Pages in topic:   [1 2] >
Translators also have a life
Thread poster: Sandra Baptista

Sandra Baptista  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 20:21
Member (2005)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Jan 12, 2011

When you inform clients you will be on holidays from day x to day y they still insist in sending you work during this period? Do they think we say we go on holidays but actually we just stay at home watching TV and, yes, maybe we can take some work?
NO. We also travel, go to see places, etc., and we also have the right to have some time off once in a while. Some simply seem not to understand this...


Direct link Reply with quote
 

GerSi  Identity Verified
Slovenia
Local time: 21:21
Member (2010)
German to Slovenian
+ ...
I see it as a confirmation of our quality Jan 12, 2011

Hello Sandra,

in general, my clients respect my needs. Perhaps because I rarely take the time off .

For me personally, the orders which are to be performed during the weekends (for the same price as during the working days) and the orders which are sent at the end of business time with the deadline on the next day (meaning I have to work in the late afternoon) are more questionable.



It has happened before, that I told the client I would not be available and they called me to see if I have left yet or if I was still at home to finish "just a quick small job". If they try to send an order despite being notified, they only get my automated response "Out of office".

And I always let them know in advance by clearly stating that I am not going to have access to my computer - this usually works.

I don't take this personally because this just means they really respect my work and trust my quality and that they want me to do the particular job, not somebody else.

I believe this situation should be flattering to us.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 21:21
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
My experience this past month Jan 12, 2011

Sandra Baptista wrote:
When you inform clients you will be on holidays from day x to day y[, do] they still insist in sending you work during this period? Do they think we say we go on holidays but actually we just stay at home watching TV and, yes, maybe we can take some work? ... NO. We also travel, go to see places, etc., and we also have the right to have some time off once in a while. Some simply seem not to understand this...


I believe that one's out-of-office reply should state whenever there are days when we would not be able to respond to mails or accept new work, and that it should also give the client an indiciation of when you'd be back and when you'd be able to answer this mail. I also think that the out-of-office reply should say "holiday" if we're on holiday.

This past month I was on holiday for a month, but on some days I were available for work, and I indicated this in my out-of-office reply. I had previously managed just fine with accepting short jobs inbetween (the money does add up), but this part month had been very difficult because the shot jobs turned out to be less easy than I had imagined, and I spent more time working than playing.

Thankfully my wife doesn't begrudge me my work, so she's quite happy to go off on her own or with the kids while I'm stuck in the hotel room with my laptop, and there is nothing but sympathy when she returns. I think I have now decided to accept less work during holidays (or even "no work", but that depends on the length of the holiday, and I tend to go on long ones).


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Sandra Baptista  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 20:21
Member (2005)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
... Jan 12, 2011

Hi Gersi,

Yes, it is flattering, I agree with you.
But I hardly take any holidays so I took two weeks at the end of year (my only holidays for the all year...), informed them 3 weeks in advance, had an Out of the Ofiice message, but, still, a couple of them insisted in sending me work, some more than once...

@Samuel

That may work if you take holidays but actually are at home. I was travelling, checking my email at internet cafes once in a while, with no laptop with me. But next time, indeed, I just put the out of the office message and don't answer to any email!






[Edited at 2011-01-12 10:42 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Inga Petkelyte  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 20:21
Lithuanian to Portuguese
+ ...
So what's the problem ? Jan 12, 2011

Quote.
I was travelling, checking my email at internet cafes once in a while, with no laptop with me.


So what's the problem, Sandra ? You either don't reply at all, with a short message after return, or send a quick note: sorry, I'm enjoying my holidays !


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Sandra Baptista  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 20:21
Member (2005)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
... Jan 12, 2011

The problem is if I say I'm on holidays from this to that day I don't want to received emails with job requests to be done during that period of time.

Many companies think that when a translator says that he/she will be on holidays that he/she can still take jobs, because he/she probably has nothing else more interesting to do during holidays...

I do answer the emails because I have informed them I would be checking my email whenever possible (to schedule any job after holidays).

[Edited at 2011-01-12 12:34 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Amy Williams  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:21
Italian to English
+ ...
Translators also have a life Jan 12, 2011

Sandra Baptista wrote:

The problem is if I say I'm on holidays from this to that day I don't want to received emails with job requests to be done during that period of time.

Many companies think that when a translator says that he/she will be on holidays that he/she can still take jobs, because he/she probably has nothing else more interesting to do during holidays...


This may be a simple case of the PM/client forgetting that you are unable to accept jobs while on holiday.

I do answer the emails because I have informed them I would be checking my email whenever possible (to schedule any job after holidays).


Saying you'll be checking your mail whenever possible is giving them the opposite impression of the one you say you want to give (that you're out and about on holiday) and could be a bit confusing for a PM/client -- maybe asking them to call or text with news of potential work due in after your return would be better? Then you're not tied to your email and you can pick up any voicemail when it suits you. Just an idea.

You're right, we do have a life. The vast majority of clients I work with are very supportive of that.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Pablo Bouvier  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:21
German to Spanish
+ ...
Customers does not care at all if you go on vacation or not... Jan 12, 2011

Sandra Baptista wrote:

When you inform clients you will be on holidays from day x to day y they still insist in sending you work during this period? Do they think we say we go on holidays but actually we just stay at home watching TV and, yes, maybe we can take some work?
NO. We also travel, go to see places, etc., and we also have the right to have some time off once in a while. Some simply seem not to understand this...


What matters them is that you solve the issue as soon as possible (ie now) at the lowest price possible. And to put you're on vacation in a reply message does not solve them anything.

What if we redirect the client to a trusted colleague that is not on vacation?


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 21:21
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
We have to insist on this Jan 12, 2011

I do occasionally visit family and take my laptop with me. Weekends are too short to get there and back, so when I go, I go for at least a week.

Then I let clients know I am not available, e.g. when actually travelling and unable to go online, and check mails etc. when I can.

I warn clients as far as possible and add an extra line to my profile when I'm on courses or at conferences - "I am attending a course on -- " Trados or Contract Law or whatever.

And no, I am not taking jobs, checking mails etc. because I am following the course.
(It doesn't work, but it adds weight to my apology when I answer them afterwards.)

Otherwise I take a holiday and then I am ON HOLIDAY. No work, plain and simple.

Admittedly, working for agencies does mean that they can find another translator, and they have to live without me now and then, but no one can go on being a good translator without charging up the batteries.

We work for a living, but we do not actually live for our work.
So remember to live as well!



Direct link Reply with quote
 

Kuochoe Nikoi  Identity Verified
Ghana
Local time: 19:21
Japanese to English
Try this Jan 12, 2011

Next time try responding and telling them "As I informed you on [date], I am on holiday between [now] and [then]. If this job is an emergency, I will do it for [200% of normal price], as it will interrupt my vacation time. Best wishes..." That should shut them up.

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Martin Stranak  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 21:21
Member (2009)
English to Czech
+ ...
"Surprisingly" enough... Jan 12, 2011

I found myself checking my email while on hliday, leaving the white sand beach behind me and trying to work for a while...

Is this normal?

I´ve been in the business for ten years now, established myself as a translator with absolutely no ties to any place and I´m still "bonded" onto my little screen.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Sandra Baptista  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 20:21
Member (2005)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
... Jan 12, 2011

It can be normal

I have done that, but now I just came to a point where I want 100% holidays with no stress, no deadlines, no computers, etc.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Maaike van Vlijmen  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:21
Member (2009)
Italian to Dutch
+ ...
I understand Jan 12, 2011

Olá Sandra,

I had the same problem last year. First I went on holiday at the end of May. My boyfriend is an astronomer and I went with him to La Palma to the telescope (great experience btw). I had just accepted a big project, so during the boring and long night observing I worked, and the next two days as well. Then I went down to the sea side and wanted to enjoy the sun... but I received so many work mails that I got upset and let it ruin my holiday (which was only a week in total). I had told all my clients I would be on holiday, but still I got emails starting with "I know you're on holiday, but.."
I was so angry and I thought long about it. What did I do wrong?
In July I went again, one week, to the south of Ireland (highly recommended!). I informed all my clients on time that I would be on holiday and stressed the sentence: I will NOT be able to check my email. I didn't take my laptop, which felt like cold turkey I did take my iPod Touch though and checked my email a couple of times that week. I got about two or three work mails and completely ignored them. It felt great. It was the best holiday ever.
So, my advice is: tell your clients you won't be able to read your mail. Make sure they understand that. Turn on your automatic reply with the date you'll be back, and off you go!
I'm still learning to be honest, I don't deal well with the away-but-not-really-on-holiday situation, when I visit family and friends in the Netherlands. So I ended up working during the holidays, with my little niece next to me, chatting about princes and princesses, while I tried to figure out how a pallet machine worked...
I think the main problem is you and how you deal with this situation. Clients will always be demanding clients. You are your own boss, you should be able to set your boundaries. You have to teach yourself to relax and to accept that you won't be able to satisfy everyone at all times. People need breaks. It's normal. Last year I asked a client if his office would be closed over Christmas, and he replied: our office is always open. I raised my eyebrows and thought: what, are you running a Chinese restaurant?
Enjoy your next holiday!!


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Michael Leite
Brazil
Local time: 16:21
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Yes, it happens all the time Jan 13, 2011

Some clientes really cannot understand we are also human beings.

I stopped working on December 20th and it was really hard to make them understand I was really tired.

Certainly, I told them in advance, and they thouhgt it was an absurd....

When I was on the vacation site, I entered my IM for a while and they offered me a job, even though I had written on the subnick "The name of the place".

You can tell them they have two options: if I do not go on vacation, I shall have an attack and die. You lose your good translator. If I go, I will rest, recover energies and get back to work really happier. Which one do you prefer?

Hahahha

I am kidding, we must impose our limits no matter what they think, and do not think they will get angry and stop sending jobs to you. They won't. Actually, they always understand but, of course, if you accept, it is better for them.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

svenfrade  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 21:21
French to German
+ ...
No need to be apologetic about it Jan 13, 2011

I don't really see why so many seem to think they have to be apologetic about taking time off.

When I take time off I take time off, that's it, I won't discuss that with anyone or justify why I'm doing it. I let good clients know well in advance that I will be unavailable as of a certain date but will be happy to work for them again afterwards. Nobody has ever told me that this was "absurd" or whatever and if anyone did I think that would be the end of our business relationship.

I'm not a slave and I will not be put in the position of an employee, having to ask the boss for time off and have all the disadvantages but none of the advantages (certain number of paid days off, having paid about half of my health insurance etc.).

I am a freelancer and entitled to make my own decisions, so I tell them in a factual sort of way when I will be unavailable and when they can expect me to be back in my office. I will also let them know that I won't have access to my e-mails, since I think that a holiday spent in front of the computer is not a proper one. As much as I love my work, I like to spend a couple of weeks every year without it and without electronic gadgets... If they still insist on sending me e-mails, well, sorry, I can't help it. They will get an automatic "out-of-office" reply but no more.

I forgot to add that I have been working with most of my regular clients/agencies for about 3 years now, so apparently I'm doing nothing wrong.

[Edited at 2011-01-13 07:46 GMT]


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 »

Translators also have a life

Advanced search






memoQ translator pro
Kilgray's memoQ is the world's fastest developing integrated localization & translation environment rendering you more productive and efficient.

With our advanced file filters, unlimited language and advanced file support, memoQ translator pro has been designed for translators and reviewers who work on their own, with other translators or in team-based translation projects.

More info »
LSP.expert
You’re a freelance translator? LSP.expert helps you manage your daily translation jobs. It’s easy, fast and secure.

How about you start tracking translation jobs and sending invoices in minutes? You can also manage your clients and generate reports about your business activities. So you always keep a clear view on your planning, AND you get a free 30 day trial period!

More info »



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