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Poll: Have you ever visited the premises of the translation agencies you work with?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 16:10
SITE STAFF
May 6, 2010

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Have you ever visited the premises of the translation agencies you work with?".

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Mary Worby  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:10
Member
German to English
+ ...
Yes, once May 6, 2010

About ten years ago (give or take a year ago) I visited the offices of my then biggest customer. While none of the people I met there then are still there, I am still working for the company, and for some of the PMs in their new positions.

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Michael Harris  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 01:10
Member (2006)
German to English
Yes May 6, 2010

Been to a few customers, especially if they are not so far away and have a great business relationships with them.
The furthest I have travelled to meet a customer is to Lisabon when I went on holiday to Faro a couple of years ago. Great experience.
But other than that, I do try visit at least one or two of my customers a year.

[Edited at 2010-05-06 08:24 GMT]


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Simon Bruni  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:10
Member (2009)
Spanish to English
Yes May 6, 2010

A great excuse to see parts of Spain I hadn't seen before. It's nice to put a face to the voice on the other end of the phone/e-mail and it also lets them know that you value the relationship you have.

Another reason I once had for visiting a client’s premises was that the source text was in hard-copy format only and quite bulky. The agency was in the city I was living in so I dropped by to pick it up.




[Edited at 2010-05-06 08:42 GMT]


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Jack Doughty  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:10
Member (2000)
Russian to English
+ ...
Yes. To two of them. One was a disaster. May 6, 2010

I have made several visits to a company for which I do regular patent abstract work, but not recently. They were quite useful.
The other time, I had been getting small but numerous jobs from a company regularly. I went to a Translators' Guild meeting in London at which the owner spoke. I complimented him on what he had said. he invited me to visit his agency, which I did. I never had any more work whatsoever from that agency. He must have taken a great dislike to me, I have no idea why.


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xxxInterlangue
Angola
Local time: 01:10
English to French
+ ...
And direct clients... May 6, 2010

I ‘regularly’ pay a visit to several agencies I work with. Some of them, in turn, invite a handful of their freelance translators to (dinner) parties and/or other events they may organise (visits and/or training sessions at end clients, for instance, or a seminar abroad).

I once paid a visit to a direct client (abroad) – actually, it was the other way around: the company I visited became a direct client after my visit.


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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 01:10
Spanish to English
+ ...
Oops May 6, 2010

I answered "No" but then I remembered I had visited one agency a few times. I haven't had any work from them for a few years now, since they had some sort of internal problem with lost databases and a falling out between the accountant and the agency boss, so stopped working for a while. I think they are working again now, but they may have lost my details.
In general, I don't need (or wish) to visit any agencies I work with since almost everything to with delivering texts is done via emails nowadays, and they tend to be quite far away...


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Noni Gilbert  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 01:10
Spanish to English
+ ...
Geographical restrictions May 6, 2010

I finally met one of my distant clients (in this case not an agency) last winter in Seville, and I would love to meet others - our exchanges on the phone or by e-mail give me the impression I would enjoy their company. But I would also be fascinated to visit agencies, since I have never set foot in one and would like to see the systems in operation. Although I imagine there are virtually as many styles of agency as there are agencies.

And I would also be very interested in the kinds of visit and training sessions with end clients that Interlangue mentions. I am often to be found nosing around the installations of my local client, looking at their new tools and watching their repair techniques (they do research into accident repair) - SO informative and useful.


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Tim Drayton  Identity Verified
Cyprus
Local time: 02:10
Turkish to English
+ ...
To pick up cheques May 6, 2010

Years ago I was freelancing in London. I used to receive cheque payments by mail from most of the agencies in the UK I worked for. There was going to be a national postal strike, so I contacted a couple of agencies who were due to make payments to me and whose premises were in London to ask if, under the circumstances, I could call in person to collect my cheque. They agreed, so I did.

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Gianluca Marras  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 01:10
Member (2008)
English to Italian
yes May 6, 2010

I visited regularly a client, 100 km from my town, every month.
I started working with a client after we met, we had friends in common, so by chance we had lunch together.
I wanted to visit others and I planned the visits, but everytime there was a sudden problem. but I will visit them


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xxxInterlangue
Angola
Local time: 01:10
English to French
+ ...
Re May 6, 2010

aceavila - Noni wrote:

And I would also be very interested in the kinds of visit and training sessions with end clients that Interlangue mentions.


With a PM and a handful of translators in different target languages: visit of the factory where they were making the geared motors we regularly were translating about. Each translator had his own guide, in his target language, to learn more about terminology (dictionaries cannot keep up).

With the boss of another agency and another handful of freelancers, training session in the customer's premises, to work directly in their WAN with their dedicated system.

True, this only happens every 5 years or so

Others are a "team building" residential seminar abroad with an agency and a conference on quality (Quality - A Measurable Deliverable?) organised by a direct client of mine.


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Parrot  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 01:10
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Yes (or "used to") May 6, 2010

Time was when I had to deliver personally to my end clients (after an in-house stint with one of them), and the agencies I usually worked with were a maximum distance of several blocks away. There were more phone calls and less e-mails. At one agency, I had to collect a cheque monthly. (Gregory Rabassa was right, such admissions make one feel like a dinosaur -- but then, he worked with a typewriter).

Now at Christmas I get invitations to the Netherlands and London, but they do understand if I can't come...


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Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:10
Flemish to English
+ ...
Three times. May 6, 2010

I worked several times on the premises of a major agency.
Could help noticing some names of their customers.
I should have asked an hourly rate.
Also went to visit one which appeared big on the internet, but small in premesis.
And I went to an agency which owed my money to get my money. "Unfortunately, the owner was away on a holiday" (excuse not to pay) and the pm could not issue a check.









[Edited at 2010-05-06 14:15 GMT]


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Johanna Timm, PhD  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 16:10
Member (2002)
English to German
+ ...
Yes, many times! May 6, 2010

In those pre-internet days, when jobs would still be sent via fax, I would take my two toddlers every Monday morning on “a trip across the sea” (15 minute ferryboat ride) to downtown Vancouver and deliver my week’s translation work in hard copy to the agency. The children loved it because the agency owner would always have a special cookie for them - and I loved it because the kids were really tired afterwards and I was then able to use their naptime to do some work
Once, I took my kids with me to another agency owner who had ignored my invoices for weeks and never picked up her phone. Seeing me with two rather cranky toddlers in tow who looked ready to lunge at her file cabinet, terrorize her dog, and rip out her potted plants, this lady had my cheque ready within 2 minutes


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Catherine GUILLIAUMET  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:10
English to French
+ ...
Yes, very often, when I was living in Paris May 6, 2010

I was used to going very often to several agencies' or direct clients' offices when I was in Paris. This was very pleasant, and two of them became good friends.

In one case, we even met regularly at the same hospital, because his son and my best friend were both HIV-infected. So we used to share our feelings and researches, it was of a great support. Both died, his son first, six months before my friend.

I must admit that Internet has largely broken the human aspect of the relationships with clients. Today, I know "physically" none of them. That's a pity.

Catherine


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