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Poll: Do you keep the availability calendar in your profile updated?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 21:24
SITE STAFF
Sep 28, 2015

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do you keep the availability calendar in your profile updated?".

This poll was originally submitted by Susana E. Cano Méndez. View the poll results »



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Susana E. Cano Méndez  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 06:24
Member
French to Spanish
+ ...
Calendar off Sep 28, 2015

Hello,

I have proposed this poll, because I have found out this:

-If you keep the calendar updated and the biggest part is green, it looks as if you were a not-so-good or experienced translator because you have no clients and a lot of time left. Conclusion: clients won't call on you.
-If you keep the calendar updated and the biggest part is red, it looks as if you were very good or experienced translator because you have many clients and little time left. Conclusion: clients won't call on you.

So, what is to be done: keeping the calendar yellow all the time? That is to say, lying a bit?

So what I have done is turning the calendar off.

My poll was a bit more sophisitcated (longer) but staff has made it shorter, maybe with good reason.


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Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Swedish to English
+ ...
No Sep 28, 2015

Because I charge a sensible price, I have never received any work through this site, so there is little point in updating the calendar.

Given that not one of the hundreds of time-wasters enquiring about my services via this site over the past decade has looked at my prices, I don't imagine they'll look at the calendar either.


[Edited at 2015-09-28 08:21 GMT]


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Michael Harris  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 06:24
Member (2006)
German to English
Yes, Sep 28, 2015

always

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Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Swedish to English
+ ...
No, part 2 Sep 28, 2015

I work occasionally for various agencies that also have these infernal availability calendars, which they expect people to update.

Well I'd say my workload changes about twice daily on average. So that means updating all these pesky calendars twice daily.

And they expect us to take the time to do that - and still charge a pittance?

I really don't see what is wrong with the time-honoured courtesy of phoning or emailing to ask me whether I am available to do a job.

Even if my calendar shows I am available, I might not want to do their job, so they're going to have to ask nicely at some point anyway.

Yeah, right. Stupid automated systems.

Thank God for the few who still care, and especially for direct clients with realistic expectations and deep pockets.

I'm really not in a good mood today. The world has gone to pot and I am not happy about it.


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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 06:24
Spanish to English
+ ...
No Sep 28, 2015

Because I'm not usually available and/or interested, and since it's not a priority for me, I'd actually forgotten all about it. The poll query having jogged my memory, I was about to update it now... But it just seems like too much bother. For example, I might have some limited availability for potential new clients this week and next week... But then one of my regular clients might turn up in a hurry with something important...

So... meh.


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Yasutomo Kanazawa  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:24
Off Sep 28, 2015

Susana E. Cano Méndez wrote:

Hello,

I have proposed this poll, because I have found out this:

-If you keep the calendar updated and the biggest part is red, it looks as if you were very good or experienced translator because you have many clients and little time left. Conclusion: clients won't call on you.

So what I have done is turning the calendar off.



I used to update my calendar until few years ago, but now I don't. Whether I keep it red and tell my clients that I am busy (not lying, but truly busy), they will contact me anyway. I get the impression that steady clients don't look at my profile or my calendar; they would just contact me directly and ask me for my availability. For first time clients and others, they too don't bother to look at my calendar even though they send me an email asking for my availability despite of looking at my profile.

Conclusion: useless=turn off


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Natalie Soper  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:24
French to English
+ ...
No Sep 28, 2015

I completely forgot that it existed, so I'll probably turn it off now!

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DianeGM  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:24
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
No ... Sep 28, 2015

Never thought about it - but I never update it - not sure if I knew that you could disable it.
Should I disable it if I don't update it?


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Augusta Habas
France
Local time: 06:24
Italian to French
+ ...
Yes, when I don't forget Sep 28, 2015

50% of people working on Monday mornings and answering proz polls said yes...

I try to use the calendar more for myself than for potential clients: I don't know if they really look at that little color point. For my personal use, I found it very useful when I got overwhelmed and didn't know when to refuse a project, especially because I have many half-days off work.


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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 02:24
English to Portuguese
+ ...
I thought about it Sep 28, 2015

Susana E. Cano Méndez wrote:

I have found out this:

-If you keep the calendar updated and the biggest part is green, it looks as if you were a not-so-good or experienced translator because you have no clients and a lot of time left. Conclusion: clients won't call on you.

-If you keep the calendar updated and the biggest part is red, it looks as if you were very good or experienced translator because you have many clients and little time left. Conclusion: clients won't call on you.


Chris S wrote:

I work occasionally for various agencies that also have these infernal availability calendars, which they expect people to update.

Well I'd say my workload changes about twice daily on average. So that means updating all these pesky calendars twice daily.

And they expect us to take the time to do that - and still charge a pittance?


... not to mention going through hoops to login to their site before being able to update that darn calendar.

So I chose to unify my availability calendar on Proz. Simpler than building one for my own web site, more neutral than using one on any client's.

However the concept I use is slightly different. I'm not stating that I am "jobless and available" with green, nor "loaded above the lid" with red, but merely saying how much of my workload scheduled for any day may be deferred to fit in a new request.

This is explained on a specific page on my web site, which provides a link to my availability calendar on Proz. This page has no SEO keywords, and no internal links. I only provide the URL to my frequent clients, so they can quickly check when I'll be fully available.


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Julian Holmes  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 14:24
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
No Sep 28, 2015

Because the kind of clients I work for would not look at the calendar in the first place to see if I am available or not. Over 95% of them are Japanese and they ask me directly if I can handle jobs/projects by a certain date. Why circumvent me and look at this calendar if they can contact and ask me directly? None of them at all have ever commented at a later date that they didn't consider me for a certain job/project because 'Holmes-san's availability calendar was completely red.'

And, my choice to not keep my calendar up to date to reflect my current availability status is no reflection on my ability to pull in customers or my translation skills and experience.

I will however keep my profile up to date if I notice something missing though as this is one of my online profiles.


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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 06:24
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Yes, but I'm not sure it makes much difference Sep 28, 2015

I usually keep my calendar red or orange, indicating that I am not available or 'hardly available'.

I think most potential clients contact me anyway and don't look at it much, but it shows the current state of affairs if they do, and I like the colours better than the acid yellow or bright green.

I update one client's calendar when I am going on holiday oer doing a large job and really not available, and one other client's if they send me a lot of jobs - a sort of reminder that OK, now I'm busy, so please wait a bit before sending any more.
Regular clients get a mail before and after I go on holiday, and can update their own calendars as they think fit.

Otherwise I prefer to answer mails, however briefly, or set up an 'out of office'.


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Mario Chavez  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:24
English to Spanish
+ ...
Online calendars are so 1995 Sep 28, 2015

Chris S wrote:

I work occasionally for various agencies that also have these infernal availability calendars, which they expect people to update.

Well I'd say my workload changes about twice daily on average. So that means updating all these pesky calendars twice daily.

And they expect us to take the time to do that - and still charge a pittance?

I really don't see what is wrong with the time-honoured courtesy of phoning or emailing to ask me whether I am available to do a job.

Even if my calendar shows I am available, I might not want to do their job, so they're going to have to ask nicely at some point anyway.

Yeah, right. Stupid automated systems.

Thank God for the few who still care, and especially for direct clients with realistic expectations and deep pockets.

I'm really not in a good mood today. The world has gone to pot and I am not happy about it.


Cheer up. Something even worse will happen this week ♫


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Mario Chavez  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:24
English to Spanish
+ ...
Calendars? Do people use those? Sep 28, 2015

Susana E. Cano Méndez wrote:

Hello,

I have proposed this poll, because I have found out this:

-If you keep the calendar updated and the biggest part is green, it looks as if you were a not-so-good or experienced translator because you have no clients and a lot of time left. Conclusion: clients won't call on you.
-If you keep the calendar updated and the biggest part is red, it looks as if you were very good or experienced translator because you have many clients and little time left. Conclusion: clients won't call on you.

So, what is to be done: keeping the calendar yellow all the time? That is to say, lying a bit?

So what I have done is turning the calendar off.

My poll was a bit more sophisitcated (longer) but staff has made it shorter, maybe with good reason.


I suggest not to pay any attention to online calendars. They are meaningless. Unless you have been specifically told or asked to update or check your online calendar (Proz calendar or otherwise) by a bonafide customer (that is, a customer who actually used and paid for your services), using such a calendar is a waste of time (i.e. an exercise in futility).

Like Chris S, I don't get clients or jobs from this website (meaning, I do not depend on Proz to put food on my table). I only come here for the fun polls.


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