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Poll: What do you usually do if you become sick while working on a project?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 05:10
SITE STAFF
May 29, 2015

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "What do you usually do if you become sick while working on a project?".

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Augusta Habas
France
Local time: 14:10
Italian to French
+ ...
I request a deadline extension May 29, 2015

...if I am really feeling too bad to sit and work, and once I realize I am not going to be able to meet the deadline.
It happened to me once this year, I had a terrible flu and could do nothing else but sleeping for 3 days!


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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 13:10
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Other May 29, 2015

It depends on the level of illness. In theory, I will carry on. If not possible, I would try to renegotiate a new deadline and, as I have the habit of delivering before time, I will expect a certain level of understanding and sympathy from my long-term customers. I must say that in almost 40 years as a full-time translator I have never faced such a problem, so I will keep my fingers (and toes) crossed...

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Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Member (2011)
Swedish to English
+ ...
I just carry on May 29, 2015

and maybe cover the keyboard in cling film

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Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 05:10
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
I just keep on going May 29, 2015

I learned the hard way.

Back in 2003 I ended up in the hospital. I informed my client, and they canceled all the work they had scheduled for me - about 200 pages of the kind of translation that I most like to do.

Another time, before that, my eyes were swollen shut with an allergic reaction. I returned the work, as I had just started on it, and I never heard from the client again.


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564354352  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 14:10
Danish to English
+ ...
I don't get that sick May 29, 2015

Since I went self-employed, I haven't been sick at 'inconvenient' times, so this hasn't been a problem for me. I did have hip surgery last year and expected to be more or less off work for at least six weeks, but as it happened, work slowed down during that period, and after about a week, I just started picking up whatever came in and did the work in my own time. I.e. small amounts of work, then rest, then work, then rest...

Maybe that falls under the 'I just keep working' category?


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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 09:10
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Exactly - verbatim May 29, 2015

Teresa Borges wrote:

It depends on the level of illness. In theory, I will carry on. If not possible, I would try to renegotiate a new deadline and, as I have the habit of delivering before time, I will expect a certain level of understanding and sympathy from my long-term customers. I must say that in almost 40 years as a full-time translator I have never faced such a problem, so I will keep my fingers (and toes) crossed...


From my experience, clients and/or their accountants get sick and locked up in hospital 100 times more often on paydays than translators on delivery dates.

Right now I have one, a local direct client, who should have paid me a few days ago, but he can't do it for the time being, because "he broke his pinky toe", according to his PA. When I questioned her about it, she confirmed that yes, both of us use the same bank, so one phone call (among other online options) would settle that in real time, service available 24/7.

Translating seems to be a much healthier profession than "translation clienting".


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Michael Harris  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 14:10
Member (2006)
German to English
I keep on working May 29, 2015

depending on the deadline, I may take one day off to sleep all day, but otherwise....

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Yetta J Bogarde  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 14:10
Member (2012)
English to Danish
+ ...
Try to keep on going May 29, 2015

with some rest in between seances of translation.

- And this is another situation, where it's easier to be a freelancer than working in-house.

However, about a year ago I urgently needed an operation and stayed at hospital for 5 days.

It was unexpected and I had to cancel one job. My client understood and I'm still working for them.


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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 14:10
Spanish to English
+ ...
Other May 29, 2015

Depends how seriously I'm affected. After sustaining a compound wrist fracture in a traffic accident about ten years ago, I got my client to bring me a laptop and finished the job I was halfway through with my one good hand, while still in hospital. Later, a few years ago, I was on chemo which was pretty debilitating for the first year, but I still managed to keep working through that too. In general, I'll try to finish the job myself, or in a worst case scenario get a trusted colleague to help out, or ask for a deadline extension.

[Edited at 2015-05-29 11:21 GMT]


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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 14:10
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
If it's migraine I stop May 29, 2015

Mercifully I don't get migraine the way I used to, one of the advantages of getting older. Even though the medication works to the extent that I am comfortable, I don't drive or do translation work when under the influence.

In my case it affects language ability, so I ask for an extension of the deadline or ask the agency to find someone else to take over.

Many years ago I had an episode when I could only manage German - which I had only been learning for a few weeks - when I needed French, in which I was normally far more fluent. I don't remember whether it was correct German!! Normally, I simply come up with gibberish, or miss typos and use the wrong word for the context.

If I'm feverish, which is rare, I can't keep my eyes open, but if I have time to sleep it off, I carry on when I can.


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Lori Cirefice  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 14:10
French to English
Keep on working May 29, 2015

So far I have never been sick enough to be entirely unable to work, but if it happened I would ask for a deadline extension, and if not possible - just send my uncompleted work to be finished by someone else. Of course this is for agency clients, for a direct client I would subcontract.

A few years ago, I had just accepted a short job to be completed the same day. Less than an hour later, my husband got a snake bite and I had to drive him to the ER. As I wasn't sure when I would be back, and if I would be able to do the job in time or not, I told the agency to find another translator before running out the door. It was a long-term client and I'm still working with them today.


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Angus Stewart  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:10
Member (2011)
French to English
+ ...
Migraines May 29, 2015

Christine Andersen wrote:If it's migraine I stop


It is the same for me. I have learnt from experience that continuing to work through a migraine only serves to make it worse and ultimately increases the period during which I am unavailable for work.


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Jaime Oriard  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 07:10
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Multiple solutions May 29, 2015

It depends on the illness, of course.

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Mario Chavez  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:10
English to Spanish
+ ...
Downsides of being a sick independent translator May 29, 2015

Muriel Vasconcellos wrote:

I learned the hard way.

Back in 2003 I ended up in the hospital. I informed my client, and they canceled all the work they had scheduled for me - about 200 pages of the kind of translation that I most like to do.

Another time, before that, my eyes were swollen shut with an allergic reaction. I returned the work, as I had just started on it, and I never heard from the client again.


Ouch, I feel for you! The closest thing to such an emergency situation happened to me back in 1997, when my hands and wrists hurt so much that I feared I had to undergo carpal tunnel surgery.

Fortunately for me, I didn't have to stop working and I did see a hand surgeon, who prescribed 10 days of rehab therapy. After my second session, my hands and wrists felt like new again.


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