"Onboarding" or "Waterboarding"
Thread poster: Michael Newton
Michael Newton  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 12:05
Member (2003)
Japanese to English
+ ...
Jul 4

Who of us, when applying for work with a new agency, has not experienced the endless documentation, translation tests and other red tape required by the company? Like Scheherazade who demands "just one more night", there is just one more document to be supplied and there are numerous, seemingly endless hoops to be jumped through. Then there is the question of "diploma or not diploma". An agency in the UK that I am interested in working with, is demanding photocopies of my various degrees. I work with other agencies in the UK which have not required copies of my sheepskin. I have come up against this issue before, always with agencies located outside the US, and frankly I am really loathe to produce them. There is another concern: in some areas of the world, there is a thriving business in stolen and photoshopped diplomas. Has anyone else experienced this frustration? I would greatly appreciate some opinions on this issue from the community. Thanking you in advance.
Michael Newton


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 18:05
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Watermark Jul 4

Michael Newton wrote:
There is another concern: in some areas of the world, there is a thriving business in stolen and photoshopped diplomas.


Create a watermark diagonally across the diploma stating the name of the agency, the date, and the purpose of the copy. E.g. "Copy of Michael Newton sent to ABC Translations on 4 July 2017". Then print to PDF. If the diploma contains any identifying information other than your name, cross it out (e.g. your student number).


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RobinB  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 18:05
German to English
Maybe ISO 17100 documentation requirement Jul 4

Michael,

The agency concerned may be certified to (or follow) ISO 17100, or the predecessor standard EN 15038. These standards require the translation company to document the qualifications of its translators (in-house and freelance). This means that they must hold documentary evidence of translator qualifications, e.g. degree diplomas, and it's a perfectly legitimate request in this context.

ISO 17100 isn't (yet) as widespread in the United States as it is in other parts of the world, especially Europe, which may explain why agencies inside the US aren't asking for a copy of your degree diplomas.

My suggestion would be to make a photocopy (or printout) of your diploma and write on it by hand something like: "This copy is provided to XXX solely to verify my qualifications and may not be used for any other purpose." And then scan it and send it to the agency.

If you suspect that the agency may be involved in the business of stolen diplomas, of course you won't be wanting to work with them in the first place. But that's unlikely to be the case with a reputable agency in Europe.

Robin


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Robert Forstag  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 12:05
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Often, it all results in you sitting in a company's database Jul 4

For me, the frustration has more to do with taking the time to do the paperwork only to end up in an agency's database, never being offered work, and receiving emails with nothing more than Christmas greetings, notifications of management changes, or breathless announcements of "exciting initiatives" from the company in question.

This is not my idea of "collaboration."

[Edited at 2017-07-04 11:40 GMT]


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The Misha
Local time: 12:05
Russian to English
+ ...
Vote with your feet Jul 4

I know that, and you know that: the more hoops they want you to jump through, the more likely it is going to turn out a complete waste. You are not an employee. You are a business providing a professional service. You are the one setting the terms.

RobinB wrote:


ISO 17100 isn't (yet) as widespread in the United States as it is in other parts of the world, especially Europe,


Thank God for small favors. That's another piece of European bureaucracy we can definitely do without.


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Jan Truper
Germany
Local time: 18:05
Member (2016)
English to German
+ ...
selling point Jul 4

I assume agencies demand such documents to feed their file cabinets so they can justify a selling point to their clients along the lines of "all our translators have diplomas".

I myself have exactly one official diploma, which certifies that I have "satisfactorily completed the Professional Guitar Player program of the Guitar Institute of Technology". This does not tell you much about my abilities as a translator; nonetheless, I have encountered agencies that insisted on me sending in said diploma for their files, eventhough I advised them beforehand about the content.

Regarding identity theft or similar issues with diplomas that are actually meaningful, I think Samuel's suggestion to watermark them is a good idea.


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Giovanni Guarnieri MITI, MIL  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 17:05
Member (2004)
English to Italian
never... Jul 4

I never send any photocopies, passports, ID cards, diplomas... as someone once said, the amount of work you receive is in inverse proportion to the documentation they require... (translation from Italian)...

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Michael Newton  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 12:05
Member (2003)
Japanese to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
"Onboarding" or "Waterboarding" noch einmal Jul 6

Thank you, Samuel, Robin, Robert, the Misha, Jan and Giovanni for your advice! I decided not to submit the diplomas. In the past I have submitted a great deal of documentation and it got me nowhere. Also, some agencies give a bonus to their Vendor Manager for each translator they "recruit". Once you submit the documentation, you'll never hear from them again.
"


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Robert Forstag  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 12:05
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Another option Jul 6

Michael Newton wrote:

Thank you, Samuel, Robin, Robert, the Misha, Jan and Giovanni for your advice! I decided not to submit the diplomas. In the past I have submitted a great deal of documentation and it got me nowhere. Also, some agencies give a bonus to their Vendor Manager for each translator they "recruit". Once you submit the documentation, you'll never hear from them again.
"


In such a situation, you can also politely inform the agency that you would be happy to complete the paperwork in question *after* you have received confirmed assignment of paid work.

This may lead to nothing more than a "one and done" involvement with the agency in question, but at least you will have received one paid assignment for your pains.

And just to round off this point, when I receive a group mail from an agency that I have previously worked for, but that has not assigned me work in at least two years, I ask it to remove my name from its database.

[Edited at 2017-07-06 12:31 GMT]


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Nikki Scott-Despaigne  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:05
French to English
Same here Jul 14

Robert Forstag wrote:

For me, the frustration has more to do with taking the time to do the paperwork only to end up in an agency's database, never being offered work, and receiving emails with nothing more than Christmas greetings, notifications of management changes, or breathless announcements of "exciting initiatives" from the company in question.

This is not my idea of "collaboration."

[Edited at 2017-07-04 11:40 GMT]


Yes, demotivating, often a great waste of time.


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