Pages in topic:   [1 2 3] >
Availability for the next 13 months
Thread poster: Ketty Federico

Ketty Federico  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 01:25
Member (2011)
German to Italian
+ ...
Jan 21, 2014

Hi everyone,
I'd like to enquire whether you have been in this situation already and if you haven't, how you'd behave.

I happen to have sent my application for an EU tender with a translation agency and they happen to like my profile and want me to be part of the team.
Now, here's my problem: They are themselves applying for this assignment and there is no certainty that they will get it. However at this phase already, I am supposed to sign a Statement of Exclusivity and Availability.

No problem for the Exclusivity part, but I am concerned about the second point as if I sign, I'd commit to be available for them until end of February 2015. This means that unless there is an illness or "force majeure", I commit to accepting and delivering their translation assignments.

As you can understand, at this point I don't know what will happen, so this is a dream (I really am into the topic and this would mean regular workload for a long time) and a nightmare (I can't exactly predict where my life will go in the next 13 months).
I must confess that I am really hesitant.

Has anyone already experienced a similar situation?
They say that if I refuse to take their tasks later, "I may be subject to exclusion from other tender procedures and contracts and that the notification of award of contract to the tenderer may be rendered null and void". This last part might be connected with a damage for the agency and problems for me?

Anyone wanting to give me their advice? Thanks in advance!


 

Tiffany Hardy  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 01:25
Spanish to English
What happens beyond the 13 months? Jan 21, 2014

Hi Ketty.

It sounds to me as if you have to decide to work exclusively with one client for the next 13 months. I would think long and hard about, not only the advantages to having a steady stream of work from one client for 13 months, but what the future is beyond the 13 months.

I was recently encouraged by my former boss with the European Commission to apply for a contract agent position. This is a three year contract and while it sounds very appealing to have 3 years to not feel that worry the new translator feels, I have to think where I could be in my business 3 years from now. If I am right back at square one, and worse, having to start all over again, I would have had a nice 3 years, but in exchange for what? If I forget it and decide to spend those 3 years giving my all to my translation business, I may be in a much better position three years from now than I would be if I decided to go back to the EC.

Think along those lines. Where will this leave you in 13 months? Will it mean that you have lost a half a dozen good clients and will have to knock on doors all over again with no future tender with the EU? Will the work with the EU open doors for more tenders in the future and so it will be worth it? Could you spend those 13 months working your hardest to secure a more stable client base and forget the tender but be better off?

Lots of questions I'm sure no one can answer except you.

Good luck.


 

Ketty Federico  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 01:25
Member (2011)
German to Italian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Of course Jan 21, 2014

Thanks Tiffany, you are right and I understand your words.

When I stated that Exclusivity is not a problem, I meant that it's obvious for me that I will partecipate with only this agency to this ONE tender.

I'll have to make up my mind or I guess that it could be worth trying to commit to them for a certain amount of words per month and see whether they accept this compromise.

As for the rest, I agree and I experienced this myself: sometimes it's worth waiting and building up something instead of having to start all over again.

Have a nice evening!


 

Kirsten Bodart  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 01:25
Dutch to English
+ ...
Apart from tTiffany's valid points Jan 21, 2014

A few months ago in the German section of this forum, I saw someone living in Germany who was working exclusively for one client (I think the client was in America) being told off for doing that, because the client could actually be forced to pay social contributions due to the fact he is actually employing this 'self-employed' person. I'e. false independence.

I don't know whether the tax office or whoever in Germany would actually apply this rule in practice, but I thought I'd alert you to that issue too, seeing as you are in Germany.

The law definitely states that one is self-employed if one has income from several sources. Not only from one. Probably to protect people both against other people's and their own complacency.

I wouldn't sign it exactly for the reasons Tiffany mentioned. You always have to put your eggs in a lot of different baskets.


 

Ketty Federico  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 01:25
Member (2011)
German to Italian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
No such risk Jan 21, 2014

I am already working for several clients, but I still think that as you both said, this thing deserves some thought.

 

philgoddard
United States
Member (2009)
German to English
+ ...
In my experience Jan 21, 2014

Queries like this never materialize into jobs - they're a waste of your time.

I don't know exactly how the EU bidding process works for agencies, but I think they probably have to give details of who will be working for them. You provide them with all kinds of information, but you never hear from them again, probably because they don't win the contract. This happened to me a few times, and now, when I get requests like this, I politely decline.

The meaning of "be available for them" and "commit to doing their jobs" is extremely vague too. You're a freelance professional, so it's up to you whether you accept each job they offer you.


 

owhisonant (X)  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 01:25
German to English
+ ...
If they were willing to pay me... Jan 21, 2014

...a handsome retainer, I might be willing to think about a deal like this. Otherwise, it's just a sad joke and - I completely agree with the previous poster - a waste of your time.

I also notice you're posting from Germany. Not sure where the agency is, but under German labor law, I believe that if a client binds freelancers into an exclusive contract, then they are no longer freelancers (neither Freiberufler nor Selbständig), and the client could well be subject to pay benefits. Many German companies have run into problems with this "Scheinselbständigkeit" (false self-employment), and even in the very non-socialist US, both Microsoft and Apple ran afoul of the California department of labor some years ago by having a bunch of freelancers on their payroll that were working exclusively and full-time for the respective company for a year, two, sometimes three. They had to pay millions in back benefits to the State, and to the "freelancers".

Anyway, unless the agency is willing to make a solid financial commitment to you, don't even consider signing any agreements of that nature.


Best, OW


 

Tim Friese  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 18:25
Member (2013)
Arabic to English
+ ...
Agreed - obligations come with compensation Jan 21, 2014

owhisonant wrote:

...a handsome retainer, I might be willing to think about a deal like this. Otherwise, it's just a sad joke and - I completely agree with the previous poster - a waste of your time.



I've talked with clients about similar issues but have yet to see this work materialize. Once someone actually demands I sign such a document, I will consider what my minimum retainer would be (just guessing: something like 1/2 my minimum monthly income, even if there is no work).


 

Emma Goldsmith  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 01:25
Member (2010)
Spanish to English
Snap Jan 22, 2014

philgoddard wrote:

Queries like this never materialize into jobs ....

This happened to me a few times, and now, when I get requests like this, I politely decline.



Exactly my experience.


 

Francesca Pozza
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:25
Member (2008)
English to Italian
+ ...
Same request Jan 22, 2014

Hi Ketty,

I received the same request yesterday, possibly from the same agency, but I deleted it as soon as I read Statement of Exclusivity and Availability.

I agree with Emma and philgoddard. I tried to apply for these jobs a few times in the past, filling in all the forms and signing all the documents they requested, but I never got anything from them. Now when I see "Application for an EU tender" I don't even read their email.

Good luck


 

Łukasz Gos-Furmankiewicz  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 01:25
English to Polish
+ ...
... Jan 22, 2014

I hate tenders. Everything's wrong about them.

Availability is a contractual benefit. A contractual benefit requires commensurate consideration (i.e. more or less equivalent pay) or no deal.

Plus, pay's usually lousy in those deals, while there's a lot of reference materials and a heckload of previous translations to remain consistent with. Booooring! And tedious.

I'm a lawyer by education, but I give EU stuff a wide berth.


 

Jo Macdonald  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 01:25
Member (2005)
Italian to English
+ ...
Agree with OW and Phil Jan 22, 2014

probably won't end up as work but if you want me to be on call for the next year let's agree to a monthly retainer of say €1.000, to be deducted from any actual work, but payable in any case if I'm just sitting around in your waiting room.

 

Lorraine Bathurst
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:25
Member (2008)
Spanish to English
+ ...
I third that Jan 22, 2014

Emma Goldsmith wrote:

philgoddard wrote:

Queries like this never materialize into jobs ....

This happened to me a few times, and now, when I get requests like this, I politely decline.



Exactly my experience.



Me too.

In my experience lots of agencies contact you (presumably for the same tender), like your profile and make you go through a long-winded process of form filling - then you never hear from them again.


Regards


 

Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 01:25
Member
Spanish to English
+ ...
They could use your stuff without you knowing Jan 22, 2014

Call me cynical, but in the dim and distant past I submitted the CVs and whatnot, but haven't done it since because I simply couldn't be bothered with all the paperwork, and also because I suspect the tendering agencies hand over the best CVs of the translators they allegedly intend to use to keep the penpushers and donneurs d'ordre in the Brussels machine happy, but don't use those translators if they finally romp home with the big contract. They'll use the translators they've always used.

Mervyn


 

Ketty Federico  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 01:25
Member (2011)
German to Italian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Well, Jan 22, 2014

I see none of you has made good experiences with tenders.
I answered that agency, most probably the same one Francesca is in contact with (if it's based on a small island), and asked for my conditions (assessed number of words per month, so that I can do it aside of other jobs, and my rate for this kind of translation).
Let's see if they get back to me or not.
I hate the paperwork myself but I want to see where this goes, especially because the job is in the main field of my specialization.
I'll keep you posted


 
Pages in topic:   [1 2 3] >


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:


You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

Availability for the next 13 months

Advanced search







Protemos translation business management system
Create your account in minutes, and start working! 3-month trial for agencies, and free for freelancers!

The system lets you keep client/vendor database, with contacts and rates, manage projects and assign jobs to vendors, issue invoices, track payments, store and manage project files, generate business reports on turnover profit per client/manager etc.

More info »
CafeTran Espresso
You've never met a CAT tool this clever!

Translate faster & easier, using a sophisticated CAT tool built by a translator / developer. Accept jobs from clients who use SDL Trados, MemoQ, Wordfast & major CAT tools. Download and start using CafeTran Espresso -- for free

More info »



Forums
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search