Poll: Would you like someone to work for your clients in your place while you go on vacation?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 05:11
SITE STAFF
Mar 17, 2016

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Would you like someone to work for your clients in your place while you go on vacation?".

This poll was originally submitted by Irene Koukia. View the poll results »



Direct link Reply with quote
 

Alexandra Speirs  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:11
Italian to English
+ ...
keep it in the family Mar 17, 2016

When I manage to go on holiday, I either take some small jobs with me or leave my son to look after my clients.
That's the advantage of translating as a family business.
He also likes interpreting, which I don't do very much.


Afterthought:
This is of course for direct clients. The agencies have their own fleet of translators to choose from.

[Edited at 2016-03-17 14:04 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Michael Harris  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 14:11
Member (2006)
German to English
Other Mar 17, 2016

Holiday?

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 13:11
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Other Mar 17, 2016

Vacation!? Since my children left home (some 20 years ago), I don’t take family vacations any more, but very long “weekends” throughout the year and an odd day here and there whenever I feel like it and I’m always accompanied by my laptop as one never knows when an emergency might arise.

12 years ago when I was hospitalized (total thyroidectomy) I did ask a trusted friend (also a translator) to take care of the “shop” for me during one week…


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Yetta J Bogarde  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 14:11
Member (2012)
English to Danish
+ ...
No Mar 17, 2016

I don't worry about it.
Everyone is entitled to vacation and my clients find their own alternatives if they need to.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 14:11
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Other Mar 17, 2016

I tell my favourite agencies I am not available, and they sort it out.
Many of my clients come and go at irregular intervals, and they have to take their chances.

Once you have earned your living, you are entitled to a life!

However, that is a reason why I have very few direct clients - I have to have some kind of agreement that lets me take time off, and then I give them all I have got when I am working.

In short, yes, I am happy for someone else to take over when I am on holiday - or just too busy.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 11:11
English to Portuguese
+ ...
The network - not only on vacation Mar 17, 2016

I have developed a completely informal network. I got to know and to get known - mostly via translators' newsgroups on Yahoo, but some on Proz too - a considerable number of translators, their specialties, language pairs (usually involving both, or at least one of mine). I made an effort to meet as many of them face-to-face as logistically possible, at least once.

One early decision I've made is that I'll be a translator, and NOT an agency. I even took the trouble to draw the decision-making line for prospects and clients on this page. So now and then I divert a prospect query to an agency (or to a dubbing studio), and step out. I don't make a dime from this, unless they request my involvement back into the project.

For BR government-regulated sworn translations, I am lucky to have an equally qualified colleague and friend for about half a century already living two floors below in the same building. So we swap jobs and cover for each other all the time, also in case of occasional overload.

Yet the most interesting part is what I call "the network". I have ruled out five (so far) areas of human knowledge, and listed them explicitly as off-limits for my technical translation on my relevant web page.

Let's take technical medical translation for example. I simply don't do it. In case of any such request incoming, if it's EN into PT, I have two specialists I've known for years, I put the prospect in direct contact with them pronto, and step out. If it's not so "technical" medicine but has a few tidbits above my head, I count on their help via Skype. Likewise, when they trespass into my specialty area (HR, usually jobs from the same pharma companies that hire them for medical stuff), they ask me via Skype, and I even the score. Worth noting that they don't throw the pharma HR jobs my way, because they can handle most of it, and I have nothing against helping them do it. This is the OUTBOUND referral to my network.

If it's medical PT into EN, I know of an American MD who lives in Brazil, and does consistently superb medical translation work, so clients and colleagues have told me. Everything else that I know about her, from her earlier photos online, is that she had a striking resemblance to the actress Meg Ryan when both were young. Every time I have to Google her for contact details, not sure if she knows me, no client ever came to me on her referral. This is the NEUTRAL referral to my network.

Then there is, for one example among many different others, a colleague, also a sworn translator in Brazil like me, in the same language pair, however she abhors video technology. As she told me once, when she rented a DVD, she had her husband put it in the player so she could watch. She memorized my phone number and, whenever a client mentions video translation, she recites it and my name. I have never referred any jobs to her, for no reason whatsoever. This is the INBOUND referral from my network.

Last week a local colleague (located within reasonable walking distance from my place) called to thank me. I had diverted two big jobs to him, out of nothing. Though this was not the first time it happened, I took the chance to explain him the network operation.

I diverted both prospects to him, because I am a mechanical engineer using WordFast. They needed a civil engineer using Trados, which fits him exactly. No further explanation required, other that he should not worry about rewarding me in any way; he should reward his network (and I can only GUESS that I am part of it) by diverting to it any jobs he chose not to undertake for any reason, or for no reason at all.

In ancient times, when about 3/4 of my work was for one same client, I had a stand-in for my vacations. As a matter of fact, that same client had introduced us to ezch other. Her work was generally as good as mine, and she worked on two additional languages I didn't (though they were not at all needed by this client). Yet now, looking back, that client made it a point to never hire her whenever I was available.

Years later I learned from staff in that common client of ours that that, though her work was excellent, she was a troublemaker extraordinaire when time came up to get paid, everywhere, every time. I only believed it years later, when I hired her myself once, to cover with one of her extra languages on a job for another client. That single incident led me to burn all bridges between us. I can only wish her luck in her present endeavors.

So it is a matter of choice to have someone covering for you while you are away on vacation. I am pretty happy with the network I've developed and keep cultivating.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

DianeGM  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:11
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
I am sure that ... Mar 17, 2016

someone already does.
I tell my clients in advance when I will be unavailable. I guess they try to work around that if they can. If they need something urgent and I'm on vacation - someone else will do the job.

I am also happy to recommend a trusted colleague, with their permission, when I am unavailable on vacation or otherwise.

[Edited at 2016-03-17 11:15 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

svenfrade  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 14:11
French to German
+ ...
No Mar 17, 2016

Like Yetta, I believe that everyone is entitled to a holiday (doesn't help anyone if you burn yourself out and nobody will thank you for ruining your health) and my clients (I only work with agencies) have to find alternatives in case I'm taking time off or negotiate longer deadlines.
This has worked well for several years now and I trust it will work well in the future.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 05:11
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Other Mar 17, 2016

It's not that I don't trust anyone else. I just let the client pick another translator.

Direct link Reply with quote
 

M. Anna Kańduła  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:11
English to Polish
Agencies Mar 17, 2016

I work with agencies, and they already have a number of translators in my language pair. If I'm not available, someone else is.

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Julian Holmes  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 22:11
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
Other Mar 17, 2016

The truth is I have absolutely no say in the matter.

I would like to flatter myself and think I am indispensable and the 'only person' capable of doing a good job for my customers in certain fields. However, the bottom line is that as 'freelancers' we are hired hands and, by definition, are disposable when our services are no longer required.

Job security is not part and parcel of freelancer territory.

Edited
Added "no" in first line. My bad

[Edited at 2016-03-18 06:36 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Ricki Farn
Germany
Local time: 14:11
Member (2005)
English to German
Responsibility Mar 17, 2016

I don't mind anyone working for my clients, but I don't want anyone to do it in my name. I wouldn't want to delegate something to a colleague that would then have my name on it. Not only do most clients explicitly forbid it, but I also wouldn't want people to judge me by someone else's work (whether better or worse than mine).

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Fiona Grace Peterson  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 14:11
Member
Italian to English
This Mar 17, 2016

Yetta J Bogarde wrote:

I don't worry about it.
Everyone is entitled to vacation and my clients find their own alternatives if they need to.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Mario Freitas  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 11:11
Member (2014)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Not the translator's choice Mar 18, 2016

It is your choice to take a break and travel. It's NOT your choice to determine if there will be a sustitute for you or not. Do you think the client has to wait till you come back to proceed with their work? You'll be lucky if you still get jobs from that client when you come back!

Direct link Reply with quote
 


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:

Moderator(s) of this forum
Jared Tabor[Call to this topic]

You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

Poll: Would you like someone to work for your clients in your place while you go on vacation?

Advanced search






Wordfast Pro
Translation Memory Software for Any Platform

Exclusive discount for ProZ.com users! Save over 13% when purchasing Wordfast Pro through ProZ.com. Wordfast is the world's #1 provider of platform-independent Translation Memory software. Consistently ranked the most user-friendly and highest value

More info »
BaccS – Business Accounting Software
Modern desktop project management for freelance translators

BaccS makes it easy for translators to manage their projects, schedule tasks, create invoices, and view highly customizable reports. User-friendly, ProZ.com integration, community-driven development – a few reasons BaccS is trusted by translators!

More info »



Forums
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search