Pages in topic:   [1 2] >
impatient agencies - is this professional?
Thread poster: Cecilia Di Vita

Cecilia Di Vita  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:20
English to Italian
+ ...
Jan 26, 2007

Dear colleagues,

I'd really like to hear your opinion on this matter, which I find most annoying.

I was contacted by an agency who asked me if I was available for a proofreading assignment to be carried out next week. Their email was sent to me at 1:51 p.m.
I replied at 2:12 p.m. confirming my availability, and then they wrote again at 2:55 p.m. stating that the job had been allocated to someone else.

I really find this habit of sending the same job offer to multiple translators really annoying. I could understand it in case of urgent assignments with a quick turnaround time (let's say, some hours), but for a job which is supposed to begin in 5 days, well... I don't think it's the top of professional behaviour.

I think that an agency in a case like this has all the time to look through their database, choose the most suitable translator, contact him/her and, in case he/she is not available, go on to the next one.

Or am I too sensitive about this?

Cecilia



[Edited at 2007-01-26 14:58]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

shstephaniepark
South Korea
English to Korean
+ ...
Agencies gone with the wind Jan 26, 2007

Believe me that you are not the only one hurt by this kind of wrong work ethics or business etiquette.

In my opinion, by so doing, they probably think they are so professional. Some of them are not even bother to say "regret" or "next time", a kind of gentleman's message.

They are so hurry to get you in making believe that the assignment is yours. Some agencies do same trick to several shortlisted translaters at the same time. Sometimes, even though they say your quote is accepted and assignement will be made soon, you are the only one who received that e-mail.

Well, I just simply think not to think of those kinds of impatient agencies or PMs too much. Furthermore, in my case, my impression is projects of such the-last-minute agency are not big enough, nor that profitable. And any agency wants you for a big or long term project doesn't behave like that.

Sunghee


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Astrid Elke Witte  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 09:20
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
I did the same thing myself only yesterday Jan 26, 2007

I am not even an agency. However, I had an urgent job to dish out yesterday afternoon and sent out several enquiries concerning the same job. I ended up having to tell someone who answered 14 minutes later that the job had already gone.

The circumstances were that the job was relatively urgent, and I had already spent quite some time looking through my database to see who could do it, as well as a couple of hours making a Word document out of a .pdf. I could not really contact anyone before I had the Word document ready, even though I urgently had to find someone to do it, because my experience is that translators do not like waiting to receive a document once they have been given a job. In accordance with the wishes of translators, I had therefore worked intensively for half the afternoon, preparing the Word document first.

As far as I am concerned, there is nothing unprofessional about sending out several enquiries at the same time, when I do not know which of those people are at home waiting for a translation and which have gone into the city to the January sales. It is unrealistic to rely on only one person either being there to answer at that moment or happening to have time to do the work by the date it is required. I had concluded a contract with the end client already, and was not in a position to do the job myself. It was not the case that the job had to be done in a couple of hours, either, but it had to be done for Monday, it was quite long and, on Thursday, you have to watch out, because there is a weekend coming up and not everyone works at weekends.

It would be unprofessional to let the client down, and not be able to arrange to get it done in time. That would also put me in the position of risking having to pay a translator in the end, while not having my own invoice paid by a dissatisfied end client.

Astrid


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Livia Seniuc  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 09:20
English to Romanian
+ ...
nice coincidence Jan 26, 2007

Ciao Cecilia,

The same thing happened to me last night, at quite "early hours".
Returning home around 10.30 pm I found this email sent an hour earlier with a job offer from an agency. The information provided was very detailed and the conditions ok, so I gladly answered right away, immaginig that my outsourcer would have read my message the first thing in the morning and the deal would have been concluded positively for both of us.
Considering the LATE HOUR I had both received and sent the emails, I completly excluded a negative answer from them: 1. because they said they were very convinced by my profile, 2. because the payment was suggested on a lump sum basis, and it was ok for me. So I stayed late to look at the file, consider some terminology, etc....
The outcome: at 2.20 a.m. I received their answer in which I was being told that considering that I didn't respond in time, the job had been assigned to someone else.

I'm really shaken up! I mean: is this the world we are living and working in? I have already accepted that having a private life is almost a "fault" nowadays in the eyes of work providers, but still: does it have to be a race against time and against each other....at this speed?



[Editat la 2007-01-26 19:54]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Livia Seniuc  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 09:20
English to Romanian
+ ...
- Jan 26, 2007



[Editat la 2007-01-26 18:54]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

telefpro
Local time: 12:50
Portuguese to English
+ ...
The perennial problem Jan 26, 2007

I think the matter centers around this hypothesis: Too many translators chasing too few assignments.Perhaps, it is a rat race across the globe. Translators and translators in all the seven continents. The early bird catches the worm, I suppose. Cheers, the scenario is not that gloomy!!!!

[Edited at 2007-01-26 16:30]

[Edited at 2007-01-26 16:31]


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Steffen Pollex  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:20
English to German
+ ...
Don't we have a market economy? Jan 26, 2007


I'm really shaken up! I mean: is this the world we are living and working in? I have already accepted that having a private life is almost a "fault" nowadays in the eyes of work providers, but still: does it have to be a race against time?



I don't see anything to be "shaken up" about.

Isn't the agency free to choose the very first replier, or anyone else at their own discretion? I think it is.

Your problem if it is not you, right (meaning all of us)?

And, BTW,the whole life is a race against time, in case anyone did not know.

I can only recommend to once more read the classics on this.

[Edited at 2007-01-26 16:31]

[Edited at 2007-01-26 16:32]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Steven Capsuto  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 03:20
Spanish to English
+ ...
What's the issue here? Jan 26, 2007

This strikes me as a reasonable business practice and I don't understand the objection. Any time I receive a request to submit a price quote, I take it for granted that the same request is being sent to other translators. In my opinion, it would be silly for an agency to do otherwise.

I could see being annoyed if they hadn't had the courtesy to indicate that the job was assigned, in which case you might have wasted valuable time putting together a proposal.

Agencies are in the business of getting jobs assigned to linguists. If project managers can place a project quickly and then get on with the rest of the numerous other tasks for which they are responsible, they will and should do so.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Cecilia Di Vita  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:20
English to Italian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
not my ideal scenario Jan 26, 2007

I know that agencies surely have their reasons to act this way, but I find this approach really too cynical for me. Of course we do live in a market economy, of course the early bird catches the worm, of course our life is a race aginst time but... If I can choose I do not want to stick to this kind of lifestyle. I find it too stressful and frustrating. If I can choose, I prefer to work with agencies who call me on my mobile to say "hey, I've sent you an email with a job, can you please check it and reply asap?". This is the kind of professional relationships I hope to establish with my customers.

Cecilia


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Livia Seniuc  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 09:20
English to Romanian
+ ...
- Jan 26, 2007

No one questions the legitimacy of competition, the outsourcers' or fellow colleagues' right to make a selection or to compete for one, no one pretends to live blindfolded and not see that life tends to be a rat race, and no one even pretends or expects to be always assigned the job, etc etc etc.
I think most of us are "professionally grown up" to accept the rules of the game.
The point of my intervention was another one - a mere (and maybe too personal reflection) on our life and work inside of this system:
.....if one already spends 12 h/day in front of the computer for work, and is still being told to not be "fast enough" to answer in the shamefully few hours one is left to remember that he/she is still a human being....what is he/she supposed to understand? is one not striving enough?

I guess not....it is not a big problem in the end....but it has a sad aftertaste sometimes.

I wish a nice evening to you all))

[Editat la 2007-01-26 19:04]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Laura Gentili  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 09:20
Member (2003)
English to Italian
+ ...
My opinion Jan 26, 2007

Sending mass emails might save the PM's time, but results in a waist of time for tens of translators who spend time answering the message, looking at the files and in some cases even saying no to other concomitant projects.

In my experience I have encountered the following situations:

- PM's who asks a translator first, wait for his/her answer, then moves to the next one

- PM's who occasionally sends a mass email for an urgent job, stating it clearly and apologizing for doing so (fine with me)

- PM's who sends a mass email which looks like a personal request to a specific translator. I find this very annoying and once I realize a particular PM behaves like this, I tend not to answer to such mass emails, since I feel no obligations to answer.

For example, I work for a huge translation company based in NYC with tens of PM's. Only a few of them use mass emails without explicitly saying so (they probably think to save time in such way, without realizing that doing so they might compromise their relationship with FL's which at the end will bring them and their company a damage) and I have noticed over time they tend to stop doing so and go back to personal requests.

Laura


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Astrid Elke Witte  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 09:20
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
Unprofessional outsourcers Jan 26, 2007

Hi Livia,

My opinion is that the same outsourcer who is unprofessional enough to expect an instant reply from you very late in the evening will also be unprofessional enough to forget to pay you, or pay a month or two late. At least, I have had experiences along those lines with the midnight outsourcers. Therefore, I dare say you did not lose anything worthwhile.

Astrid


Direct link Reply with quote
 

LegalTransform  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 03:20
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Checking messages automatically Jan 26, 2007

Along this same line, how often do you check your messages? If you use Internet Explorer, what do you have your Check Messages every xxx minutes set for?

I have mine set to check every 10 minutes. Despite this, sometimes when I get busy or if I am not in the room to hear the "beep" indicating that "I've got mail", I forget to check and sometimes miss work because I was not fast enough.

I think PMs need to understand that (depending on our respective locations and service providers, time of day, the size of the file, etc.) we do not always receive the messages instantly and if we do respond within an hour, if their system is set to check messages only every 1/2 hour, well...

I remember "in the old days" when documents had to be faxed - and sometimes it could take up to an hour just to get the whole file before you could evaluate it and decide whether or not you wanted to take the job. Otherwise, we had to wait for overnight or next-day mail.

[Edited at 2007-01-26 21:15]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Steven Capsuto  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 03:20
Spanish to English
+ ...
Starting work without approval from client Jan 26, 2007

I think the moral here is don't block out time or start work on a project until the client gives a formal approval for the job.

[Edited at 2007-01-26 21:40]


Direct link Reply with quote
 
xxxIreneN
United States
Local time: 02:20
English to Russian
+ ...
Comes with the territory Jan 27, 2007

Laura Gentili wrote:

Sending mass emails might save the PM's time, but results in a waist of time for tens of translators who spend time answering the message, looking at the files and in some cases even saying no to other concomitant projects.


Good for PM, and normal for a freelance translator searching for new clients. Things go differently only with old clients who want the name, not a translator.


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Pages in topic:   [1 2] >


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


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

impatient agencies - is this professional?

Advanced search







PDF Translation - the Easy Way
TransPDF converts your PDFs to XLIFF ready for professional translation.

TransPDF converts your PDFs to XLIFF ready for professional translation. It also puts your translations back into the PDF to make new PDFs. Quicker and more accurate than hand-editing PDF. Includes free use of Infix PDF Editor with your translated PDFs.

More info »
WordFinder
The words you want Anywhere, Anytime

WordFinder is the market's fastest and easiest way of finding the right word, term, translation or synonym in one or more dictionaries. In our assortment you can choose among more than 120 dictionaries in 15 languages from leading publishers.

More info »



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