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Poll: Have you ever missed a deadline?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 01:58
SITE STAFF
Aug 18, 2015

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Have you ever missed a deadline?".

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Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 01:58
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
No - but ... Aug 18, 2015

... sometimes I have had to renegotiate. Bottom line: I have never failed to deliver my work later than the client was expecting it in 40-plus years.

That said, I recently had a misunderstanding. The client was expecting it on Wednesday, but my records showed it was promised for Thursday. I couldn't give it to them when they wanted it, but it was waiting for this first thing the next morning.

Didn't we have this question quite recently?


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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 09:58
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Yes, once! Aug 18, 2015

A lesson that I have never forgotten! I'm known to deliver ahead of time, but very occasionally I have had to negotiate/renegotiate a new deadline.

@Muriel

Had the same impression, but couldn't find it: apparently the last one dates from 2011!


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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 10:58
Spanish to English
+ ...
Other Aug 18, 2015

Not that I recall. I suppose I might have delivered something late at some point, but if so, I'm sure it would have been due to circumstances beyond my control, or the laxity of others.

But I never miss a deadline if I can help it.


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Helen Hagon  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:58
Member (2011)
Russian to English
+ ...
Once, kind of... Aug 18, 2015

When I was just starting out, a customer asked me (casually, or so I thought) how long the translation might take. I told him 'about a couple of weeks'. When two weeks and one hour had passed, he sent me a very angry email demanding the translation, and refused to pay. Needless to say, I learned my lesson quickly. Now I have two deadlines - the one I tell the customer, and the one in my head, which is slightly earlier in order to avoid disaster. So far, fingers crossed, the system has worked.

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Kitty Brussaard  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 10:58
Member (2009)
English to Dutch
+ ...
Yes, but... Aug 18, 2015

never without notifying the client well in advance (and always for good reasons).

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Fiona Grace Peterson  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 10:58
Member
Italian to English
Communication is key Aug 18, 2015

Muriel Vasconcellos wrote:

sometimes I have had to renegotiate. Bottom line: I have never failed to deliver my work later than the client was expecting it in 40-plus years.



Same here. To me communication with customers is possibly THE most important thing when doing business, and I'm surprised how many freelancers are lax when it comes to this aspect

I was at a conference recently; we were doing a task in pairs, and my partner quite calmly admitted that she often misses deadlines, by two or three days. I couldn't believe my ears.


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 09:58
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
I have a new answer :( Aug 18, 2015

Muriel Vasconcellos wrote:
Didn't we have this question quite recently?

I've always been able to answer "no" quite truthfully. But just a while back my best client sent an email asking if a job would be delivered soon. I was horrified to find that it was due the day before. The job request was marked as important in my email box; my notebook had a handwritten entry; my excel sheet had all the details - so why did I miss the deadline? Search me!

In this case I suppose the problem was that I had a big job on; one that I knew was in hand so I didn't have to check anything. This little one was supposed to be slotted in but... It was a hard day but the experience taught me that no amount of records/reminders will work if you don't actually look at them.


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Laura Bissio CT  Identity Verified
Uruguay
Local time: 06:58
Member (2008)
English to Spanish
+ ...
I answered NO, but Aug 18, 2015

recently my email with the translated file ended up in the client's Spam box! Fortunately they found it there (after calling me to ask why I hadn't sent the file) and they realized it wasn't my fault.
I did have to renegotiate the deadline a couple of times.


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Alexander Kondorsky  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 12:58
English to Russian
+ ...
Yes Aug 18, 2015

This question in my opinion is similar to: have you ever committed any traffic violations?

The answer depends on your understanding of the question.
If you mean accidents with deaths, serious damage, traffic disruptions, the answer is "no"
If you mean exeeding speed limit, the answer is obviously "yes"

Same here. If you mean missing deadline which caused serious issues, it will be "no" or "one or two"
If you mean missing a deadline by a few minutes (hours) calling the client with apology (or having to call back a job due to being unable to make it on time) - it will definitely be "yes". How can a translator work (I mean many years) without having a single one occassion of that kind?


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Anthony Baldwin  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 04:58
Member (2006)
Portuguese to English
+ ...
once Aug 18, 2015

I was working for any agency with offices in London and in California.
A California PM had initially contacted me about a project, so I thought I was working with a PST deadline time, but the PM had handed off to someone in London without telling me that the deadline was for London time, so ultimately, not even my fault, and even in this case, it was only past the deadline by 40 minutes (I thought I was delivering early, as is my habit).

[Edited at 2015-08-18 14:57 GMT]


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Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 10:58
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Once Aug 18, 2015

But it was with the client's consent... and only a little over 1 hour. This was mainly due to the different time zones my client and I are libving in. The 70 minutes were granted, so I basically delivered on (the new) time.

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Lucia Moreno Velo  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 10:58
Member (2010)
French to Spanish
+ ...
When my father was in the ER Aug 18, 2015

I called to ask the translation be reassigned as it was impossible for me to meet the deadline and the client was rude. She said many things, but I remember one thing that has stuck through the years: "Well, I've had a bad day, too, but I'm doing my job!"

I very politely repeted my request, made it very clear I could not deliver on time and hung up. Then I took a plane to sleep on a waiting room chair for days while my father's heart tried to make it.

It did! My father's still with us and the client eventually apolagized. I'm still working for her from time to time.

Otherwise, no, I've never missed a deadline. I reject jobs if I the deadline is too tight.

Cheers,
Lucía


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Yaotl Altan  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 03:58
Member (2006)
English to Spanish
+ ...
:) Aug 18, 2015

Lucia Moreno Velo wrote:

I called to ask the translation be reassigned as it was impossible for me to meet the deadline and the client was rude. She said many things, but I remember one thing that has stuck through the years: "Well, I've had a bad day, too, but I'm doing my job!"

I very politely repeted my request, made it very clear I could not deliver on time and hung up. Then I took a plane to sleep on a waiting room chair for days while my father's heart tried to make it.

It did! My father's still with us and the client eventually apolagized. I'm still working for her from time to time.

Otherwise, no, I've never missed a deadline. I reject jobs if I the deadline is too tight.

Cheers,
Lucía



This is the kind of writings where I would gladly leave a "Like" if we had a button like that of Facebook.

I was touched by your words, Lucía. Have a nice day.


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Mario Freitas  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 07:58
Member (2014)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
No = never? Aug 19, 2015

If so, I'm sorry, but I won't believe anyone who answered no. It's not possible unless you started last year in the profession.

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