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Fake people and rude colleagues
Thread poster: Andreas Granzow

Andreas Granzow
Germany
Local time: 23:07
German to English
+ ...
Feb 6, 2017

Hello and Hi from Germany,

While outsourcing some work over the past few months, I ran across some seriously strange people.

The first kind ... those, who claim to be a translator. Complete with CV, Name etc, but when checked up on the name, none of these have an FB, LinkedIn or any account. The net doesn't know them.
That in itself wouldn't be a problem ... I don't particularly care for much about me being on the net either. But those supposed translators can't even write a 5 line mail without a bunch of issues ... in their native language?

And then there is the other kind ... those who DO exist as real people and who's profile, CV and name actually match. But they are rude to an extent where I loose the will to outsource anything. Emails are answered with single words, no courtesy, no politeness, nothing. Quite frankly, I find this an insult to any standards and to our industry.

And then, of course, the third kind ... the special snowflakes. Now, I have been in the business for roughly 16 years. So I do have my habits as well. But when a freelancer is supposed to be working on a project but I receive an email from him/her every five minutes. Wanting this and that, clarifying this or that or the other (even though things have been clarified to begin with). And then the special snowflake whining of "I would prefer this, I would prefer that" - sorry but that is where my courtesy ends ... very fast. Best example today: an outsourced file was sent to the freelancer at 8:00 in the morning. At noon, she was still sending emails to me in 10-minute intervals, asking for special this and special that, after everything was negotiated yesterday already.

How about you, dear colleagues? What special snowflakes, ruffians or other strange people have you met during your odyssey?


 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 22:07
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Very strange Feb 6, 2017

Andreas Granzow wrote:
The first kind ... those, who claim to be a translator. Complete with CV, Name etc, but when checked up on the name, none of these have an FB, LinkedIn or any account. The net doesn't know them.
That in itself wouldn't be a problem ... I don't particularly care for much about me being on the net either. But those supposed translators can't even write a 5 line mail without a bunch of issues ... in their native language?

Until I read the last sentence I was thinkng "So what?". But then they sounded like scammers who had stolen or fabricated their CV. But surely there can't be many of them around. How many have you encountered?

And then there is the other kind ... those who DO exist as real people and who's profile, CV and name actually match. But they are rude to an extent where I loose the will to outsource anything. Emails are answered with single words, no courtesy, no politeness, nothing. Quite frankly, I find this an insult to any standards and to our industry.

Most weird. I can't see how they'd get any work that way. No repeat custom, at any rate.

And then, of course, the third kind ... the special snowflakes. Now, I have been in the business for roughly 16 years. So I do have my habits as well. But when a freelancer is supposed to be working on a project but I receive an email from him/her every five minutes. Wanting this and that, clarifying this or that or the other (even though things have been clarified to begin with). And then the special snowflake whining of "I would prefer this, I would prefer that" - sorry but that is where my courtesy ends ... very fast. Best example today: an outsourced file was sent to the freelancer at 8:00 in the morning. At noon, she was still sending emails to me in 10-minute intervals, asking for special this and special that, after everything was negotiated yesterday already.

Well, the only thing I can think of there is that not everything can really be settled before the translator has received the file. I would think it quite possible to have queries about formatting, style, etc. Especially if it's for a new client.

To be honest, if it's happening more than very rarely I'd advise you to scrutinise your own selection and communications procedures. There must be something that's increasing your chances of meeting up with poor or scamming suppliers.


 
Post removed: This post was hidden by a moderator or staff member because it was not in line with site rule

Elif Baykara Narbay  Identity Verified
Turkey
Local time: 01:07
German to Turkish
+ ...
Hello. Feb 6, 2017

Sorry to hear that you had such unpleasant experiences.

No fake people on my side. And with direct clients, I had never such problems. When I look back to my communications, I can tell only a few such rudeness cases. I am not an outsourcer and I am specialized in a few areas, for example in medical translations. So, I translate only documents from these areas and I don't accept other offers. My profile here is quite explicit and when I register on agency databases, I try to be explicit, too. So, when project managers come up with silly translation requests in other areas such as law or business, I give them a negative note for this. And if they continue to ask for translations, I feel kind of frustrated and most of the time, I delete them from my client list, because I don't need agency clients who cannot or do not pay attention to such an issue.

Elif


 

Jean Lachaud  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 17:07
English to French
+ ...
Hobbyists Feb 6, 2017

I have been in the industry >35 years, both as in-house and free-lancer.

Scammers, pretending to be translators have been around, just like any other profession, since the Internet was created.

Incompetent alleged translators are a dime a dozen, if that much.

Finally, it has been clear for at least a decade that many translators are not professional full-timers, but hobbyist or wannabees trying to make a few bucks at home after dinner.


 

Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 22:08
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
I've been very lucky: so far I haven't encountered any of those Feb 6, 2017

I do outsource work when I have requests for languages I don't cover (always from and into European Portuguese) and I have been working with the same tested, approved and trusted translators for ages. Whenever European Portuguese is not involved I might refer the client to a few colleagues (most of them are Prozians)…

 

Robert Rietvelt  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:08
Member (2006)
Spanish to Dutch
+ ...
Unclear agencies Feb 6, 2017

"How about you, dear colleagues? What special snowflakes, ruffians or other strange people have you met during your odyssey?"

(Please see title) I, as a translator, receive(d) mails like: 'Hi Guys, I got a text to translate. If you are interested, please let me know (no language combination, no Kind regards, no name of the PM and no name' of the agency, which I have to search for in their email address, and even then...).

My point here is that it happens in both ways. The agency can be bonafide, the PM makes a mess of it.

Just for the sake of my comment that I would accept the job, I would be 'on the line' every 10 minutes to get the information straight before starting. So yes, I can understand your snowflakes.

Ruffians is another story, always be and stay polite!


 

Robin Levey
Chile
Local time: 19:08
Spanish to English
+ ...
Seriously strange people? Feb 6, 2017

What you describe sounds like something you could say about pretty well anyone* you meet in the "modern world".
If I had time to write about all the snowflakes, ruffians or other strange people I've met during my odyssey, I very much doubt you’d get past the first 500 pages before realizing you’d have done better to avoid asking ...
RL
* Present company excepted, of course!


 

Álvaro Espantaleón Moreno  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 23:08
Member (2015)
English to Spanish
Was your budget low? Feb 6, 2017

Low budgets can explain some of those: you bump into individuals that will lie to their teeth and end up sending you any shit, but also with good translators that are frustrated because they had to accept your budget and promising but inexperienced ones (ask too many questions, too chatty, etc.)

 

Lincoln Hui  Identity Verified
Hong Kong
Local time: 06:08
Member
Chinese to English
+ ...
Short answers Feb 7, 2017

Emails are answered with single words, no courtesy, no politeness

Well, on a mobile device, it's hard to write anything substantial. And sometimes there isn't a real need for anything other than short and to the point - if a verified client asks, "can you deliver this job by this date at this rate", is anything other than a Yes or No necessary?

Full disclosure: Guilty of short emails as charged.


 

Angela Rimmer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:08
Member (2014)
German to English
+ ...
Vetting, low budgets, and too-short email replies Feb 7, 2017

Andreas Granzow wrote:

How about you, dear colleagues? What special snowflakes, ruffians or other strange people have you met during your odyssey?


I came across more of these in an outsourcing capacity when I worked as a project manager for an agency, and we had a database full of all sorts of translators who had been added over decades, and I wasn't always at liberty to pick and choose carefully because of time or budget constraints (you can't say no as easily to customers when it's not your company so sometimes you get stuck trying to place some very difficult jobs that no sane professional translator would accept). So, yes, they exist. But now, running my own company, I don't really have that issue. Perhaps you need better vetting strategies to weed out scam artists and hobbyists and avoid working with translators whose working style does not mesh well with yours.

Álvaro Espantaleón wrote:

Low budgets can explain some of those: you bump into individuals that will lie to their teeth and end up sending you any shit, but also with good translators that are frustrated because they had to accept your budget and promising but inexperienced ones (ask too many questions, too chatty, etc.)


It annoys me that this seems to be the go-to response to complaints about unprofessional "professionals". Yes, low budgets can definitely explain a lot, but let's not pretend there aren't some "special snowflakes" out there who either require too much hand-holding to get them through projects or who are rude for no apparent reason. I once had a Brazilian translator send me a five-page diatribe berating me because I placed a project with another translator after not hearing from him for six hours. He said that when I didn't receive a reply from him, I should have called him on his mobile like some of his other clients do. I had a German-to-English translator tell me he will only use Word for translations. When I said that unfortunately I needed a translator who would work with a CAT tool, he sent me a 15-page self-made "instruction manual" on using macros in Word and then implied that I was too stupid to understand macros anyway. I once had a translator simply write a reply that read "F*ck off" to a request to update his details if he wanted to remain on the database. After investigating our relationship with him to determine where the animosity had come from, we could not find a single issue -- no unpaid invoices, late payments, badly run projects, annoying "spammy" agency emails, etc.

None of these cases involved low rates -- in fact all of these translators were asked to name their own price. All this to say that sometimes people are just rude (or maybe they are just having REALLY bad days and you just catch them at a bad time) and sometimes people expect special treatment that goes beyond what is reasonable. But luckily there are plenty of professional, high-quality translators out there, and in my experience they far outnumber the bad apples.

Robin Levey wrote:

What you describe sounds like something you could say about pretty well anyone* you meet in the "modern world".


Agreed!icon_smile.gif

Lincoln Hui wrote:

...sometimes there isn't a real need for anything other than short and to the point...


Well, yes and no. I think it depends on what kind of relationship you have with the client. If you know each other well enough to send a quick straight-forward response, then great. But if you aren't on those kind of familiar terms, it is probably better in terms of your client relationship management to be less blunt when you respond to their queries.

Not sure using a mobile device is an acceptable excuse -- the client has no idea what device you are using so you are risking them just assuming you are not interested in the relationship because you can't be bothered to write more than a three-word response.


 

Max Hellwig  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:08
Member (2013)
English to German
+ ...
mobile email programs Feb 7, 2017

Angela Rimmer wrote:
Lincoln Hui wrote:

...sometimes there isn't a real need for anything other than short and to the point...


Well, yes and no. I think it depends on what kind of relationship you have with the client. If you know each other well enough to send a quick straight-forward response, then great. But if you aren't on those kind of familiar terms, it is probably better in terms of your client relationship management to be less blunt when you respond to their queries.

Not sure using a mobile device is an acceptable excuse -- the client has no idea what device you are using so you are risking them just assuming you are not interested in the relationship because you can't be bothered to write more than a three-word response.



I don't think using a mobile device should ever be a reason to write emails any different than you would on a desktop computer. Even if the recipient knows it comes from a mobile device, it's a business relationship and should be treated in a professional manner. That said, I do have a disclaimer in my mobile's signature that points out the email was sent from a mobile device, because sometimes those can be a bit obstinate (even more so than Word, just look at the fact that they start every line with a capital letter, even if following a greeting).


 

cloudhunter  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 23:08
Member (2016)
English to German
+ ...
Bein polite regardless of where you are Feb 7, 2017

Andreas Granzow wrote:

Emails are answered with single words, no courtesy, no politeness, nothing. Quite frankly, I find this an insult to any standards and to our industry.



How long have you been working with those? I have some customers, who I work with on a very regular basis and we "greet each other" in the first message on that day but just ask and reply questions in any further ones. I would find it strange to start an e-mail with "Dear John or Sehr geehrter Herr XY" and end it with "Best regards/ Ich verbleibe mit freundlichen Grüßen" only to write a "thank you, all received"icon_biggrin.gif

In this case: guilty as chargedicon_smile.gif

But like Angela said - if it is a new client, I will always greet them and write more than yes or no. It is about being polite, e-mail, or real-life, no difference to me.


 

ahartje
Portugal
Local time: 22:08
Member (2006)
English to German
+ ...
Priorities in life/business Feb 7, 2017

I just have had this experience...again.

A new PM, just started, send an email like: Hello, 664 words Dutch/German by tomorrow, please confirm asap.

No salutation, no signature...nothing.

Even knowing well the client, I replied that I do not accept projets from unknown persons, who do not identify
themselves.

Imho courtesy is part of respect and I demand to be respected by all partners! Period!


 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:08
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Snowflake Feb 7, 2017

I had to Google for "snowflake". Apparently it's a recent introduction into American slang, and has political connotations. It isn't part of my vocabulary. I expect it will disappear again, quite soon.

[Edited at 2017-02-07 12:56 GMT]


 
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