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Poll: Have you ever "fired" one of your clients?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 02:42
SITE STAFF
Jul 26, 2013

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Have you ever "fired" one of your clients?".

This poll was originally submitted by Giuseppina Gatta, MA (Hons). View the poll results »



 

Sophie Dzhygir  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 11:42
Member (2007)
German to French
+ ...
I'm not sure what you mean Jul 26, 2013

I've already stopped working with some clients. For some, without really telling them, and for others, I told them why. But always courteously. I would not call that "firing", because firing involves some aggressivity, in my opinion.

 

Michael Harris  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 11:42
Member (2006)
German to English
Yes, a few times Jul 26, 2013

Yes, I threw them out and told them not to contact me again - notorious very late payers- Fortunately this was a few years ago and (touch wood) I have clear out all of my rubbish and work only with reliable people now

 

Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 10:42
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
That's exactly why I answered "Other"! Jul 26, 2013

Sophie Dzhygir wrote:

I've already stopped working with some clients. For some, without really telling them, and for others, I told them why. But always courteously. I would not call that "firing", because firing involves some aggressivity, in my opinion.


 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 11:42
Spanish to English
+ ...
Yes, once or twice Jul 26, 2013

Definitely once. "Fired" was the appropriate term in my case, as I was quite angry...

An advertising agency I had worked with on several occasions approached me with an "urgent" translation, which they were supposed to send me on the Thursday or Friday to be translated over the weekend. I agreed, and because I was expecting this work I refused offers from other clients. In the end, the ad agency sent me nothing and did nothing to contact me or let me know. After about six weeks, the same agency came back to me again with the same project, which had apparently just received the go-ahead. This time round, I told them in no uncertain terms that I was not available and didn't want to get my fingers burnt in similar fashion any more. What was most irritating was their response that I should have contacted them to find out what was going on, rather than them contacting me.

I now slightly regret it, but only slightly. Funnily enough, my contact in that agency had previously worked for another advertising company which I also finally sent packing, as they were frequently mendacious late payers with little respect or consideration for their translators.

PS: Pax @Sophie, Teresa; I consider "courtesy" as appropriate only when it is due. Any perceived lack of respect usually engenders the same chez moi. It's known as "tit for tat".

[Edited at 2013-07-26 08:45 GMT]

[Edited at 2013-07-26 08:46 GMT]


 

Suzan Hamer  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 11:42
English
+ ...
Only once. Jul 26, 2013

The client, an advertising agency, praised my translation of a creative, literary text as wonderful, beautiful, but then several months later asked me to make some small, random changes to appease their client.

Apparently he, a non-native speaker, thought he spoke excellent English and to prove it, said he wasn't satisfied with the translation, although the writer, the creative team, the advertising agency--EVERYONE else thought it was great.

So my client asked me to just here and there, change some words. ANY words. They were sure it would probably take me less than an hour... I forget now how long the translation was, but short story length...

I told them I would be happy to oblige if they could point out specific examples of words that should be changed, that their client wasn't happy with... but they said I should just go through and randomly change words here and there...

I cannot now believe how much time I spent back-and-forth with them, bending over backwards to please them, but holding firm that I wasn't going to mess with what they agreed was a perfect text unless they could show me concrete examples of places where the translation could be improved.

They could not. They just kept insisting that I "change maybe 4 sentences and a word here and there, without changing the tenor of the text of course" so their client could save face.

I could not. So that was the end of THAT relationship.


 

Manescu Alexandra  Identity Verified
Romania
Local time: 12:42
Romanian to English
+ ...
stuff Jul 26, 2013

ProZ.com Staff wrote:

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Have you ever "fired" one of your clients?".

This poll was originally submitted by Giuseppina Gatta, MA (Hons). View the poll results »


I did fired, sometime an old client because he did not want to count the text as translator do (page). So he pay two pages at the price of one? But we get back to work again, sometimes I called him, and lately he do that, even if we had really big fights (arguments).


 

Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 10:42
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Neil Jul 26, 2013



PS: Pax @Sophie, Teresa; I consider "courtesy" as appropriate only when it is due. Any perceived lack of respect usually engenders the same chez moi. It's known as "tit for tat".

[Edited at 2013-07-26 08:45 GMT]

[Edited at 2013-07-26 08:46 GMT]


Age has taught me to ignore rudeness, impoliteness or lack of respect, I tend to sigh, roll my eyes and respond by being over-courteous… Anyway, I can't remember ever being in that situation with a client! In total over the years, I stopped working with 3 clients and all of them were (very) late payers!


 

John Cutler  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 11:42
Spanish to English
+ ...
Sure, why not? Jul 26, 2013

Yes, just off the top of my head: for being late payers, for being hysterical in general, offering low rates and/or ridiculous deadlines, asking too many follow-up questions that were simply a veiled attempt to get free English classes from me rather than clear up any real translation doubts, asking me to do menusicon_smile.gif, offering certain conditions then trying to change them mid-stream, asking me to do “corrections” when what they really meant were complete re-writes from scratch, and so on and so forth. I must be getting old because I really don’t suffer fools gladly anymore.

 

Marlene Blanshay  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 05:42
Member (2009)
French to English
+ ...
yes... Jul 26, 2013

a client who I worked with on a couple of projects and that was enough.

One was website material for a client she called "difficult". But we managed to get it done. I should have just taken it as an omen because it was such an ordeal, between her and the client.... The next was a large project for another agency and it was a disaster from start to finish, because it was split between several translators, one jumped ship and I had to help her find another. The other agency that outsourced was also notoriously disorganized and I realized this woman seemed to have a knack for finding difficult and disorganized clients. She was also extremely high strung, disorganized and not very good at explaining things in what was turning out to be a complicated project that should have been straightforward- a website. I had to translate and revise as well. It was just one of those projects that was a nightmare all the way down the line. I was just relieved when it was over and was not impressed to say the least, with how the whole thing had been done.
She called me another time to ask if i was available for a project and it seemed a simple revision, so I thought, why not. But it was the same thing, with tons of confusing instructions which were impossible to decipher, I had to call her and try to follow her high-speed chatter, and I finally just said I couldn't do it and I had no time. I just realized that the way she works is impossible, that she'd hyperactive, disorganized and that every project with her would be a disaster. She contacted me once again about a technical writing job but I refused. I never worked for her again and never heard from her again. However, she DID pay on time, but it wasn't worth the hassle!


 

Jack Doughty  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:42
Member (2000)
Russian to English
+ ...
Once Jul 26, 2013

A translation agency I had worked with once before asked me to translate an article from Russian for The Guardian. I included translator's notes at one or two points as I felt the term used required explanation. The project manager was furious. How dare I put translator's notes in something intended for a news bureau? They would never want them. It so happened that just before this, I had spent six months in the news bureau at BBC Monitoring, where such notes were welcomed. The discussion became heated and I ended by telling her to take me off the agency's books. The agency went bankrupt a few months later, fortunately not before they had paid me for the previous job I had done for them.

 

DianeGM  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:42
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Yes ... Jul 26, 2013

I have stopped working with several clients for various reasons over the years; late payment, quality of source texts, irritation with non-qualified 'proof-readers', irritation with tone and content of communication or lack thereof, lack of clarity with instructions, misrepresentation of jobs [e.g. saying proof-reading meaning re-translation], and changing terms and conditions when the job is clearly underway, etc.

I see my time as important and I don't have much patience with those who (try to) waste it! I love my work and I like to spend my working time efficiently, so I have maximum time for friends, family, on my hobbies and interests, etc.


 

Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 11:42
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Yes, twice Jul 26, 2013

A client I had been working with on several projects for several months suddenly turned into a non-payer and, upon my reminders, became a little "less professional", if you know what I mean? So we went our separate ways. To be more precise; I parted from them while they keep sending me work which I, in turn, keep deleting after having asked them to remove me from their list of LSPs.

On another occasion our collaboration started under the "Star of Confusion", e.g. misinterpreted acceptance, delivery of the wrong document (to me), and after the translation the proof-reader decided to delete perfectly correct terms to then...replace them with the exact same term, resulting in the most tags I've ever seen in any proof-read document. To their credit, I must state that they did pay me, even on time, but it was clear that we had no future together.

I'm not at all eager to fire anybody, but life is too short and I enjoy/love what I'm doing too much to linger on not exactly "favorable" grounds.icon_wink.gif

[Edited at 2013-07-26 11:55 GMT]


 

Mario Chavez  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:42
English to Spanish
+ ...
Independent contractors don't fire anyone Jul 26, 2013

Teresa Borges wrote:

Sophie Dzhygir wrote:

I've already stopped working with some clients. For some, without really telling them, and for others, I told them why. But always courteously. I would not call that "firing", because firing involves some aggressivity, in my opinion.


The use of the word 'firing' is entirely incorrect.

Number one, firing someone means that there's a preexisting labor relation, that the person being fired reports to you or is your subordinate. Unless you are an in-house translation manager and you terminate a subordinate's contract with your company, you are not firing anyone.

Number two, if you decide to terminate a business relationship with a client, you may do it by ignoring them, by telling them courteously as Sophie suggested, or by writing a letter if circumstances warrant it. For example, if there is a lawsuit and you want nothing to do with them anymore.

Neilmac, courtesy is always called for. The tit for tat you seem to advocate sounds very unprofessional behavior to me.

As for the verb 'to fire,' seems to me it's just one of those American marketing/Human Resources lingo items that we can quietly ignore.


 

Giuseppina Gatta, MA (Hons)
Member (2005)
English to Italian
+ ...
That's the reason why... Jul 26, 2013

Mario Chavez wrote:

Teresa Borges wrote:

Sophie Dzhygir wrote:

I've already stopped working with some clients. For some, without really telling them, and for others, I told them why. But always courteously. I would not call that "firing", because firing involves some aggressivity, in my opinion.


The use of the word 'firing' is entirely incorrect.

Number one, firing someone means that there's a preexisting labor relation, that the person being fired reports to you or is your subordinate. Unless you are an in-house translation manager and you terminate a subordinate's contract with your company, you are not firing anyone.

Number two, if you decide to terminate a business relationship with a client, you may do it by ignoring them, by telling them courteously as Sophie suggested, or by writing a letter if circumstances warrant it. For example, if there is a lawsuit and you want nothing to do with them anymore.

Neilmac, courtesy is always called for. The tit for tat you seem to advocate sounds very unprofessional behavior to me.

As for the verb 'to fire,' seems to me it's just one of those American marketing/Human Resources lingo items that we can quietly ignore.


... I used quotes. We are all linguists here and everybody else understood what I meant. I don't think anybody required an explanation.


[Modificato alle 2013-07-26 13:27 GMT]


 
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