Poll: Have you ever had to abandon a project before you finished it?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 02:05
SITE STAFF
Feb 21, 2015

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Have you ever had to abandon a project before you finished it?".

This poll was originally submitted by Uma Krishnan. View the poll results »



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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 11:05
Spanish to English
+ ...
Other Feb 21, 2015

Not as far as I recall. It would be most unlikely, as I don't usually accept any jobs unless I think I can deliver them on time. It may have happened once... but as I say, I don't remember and anyway, it would be an extremely rare event.

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Tim Drayton  Identity Verified
Cyprus
Local time: 12:05
Turkish to English
+ ...
No, never Feb 21, 2015

Pacta sunt servanda is my watchword. I can see how serious illness or accident would prevent the completion of a project but, thankfully, this has never happened to me so far.

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Julian Holmes  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 19:05
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
No, never Feb 21, 2015

Tim Drayton wrote:

Pacta sunt servanda is my watchword. I can see how serious illness or accident would prevent the completion of a project but, thankfully, this has never happened to me so far.


Me, too.

However, we are all human and fallible. There will always be mitigating circumstances.


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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 10:05
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
No, never! Feb 21, 2015

The only serious illness I had was not sudden and I had enough time to prepare myself (and my clients) for my surgical intervention and the weeks of recovery that followed. In the meantime all projects were translated by a trusted colleague and reviewed by me.

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Philippe Etienne  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 11:05
Member
English to French
Yes, a few times Feb 21, 2015

...when the agency cancels the job after I started.
I haven't yet given up a project midway because of unforeseen and serious circumstances.

As a rule, never base-jump in a wing suit, race on a circuit or dive on a wreck when you have translations underway.

Philippe


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Victoria Batarchuk  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 12:05
Member (2015)
English to Russian
+ ...
Yes, a few times, Feb 21, 2015

when the customer cancelled or postponed the project. Thankfully, those terminated jobs were paid in full (the part I had already done by the moment).

I have never abandoned any project on my own initiative. In for a penny, in for a pound.


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Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 02:05
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Twice Feb 21, 2015

Twice, for health reasons:
1. In 1995 I had accepted a job knowing that I would be having eye surgery, but I after the surgery I couldn't see at all and I couldn't finish the work.
2. In 2003, I was working on a very long project (fact sheets on over 100 zoonotic diseases) when my doctor admitted me to the ICU. I was planning to finish, and I was working from my laptop, but when I e-mailed my client to ask for an extension on the segment I was working on, the client pulled the entire project.


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Claire Cox
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:05
French to English
+ ...
Once or twice Feb 21, 2015

Once when my first baby arrived a week early, totally taking me by surprise (I'm usually late for everything!); the clients were very understanding and paid me anyway for what I'd done, even though the job wasn't finished or proof-read! Then another time I hadn't actually started the translation, but went down very suddenly with swine flu and most definitely couldn't have translated - it took all my energy to crawl to the telephone and call the client to cancel. Fortunately there was a long deadline and the client was again very sympathetic.

On other occasions I've cancelled a job soon after receipt when it became apparent that the so-called "straightforward" text was much more technical, or out of my comfort zone than I'd been led to believe, but I would always try and point the client in the direction of a more suitably qualified translator in those cases.


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 10:05
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Not a translation project Feb 21, 2015

I did once have to abandon a teaching project, to my enormous chagrin. The 26-year-old students were on a last-chance diploma course paid for by the French government, none with any real future and studying just to keep their entitlement to the dole. English was compulsory and none could see any point in it. They answered phones, read magazines, swore at me... When a fight broke out, I realised I was well out of my depth.

And one time I'd just got onto a motorway when a tanker emptied its load of diesel all over it - took longer than a lesson to sort that out. You're much more in control of things as a translator. I was just lucky that my appendix turned bad at the weekend. Obviously nobody can guarantee good health every day of every year.

@ Muriel: I do hope your client paid for every minute of your time. You're at least due that.


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Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 11:05
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Not a translation project Feb 21, 2015

Since I am also doing screenplay analysis, I had stopped reading a couple of screenplays about midway for a number of reasons. When reading a script, but still being lost in regards to the main plot after more than 25 pages, or trying to ignore redundand repetitions, then it's better to return the script to the writer than to drag the read on forever...with the same result.

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Yetta J Bogarde  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 11:05
Member (2012)
English to Danish
+ ...
I answered no, Feb 21, 2015

thinking, of course not, why would I give up in the middle of something I had checked out and agreed to?

But now on second thoughts that's not entirely true, because one day in May of last year I was unexpectedly rushed to the hospital and had to get operated right away.
So I had to email my clients by iPad and one project was cancelled. The client was perfectly understanding.

And one other time a PM accidentally had assigned 2 translators to the same job. I was asked to stop and bill them for the time I had spent.


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Triston Goodwin  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 03:05
Spanish to English
+ ...
Twice Feb 21, 2015

Due to tornadoes and other crazy weather. I'm so glad I'm moving this week

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Maxi Schwarz
Local time: 04:05
German to English
+ ...
Only due to end client cancellation - once Feb 22, 2015

It was a project for a government department handled by an agency. The department head was on holidays. When she returned and discovered the translation was underway, she disagreed with her deputy's decision, and fired off a "stop all translation immediately" - all in caps. That was the only time.

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Luiz Barucke
Brazil
Local time: 08:05
Member (2013)
Spanish to Portuguese
+ ...
Never... Feb 22, 2015

...until now. But it happens.

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Poll: Have you ever had to abandon a project before you finished it?

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