Poll: What do you do when offered more work than you can handle?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 16:09
SITE STAFF
Jul 9, 2005

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "What do you do when offered more work than you can handle?".

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A forum topic will appear each time a new poll is run. For more information, see: http://proz.com/topic/33629


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Claudia Iglesias  Identity Verified
Chile
Local time: 20:09
Member (2002)
Spanish to French
+ ...
Subcontract at a lower rate, assuming the risk Jul 9, 2005

I don't like the way this option is suggested. There's no possibility to answer that you subcontract at a lower rate to a known translator that you proofread. This way you take no risk at all and the difference between what you charge and what you pay is justified because you add quality.

Claudia


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Ana Elisa Otero
English to Portuguese
+ ...
I am nice to my friends... Jul 10, 2005

When this happens, I recommend the job to a friend or the friend to the job.
Being smart sometimes means give things away, or also, in this case, being generous.


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Astrid Elke Witte  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 01:09
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
Tell the client there is a slight backlog Jul 10, 2005

I accept all jobs offered, except those that I would prefer to have an excuse to decline anyway, and simply explain to the client that there is a slight backlog at the moment and it will take a little longer than usual.

As for subcontracting, that depends on the language pairs involved. I sub-contract everything that is not German into English.


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sylvie malich
Germany
Local time: 01:09
German to English
Negotiate another deadline. Jul 10, 2005

I can't tell you how many times I've been able to negotiate a later deadline. My experience shows that deadlines are not always chiseled in stone. Hey, if you're worth the wait, they'll wait.

sylvie
www.einmalich.net


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ttagir  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:09
Member (2002)
English to Russian
+ ...
Usually explain to one of outsourcers that deadline is unreal:) Jul 10, 2005

Moreover, I am right now in this situation: 3 orders to be closed for 3 different partners.
I explained to 2 outsourcers whose orders arrived after the 1st order that their deadlines are too tight and not real for me. One agreed and shifted his deadline. Second one said that he can survive with slight shifting but would like to have all done in time.
From my side, I already killed Saturday completely and am going to kill Sunday as well with the unique aim - satisfy all my old customers.:)
Hopefully, I will try to close all orders in time....
It happens rather often since there are "uncertainty wavelets":) in workflows, you can stay without orders for a week and afterwards it starts to rain as in Tropical Africa:). In any case, the honestly explained situation cures the concequences.
In my own practice, I never tried to gain by shifting orders to third parties. In some cases though, I simply forwarded some orders to those who are personally well-known for me. I never gained a penny from this; however, once received a "feedback" in form of a rather large project to be closed.
I think that among good proz this could become a good practice, too.
Yours,
T.


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two2tango  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 20:09
Member
English to Spanish
+ ...
On risk and rates Jul 10, 2005

Claudia Iglesias wrote:

Subcontract at a lower rate, assuming the risk

I don't like the way this option is suggested. There's no possibility to answer that you subcontract at a lower rate to a known translator that you proofread. This way you take no risk at all and the difference between what you charge and what you pay is justified because you add quality.

Claudia



There is always the risk of a non-paying client. I envision two main possibilities

a) Subcontracting at a lower rate and assuming the risk (so you play the role af an agency). If the client defaults payment (or pays late) you are still suppossed to pay to the translator that worked for you, assuming the loss. This risk is the justification of the percentage you keep from the final rate.

b) Sharing rates and risk, the work is parsed among equals, all get the same rate, all get the same payment conditions and the same risk of default.

Besides the risk factor, someone can take the role of project manager and/or proofreader and get a payment for this function.

Cheers,
Enrique


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Clare Barnes  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 01:09
Swedish to English
+ ...
Try to negotiate a new deadline Jul 10, 2005

I usually try to negotiate a new deadline - failing that, I would rather say no. This week an agency extended the deadline for a piece of work with the comment "better to get it right than rushed!", which I really appreciate - not just because I could then accept the job and also complete another that I'd already started, but because it also says something about the agency's attitude towards the quality of service that they want to provide - both for the translator and the end client.

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Momoka  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:09
Japanese to Spanish
+ ...
Explain my situation Jul 11, 2005

I explain my situation to the client; so far this has lead to the agency accepting my deadlines or dividing the job between several translators...including me. So far, I haven't lost any job for this reason.

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Claudia Iglesias  Identity Verified
Chile
Local time: 20:09
Member (2002)
Spanish to French
+ ...
I was not thinking of that risk Jul 12, 2005

When I read "risk", I thought of risk that the translator does a bad job.

There is always the risk of a non-paying client. I envision two main possibilities

a) Subcontracting at a lower rate and assuming the risk (so you play the role af an agency). If the client defaults payment (or pays late) you are still suppossed to pay to the translator that worked for you, assuming the loss. This risk is the justification of the percentage you keep from the final rate.

b) Sharing rates and risk, the work is parsed among equals, all get the same rate, all get the same payment conditions and the same risk of default.



I work in both situations, it depends whether it's within a team or with collaborators. Collaborators are less known.
I also handle the cases differently depending on the fact that the client is known or not.

Claudia


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Derek Gill Franßen  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 01:09
German to English
+ ...
If it's good, it's going to take some time. Sep 13, 2005

Astrid Elke Johnson wrote:
I accept all jobs offered, except those that I would prefer to have an excuse to decline anyway, and simply explain to the client that there is a slight backlog at the moment and it will take a little longer than usual.


sylvie malich wrote:
I can't tell you how many times I've been able to negotiate a later deadline. My experience shows that deadlines are not always chiseled in stone. Hey, if you're worth the wait, they'll wait.


My thoughts exactly.


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