITARO(Ph.D.)  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:51
Member (2004)
English to Thai
+ ...
Poor language skill of the agency? Sep 17, 2010

I doubt you had bad e-mail writing skill with this agency or not. In a similar situation, the agency I have been working continuously for 7 years sent me a series of confusing e-mail contacts regarding a project in rush. I found that their staffs were natives of many countries who use weird English. I needed to imagine strongly what was going on in that big volume project. I was finally paid fully but was not very happy with the job output. You need to imagine a contact with someone of impaired writing skill.

Soonthon Lupkitaro


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