Off topic: A letter to project manager
Thread poster: Anton Konashenok

Anton Konashenok  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 05:50
English to Russian
+ ...
Feb 25, 2015

That's what I had to send in response to a recent query... No, this isn't an obscure agency coming out of the woodwork, it's merely a new PM at my existing big client.

Dear X,

Thank you very much for your kind offer. I really have to compliment you on your project manager skills - in the last couple of years, I have not seen another message so obviously aimed at driving translators away. If you never heard of it, expressions like "this would be good supplemental work to the larger jobs you may already have", "this exciting job", and especially "the best rate you can offer" have one unambiguous meaning for any translator worth his salt: "run like you stole something". On top of that, the fact that I got your message obviously means you looked me up in your company's vendor database. Guess what? It contains rates, too.
Please don't be offended. Chalk it up to experience.

Best regards,

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Juan Jacob  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:50
French to Spanish
+ ...
Best rate... Feb 25, 2015 can offer.

I never "offer" any "best rate".

I never respond to "your best rate".

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Anton Konashenok  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 05:50
English to Russian
+ ...
What's best Feb 25, 2015

Juan, there is also a well-known Zen parable I like to quote to those asking for best rate:

As Banzan was walking through a market, he overheard a conversation between a butcher and his customer.
"Give me the best piece of meat you have," said the customer.
"Everything in my shop is the best," replied the butcher. "You cannot find here any piece of meat that is not the best."
At these words Banzan became enlightened.

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The Misha
Local time: 00:50
Russian to English
+ ...
Way to go, Anton Feb 25, 2015

Take no prisoners and suffer no fools. I know I don't.

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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:50
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
PMs are people Feb 25, 2015

A great idea to remind them that we are too!

All the same, sometimes I can't resist letting them know that I may have been learning Latin or studying translation before they were born, but I'm not senile yet.

I try to be nice to them - it works with the best.

But I lose patience with the ones who have already been told I am booked until the end of next week, so sorry, I can't deliver 3000 words in two days... When they come back a couple of hours later with 'only 2500 words, can you deliver tomorrow?'

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Michael Wetzel  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:50
German to English
best rate is in the eye of the beholder Feb 26, 2015

I always offer my best rate to new potential clients. Of course, I obviously interpret "my best rate" to mean my highest rate, while the kinds of PMs and agencies you are talking about have somehow gotten confused and strangely use "your best rate" to refer to my worst rate.

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A letter to project manager

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