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Poll: Have you ever worked while you were very sick to meet a deadline?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 17:20
SITE STAFF
Oct 18, 2012

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Have you ever worked while you were very sick to meet a deadline?".

This poll was originally submitted by Ana Escaleira. View the poll results »



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Michael Harris  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 02:20
Member (2006)
German to English
Yes, definately Oct 18, 2012

and once the job was finished, I had to take a days sleep after asking to move the deadline of the next job.
Everyone gets sick at one time or another, and if a customer cannot consider this then they are not a good customer.
I have gone down sick once and asked if I can move the deadline by a couple of days as I was really down with everything that the kindergarten could offer and there was no worries, but otherwise, I always try to get the job finished and then take a break.


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Mary Worby  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 01:20
Member
German to English
+ ...
Yes, in earlier days Oct 18, 2012

Back when I was a new, still wet-behind-the-ears translator, I was frightened of asking for extended deadlines. So I'd battle on through sickness, flu, you name it. Now I've realised that it's better for me and my clients to just take the time out to recover.

Clients are human too, they have sympathy if you're not well. And I've found that generally they have more respect if you give them more warning and give them the opportunity to extend the deadline or pass it on to someone else than if you keep on battling through and don't necessarily produce your best work.

Having said that, I'm not often ill! [touch wood]


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Marta Cervera Areny
Spain
Local time: 02:20
Catalan to Spanish
+ ...
If you're not well, your job is not good Oct 18, 2012

I'm not ill very often, but when I am, I simply talk to the clients. I explain the situation and they always understand. It's natural, we're all human and we're all ill one day or another.

I usually just ask them what they want to do, wait till I get better or pass it on to a colleague.


[Edited at 2012-10-18 08:42 GMT]


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Tatty  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:20
Spanish to English
+ ...
I take real good care of myself Oct 18, 2012

As a freelancer worker with deadlines, I take care of myself and really try hard not to fall ill. I only remember one day when I was ill but was still capable of translating. I can translate squiffy and with a hangover too. I'm just a bit slower.

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Paula Hernández
United Kingdom
Local time: 01:20
English to Spanish
+ ...
No need Oct 18, 2012

I have this weird luck and whenever I do not have any energy, I do not receive any jobs. It's quite cool actually!

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Svitlana Botchenko
Ukraine
Local time: 03:20
English to Russian
+ ...
yeah Oct 18, 2012

I'm doing it right now. My spine hurts a lot and I've got MRI scheduled on Monday. The irony is that I'm actually translating a MRI manual.

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Michael Harris  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 02:20
Member (2006)
German to English
Hi Tatty Oct 18, 2012

Tatty wrote:

As a freelancer worker with deadlines, I take care of myself and really try hard not to fall ill. I only remember one day when I was ill but was still capable of translating. I can translate squiffy and with a hangover too. I'm just a bit slower.


Wait until you have children That is when the real fun starts with catching whatever is lying around. I never used to get ill until we had the girls and seeing as I always take them to and pick them both up from their respective kindergartens, they are just sooooo considerate enough to share everything with me
And Mary, yep you are right, there is respect from customers when you are honest with them about this sort of stuff.

[Edited at 2012-10-18 11:14 GMT]


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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 01:20
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Once or twice! Oct 18, 2012

What I have learned from the experience? When I fall ill (luckily I have a very good health!), I let my clients know immediately... In general, they wait until I get better. In the long run, it's always preferable to ask for a deadline extension as soon as possible than to have to deal with quality issues later on.

[Edited at 2012-10-18 11:34 GMT]


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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 02:20
Spanish to English
+ ...
Yes, a couple of times Oct 18, 2012

Once I was in hospital after sustaining a double fractured wrist in a traffic accident and I asked the client to bring me a laptop, which I then used to finish a pending translation, albeit with my only good (left) hand. I wouldn't normally do this, but it was for one of my best customers and my dedication has been rewarded over the years.
Luckily they had used a local anaesthetic so I was able to only work a couple of hours after surgery. The downside was that it was terribly painful when the analgesic wore off.

In fact, I also revised some texts the last time I was hospitalised too (for about 3-4 days). I also usually take any texts I have for revision when I have to sit in hospital or dentist's waiting rooms, as sometimes you can be there for several hours and I'd rather use the time fruitfully if possible.

[Edited at 2012-10-18 09:44 GMT]


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Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 02:20
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Oh yes, several times. Oct 18, 2012

The last time was a couple of weeks ago.

The deadline was very tight, the project involving 8 translations to then be checked against 8 videos to ensure they're lip-sync. This type of work usually is fun (interesting topics), but that time it turned into "hard-labor" due to a severe bronchitis. However, I even had to laugh - afterwards! - because of all the "continuous sneezer" which made the video verification, well, let's just say quite interesting to the point that I knew pretty much every line by heart.


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Mary Worby  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 01:20
Member
German to English
+ ...
The joys of parenthood! Oct 18, 2012

Michael Harris wrote:


Wait until you have children That is when the real fun starts with catching whatever is lying around. I never used to get ill until we had the girls and seeing as I always take them to and pick them both up from their respective kindergartens, they are just sooooo considerate enough to share everything with me



You're right, they're generous like that. Fortunately, it's just a passing phase and by the time they hit school the whole family seems to have built up more resistance, thankfully!


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Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 17:20
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Several times Oct 18, 2012

Health challenges are part of aging, so even if I take good care of myself, stuff is bound to happen. I remember a few times in particular:

- I was translating at an international conference and had caught the Asian flu on the plane going to the meeting. I could barely stay upright, and my work was strange. It was needed for a session the next morning and there was no one to relieve me. The reviewer caught my mistakes.

- I had been hospitalized suddenly and took my work with me on an old laptop. Patients weren't allows to have laptops, but I kept it hidden under the covers and managed to finish the assignment on time.

- I had eye surgery and thought it wouldn't be a problem to keep on working, but it was torture!


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Helen Hagon  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:20
Member (2011)
Russian to English
+ ...
Sometimes Oct 18, 2012

I remember when I was little, my mum saying 'Mums don't have time to be ill' - and now I'm a mum (and a translator!) I see what she meant.
I have occasionally battled on through flu or other nasty bugs - if it was really bad I tried to work in bed. However, looking back at my work when I was better, I was horrified at the rubbish I had written! This is one of the many reasons I prefer long-term projects. You never know what is around the corner, so if I am working on a project which is set to take a few months, I can afford to miss the odd day if necessary and catch up later on.


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Marlene Blanshay  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 20:20
Member (2009)
French to English
+ ...
once or twice Oct 18, 2012

It's funny but I have the same phenomenon as Paula and for some reason, when I'm sick I don't seem to get many job offers! However, I don't get sick a lot, maybe one cold a year.

Just this past month, I had to back out of a rush editing job because I was just too sick to sit up and concentrate. I let the client know right away so they could find someone else. I was only too sick for one or two days and then, as luck would have it, another job I'd been waiting to hear about got cancelled!

A couple of years ago I was already working on a small translation job when I was stricken with a norovirus. I was unable to really work for a couple of days as all I did was sleep. I managed to complete it when I felt better but once again, I didn't get any more job offers for a couple of days and was relieved I didn't have to turn anything down.


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