KudoZ - practise tolerance, friendly style, mutual assistance and common sense
Thread poster: Steffen Pollex (X)

Steffen Pollex (X)  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:48
English to German
+ ...
Oct 16, 2001

Dear colleagues,

with regard to this topic I would like to make a statement to all of you for I suspect that the hazzle (starting with Ralf\'s message at the top and down to the very bottom)is about my person, unless none of the honourable authors took the initiative to approach me personally, instead preferring to cause public discussion. With some of them I exchanged opinion after KudoZ informed me of the things going on behind my back. If I am wrong with my suggestion I will only be glad:

Yes, indeed: on Sunday, Oct 15, I was heavily busy with translating a business related text from EN to GER and put a number of requests to the site, but in no way some 165 or more (as stated by Darien)which, naturally, whould cause somebody\'s mailbox to collapse, but maximum some 20.

Yes indeed: I sent all of them at once, after having finished part of the text in order to fill in the gaps remaining or clarify some nuances I was not 100% sure of (I do not consider this an offence but one of the purposes KudoZ is operating for, thanks to Robert).

When, after this, I checked my mailbox for answers, I received some 80 mails containing other proz\' requests, answers to some of my requests as well as my own requests themselves (which had never happened before), whereby each of the mailings arrived up to five times. For the first time, I deleted those not required.

After another 15-20 minutes when checking the box I got some 190 mailings, to a minor extent new ones, but mainly those received before and deleted.

As you see, I was equally flooded with unnecessary stuff.

After another deleting campaign I called it a day to find next morning (what a nice surprise, ha-ha)a mail from KudoZ with information with some strange note like \"...you may not be aware what people think of you...\".

I really wasn\'t aware, but could I care less? What would people think about someone, who joint the site about a week ago? Nothing to think about, actually... Am I really worth that much attention?!#

Well, anyway I checked out [some other members\'] comments yesterday morning, which I was not amused by for they are not objective and, in my opinion, written in a mood of stress, aggression or whatever. I mean, of cause, someone could go mad about receiving some 200 unrequested mailings at once. But why don\'t you investigate? Why don\'t you directly contact the one whom you suppose to be the initiator, instead claiming him to be a \"public enemy\", to violate the Etiquette etc. etc.?! In my eyes, this is, at least, a very strange manner of handling things (I say no more) for people who are well-educated, able to use their brain before acting, speak more than one language, have, most likely, an international background and, therefore, supposed to be first of all masters of communication committed to tolerance and professionalism.


Never in the past I intended, have been intending at present or will do so in the future, to cause a negative impact on the work of my colleagues-translators or the KudoZ comunity as a whole, nor have I attempted, or will attempt in the future,to do so.

I refuse to accept the abusing comments and statements made by some members of the community not being fully aware of the situation, in relation to my capability, knowledge, professionality and character. I consider those people having no right to do so. Equally, I will not judge on these issues for not being in the position to do so.

Any complains on the default that happened should have been addressed to the webmaster of KudoZ for, obviously leading from technical problems. This is proven by the fact that, from yesterday on, the service of KudoZ is operating as usual.

I ask everyone further to practise tolerance, a friendly style of communication, mutual assistance and common sense towards all members of the community, be they experienced professionals and \"methusalems\" or starters (if you forgot what that is - you\'re welcome in Atyrau to fresh up memory icon_smile.gif)). Otherwise, the existence of this worldwide community, which I consider a great achievement for all of us and deservement of the initiators, will become pointless with the time, and the sense of \"familiarity\" wil turn into a burden for the members of this \"family\". And keep in mind that, most likely, someone whom you failed to integrate (but forced to drop out instead by putting psychological or whatever pressure on him) will from now on work not for, but against the common goals. And, as to my experience, most people you meet twice in life, so do not wilfully make an enemy when meeting for the first time.

Salem from Atyrau and thanks for attention



Henry Dotterer
Local time: 21:48
Welcome to ProZ.com! Oct 16, 2001

Right on.

The issue of asking \"too many\" questions in one day has been considered on the moderator list and a (split) decision was made: it is quite conceivable that a professional will have 20 questions stored up from a long job, and will need to ask them at once. Here one has spoken!

As answerers, we ought not assume the worst (ie. \"They are getting their job done for free.\")

Now, I know that too many emails is an annoyance, but again the problem is the tool, not the poeple. Maybe ProZ.com staff should program in a cap so that you can set your maximum number of emails in a day, for example.


And keep in mind that, most likely, someone whom you failed to integrate (but forced to drop out instead by putting psychological or whatever pressure on him) will from now on work not for, but against the common goals.


So true! Steffen, I am glad you didn\'t go. Welcome.


Angela Arnone  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:48
Member (2004)
Italian to English
+ ...
Tolerance and more tolerance Oct 16, 2001

Well, Steffen, you sound like a true gent to me and thanks for taking the time to calmly explain what happened.

We had a couple of bad weekends - I got no proz mail for 3 days and it all arrived on Monday morning, twice in a row. BUt I didn\'t attack people asking the kudoz that all bombed into my mailbox together! I just said a few colourful words in the only 2 languages I know and got on with it.

The only time lots of kudoz are a pain is when people don\'t thank you for answering them. We have a few cowboys in the Italian/English/Italian SCs and of course it is quite offensive to waste our time and not even say thanks.

But hang in with proz and you\'ll find that there are far more friendly and tolerant people than the other sort!


[ This Message was edited by: on 2001-10-16 14:17 ]


Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:48
English to German
+ ...
Getting some of the facts straight Oct 16, 2001

Hi Steffen,

Thanks for your comments. I don\'t want to restart a discussion which I had considered as settled, but your posting contains a few statements which I would simply like to put straight. No hassle, no psych or other pressure, just the facts:

Nothing at all was going on \"behind your back\". Before I posted the forum entry, I submitted a comment in response to one of your questions, clearly stating my criticism, and openly inviting you to contact me if you wished to do so (check the entry for \"contract note\").

The first response I had to my posting (by Roomy Naqvy, proz.com moderator) specifically requested to address the issue to proz.com staff (\"Please report KudoZ abuse to the ProZ staff and also to the Moderator of that language subcommunity. Kindly desist from writing directly to the asker.\") Which is what I did.

Finally, as far as common sense is concerned, have a look at the last reply to my posting (Laura Molinari).

Best regards, Ralf


Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:48
English to German
+ ...
Henry's comments Oct 16, 2001


Thanks for your comments, too. Your suggestion of programming a cap sounds like a good idea to me - maybe you could design it as a function where members might customise a maximum number of e-mails they wish to receive in a given period of time (I\'d go for a shorter period than one day).

A part of the problem might be multiple e-mails sent out for the same question - obviously, that\'s something technical staff at proz.com might be able to check (and hopefully solve).

And as far as pressure and strong language is concerned, just take a look at the comments submitted to my posting (including, and in particular, those by a proz.com moderator). Am I still here? You bet...

Yours, Ralf


Catherine Bolton  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:48
Italian to English
+ ...
my two lire Oct 17, 2001

I disagree with the cap on a daily basis. It can happen that you\'re working on something so specific that you need all the help you can get (and your client is of no use whatsoever!) -- and then may need nothing further for weeks on end.

If you truly must put a ceiling on this, I\'d suggest a monthly basis. But I do think it takes the spirit and value out of Proz. The simple fact that I know I have other translators to contact in case of need has taken a lot of stress out of what is a very stressful profession.

I for one am happy that Steffen felt comfortable asking for help.

And for those of you who don\'t want to be bombarded because it\'s a busy week, take your name off the mailing list for the time being and sign back up when you can. It\'s really quite a simple operation on your profile page.



Karin Walker (X)  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:48
German to English
+ ...
A message for Steffen (and others) Oct 17, 2001

Hi Steffen,

As one of the proz members who felt irate at your postings, let me offer my two pfennigs\' worth as well.

You state that things went on behind your back. There are absolutely no grounds for you to say that. Both Sharon and Ralf posted a response to one of your many questions which was perfectly reasonable and which many prozers concurred with. At the latest when you saw this message you would have known what\'s going on. Ralf even offered you the option of going offline and getting some help from him direct – a rather generous offer.

As for what you call \"etiquette\", let me just say this. I have not long been a member of proz but I\'ve been using it long enough to realise that this is a resource that stands and falls with the goodwill and professionalism of its members. No one can afford to abuse this system as people will become disillusioned and leave. It is one thing to post several questions at once – this may be justified if someone is working on a long text and doesn\'t want to interrupt his or her work several times to post questions, so that\'s when you will see a whole rake of questions posted at once. You need to take these situations with a pinch of salt – I, for one, will check the asker\'s profile just out of curiosity because I want to make up my mind whether it\'s worth my time and online money to help this person out. If it turns out that this person is clearly out of their depth, I will boycott their postings because I don\'t believe in encouraging people to take on extra-expertise jobs and who then depend on the good nature of prozers to do their homework for them.

Unfortunately, this is exactly what happened in your case. The terms you posted could have been found in any decent finance dictionary and I am obviously not the only one who realised that right away (see postings from Sharon and comments made by others Coupled with a quick background check on your admittedly rather impressive profile and it\'s obvious that something\'s fishy.

I quote: \"I really wasn\'t aware, but could I care less? What would people think about someone, who joint the site about a week ago? Nothing to think about, actually... Am I really worth that much attention?! \"

Yes, Steffen, you are. We are ALL potentially valuable to the proz system, so you should most definitely give a damn about what people think of you. This is a system based on mutual respect for our work and such an attitude is very destructive. It sheds a bad light on you and gives rise to speculations about whether you hold your clients in the same regard you hold your fellow translating professionals.

As for directly \"contacting the enemy\", as you put it, I think that is far more counterproductive than having a discussion about the problem in general on the forums. I certainly did not name any names, and neither did anyone else, because this is not a personal thing. It\'s a professional thing, and I think we were more than justified in \"attacking\" the un-professionalism of it all and letting the proz community and administrators know that we were unwilling to put up with this any longer. Yours was just an unfortunately crystal-clear example and seemed to be the straw that broke the camel\'s back, if you\'ll allow me to be poetic.

Quote: \"I refuse to accept the abusing comments and statements made by some members of the community not being fully aware of the situation, in relation to my capability, knowledge, professionality and character.\"

It\'s true, no one can say anything about your character, and this was not an attack on it. But your capability, knowledge and professionalism is what you yourself advertise on your profile page, and as such, I think the community is in a position to make up its own mind.

I hope that this can be a lesson learned for all of us, and that proz can return to being what it is/was: a last-resort friendly haven for those translators who are fair, professional and willing to help.


protolmach  Identity Verified
United States
English to Russian
+ ...
Thanks for making it the point of discussion Oct 17, 2001

Dear Colleagues,

I am so happy I had a chance to get to this page and read all the comments.

Steffen, I know how you feel. I am new to the site and also took the liberty to ask a few questions, that seemed pretty important to me (document translation area). As far as I know, there are no standards and I was so happy to be able to address the forum of esteemed professionals with these seemingly simple, but very important issues (Important for those people who come from different cultures \\ educational systems and submit their Resume and \\ or CV and hope to be faily judged on the basis of a few sheets of paper.)

Boy, was I happy to come back to my computer after a 12 hour volunteering work (I live in New York) and find the skies fall upon my head. Everything from \"stupid, idiotic\" and on, and on, and on. A dozen of excessively creative verbal attacks, picking on my credentials and making fun of me and my background, actually. I have never ever in my entire professional life (30 + years) heard anything like that. Funny, after many years of studying psychology, NLP, and understanding that it was not personal from someone who does not even know my name, I still was hurting, you know, like I fell flat on my face.

Well, sorry for this long comment.

Life is short, but wonderful, unless we make it miserable for ourselves, our loved ones and those who happen to be in the vicinity.

I mentioned New York because I think we here have become more sensitive, though vulnerable and still very and very optimistic.


Patricia Elana Pick


Sven Petersson  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:48
English to Swedish
+ ...
Why ProZ? Oct 18, 2001

I perceive the purpose of Proz to be the building of the “dictionary of all dictionaries”.

Henry has put together a fantastic word-harvesting machine!

Don’t fiddle with the question side. Don’t fix what isn’t broken!

The answer side does however leave plenty of scope for improvements. Let’s fix it!

What about providing a much more detailed specification about what kind of questions should be mailed to a ProZ member?

“Source language – Target language” and “Easy – Pro” is not enough. One should in addition, at least, be able to specify subject(s) per language combination!

If implemented it would, in my case, cut down the “rubbish mail” with some 80% and save me some 10 minutes “deleting-time” per day. With an expected remaining life of 7 years, it would save me some 420 hours of deleting!



Henry Dotterer
Local time: 21:48
We plan to (1) increase number of categories (2) provide by-category filter Oct 18, 2001

Great suggestions, both here and in parallel in another thread. Having more kudoz categories will cut down on noise, increase quality, and make the accumulated glossary a better resource. Thanks for the suggestions.

(PS. This change will take a while...ProZ.com staff is more or less booked through the rest of this year.)


Glyn Haggett  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:48
German to English
Solidarity Oct 19, 2001

Dear Colleagues,

As someone who has been a member of Proz for some time, but had not actually put in a bid for a job until earlier on this week, I would like to commend the sentiments in Steffen\'s postings.

There were a number of bids in the (open) bidding process for the job for which I bid whose rudeness, not to mention arrogance, did nothing for our profession as a whole, let alone for those posting them. I fear, however, that people prepared to allow such bids to go forward in their names have no regard for the effect they are having on the profession as a whole. As someone who has been involved in the profession since 1987, it has become increasingly clear to me that we remain undervalued for our skill and expertise. In order to surmount this problem, we need to demonstrate professionalism. The only way to do this is to show respect and provide support for our colleagues and customers. This objective is certainly not served by bickering and squabbling amongst ourselves, nor by people making smart remarks in the bidding process. Where, for example, bids are clearly open for all to see, and a request for a short sample translation is made, you should not place a bid unless you are happy to do that sample translation and for it to be seen by others. Comments to the effect that open bids and test translations are \"unprofessional\" only in fact demonstrate that the author of the bid lacks the good sense to opt out of a process which he does not agree with. Unfortunately, as members of the same network, we all run the risk of being tarred with the same brush.

Kind regards

Glyn L. Haggett


Giuliana Buscaglione  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 18:48
Member (2001)
German to Italian
+ ...
Kudoz, comments & good manners Oct 20, 2001

I admit everything is very new to me, but I decided to join Proz a couple of days ago, only because I found great to have the chance to try to help or to ask for help, as I used to do with colleagues/friends in the old \"no-Internet\" times.

After having read all your messages, I feel confused: I would never think of checking someone\'s profile to make sure this person is my help worth, for one reason: I do believe people ask because they don\'t feel sure, a very often feeling when the text is long or too short or too complicated (sometimes I don\'t understand what it is meant in my own mother tongue, even if I do understand all written words). Is it a common practice, in order to prevent someone to get a job? I think it is useless, as you can cheat only a couple of times, before someone tells your agency your translation is poor. After that you are anyway cut off from the job: \"verba volant\" in this sector...

I had my doubts before, but now I am sure I will never bid, thank you.

As to the personal \"attacks\", I didn\'t get any in this sense until now, even though I have already received a pretty harsh-dry, \"looking-from-up-down-to-me\" comment on one of my suggestions. As I am new, I don\'t think it is a sort of boycott from people with a lot of Kudoz points (as I have read it happens). Still, I would say, it is a little bit narrow-minded to act as you would think: \"for-a-short-time-with-Proz\" is like \"for-a-short-time-in-the-job\".

I hope most of the fellows here think in terms of netiquette, respect and act correctly in every respect.



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