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Do you think the color coded availability calendar is needed?
Thread poster: jyuan_us

jyuan_us  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 10:51
Member (2005)
English to Chinese
+ ...
Dec 9, 2011

I have always wondered why it is there in the first place. To me, it is meaningless. If I'm looking for a translator, I might still contact those who have indicated they are not available, simply because I don't trust the accuracy of what the translators indicate on the calendar. As things always change, how would you think that someone will not be available if he indicates today that he will not be available 20 vdays from today?

I also think it is a big burden for translators if they have to indicate their availability on the calendar.

What do you think?


 

Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 07:51
English to German
+ ...
Trust those calendars. Dec 9, 2011

I keep mine up-to-date. I once also thought that you can simply ignore those thingies, contacted a colleague with a job offer, and he nearly ripped my head off. "Waaahh!!! Can't you see that I am not available??!?". My calendar has also been blazing red for quite a while now because I am working on a large project and I do not wish to write one "Sorry, I am not available" email after the other. When things change? Well, the translator will simply set his or her calendar back to "Available".

 

Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 07:51
English to German
+ ...
I never use the "partially available" function, though. Dec 10, 2011

Being located at the West Coast, I am a victim to all time zones anyway. Declaring availability from 2pm to 6pm Pacific time for example would be complete nonsense.

icon_smile.gif


 

Jenn Mercer  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 10:51
Member (2009)
French to English
Necessary? Maybe not - but still useful. Dec 10, 2011

jyuan_us wrote:

I have always wondered why it is there in the first place. To me, it is meaningless. If I'm looking for a translator, I might still contact those who have indicated they are not available, simply because I don't trust the accuracy of what the translators indicate on the calendar. As things always change, how would you think that someone will not be available if he indicates today that he will not be available 20 vdays from today?

I also think it is a big burden for translators if they have to indicate their availability on the calendar.

What do you think?


I don't know if the calendar is necessary, but I certainly use it. ProZ's availability calendar is fairly unique in that it provides centralized information on a remarkably decentralized group of translators. You are welcome to send your queries to anyone, but it seems that checking availability would be a first step. As for your question about not being available 20 days from now, this is sometimes quite easy to determine when holidays or vacations are coming up. If the project is a small one, no it is not important information. However if you have a 40-50k project and want someone who will still be available for questions that may arise during editing and proofreading, it is relevant.


 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 16:51
Spanish to English
+ ...
No, but it's handy Dec 10, 2011

[quote]Jenn Mercer wrote:

jyuan_us wrote

I also think it is a big burden for translators if they have to indicate their availability on the calendar.

What do you think?


I understand that it is a useful option to have, but my own problem is that I rarely remember to update it, as there are countless other piffling little details to be dealt with every day and it is very low on my priorities.

I also prefer to receive job offers even if I'm not interested or available myself, as I have several colleagues I can pass them on to who are always glad of new work coming in.



[Edited at 2011-12-10 08:04 GMT]


 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 15:51
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Yes, it's needed Dec 10, 2011

Apparently it's needed for technical reasons. Maybe someone more techie can correct me but as I understand it, if you don't show the calendar on your Proz page you'll get fewer hits.

I dutifully keep it up to date on a weekly basis and I periodically remind my clients to check it, but they never do. They go on sending me work even when it's showing red ("not available") - so I'm not sure what the point of it is.

[Edited at 2011-12-10 12:54 GMT]


 

José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 11:51
English to Portuguese
+ ...
It would be great... Dec 10, 2011

... if Proz could provide each member with a link directly to their individual calendar alone. So when a client asks about your availability, you could direct them to that page by providing the link. If that user is and will remain fully 'taken' for an extended period of time, the client could use Proz to find an equivalent alternative translator, if they are in a rush.

 

Emma Goldsmith  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 16:51
Member (2010)
Spanish to English
Yes, for directory search results Dec 10, 2011

Tom in London wrote:

Apparently it's needed for tecnical reasons.


Tom's right. Outsourcers can filter by availability when they perform a directory search. If you don't set your availability, you won't appear in those searches.

BTW, I like Jose Henrique's idea of a direct link to the calendar.

[Edited at 2011-12-10 11:58 GMT]


 

Giovanni Guarnieri MITI, MIL  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 15:51
Member (2004)
English to Italian
never use/update it... Dec 10, 2011

what impression would give a "sea of green" to potential clients? icon_smile.gif

 

José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 11:51
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Honni soit qui mal y pense Dec 10, 2011

Giovanni Guarnieri MITI, MIL wrote:
what impression would give a "sea of green" to potential clients? icon_smile.gif


Giovanni,

No conclusion is possible from that.

A sea of green may be a fast translator and/or especially one networked within a team of reliable translators, always welcoming new jobs. The team together always has enough manpower available.

What about a sea of red? Wouldn't it make you wonder, What is this guy/gal doing here?


 

Giovanni Guarnieri MITI, MIL  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 15:51
Member (2004)
English to Italian
Exactly... Dec 10, 2011

José Henrique Lamensdorf wrote:

What about a sea of red? Wouldn't it make you wonder, What is this guy/gal doing here?


That's why I never update it...icon_smile.gif

A sea of green would make me immediately think: this translator has no work, must be rubbish... I think it's only natural to think that...icon_wink.gif


 

Germaine  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 10:51
English to French
+ ...
To trust or not to trust... Dec 10, 2011

jyuan_us wrote:
If I'm looking for a translator, I might still contact those who have indicated they are not available, simply because I don't trust the accuracy of what the translators indicate on the calendar.


Starting with the fact that a translator takes time to update his/her calendar, why wouldn't you trust that he/she "really" is unavailable? It seems to me that you don't "volunteer" being "unavailable" if you are looking for work!

jyuan_us wrote:
As things always change, how would you think that someone will not be available if he indicates today that he will not be available 20 vdays from today?


Things change, indeed. So, I wouldn't trust calendars that are always green. But if I'm used to see a calendar constantly updated, I will only doubt grey days, since I myself forget to update my calendar when I have (urgent) "surprises". As for knowing one's availability in advance, I can tell you right now that I won't be available a single day in March 2012, and for periods of 2 to 3 weeks in April, July, August and so forth, since I'm already "booked" with recurrent jobs at these dates. No mystery there...

[Edited at 2011-12-10 18:57 GMT]

[Edited at 2011-12-10 18:59 GMT]


 

Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 16:51
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
I dutifully update mine. Dec 12, 2011

I used to have a regular job every Thursday afternoon for several years, and at another period I had a regular day off for study - usually Wednesdays, but movable to suit other work. (That was before I joined Proz.com, but it was dutifully filled in, especially when it was NOT a Wednesday, on a similar system.)

I am sometimes booked for a large proof, and have to reserve the time before the translators start work on it - that may be two or three weeks before it comes.

Then there are holidays... Maybe the calendar is not necessary, but you can normally trust mine. It may occasionally be yellow, but it is usually red or orange, and should it be green, feel free to think what you like - or send me a job!!

BTW, it sets itself to unavailable (I think) after 5 pm local time. (You can set this individually.) I may be working anyway, but if so, I am not particularly interested in new jobs that day.

Happy translating, folks!
icon_smile.gif


 

Sergei Tumanov  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:51
English to Russian
+ ...
I do not Dec 12, 2011

I do not use it.

 

jyuan_us  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 10:51
Member (2005)
English to Chinese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
I don't use it Mar 6, 2013

but I still get frequent requests, although most of them eventually lead to nowhere.

The point is, even if you don't use it, agencies will still contact you. Using it won't change your chance of getting a job. So, why bother?


 
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