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Would you accept a very urgent job from an outsourcer you don't know using an unfamiliar CAT tool?
Thread poster: Tom in London

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:40
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Jun 17, 2016

I had an offer like that yesterday. I didn't take on the job because:

- I have other regular clients who are likely to ask me for urgent jobs at any time, and they take precedence;

- I would have had to find the online CAT tool, allow it access to my computer, and learn it URGENTLY;

- I would have had to forgo my evening meal and probably not go to bed until late;

- The material to be translated was not interesting to work on;

- Etc.

Your thoughts? Would you accept a very urgent job from an outsourcer you don't know using an online CAT tool you've never used before?


[Edited at 2016-06-17 08:59 GMT]


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Jenny Forbes  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:40
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
Quite simply ... Jun 17, 2016

No, I wouldn't.

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Jo Macdonald  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 22:40
Member (2005)
Italian to English
+ ...
Nope Jun 17, 2016

I tend to avoid urgent jobs and as soon as a PM uses the word "urgent" in a mail I use a 30% surcharge to see if it really is that urgent.

I only use my own CAT tool, Studio 2014, which I can also use to process MemoQ files for the few clients who use that CAT.


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Vladimir Pochinov  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 23:40
Member (2002)
English to Russian
No online CAT tools at this point for me Jun 17, 2016

I prefer using my desktop SDL Trados Studio 2015 Professional, and I am quite satisfied with the demand for my services as it is now, therefore I would not be interested in learning an unfamiliar CAT tool, unless the client looks very promising from the business point of view.

Moreover, I had to drop several clients after they switched to online translation platforms that proved to be sluggish and not user-friendly at the time (they may function much better these days).


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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:40
Member (2008)
Italian to English
TOPIC STARTER
As it happens Jun 17, 2016

As it happens, about 5 minutes after I rejected that job, a regular client contacted me with an urgent translation for delivery today.

Had I accepted the Hungarian job I'd have had to say "no" to a really important regular customer !


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Lingua 5B  Identity Verified
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Local time: 22:40
English to Croatian
+ ...
No, but I have a better one... Jun 17, 2016

the other day, I got this message from a ProZ user:

Can you please translate the following items for me as a favor:

item 1
item 2
etc

Should I have reported this to ProZ, is this in line with the rules? I just knew the time would come when they would come up with something even worse than free tests. Free tests are at least a disguise of a "favour", but now I got this request directly.

This ProZ user is an agency with loads of BB 5s. I have never worked with them or dealt with them in any way before.


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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 21:40
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
No, I wouldn't! Jun 17, 2016

I never accept an urgent assignment as a first job from a new client or to put it in another words I only accept urgent jobs from very regular clients.

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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 21:40
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
A better one? Jun 17, 2016

Lingua 5B wrote:

the other day, I got this message from a ProZ user:

Can you please translate the following items for me as a favor:

item 1
item 2
etc

Should I have reported this to ProZ, is this in line with the rules? I just knew the time would come when they would come up with something even worse than free tests. Free tests are at least a disguise of a "favour", but now I got this request directly.

This ProZ user is an agency with loads of BB 5s. I have never worked with them or dealt with them in any way before.




Some weeks ago, I had a phone call in the middle of the night from a Brazilian translator, whom I didn't know nor had ever met, asking me as a favor if I could review his translation and adapt it to European Portuguese! I believe he said he was a Proz.com member but I was so startled that I can't remember his name...


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Yasutomo Kanazawa  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:40
English to Japanese
+ ...
Never Jun 17, 2016

Because by the time delivery is due, I'm quite sure that I would still be struggling with the unfamiliar CAT tool.

[Edited at 2016-06-18 05:19 GMT]


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 21:40
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Urgency is for regular clients only Jun 17, 2016

Teresa Borges wrote:
I never accept an urgent assignment as a first job from a new client or to put it in another words I only accept urgent jobs from very regular clients.

IMHO, it would be total folly to accept an urgent job for a new client. There was an item missing from your list, Tom - the most important item:
- I would have had to accept before I'd thoroughly checked them out, had sniffed out for myself whether I thought they were to be trusted, and had got all the necessary agreements and authorisations down in black and white.

It's no good just doing due diligence when you have time and abandoning it when you don't. You're too likely to come unstuck. Who is it that has urgent requests all the time? The ones that are badly organised and more likely to go bust!


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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:40
Member (2008)
Italian to English
TOPIC STARTER
nope... Jun 17, 2016

Sheila Wilson wrote:

....There was an item missing from your list, Tom - the most important item...


The last item on my list was "etc." because there was a lot more - including of course the thing you mention ! I didn't even get that far but yes, I would of course have had to do what I always do: ensure I had a full business address for them, checked anything suspicious on the BlueBoard (such as too many glowing 5s), written confirmation of the job and the rate, the word count, etc. All the usual things I hope we all do.

[Edited at 2016-06-17 11:37 GMT]


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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:40
Member (2008)
Italian to English
TOPIC STARTER
Ha ha Jun 17, 2016

Yasutomo Kanazawa wrote:

Because by the time it's delivery time, I'm quite sure that I would still be struggling with the unfamiliar CAT tool.


You made me laugh there because that's where I'd be too!


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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:40
Member (2008)
Italian to English
TOPIC STARTER
Forgot Jun 17, 2016

I also forgot to say that on top of everything else this was a tiny job - 500 words ! Definitely not an economic proposal. I'm left wondering why any agency would think they could ask a translator they don't know to take on a very urgent extremely small job using an unfamiliar CAT tool. Surely the agency has at least one translator they know who could do it for them, and who is already familiar with their CAT tool?

[Edited at 2016-06-17 11:45 GMT]


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 22:40
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Yes Jun 17, 2016

Tom in London wrote:
Would you accept a very urgent job from an outsourcer you don't know using an unfamiliar CAT tool?


Yes, because it is a new client. New clients whom you help out in an emergency have a way of becoming repeat clients.


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Kevin Fulton  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 16:40
German to English
No, No and No Jun 17, 2016

I don't take urgent jobs from potentially new clients, I won't use online tools, and at this point in my life, if I can't use one of the three CAT tools I currently have, then I don't want the job, no matter what the deadline might be.

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