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Poll: How often do you work weekends?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 21:16
SITE STAFF
Apr 3, 2010

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "How often do you work weekends?".

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Interlangue (X)
Angola
Local time: 06:16
English to French
+ ...
What's a weekend? Apr 3, 2010

I usually work about 7 weekends in a row then I take a long weekend off (4 to 9 days). Last was early March, next is scheduled for end of April.

Happy translating!


 

Melanie Nassar  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 07:16
German to English
+ ...
When's the weekend? Apr 3, 2010

The weekend comes on different days in different areas of the world. I work for agencies in the Gulf (weekend Thurs. and Fri.), in Germany (Sat. and Sun.) and in the US, also Sat. and Sun. but with a time difference from the Gulf states of up to 12 hrs. So theoretically my weekend could be 4 1/2 days long. I prefer to ignore the concept and take off when it's convenient for me.

 

Catherine Winzer  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 06:16
German to English
+ ...
Saturdays Apr 3, 2010

I quite often work on Saturdays, but try to avoid working on Sundays if at all possible (or take another day off in the week to compensate). It depends on my workload, of course. If the workload is heavy, Saturday is very much a working day. If it's light, I might take time off at other times during the week and then work on Saturday. Or I get everything done and have the weekend off. It varies quite a bit.

 

danilingua  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 06:16
English to German
+ ...
with Catherine ;-) Apr 3, 2010

Catherine Knight wrote:

I quite often work on Saturdays, but try to avoid working on Sundays if at all possible (or take another day off in the week to compensate). It depends on my workload, of course. If the workload is heavy, Saturday is very much a working day. If it's light, I might take time off at other times during the week and then work on Saturday. Or I get everything done and have the weekend off. It varies quite a bit.



Daniela


 

Anne Bohy  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 06:16
English to French
Customers send translation works on Friday Apr 3, 2010

From my experience, many persons who need to localize their communication tend to finalize their writing by the end of the week, pack up for translation before the week-end... and of course expect the result on their desk the next Monday.
This is particularly true in the case of long week-ends.
I suppose it's considered good work practice, as obviously they save a few days this way.
Does anybody ever lets them know how disrespectful of translators it is?
Usually, these end-customers don't negotiate directly with translators, but only with translation agencies... which will never question such business practice (nor real urgency). They just make sure that they pack the whole thing before their Friday evening... and make sure that everything will work smoothly until the next Monday.
Some agencies give longer delays (not including the week-ends) or allow for a rush fee... which means that they have negotiated this aspect with their customers.
But others don't. In many cases, it is "accept the conditions, or we'll find somebody else", which I find insulting.
Not to mention the agencies who promise, for a long week-end, a job that eventually never comes, and leave you with nothing to do, once you have cancelled all your week-end projects...
Am I the only one so frustrated by this mentality?


 

Filippe Vasconcellos de Freitas Guimarães  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 03:16
Member (2009)
Portuguese to English
+ ...
What a curious poll! Apr 3, 2010

I am unacquainted with this "week-end" you speak of. I'll have to look it up before I can answer...

 

Francisco Rocha  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 03:16
English to Spanish
+ ...
What's a weekend? Apr 3, 2010

As a freelance I know that most of my projects will be delivered when the client has finished or is finishing his working hours. I think that is what makes us competitive against in-house personnel (being able to be productive when others had punched their card).
In my opinion, freelancers work when we have to work and rest whenever we decide (and can) rest.
If we wanted to have weekends, to work only from 9 to 5, etc., we'd take an in-house job, right?


 

Interlangue (X)
Angola
Local time: 06:16
English to French
+ ...
If I understand you right... Apr 3, 2010

bohy wrote:

From my experience, many persons who need to localize their communication tend to finalize their writing by the end of the week, pack up for translation before the week-end... and of course expect the result on their desk the next Monday.
This is particularly true in the case of long week-ends.
I suppose it's considered good work practice, as obviously they save a few days this way.
Does anybody ever lets them know how disrespectful of translators it is?
Usually, these end-customers don't negotiate directly with translators, but only with translation agencies... which will never question such business practice (nor real urgency). They just make sure that they pack the whole thing before their Friday evening... and make sure that everything will work smoothly until the next Monday.
Some agencies give longer delays (not including the week-ends) or allow for a rush fee... which means that they have negotiated this aspect with their customers.
But others don't. In many cases, it is "accept the conditions, or we'll find somebody else", which I find insulting.
Not to mention the agencies who promise, for a long week-end, a job that eventually never comes, and leave you with nothing to do, once you have cancelled all your week-end projects...
Am I the only one so frustrated by this mentality?


... everyone should work 9-5 from Monday through Fridayicon_wink.gif

What I like about freelancing is that I can work my head off even on Saturday and Sunday if I so decide and take off for a "weekend" from Thursday to Tuesday (6 days) if I want to.
If you consider the attitude of agencies is disrespectful, don't work for/with them! If you find "accept the conditions or we'll find someone else" insulting, I am not sure you are made for market economy. It is a jungle out there!


 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 06:16
Spanish to English
+ ...
Often Apr 3, 2010

As often as possible. Am working now. This way, can I take my own "weekends" or days off, during the week if I want to. To me that is the essence of freelancing - if you want to work a 9-5 grind, why not look for an in-house position?

 

Sabrina Ciserchia  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 02:16
English to Spanish
+ ...
I usually don't work weekends Apr 3, 2010

bohy wrote:

Usually, these end-customers don't negotiate directly with translators, but only with translation agencies... which will never question such business practice (nor real urgency). They just make sure that they pack the whole thing before their Friday evening... and make sure that everything will work smoothly until the next Monday.
Some agencies give longer delays (not including the week-ends) or allow for a rush fee... which means that they have negotiated this aspect with their customers.


Yes, it works that way. I usually don't work weekends, but if I decide I will accept such a job I charge more than my usual rate (a "weekend rate" with a 30% surplus), as I know that's how the market works... and in fact translation agencies accept this higher rate in such conditions.

If I choose to work Mon-Fri 9 to 5 is because my husband, family and friends do work these hours... and I choose to spend my free time with them.


 

Rebecca Garber  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:16
Member (2005)
German to English
+ ...
Far too often Apr 3, 2010

I would prefer to spend time with my family on the weekends, instead of working. So I've been running away from projects that would require weekend commitments. We'll see how long this lasts.
I find that if I work several weekends in a row that I am burned out. I don't take the time off during the week, when everyone else I know is working, so I find I really need the weekends for myself, my family, and my friends.


 

Marcia Liddle BA(Hons), MA, ACIL
Local time: 05:16
French to English
+ ...
I'm with Bohy when it comes to Friday evening>Monday morning projects Apr 3, 2010

No Bohy, you are not the only one who finds that mentality frustrating. I also think it's disrespectful for end-clients to get into the habit of outsourcing work to translators on Friday evening and expecting it back on their desk on Monday morning under the pretence that it is "urgent", just because it is convenient for them and saves them time. Unless of course they are willing to pay extra for it. I don't think they would regard other professionals' time this way, and would either expect to pay a surcharge for weekend work or just wait until Monday. I think that by saying yes to people with this attitude and not making them aware that they are asking for something extra just helps to reinforce their perception that: freelancer = desperate for work/willing to accept anything.

And I also agree that the attitude of "accept the conditions or we'll find someone else" is insulting, because they are the buyer and I am the seller, therefore I set the conditions I believe allow me to provide them with quality work and they are then free to buy or walk away if it doesn't suit them. And frankly if I am approached by a potential customer who says to me "accept the conditions or we'll find someone else", my answer will always be "be my guest".

Being competitive doesn't mean we all have to compete with each other to be the cheapest, fastest, and most willing to work anti-social hours, and be jumping over each other to have our customers dictate our working conditions to us. Otherwise the only direction is down and we'll all end up working for 0.01 per word and receiving all our work at 9pm so that we can work while others sleep and deliver it at 9am.


 

Ambra Giuliani
United States
Local time: 00:16
Italian to English
+ ...
Work on Saturday if needs be, but not on Sunday Apr 3, 2010

I work on Saturday if there is need for it and my family agrees with it (they are very understanding).
I do not work on Sunday, and my repeat clients know it.
Sundays do not belong to me.
If that means that I will lose a client so be it, he is losing a great translator.
It is a decision I have never regretted. Besides, clients come and go but deep committments and family stay.
I have to admit, though, having worked two Sundays at the beginning of my freelancing career. The client said " I must have it" and, regrettably, I fell for it.


 

JaneD  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 06:16
Member (2009)
Swedish to English
+ ...
My weekends are when I say they are! Apr 3, 2010

I am in the fortunate (?) position of being both freelance and without children - and my partner is freelance too, which means that I can choose to have my weekend when I want.

In practice this means that I tend to work 6 mornings out of 7 (the "lie in day" varies). Then I take off a few hours most afternoons, and some evenings. I can go to the shops when they're quiet, I can drive to the nearest city after rush-hour, and I can get to the services that have limited opening hours without having to excuse myself to my employer.

This would, I feel, be a really good way of managing a working life, but given that all my leisure time is currently swallowed up by house renovation, and that time off usually means time spent wrestling with some insanity installed by the previous owner, I often wish that I was working even when I'm not!


 
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