Off topic: How do you (translators) get over bad experiences?
Thread poster: aiaiushi

United States
Local time: 18:45
Apr 12, 2010

I haven't encountered any bad experiences doing translation job but I finally did the other day.

I thought I cannot work with the agency A until a certain date and told them so because I had another job going on but I managed to finish other projects way earlier, so I asked them I can start working. Then I got yelled at by the agent "Make up your mind!" "This is exactly what I am talking about!" etc...

Any agencies I have worked with were flexible and they let me work earlier than the date I told them in the first place... So, I was very shocked that I got yelled at for trying to help them (at least, I thought). I got depressed that trying to help them turned into giving them troubles by me.

I'd like to know some experiences that any translators encounter some bad experiences
and how do you get over it? It's kinda hard to get over bad experiences since you are working home alone, and not seeing any co-workers to share your thoughts/feelings outside the office. Thanks!


David Russi  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 16:45
English to Spanish
+ ...
Unprofessional behavior probably brought on by stress Apr 12, 2010

megumi203 wrote:

Then I got yelled at by the agent "Make up your mind!" "This is exactly what I am talking about!" etc...

A am sorry this happened to you. Something similar happened to me, and I dealt with it by writing an email to the person explaining that I thought her comments were unwarranted and exactly how they made me feel. Then I waited 24 hours and reread the email before sending it, just to make sure it was not overly aggressive or otherwise tainted by the heat of the moment.

A few days later, she called me, apologized for the outburst, explaining that she was under stress, and offered me another job.

Good luck!


Fiona Grace Peterson  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:45
Italian to English
Agree with David Apr 12, 2010

In this case you were not at fault; it was the agency who acted unprofessionally, not you.

Good communication is key; always be realistic about your capabilities and what you can take on, and if you find yourself unable to honour your commitment to a particular agency, inform them straight away.

Of course when things DO go wrong that are our fault, all we can do is swallow our pride, make sure the same thing does not happen in the future, and keep going.

And ask for advice on forums such as these; they help us realise we are not all alone in the unverse!icon_smile.gif


Lesley Clarke  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:45
Spanish to English
This is so obviously the agency's fault Apr 12, 2010

Don't worry about it, as David says, the person who spoke to you this way must have been under considerable stress. Don't waste your time feeling rotten about it, leave that for when you yourself make a mistake.


Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:45
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Entirely agree with David Apr 13, 2010

Take David's most sensible approach. It was not your fault at all.

If the situation happens a couple of times more, it might make sense to inform the PM that you are not in a position to keep doing work for her. You lose a customer, but recover your peace of mind. I have done this twice in my career and never regretted it.


Local time: 00:45
Member (2003)
English to Danish
+ ...
David's right Apr 13, 2010

And when this mail has been delivered, you should take a deep breath and then forgive and forget.

If this client keeps up this rather bizarre approach in the near future, I would take Tomas' advice. I too have had to cut loose a client, who gave my too much grievance, and already a few minutes after sending a polite (to the extent possible) mail explaining why I could not go on working for them, I felt a great relieve. This was clearly the right decision.


United States
Local time: 18:45
Thank you all Apr 13, 2010

Thank you so much for commenting me kindly and supporting me. I know I have to take a breath and get over with it but it was hard. And as Ms. PCovs said, if the agent continues to act unprofessionally like this, I will tell them I can't deal with them any more politely. Thank you for telling me about your experiences too, so now I don't need to feel like I am the only one who gets yelled by agents unreasonably.

I guess I have to take an advantage of being a freelance and think positive. Because other people out there have to work for one specific cooperation and deal with them forever until you quit and find an another job from the beginning.


Mohamed Mehenoun  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:45
Member (2008)
English to French
+ ...
Not your fault !!! Apr 14, 2010


This is not your fault obviously !

You acted professionally, and they shouldn't have yelled at you.

I often do that with the people I work with, that is tell them if I have a free schedule or not !

That's bound to happen as you aren't working as an inhouse ! If the person on the other hand can't deal with it she/he should change their line of work...

Cheers !


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