Previous job's confidentiality rules X new client's needs
Thread poster: tfaulkner

tfaulkner  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 05:48
Member (2010)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Jul 2, 2010

Hello all!

I have a prospective client who's requested a sample of my work in one specific field; I cannot provide him/her with any sample, however, due to the strict confidentiality policy of the agency I had previously worked with. I was "kindly" warned by this agency against disclosing the client or the agency's name, as well as any of the project's content.

Needless to say, I do abide by the rules I agreed to follow; my client-to-be, however, has had reservations about my choices, and he/she has now implied that "I might not have experience in this field".

I went ahead and offered to translate any material he/she can provide me with as a test, but I also reiterated that I cannot send samples of a project which confidentiality rules I must follow. As much as I understand the prospective client's reservations, I cannot go against my principles and disrespect a previous client's rules.

I wonder what else I could do, and I would welcome any suggestions. Thank you.


[Edited at 2010-07-02 23:01 GMT]


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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:48
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Ask Jul 2, 2010

Ask your client if they would be happy knowing that you were providing other outsourcers with examples of the work you'd done for them.

There are polite ways of saying this, along the lines of

"I am sure you would want your own confidentiality rules to be respected, and I know you will appreciate that the same applies to all my other clients.

I am willing to provide you with short extracts from a number of different jobs I have completed in relevant fields. These will be altered as necessary to guarantee that no breach of confidentiality can occur.

I trust you will also appreciate that for the same reasons of confidentiality I am unable to provide complete translations."

[Edited at 2010-07-02 16:03 GMT]


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tfaulkner  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 05:48
Member (2010)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Tom Jul 2, 2010

First and foremost, thank you very much for taking your time to answer me!

One of the problems this situation presents is that per the agreement I cannot even provide him/her with short extracts of the material; that's how strict they were.

Let's see what happens...

Thank you again!


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Ricardo Horta  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:48
English to Portuguese
+ ...
I had that problem once Jul 3, 2010

The outsourcer then thought I was lying and that I had no experience at all, so he hired someone else instead. I hope that doesn't happen to you.

Tom did give you some good advice

Ricardo

[Edited at 2010-07-03 01:17 GMT]


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tfaulkner  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 05:48
Member (2010)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Ricardo Jul 3, 2010

... I am afraid this has already happened:

The outsource had set up a conference call for today, and not only he/she did not sign in but there was no further communication since then.

All in all, I am still glad I preserved my other client's privacy in the way I was supposed to.

I am sorry you went through the same thing.

Thank you for taking your time to answer me

Tais

[Edited at 2010-07-03 14:39 GMT]


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Laurent KRAULAND  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 12:48
French to German
+ ...
Well... this shows once more Jul 3, 2010

how true the saying "Better safe than sorry" is.

fthite wrote:

... I am afraid this has already happened:

The outsource had set up a conference call for today, and not only he/she did not sign up but also there was no further communication since then.

All in all I am still glad I preserved my other client's privacy in the way I was supposed to.

I am sorry you went through the same thing.

Thank you for taking your time to answer me

Tais


Just an additional thought, linked to Ricardo's post: how could one work with a client who thinks you are lying in the first place?


Furthermore, I find it rather curious that potential clients do not seem to think about translation tests in *such cases*!

Do they go so far as assuming that the translator will forge the test?

It is a mad, mad world.

[Edited at 2010-07-03 05:16 GMT]


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Dmitri Lyutenko  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 14:48
English to Russian
+ ...
Tais Jul 3, 2010

I had such situation a couple times. I think whatever happens one should stay on his/her own principles. You can be sure you did right thing the right way.
Dmitri


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 12:48
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Delay tactic versus real excuse Jul 3, 2010

fthite wrote:
Needless to say, I do abide by the rules I agreed to follow; my client-to-be, however, has had reservations about my choices, and he/she has now implied that "I might not have experience in this field". ... I went ahead and offered to translate any material he/she can provide me with as a test, but I also reiterated that I cannot send samples of a project which confidentiality rules I must follow.


Apart from finding a similar text on the internet and translating it yourself, there isn't much you can do. Some translators use the confidentiality excuse as a delay tactic, and clients know this. Some translators (like yourself) who use the confidentiality excuse actually mean it, but it may be difficult for the client to tell which of these you are. Stand by your principles.


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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 03:48
English to German
+ ...
Years ago, I was in a similar situation. Jul 3, 2010

I just had finished a brochure for a direct client about - let's say - whirlpools and spa baths. A few weeks later I was approached by an agency (new contact): if I would feel comfortable translating a brochure about whirlpools and spa baths. Hhhmmm, there was not way to provide any translation sample as a proof of my know-how because of the very confidentiality reasons mentioned above. The brochure hasn't been printed yet. So I decided to bombard the client on the phone with technical descriptions, tech terms and know-how that would have made him want to build such a thing in his backyard. And that was it. It was sufficient.

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tfaulkner  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 05:48
Member (2010)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Laurent, Dimitri, Samuel and Nicole, Jul 3, 2010

Thank you so much for your input!

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Laurent,

I agree that it would not be possible to work with someone who thought that I was lying; I cannot make sense out of an agency that does not think about translation tests either, and I have come to the conclusion that I am better off not being involved with them.

Yes, this is a mad world.

Thank you,

Tais

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Dimitri,

I am at peace with my choice, and I so appreciate your words of support! Thank you!

Tais
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Samuel,

I agree with you, and I can definitely see why the client had reservations regarding this situation. Nonetheless, I did my best to work through it and I had hoped that he/she would realize that I was being honest. Well, things did not work out this way but I am glad I stuck up with the "better safe than sorry" principle.

Thank you,

Tais

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Nicole,

Thank you for the great suggestion! Unfortunately I did not have the chance to talk to the client, he/she has "disappeared". I will keep your idea in mind, though, and if this ever happens again I will know what to do.

Thank you again,

Tais

[Edited at 2010-07-03 19:47 GMT]


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