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Subcontractor who fails to invoice
Thread poster: Patricia Rosas

Patricia Rosas  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 05:35
Spanish to English
+ ...
May 18, 2006

I asked a translator who was helping me with a rush job to stop as soon as I realized that he was not producing what I needed. Because he had not responded to my messages asking to see his output, he had essentially finished before I could stop him.

He turned over only 2/3 the material, but it required a thorough cross-checking and major revision.

I offered him 2/3 of the price we'd agreed upon, but he said he didn't want to be paid. Then I asked him to estimate his hours and send me a bill at $20/hr. He has now written twice saying that he wants me to decide how much to pay him.

Am I right in insisting that he send me a bill based on an estimate of the hours he expended? Because of the quality, I know he didn't spend much time on this, so I thought it was a reasonable compromise.

What would you do if you were in my shoes? Thanks!


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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:35
English to Spanish
+ ...
Pay Him May 18, 2006

Pay him what you think he deserves, he has left the ball in your court. Sounds like a difficult person to deal with, he'll probably cry and moan about it no matter what, a good person to cross off your list.

He is obviously one of those people who likes to set himself up as a "victim", a psychologist could probably give you some good insights there, best to forget him.

[Edited at 2006-05-18 18:34]


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Eleftherios Kritikakis  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 07:35
Member (2003)
Greek to English
+ ...
Hmmm? May 18, 2006

I never came accross such a case, but don't you think your comments are rather harsh and insulting?
How do you know he's going to do all the things you' re saying?
What I mean is that:

a) Personally, I would pay him only for the time preceding the time I sent him/her the first message to stop. If the quality was indeed very poor (with objective standards), I probably wouldn't pay at all.
However, in this case, he/she proposed himself to waive payments... how convinient, indeed.
b) It is certainly not right to pass on "psychological evaluations" of someone else... especially when the posting refers, indirectly, to a specific person. I think that could be a violation of forum rules, and it doesn't sound very "nice" either.

I would propose this: pay him a "minimum fee" that fits your budget, and keep everyone happy.



[Edited at 2006-05-18 19:31]


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PCovs
Denmark
Local time: 14:35
Member (2003)
English to Danish
+ ...
Or - pay him the difference! May 18, 2006

If you have to pay someone to go over his work to correct it (or you have to do it yourself), why don't you do the math like this:

Translator was initially entitled to 2/3 of the agreed price = USD XX

The reviser has spent x amount of time revising these 2/3 of the job, and is therefore entitled to: USD YY

Translator agreed: USD XX
- Reviser: USD YY
=Translator actually: USD ZZ

That is of course if you did not initially count on having to use a reviser for this job, in which case the initially expected costs for this reviser should be subtracted from the above.

Just a thought.


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Jabberwock  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 14:35
Member (2004)
English to Polish
He has a point... May 18, 2006

I am not sure I understand your doubts... The translator did the job badly, then he refuses to be paid - I actually consider that as a sign of professionalism, not of "psychological problems". I suppose I could do the same, just to show that I am sorry for the mess and that I acknowledge it and take full responsibility.

Then he finally agrees to be paid (as you insist!) - however, he thinks that you should determine the amount yourself. It is also understandable, as he cannot really determine "how bad" it was, i.e. how much cost/effort you had to spend to fix it.


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Rosa Maria Duenas Rios  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:35
The following sentence is not very clear May 18, 2006

Patricia Rosas wrote:

Then I asked him to estimate his hours and send me a bill at $20/hr.


Did you suggest he bill you at $20 per hour, or did he send you a bill at $20 per hour?

If he sent you the bill, and you find the $20/hour not suitable for the quality of the work he delivered, then I suppose his request is right. You should put a value to what you think his hourly work is worth and pay him that.

But if you suggested he bill you at $20 and he has written you twice asking you to decide how much to pay him, it does not make much sense. You already told him: $20/hour.

[Edited at 2006-05-18 21:24]


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Patricia Rosas  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 05:35
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
WHAT DID I SAY?? May 18, 2006

[quote]Eleftherios Kritikakis wrote:

I never came accross such a case, but don't you think your comments are rather harsh and insulting?
How do you know he's going to do all the things you' re saying?


I have to ask what it was I said that was passing judgment or being harsh on this person? Did I predict one single thing in my statement about what he was going to do? Please: QUOTE IT BACK TO ME (I'd like to retract it).

I did, in fact, get an outside evaluation of his work. After offering him $1000, and he said he deserved nothing (which I disagree with), I offered him the opportunity to total up the hours worked, and I'd pay him $20/hr. He is still in college and not a trained translator, so I thought that would be a reasonable compromise.

So, please quote what it was I said in my message that could be construed as a negative evaluation of this person's mental state or morals ...


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Dees  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:35
English to French
+ ...
Patricia May 18, 2006

I think that Eleftherios was referring to Henry's post.

Good night!


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Patricia Rosas  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 05:35
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
I think it is clear ... May 18, 2006

Then I asked him to estimate his hours and send me a bill at $20/hr. [/quote]

Did you suggest he bill you at $20 per hour, or did he send you a bill at $20 per hour?

To clarify: I asked him to estimate the hours and (then) send me a bill. He said he couldn't do that because it was my obligation to determine an amount.


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Eleftherios Kritikakis  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 07:35
Member (2003)
Greek to English
+ ...
Henry's post May 18, 2006

I was referring to Henry's post.

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Patricia Rosas  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 05:35
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
AHA! May 18, 2006

Mitsuko Moine wrote:

I think that Eleftherios was referring to Henry's post.

Good night!


Ahhh! Now, I see what happened. THANK YOU!!!


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Patricia Rosas  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 05:35
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
hmmm ... on the practice of psychology.... May 18, 2006

Henry Hinds wrote:

He is obviously one of those people who likes to set himself up as a "victim", a psychologist could probably give you some good insights there, best to forget him.

[Edited at 2006-05-18 18:34]


Well, now I understand that Eletherios was talking about your statement, not mine. I guess he has a point.

My "colleague" is very young, and I think he simply had no idea of what was expected. I honestly thought that a third-party was going to help him (and split the pay), but I could see that her hand had not touched this text. It was a big painful mess.

In your defense, the truth is that I had thought: If I pick a dollar amount, he may be insulted and that will only make this worse. That thought was one of the incentives for insisting. You and I were thinking along the same lines!


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Eleftherios Kritikakis  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 07:35
Member (2003)
Greek to English
+ ...
My final reply and I hope I'm off the hook. May 18, 2006

Henry says

- "sounds like a difficult person". That's an unsubstantiated judgment.

- "he'll probably cry and moan about it no matter what". Negative assumption, clearly insulting.

- "He is obviously one of those people who likes to set himself up as a "victim"". Another negative assumption.

Why does Mr. Henry talk like that about another translator who, as a matter of fact, from what Patricia says, waived his payments and didn't want to cause any trouble? Why such insults without a reason?

So, I will repeat: My comments were for Mr. Henry.


On the other hand, I proposed to Patricia to "pay him a "minimum fee" that fits your budget, and keep everyone happy."

Thank you (if this is ever posted)

Lefteris


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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:35
English to Spanish
+ ...
Right May 19, 2006

Correct, Mr. Eleftherios. You don't want to blame Patricia for my comments, I take responsibility for them.

And of course I don't really recommend she have the guy evaluated, only to pay him what she thinks he's worth and then forget him.

Life is too short to worry about such matters.


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Derek Gill Franßen  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 14:35
German to English
+ ...
Horses that won't drink... May 19, 2006

Hmmm... you apparently want to pay him $1000, so why don't you just go ahead and pay him that? Anything else would seem rather random to me after having already named that price.

I'd consider giving him one last chance to take your offer and if he doesn't take it, then I'd keep the money (with no regrets) - he's a big boy now. Like they say, "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink."


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