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Suddenly stopped receiving work
Thread poster: Chiara Gavasso

Chiara Gavasso  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 23:49
Member (2012)
English to Italian
+ ...
Apr 16

Dear colleagues,

I'd like your advice on this: I worked with two large translation companies for a couple of years on a regular basis, I translated and proofread many projects for both, I've never heard any complaint. I always met deadlines. I suppose they were happy with my performance, and sending me work over and over confirmed that. At times I had to turn jobs down because I was already overwhelmed and I couldn't handle too many things at a time and still make sure the result was good. But afterwards I still received other translation jobs.
Then, all of a sudden and at the same time, I stopped receiving work from both of them (I know it's a coincidence). Like nothing, for months now. I know it happens, and sometimes companies undergo financial/structural/organisational changes that may have an impact on outsourcers, too. I loved working with them: projects - some of them very technical - were really interesting, deadlines reasonable, rates good, and I'd like to resume my collaboration with them.

Do you think I should just send an honest email to one PM (I used to be in contact with several PMs in either company) and remind them I'm available and I'd love to work with them again? Or should I just let it go?

Thank you in advance!
Chiara


 

Katalin Szilárd  Identity Verified
Hungary
Local time: 23:49
Member (2006)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Call Apr 16

Chiara Gavasso wrote:


Do you think I should just send an honest email to one PM (I used to be in contact with several PMs in either company) and remind them I'm available and I'd love to work with them again? Or should I just let it go?

Thank you in advance!
Chiara


No email. Call them and ask them.

[Edited at 2019-04-16 09:44 GMT]


Click-&-Transl8
 

Elizabeth Tamblin  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:49
Member (2012)
French to English
Hi Chiara Apr 16

I'm afraid I don't have any advice, but just wanted to say I sympathise with your dilemma. This has happened to me on several occasions. Like you, I have wondered whether to email them to remind them of my existence, but then suddenly they will start sending work again.

I certainly don't think there's anything to lose by sending a polite inquiry.icon_smile.gif


Chris S
Robert Forstag
 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:49
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Other fish in the sea Apr 16

Exactly the same thing has happened to me - and as in your case, with two Italian agencies that had been giving me lots of regular work every month (I wonder if they are the same two agencies ??!!)

I don't desperately need these two agencies because I have quite a wide range of other clients who give me work.

I am left to speculate as to why these two agencies appear to have abandoned me. But I don't see any point in asking them why. The PMs know me and my work, and have always been very happy with it. When they need me, they know where I am. They'll be back.

The moral of this story is: never become over-dependent on any particular agencies because at some point, they will abandon you.

[Edited at 2019-04-16 10:26 GMT]


Viviane Marx
DZiW
Jane F
Teresa Borges
Cecile Andrade
ahartje
Katalin Szilárd
 

DZiW
Ukraine
English to Russian
+ ...
Go ahead Apr 16

Chiara, it's a pity if translation is your principal source of income, because as a business lady you should constantly assess and mitigate the risks, diversifying the cashflow via other local/clients/places, language pairs/fields, activities (like rewriting/copywriting, mentoring, or interpreting...), and Plan B/C/D.

Check their websites, and call or write them a message on an event, but not too pushy, begging or needy: They are not the end clients, just re/distributors.

Good luck


Chris S
Vadim Kadyrov
 

Tina Vonhof
Canada
Local time: 15:49
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
@DZiW Apr 16

Assuming that Chiara is dependent on these two agencies and does not have other clients is essentially saying: it's your own fault because you were too dependent on these two agencies. If you read her post, you'll see that she clearly states: "At times I had to turn jobs down because I was already overwhelmed and I couldn't handle too many things at a time and still make sure the result was good."

Many people, myself included, want or need to limit their work load and prefer to have a small number of more or less regular clients. They don't want to become overwhelmed and do a less than perfect job.

And to Chiara: I understand how you feel, losing a good client is distressing. You may be wondering why and whether it had anything to do with the quality of your work. These agencies may have financial difficulties, or they in turn don't want to become too dependent on you and are trying to add more translators in your language combination to their 'stable'. Some agencies don't like it when you turn work down, they go searching for another translator and then decide to stay with them. Don't worry too much about the 'why and wherefore', you may never find out. In the meantime, I hope you'll soon get a few new clients to fill the gap.


[Edited at 2019-04-16 15:12 GMT]


Elizabeth Tamblin
Kevin Fulton
sam@fr-uk
Maaike van Vlijmen
Vera Schoen
Sandra& Kenneth
 

Katalin Szilárd  Identity Verified
Hungary
Local time: 23:49
Member (2006)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
It's worth a call Apr 16

DZiW wrote:


Check their websites, and call or write them a message on an event, but not too pushy,

Good luck


This is the part I agreed with. It happened to me before that there was a misunderstanding (not language related) between my client and me, and after the call we figured out we misunderstood each other concerning the project.
If you call them you shouldn't be pushy or humble, but ask it straight.

So if the client moved on to another translator or if it's not a misunderstanding, then you should move on.
As Tom in London said: there are plenty of fishes in the sea. Maybe you get better ones.icon_wink.gif


Andrew Morris
Christine Andersen
 

Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Swedish to English
+ ...
Ask Apr 16

I would ask why. You've got nothing to lose.

Michele Fauble
Katalin Szilárd
Christine Andersen
 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:49
Member (2008)
Italian to English
I wouldn't. Apr 16

Chris S wrote:

I would ask why. You've got nothing to lose.


I disagree. You'd be losing face. It might look as if you're short of work because they're not giving you any; which would put you in a bad position if they follow up by suggesting that you lower your rate.


Teresa Borges
Robert Forstag
LEXpert
Vera Schoen
Sandra& Kenneth
Andrew Morris
Josephine Cassar
 

Elizabeth Tamblin  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:49
Member (2012)
French to English
Good point Apr 16

Tom in London wrote:

Chris S wrote:

I would ask why. You've got nothing to lose.


I disagree. You'd be losing face. It might look as if you're short of work because they're not giving you any; which would put you in a bad position if they follow up by suggesting that you lower your rate.


I think that's why I erred on the side of not sending the email.icon_smile.gif


Tom in London
Teresa Borges
Robert Forstag
Tina Vonhof
 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:49
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Wise move Apr 16

Elizabeth Tamblin wrote:

I think that's why I erred on the side of not sending the email.icon_smile.gif


Wise moveicon_smile.gif


Elizabeth Tamblin
Teresa Borges
Josephine Cassar
 

Katalin Szilárd  Identity Verified
Hungary
Local time: 23:49
Member (2006)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Too many possibilities Apr 16

Tom in London wrote:

Chris S wrote:

I would ask why. You've got nothing to lose.


I disagree. You'd be losing face. It might look as if you're short of work because they're not giving you any; which would put you in a bad position if they follow up by suggesting that you lower your rate.


There are way too many possibilities here. Honestly she doesn't know till she asks. Email issues can happen or temporary office closure, long vacation, totally new staff are hired at the office or yes, it can happen that the agency moved on to another translator (or to whatever else). If they were satisfied with her work but the agency moved on, it's the agency's problem not her. If that's the case she will find better ones.icon_smile.gif


 

Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Swedish to English
+ ...
Different experience Apr 16

Tom in London wrote:
I disagree. You'd be losing face. It might look as if you're short of work because they're not giving you any; which would put you in a bad position if they follow up by suggesting that you lower your rate.

My experience of agencies has never been that adversarial. I generally find them friendly and helpful.

The occasional lean period is inevitable, and there have been occasions over the years when I've swallowed my pride and asked for work, and they've bent over backwards to find me something, not screw me on price.

It's also easy to get forgotten when project managers move on, so I still think it's worth getting in touch.


Kevin Fulton
Matthias Eng
Mohammad Naim
Andrew Morris
Diana Coada
Melanie Meyer
 

Stepan Konev  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 00:49
English to Russian
Expired agreements? Apr 16

Before you get work from some agencies (e.g. Lionbridge), you have to sign agreement(s) like NDA, I-Will-Never-Use-MT, etc. Those agreements may expire from time to time. Make sure that you do not have such expired documents. If you do, sign them (electronically by pressing 'I agree' or 'Submit' or else...) and check if it resolves your situation.

 

Helen Shiner  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:49
Member (2008)
German to English
+ ...
Contact Apr 16

Perhaps you could just contact them, or all your clients, with details of your availability over the Easter holidays? You remind them that you are there, you're saying you're open to receiving work without sounding desperate, and you're ostensibly helping them out with their planning. It might be a change of project manager, who has checked their database and has chosen to work with someone else. It might be they have reduced the rates they are prepared to pay across the agency as a whole. But who knows? You may get no response, or you may just prompt them to send you work and the hurdle is overcome.

Chris S
Teresa Borges
Elizabeth Tamblin
Sabine Braun
Tom in London
Kuochoe Nikoi
Tina Vonhof
 
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