Poll: How far in advance are you usually booked up?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 10:06
SITE STAFF
Oct 18, 2009

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "How far in advance are you usually booked up?".

This poll was originally submitted by Karen Stokes

View the poll here

A forum topic will appear each time a new poll is run. For more information, see: http://proz.com/topic/33629


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xxxInterlangue
Angola
Local time: 19:06
English to French
+ ...
Right now... Oct 18, 2009

... it is 10 weeks. It has been 4-6 weeks most of the time for the past year or so and they never seem to end: when we get half way through, another load arrives

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Sophie Dzhygir  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 19:06
Member (2007)
German to French
+ ...
4-7 days Oct 18, 2009

Can be more, can be less, but that would be the average.

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Simon Cole  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:06
Member (2008)
French to English
Available - usually Oct 18, 2009

When I'm working on a selection of small jobs, they turn round within the day/2 days and seem to keep coming.
When I have a large project with lots of files, the phone/e-mail stop; when I get near the end, they start again! Of course, with big projects, I estimate achieving about 70% of my typical daily output, enabling me to take urgent work from other customers kind enough to remember me
So even if I've got work for the next few weeks (rare), I would still have capacity.

To date, my average "words/file" is 1764 words over 1208 files handled in 3½ years. But this hides a lot of small files and a few big ones (150000 words). I usually have work for the next day, or it arrives very soon, probably in response to making plans for what I will do with this unexpected free time!

I would like to ask Interlangue - if you consistently have these long projects or bookings:
1 - don't the projects get boring - even if CAT tools probably pay dividends?
2 - how can your customers wait so long?
Remembering our colleague's wonderful song "5000 Words" posted on this site, customers usually want it yesterday, not in 4 - 10 weeks time.


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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 16:06
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Another interpretation Oct 18, 2009

One way of interpreting "booked in advance" is one's reply to "if you assigned me a job NOW, and today were a typical day, in average, I'd be able to begin working on it X days later". It seems to be the interpretation by the colleagues who commented so far.

Another way is the client who negotiates the job with you, rates, turnaround etc. etc. and then tells you "We'll be sending you the files within X days". The average value of the stated X for me is 2, the actual average being 7. The end-client always has "problems" of their own.

The worst case I ever had came from one of the world's largest and most reputable translation agencies. I am the only 4 on their Blue Board and, apart from one 3 from someone else, they are an all-5 LWA.

It was a 120K words urgent proofreading job. They sent me the original files and the PO, saying that the translations would be sent in 4 days. Nine translators would be working on it in the meantime. I'd have 7 days to proofread, i.e, working full time and beyond. So stated X was 4. Actual X was "never". The whole project, after successive postponements was cancelled four months later. Meanwhile, I turned down each and every large/urgent project that was offered to me, not knowing when the bomb would hit the ground here, and penalties on the PO for late delivery were considerable. However there were no penalties on their side, so I didn't make one red cent out of it.

In these four months, I did a couple of relatively small jobs for them, and they were enthusiastic about my quality (someone accidentally forwarded an internal e-mail thread of theirs to me). Ever since they have been trying to hire me again, but it would be my last choice among available jobs, too risky.


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xxxInterlangue
Angola
Local time: 19:06
English to French
+ ...
Confirmed Oct 18, 2009

José Henrique Lamensdorf wrote:

One way of interpreting "booked in advance" is one's reply to "if you assigned me a job NOW, and today were a typical day, in average, I'd be able to begin working on it X days later". It seems to be the interpretation by the colleagues who commented so far.

Another way is the client who negotiates the job with you, rates, turnaround etc. etc. and then tells you "We'll be sending you the files within X days". The average value of the stated X for me is 2, the actual average being 7. The end-client always has "problems" of their own.

The worst case I ever had came from one of the world's largest and most reputable translation agencies. I am the only 4 on their Blue Board and, apart from one 3 from someone else, they are an all-5 LWA.

It was a 120K words urgent proofreading job. They sent me the original files and the PO, saying that the translations would be sent in 4 days. Nine translators would be working on it in the meantime. I'd have 7 days to proofread, i.e, working full time and beyond. So stated X was 4. Actual X was "never". The whole project, after successive postponements was cancelled four months later. Meanwhile, I turned down each and every large/urgent project that was offered to me, not knowing when the bomb would hit the ground here, and penalties on the PO for late delivery were considerable. However there were no penalties on their side, so I didn't make one red cent out of it.

In these four months, I did a couple of relatively small jobs for them, and they were enthusiastic about my quality (someone accidentally forwarded an internal e-mail thread of theirs to me). Ever since they have been trying to hire me again, but it would be my last choice among available jobs, too risky.


I am talking about confirmed jobs of which I have the file and order form with job number...
I have learned to avoid the dirty tricks you are talking about. Seems they are rather frequent, especially for revisions/proof-reading/editing, even though not all go to the point where the whole lot is cancelled. Annual reports are generally late without extension of the deadline.

When I give a quote, I enclose a note saying those conditions are valid for a certain period of time only (2 to 24 hours). If the client has not confirmed the order by then, things must be negotiated all over again.


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Michael Harris  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 19:06
Member (2006)
German to English
long way ahead Oct 18, 2009

I seem to be one of the few translators that can plan with generous deadlines allowing work to be pushed "in-between".
I always have between 4 and 7 weeks to deliver because of their sizes. This naturally allows me to take other urgent jobs on.


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Sophie Dzhygir  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 19:06
Member (2007)
German to French
+ ...
Clarification Oct 18, 2009

José Henrique Lamensdorf wrote:

It was a 120K words urgent proofreading job. They sent me the original files and the PO, saying that the translations would be sent in 4 days. Nine translators would be working on it in the meantime. I'd have 7 days to proofread, i.e, working full time and beyond. So stated X was 4. Actual X was "never". The whole project, after successive postponements was cancelled four months later.
That's why I always refuse potential jobs, or jobs that are suppose to come in later. I answer they can feel free to contact me once they have the job for real.

To clarify my answer, no, I didn't mean that I can usually start working on a new job no sooner than in 4-7 days. I meant that I have enough confirmed work for so much time in advance, but like Simon, I (almost) always some free capacity that allow me to handle smaller requests from my regular clients in between.


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Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 10:06
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Large jobs keep me booked Oct 18, 2009

...but sometimes I can squeeze smaller ones in. It depends on how close I am to the deadline and how much there is left to do.

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