Being accused of dishonesty
Thread poster: Cendrine Marrouat
I have been translating on a regular basis for a magazine, and usually, things are fine and dandy. The magazine counts translations per pages or so, and give the translators a fixed amount.
They forgot to pay me for the last translation I did for them, but I didn't worry because one reminder is usually enough, and they apologize all the time. They pay right away afterwards.
This time, the person in charge of the magazine had accepted to round up the number of pages (from 24.61 to 25). I have an email stating this.
The finance department sent me the money for the 24.61 pages and not the 25 pages, accusing me of being a dishonest translator and asking me to change my invoice. It's not a big sum of money, but my work ethics is very strict. I would never do something before emailing someone. I am very committed and professional about my work, and honesty is among my top three priorities. I really feel insulted.
I have been trying to email them for the last three days, but no answer so far. Plus, they sent me another translation before trouble started.
My question is: should I stop translating the document I am currently working on? What do you advise me to do?
Thanks a lot for your time.
| || || |
| | Mikhail Kropotov
Local time: 09:53
English to Russian
| Demand an apology but don't lose the client || Oct 26, 2007 |
I find that financial departments are a beast of their own. Make your project manager aware of this situation and I'm sure he or she will apologize.
Honesty is a crucial part of professionalism. However, losing a client over .39 of a page doesn't seem fair either.
| Being accused of dishonesty || Oct 26, 2007 |
Hi, and thanks for your replies. The problem is that I have been trying to contact the project manager for three days as well. They are not reachable on the phone either.
The weekend is coming, and usually, they never respond.
It's not a question of losing a customer or not, it's about work ethics. I cannot accept being accused of being dishonest. I always try to finish my translations a few days earlier than the due date, and they have praised me continually for my excellent work for them.
So, I just wonder...
| | xxxwonita
Local time: 03:53
| Another perspective || Oct 26, 2007 |
I have worked for dfferent organizations and institutions. The problem with big concerns is, people working for a project in different fields do not talk to each other. The person accused you of being dishonest was NOT informed of the agreement you made with the project manager. He was not wrong in doing so from his perspective; but I am sure he will apologize when he knows the truth.
Recently, I did a small interpreting job for a patient in a hospital. I got my order from the chief physician. However, the invoice must be sent to the local court. After receiving my invoice, the woman in charge in the court asked me why I did not charge as much as they were ready to pay? I made my deal with a physician, only to find out he had no say about the price at all! If I had charged more, they might have accused me of trying to rip off!
Take it easy.
[Edited at 2007-10-26 18:25]
| You are right... || Oct 26, 2007 |
...to feel insulted.
Of course, I do not know what the right behavior would be in such a case, but I know that my reaction would be not so diplomatic.
I would try to contact them, and if they insist not replying, I would simply forward back their email in which they stated you were entitled to round up the page number, and would not accept any further job.
It is true that the account dept. is separated from the PMs, but before accusing anybody they should check with their colleagues about the reason for a discrepancy in the page number.
I would not excuse them, but I am somehow impulsive:)
| Don't make a mountain out of a molehill || Oct 27, 2007 |
Simply forward the email which confirms the page count would be rounded up to 25, tell the finance department to add the diference to your next payment and suggest an apology is in order.
Copy the project manager involved, confirm you're carrying on with the next translation and suggest tactfully that they teach the left arm to tell the right arm what they're doing in future.
It's what you make of it. The facts are on your side. No need to over-react.
So the over-zealous idiot in finance has to learn some bedside manners - rise above it and act like the professional one in the equation, not like some prima donna. This is the business world, life sucks sometimes.
| Accused of being dishonest || Oct 27, 2007 |
Hello and thank you all for your replies!
I am not making a mountain out of a molehill. It is just a pain that we always have to be the ones lowering our standards because some people do not understand how things work.
Anyway, I still translate the document but I will email the editor in chief of the magazine to make sure that those things do not happen again.
| Lowering your standards? || Oct 28, 2007 |
By remaining calm and collected and pointing out somebody's obvious mistake (and lack of manners), rather than overreacting?
I'd call that rising above the situation like a professional - certainly not lowering your standards. Dealing with issues like this is part and parcel of any walk of business, especially where you're self-employed.
FWIW, my comment was not that you ARE making a mountain out of a molehill, it was friendly advice NOT TO fall into that trap under the circumstances.
Best of luck anyhow
[Edited at 2007-10-28 18:28]
| Being accused of dishonesty || Oct 28, 2007 |
I did not overreact about the situation, I was just asking for advice.
I understand what you mean though. This is something I do not deal that often with. I was never accused of being dishonest before. But it will be a good experience for me, anyway.
Thanks for your reply.
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Being accused of dishonesty
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