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Poll: How often do you respond to requests for translation marked as "Urgent"?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 00:17
SITE STAFF
Mar 16

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "How often do you respond to requests for translation marked as "Urgent"?".

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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 08:17
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
It depends Mar 16

It depends on who requests it! First of all, I’m not fond of rush jobs and it seems that the word "urgent" lost its meaning in translation! I do respond to urgent requests from my regulars and I don't apply a surcharge rate to some of them. If the request comes from a client that gives me work once in a blue moon and I’m available I might do it after examining the text, but if it comes from a potential client it will most likely go directly to the bin. I have a long-standing client, who very regularly requests (every week or even every day) small but urgent translations. We agreed some time ago that I would give priority to his work and invoice accordingly.

Ricki Farn
Diana Coada
Julio Madrid
Detelina Mileva
Sławomira Kaczmarek
Gibril Koroma
 

Ricki Farn
Germany
Local time: 09:17
Member (2005)
English to German
With Teresa Mar 16

Teresa, I came here to say the self same thing, just with a German accent.

Have a great weekend, everyone!


Julio Madrid
Detelina Mileva
 

Nikki Scott-Despaigne  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:17
French to English
Depends/Other Mar 16

If it is a regular client who is also a good client who pays on time, then I may take a look at it. I will also ask them to specify what "urgent" means. I have understood over the last 25 years that "urgent" is a vague variable!

If it's an agency sending extremely small jobs to be done within an hour or two, and they pay 30 days after the month end in which the invoice was sent, then no. Big "urgent" jobs can be a pain too. From agencies, these tend to arrive from 16h00 on a Friday afternoon and there is never the possibility to apply an "urgent" or "weekend" tarif, then no. In fact, one agency recently started contacting me for this type of work and I simply ignored them.



[Edited at 2019-03-16 14:07 GMT]


Ricki Farn
Julio Madrid
IanDhu
 

Julio Madrid  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 00:17
English to Spanish
+ ...


Posted via
ProZ.com Mobile


It depends on... Mar 16

If they are from known clients, I always respond. If they are a job posting, I never submit a quote nor apply for it, never. If they are a direct message through Proz, I decline. If they are a random-out-of-the-blue mass email, I ignore it.

I think the amount of "urgent" requests in the job postings is increasing, at least in my working pairs. What I find amusing is how some agencies or job posters advertise an urgent job for 30 different target languages, post it multiple times in an almost-harassing-way, modifying the gimmicky content every time, fishing for takers when they have no record in the Blue Board, or have a rating of 2, their non-negotiable budget is 0.03 per source word with a payment policy of 45 business days after the end of month, and they need it done in the next two hours.

[Edited at 2019-03-16 13:16 GMT]


 

Marjolein Snippe  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 09:17
Member (2012)
English to Dutch
+ ...
Treat them as any other request Mar 16

I tend to respond as normal and treat them as any other request. I will not work outside my normal hours to do an urgent translation and I do not apply rush charges.
I might make a very occasional exception for exceptional requests from very good clients - but these tend to be well organised and don't usually have urgent requests. I can't remember the last time I worked outside my own chosen hours in order to do an urgent translation.


Mario Freitas
IanDhu
Philip Lees
 

Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 09:17
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
It depends Mar 16

It all depends on who sends them.

Julio Madrid
Nikki Scott-Despaigne
Teresa Borges
Michael Harris
Gibril Koroma
 

Mario Freitas  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 04:17
Member (2014)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Frequently... and most of them are not urgent at all Mar 16

The problem with the word "urgent" is that it has replaced "important" for a lot of people. Most people use the word unduly to put themselves or their work ahead of others. Then you find out there is nothing "urgent" about it.
The problem with people who do that is that when they have something that is actually "urgent", no one will give it any attention (Peter and the Wolf).


Christine Andersen
IanDhu
 

Jessica Noyes  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 03:17
Member
Spanish to English
+ ...
Rushin' Mar 16

I work slowly and methodically from French and Spanish, and I am definitely useless when it comes to "Rushin'".

 

Yoana Ivanova  Identity Verified
Estonia
Local time: 10:17
Member
English to Bulgarian
+ ...
Frequently Mar 16

Most requests I get are "urgent", but that word can mean anything from "by the end of the day" to "by the end of the week". I treat these as I would any other request. I find out what the actual deadline is, and I accept, if I have the time.

I do however ignore some messages I get via the directory that are like "40 pages needed in one hour, can be split, write asap".


Bruno Veilleux
IanDhu
Sławomira Kaczmarek
 

Bruno Veilleux
Canada
Local time: 03:17
English to French
Same as Yoana Mar 16

Same as Yoana. A deadline is a deadline and as long as I can finish the job on time I don't treat it any differently. Either I'm available or I'm not. Occasionally I'll add a surcharge if I'm particularly busy during the timeframe given, but that's not strictly related to how short the deadline is.

I never quote on urgent jobs from new prospects, though. The back and forth of forms, NDAs and information requests often seems like it would be enough to miss the deadline before the job has even started, and since those are usually small jobs, they're not necessarily worth the hassle and the rush.


 

Yaotl Altan  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 02:17
Member (2006)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Usually... Mar 16

Usually, they are not urgent.

 

Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 09:17
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
It depends Mar 16

I do a lot of small jobs, and if the urgent job is for a good client, I do it I can press it into my schedule.

When the request comes from a new client, I look at the mail and what they are prepared to pay. If they want a long NDA signed first, I probably say no!

I have acquired some good clients by helping out with an urgent job when their regular translator was ill or not available. If the reason for the urgency looks genuine, and not plain lack of planning and organisation, AND they are willing to pay a reasonable rate, I take the job.

How frequently?

Urgent jobs seem to come in clusters, often when I am already busy, and then there are none for a while! I may take on a dozen in a year, but not at regular intervals.


Ricki Farn
 

Maxi Schwarz  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:17
German to English
+ ...
With great caution and much hesitation, if at all Mar 17

True urgent work does exist, especially when initiated by an end client. You suddenly get an unexpected employment opportunity, but they want a paper that you never thought needed translating, or there is a regulation you weren't aware of and the deadline is "tomorrow". That is an urgent situation. Either the end client contacts you directly, or they contact an agency which contacts you.

What I run into most of the time, however, are agencies that try to underbid the others by promising "faster and cheaper", and then they have an "urgent" situation since they promised the impossible. Usually they also want "cheap". Even if not, I question the professional competence of a company that seems to have continual emergencies (every translation request is urgent? really?)

Another factor is the disorganized person who has an emergency due to that disorganization, and will continue to be that way during your collaboration. They may be difficult to work with. When there are emergencies you want the organization to be especially smooth.


Ricki Farn
 

Ricki Farn
Germany
Local time: 09:17
Member (2005)
English to German
@Maxi Schwarz Mar 17

So true. We should all have t-shirts that say "bad planning on your side is not a crisis / an urgency on mine".

Mario Freitas
 
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