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Poll: What do you take into account to qualify a job as rush?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 23:20
SITE STAFF
Oct 12, 2010

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "What do you take into account to qualify a job as rush?".

This poll was originally submitted by Alicia Casal. View the poll results »



 

Gianluca Marras  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 08:20
Member (2008)
English to Italian
ratio.... Oct 12, 2010

yes that's it

 

Mary Worby  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 07:20
Member
German to English
+ ...
Other Oct 12, 2010

Normally, whether it will, by definition, require working out of normal office hours. If I choose to work on it in the evening, that's my problem, but if a customer comes to me at 5 pm with something that needs delivering first thing in the morning, then I'll ask for a rush surcharge (or turn it down!)

 

Theo Bernards  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 08:20
English to Dutch
+ ...
Other Oct 12, 2010

Because the word count or the day of the week doesn't really make a difference to me: short deadlines and working weekends are inherent to working as a freelancer in almost any industry and the translation industry is no exception to that rule of thumb. I look at the word count to see if I can complete a job before the deadline and if I can, I accept it. If a client really has a rush job you can ask for rush payment in advance (it is amazing how rush jobs tend to lose the rush status when you do that).

Besides, the poll seems to take it as a given that every translator demands extra payments for rush jobs. I don't do that, so there never is a rush job for me (I do sometimes have too many jobs to accept another one, but this is another story...)

Theo, Dutchman in France


 

Michael Harris  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 08:20
Member (2006)
German to English
Ditto Oct 12, 2010

Gianluca Marras wrote:

yes that's it


 

Annamaria Amik  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:20
Romanian to English
+ ...
Both Oct 12, 2010

Mary Worby wrote:

Normally, whether it will, by definition, require working out of normal office hours. If I choose to work on it in the evening, that's my problem, but if a customer comes to me at 5 pm with something that needs delivering first thing in the morning, then I'll ask for a rush surcharge (or turn it down!)


That's a good definition.

Plus, both cases qualify for surcharges.


 

Richard Boulter  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 00:20
Spanish to English
+ ...
Ditto to All, plus... Oct 12, 2010

I thoroughly agree with both choices and with the additional comments above. I must also take into account the text content and file condition. Especially, if the highly-technical text will require extensive special term research then that alters what qualifies as 'rush' work. As Mary mentioned, at some point I just turn it down; but I try to be pretty service-oriented so I often have a price. icon_wink.gif

 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 08:20
Spanish to English
+ ...
Other Oct 12, 2010

It must something in the national or regional psyche, but here in Spain, around 80% of clients routinely describe every job as "urgent" (possible because otherwise jobs usually won't get done on time), so it is hard to define when they actually are. You get used to it eventually but there is always the danger of ending up blasé, like the townsfolk in the "Boy who cried Wolf!" story.

I occasionally ask my more reliable, long-standing clients how "urgent" they really do require delivery, but newer clients might take this the wrong way.

From my point of view, a really rush job is one that has the client howling and screaming that they need it ASAP and are willing to pay extra, or upon delivery, and which has a deadline that precludes a thorough revision and final tweaking.

Working outside office hours or weekends is not an issue for me (keeps me out of trouble and bad company) ... today is a national holiday and guess what? Yes, I'm still working (and cooking, although both on a slow gas..., neither is urgent today!)


 

Petra Buric  Identity Verified
Switzerland
Local time: 08:20
Slovenian to English
+ ...
everything is urgent Oct 12, 2010

neilmac wrote:

It must something in the national or regional psyche, but here in Spain, around 80% of clients routinely describe every job as "urgent" (possible because otherwise jobs usually won't get done on time), so it is hard to define when they actually are.


then Slovenia is a part of Spain icon_biggrin.gif
everything here neeeds to be done yesterday. icon_rolleyes.gif
if you ask for surcharge, they will automatically turn you down and eventually you loose all clients...
therefore I keep translating and hope for better times icon_smile.gif


 

José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 03:20
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Both! plus... Oct 12, 2010

... the necessary 'disruption' to my schedule - regardless of if it's my personal or work schedule.

My time management system is pretty reliable. Having a general but accurate feel for how long it takes me to do anything, at any given moment, if a client assigns me a job, I can give a pretty accurate (and safe!) prediction on when it will be finished.

I've published my policy on this matter. In a nutshell, if the client accepts my turnaround time, there is no rush surcharge; if they need it finished earlier and I still can make it, there will be a surcharge.

For sworn translations, Brazilian law has made the decision for me, explained on items #1-3 here. Basically it means 50% extra on business days for more than a certain volume per time unit, and 100% extra on weekends.

In general, I try to sell the client on the idea of not paying extra for rush, and trusting that I will deliver on time. Some clients demand work for Monday early morning when they actually need it for, say, Wednesday afternoon, just to have a fallback position: if I go MIA or AWOL, they'll still have time, after the deadline they gave me, to hire a new translator to get it done on time. It's a matter of trust.


 

Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 08:20
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Ratio... Oct 12, 2010

... and a "serious" deadline of the same day/evening or the following morning -- if it's not coming from Spain or Slovenia - if you permit this littleicon_smile.gif

If you know your clients well, then you can tell a little easier whether it's really a rush or just a "I'd like to have it completed by yesterday" kind.


 

José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 03:20
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Tit for tat Oct 12, 2010

Theo Bernards wrote:
Besides, the poll seems to take it as a given that every translator demands extra payments for rush jobs. I don't do that, so there never is a rush job for me (I do sometimes have too many jobs to accept another one, but this is another story...)


"Demands" is a bit strong here. I'd go for "asks" or even "suggests". The point is that if it makes no difference in any way, each and every client will actually demand any job - no matter how long nor complex - for tomorrow, even if they'll only need it next month.

What's most amazing is that I often see some job offers saying Urgent! 12-hour turnaround needed, and the payment will be on the last day of the second month from now. Who is in a rush?


 

Anton Konashenok  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 08:20
English to Russian
+ ...
no such thing as a rush job Oct 12, 2010

I never impose any rush or complexity surcharges. However, I am already in the top pricing segment of the market anyway, so rush and complex jobs are my specialty. I may give a discount for a "back burner" job if I like the text, but that's not a rule, either. Actually, I would in most cases prefer to work for 24 hours non-stop and then rest for three days rather than spread my work over time.

 

DianeGM  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:20
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Other ... if I have to lose sleep / change sleeping hours Oct 12, 2010

I routinely work evenings and, if necessary, weekends at normal rate.
I have 2 small children and I am also studying as well as working so I have to, so I can fit in enough working hours to make a living.

If I can make a deadline with my normal wokring hours which don't match normal working hours - then I'll charge my usual rate.


 

Tina Vonhof
Canada
Local time: 00:20
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Other Oct 12, 2010

I don't charge more because I regularly work evenings and weekends. It depends if it is a regular client or someone I don't know who has just left things till the last minute. In the latter case I decline. Otherwise I just eyeball it and estimate the number of hours it would take. Like Diane, I'm not going to stay up late for it. If I can't meet the deadline, I always suggest another deadline I can manage. Sometimes the client goes for it, sometimes not.

 
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