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Poll: What do you dislike the most about working as a freelancer?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

Mario Chavez (X)  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:18
English to Spanish
+ ...
Clarification May 2, 2016

José Henrique Lamensdorf wrote:

Mario Chavez wrote:

American and European prospects usually do one or two things when they contact me:

1) They accept my rates
2) They kindly ask if I'm willing to go 2 cents lower (about a 10%-20% discount, actually)

Of course, the third thing is I never hear from them.


This is a blatant non sequitur.
If they accepted your rates, unless they reckon their stupidity as being beyond belief, they shouldn't be asking you to lower them!

Mario Chavez wrote:
Interesting reasoning on discounts as veiled rip-off. Gotta think on that one!


It is sheer logic.

Envision this:
1. You say your price is 10.
2. Client hires someone else who offered to do it for 9.
3. Considerate client tells you not to wait up all night for the order. They already hired someone for 9.
4. You ask: Why didn't you tell me? I would take this job for 8!
5. Client grumbles: Why didn't YOU tell me???

So I tell them right away.



I should have been clearer. “American and European prospects usually do one of the following two things when they contact me.”

I envisioned the scenario you proposed, and I have never done that, except half joking with one customer who is a friend and who has already committed to the second translator. He knows I'm joking so we leave it at that. Seriously, I have never entertained that situation.


 

Ildiko Santana  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 07:18
Member (2002)
Hungarian to English
+ ...

MODERATOR
Lack of balance May 2, 2016

In terms of scheduling:
Some weeks I have 40,000 words, other weeks 4,000 or even 0! What's worse, it is completely unpredictable what it will be. It's a constant gamble whether I should accept everything and possibly lose sleep when I have too much at once, or refuse a few and end up idling.. It would be nice to have 30-day deadlines on all jobs!
In terms of compensation for delivery:
With the exception of a select few private clients, who rarely have a set deadline, all corpo
... See more
In terms of scheduling:
Some weeks I have 40,000 words, other weeks 4,000 or even 0! What's worse, it is completely unpredictable what it will be. It's a constant gamble whether I should accept everything and possibly lose sleep when I have too much at once, or refuse a few and end up idling.. It would be nice to have 30-day deadlines on all jobs!
In terms of compensation for delivery:
With the exception of a select few private clients, who rarely have a set deadline, all corporate clients demand delivery within a couple days. The former always pay instantly while the latter rarely pay sooner than 30 days. It would be nice to have the two matched: if I have to wait 30 days for payment, I should also be allowed to deliver within that time frame; and compensation for 2-day turnaround jobs should also be within 2 days.
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Mario Chavez (X)  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:18
English to Spanish
+ ...
The endless dilemma May 2, 2016

What I think some independent translators have done to handle the uncertainty in volumes is to set up a small agency: they do what in telecommunications and database technology is called load balancing.

The load is handled by one translator if it doesn't reach a certain limit (say, 20,000 words per week) and is routinely split among more translators if it exceeds that parameter.

However, I presume most of us are not interested in operating like a translation agen
... See more
What I think some independent translators have done to handle the uncertainty in volumes is to set up a small agency: they do what in telecommunications and database technology is called load balancing.

The load is handled by one translator if it doesn't reach a certain limit (say, 20,000 words per week) and is routinely split among more translators if it exceeds that parameter.

However, I presume most of us are not interested in operating like a translation agency. Some work in pairs, at best.
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Mario Freitas  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 12:18
Member (2014)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Undue revisions, undue revisers May 3, 2016

All the items listed do bother a bit. But what really bothers me and drives me crazy is the undue corrections and changes made by incompetent revisers or by the very clients. I have quit a few agencies because they refused to change irritating revisers who destroyed my work, and I no longer translate for post-graduation students who ask me to translate their theses, and then make a bunch of very undue corrections in my translations.

[Edited at 2016-05-03 00:04 GMT]


 

svenfrade  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 16:18
French to German
+ ...
Other May 3, 2016

Having to pay IMHO grossly unfair taxes (taxes as such are, of course, necessary, but I don't think that the German tax system is very encouraging for people who want to show some initiative and run their own small business - it's probably very different for those with big businesses, big earners and those born with a silver spoon in their mouths), the unpredictable workflow, the otherwise good clients who can never be bothered to pay on time and the cheapskates who think that 0,025 € per sou... See more
Having to pay IMHO grossly unfair taxes (taxes as such are, of course, necessary, but I don't think that the German tax system is very encouraging for people who want to show some initiative and run their own small business - it's probably very different for those with big businesses, big earners and those born with a silver spoon in their mouths), the unpredictable workflow, the otherwise good clients who can never be bothered to pay on time and the cheapskates who think that 0,025 € per source word is a fair price (and the depressing thought that there must be people out there who are presumably desperate enough to accept that princely fee)... Oh yes, and undue revisions of course...

[Edited at 2016-05-03 04:32 GMT]
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Gudrun Maydorn  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 16:18
English to German
+ ...
Other May 3, 2016

Thayenga wrote:
As Michael stated, paying taxes is also a handicap...and not a charming one, either.


Years ago I attended a seminar for prospective freelancers and one of the speakers left a lasting impression. He said:

"Be glad if you have to pay tax. It would be much worse if your income remained below the tax threshold."



[Bearbeitet am 2016-05-03 07:59 GMT]


 
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