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How do I explain how I feel to my client?
Thread poster: Kay Denney

Josephine Cassar  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:08
Member (2012)
Italian to English
+ ...
Another point Nov 12, 2017

Nikki Scott-Despaigne wrote:
If you work to a monthly amount, you are working to a sort of "retainer fee". It amounts to payment upfront for work to come. What if that work never comes? (You have to pay them back)? What happens if you are not available when they need you? The client is basically hoping you will be available for their translation needs, that paying you a monthly retainer gives them "translation credit". If the client has paid in advance, that is a "credit balance" you simply deduct from a future invoice. I've done that on a couple of occasions where there has been an overpayment, for example.

What happens if the company goes bankrupt at some point? You will have lost your other clients and maybe refused new ones. Don't put all your eggs in one basket and don't let them walk all over you. Be polite but firm.

[Edited at 2017-11-12 09:02 GMT]


 

Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 14:08
Member
Spanish to English
+ ...
Like the Stones sang ... Nov 12, 2017

... the Last Time, in other words.

Hi Texte Style,

I'd go with what MK2010 and Tina said and others agreed with, and give them a chance, but make clear it's the last time you'll do it. They'll see your case makes cents, and theirs doesn't.


 

Kay Denney  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 14:08
Member (2018)
French to English
TOPIC STARTER
retainer fee Nov 12, 2017

Josephine Cassar wrote:

Nikki Scott-Despaigne wrote:
If you work to a monthly amount, you are working to a sort of "retainer fee". It amounts to payment upfront for work to come. What if that work never comes? (You have to pay them back)? What happens if you are not available when they need you? The client is basically hoping you will be available for their translation needs, that paying you a monthly retainer gives them "translation credit". If the client has paid in advance, that is a "credit balance" you simply deduct from a future invoice. I've done that on a couple of occasions where there has been an overpayment, for example.

What happens if the company goes bankrupt at some point? You will have lost your other clients and maybe refused new ones. Don't put all your eggs in one basket and don't let them walk all over you. Be polite but firm.

[Edited at 2017-11-12 09:02 GMT]


What the client was suggesting was more like the arrangement Sheila mentioned rather than a retainer fee, so this is actually irrelevant, but anyway:

Nikki, if they're paying a retainer fee, they're paying me to be available whether or not work comes in surely? I don't refund them if they don't send me work, because my part of the bargain is that I make sure of being available. Especially with larger projects, this would impact my ability to accept other projects so I would still deserve the money. Of course if it happened too often the client would decide to no longer keep me on the retainer and just hope that I will be free (and I always do my best to fit stuff in for well-paying direct clients).

Josephine, the projects I'm talking about are only worth 250 euros every few weeks, so I would have plenty of time left over to accept other projects, plenty of eggs in other baskets.


 

Kay Denney  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 14:08
Member (2018)
French to English
TOPIC STARTER
your two cents Nov 12, 2017

Mervyn Henderson wrote:

... the Last Time, in other words.

Hi Texte Style,

I'd go with what MK2010 and Tina said and others agreed with, and give them a chance, but make clear it's the last time you'll do it. They'll see your case makes cents, and theirs doesn't.


thanks for the earworm, great riff on that one (although the lyrics do continue with "maybe the last time I don't know"...)

and honestly, I'd rather my case made euros than cents, but thank you for your two!


 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 14:08
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
@Tom and so Nov 12, 2017

Tom in London wrote:
Texte Style wrote:
So...

[So,] I don't know why you began your post with "so". [So,] was it the logical continuation of something you had written earlier but that you deleted?


So, isn't this the way many people in the UK speak these days?
www.google.com/search?q=starting%20each%20sentence%20with%20so


 

Thomas T. Frost  Identity Verified
Member (2014)
Danish to English
+ ...
Yes, but … Nov 12, 2017

Samuel Murray wrote:

Tom in London wrote:
Texte Style wrote:
So...

[So,] I don't know why you began your post with "so". [So,] was it the logical continuation of something you had written earlier but that you deleted?


So, isn't this the way many people in the UK speak these days?
www.google.com/search?q=starting%20each%20sentence%20with%20so


Yes, some do, unfortunately. People make mistakes all the time, just like some people, even British translators, think “algorithm” is spelt “algorhythm” (looks sort of cute, though), perhaps because the latter spelling is the name of a TV series, or perhaps they mistakenly think “rhythm” has something to do with it. Who knows? Nobody is perfect. You sometimes pick up a bad habit unconsciously and only become aware of it when it's pointed out.


 

Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 14:08
Member
Spanish to English
+ ...
Akshully ... Nov 12, 2017

... the Irish, mostly those south of the Border, may not BEGIN a sentence with "So" but, as Tom and I well know, they may very well end it thus. Rather illogically, too:

"I hear your daughter's gettin' married, so."

"Dis whisky is well foine, so."

"Ye'll be workin' yer guts out at dat place, so".


Or not? Is it so? Say it ain't so etc. etc.

See more
... the Irish, mostly those south of the Border, may not BEGIN a sentence with "So" but, as Tom and I well know, they may very well end it thus. Rather illogically, too:

"I hear your daughter's gettin' married, so."

"Dis whisky is well foine, so."

"Ye'll be workin' yer guts out at dat place, so".


Or not? Is it so? Say it ain't so etc. etc.

https://www.google.es/search?lr=&as_qdr=all&q=roger%20daltrey%20say%20it%20ain't%20so%20joe&stick=H4sIAAAAAAAAAONgecToyS3w8sc9YSmHSWtOXmO04uIKzsgvd80rySypFNLhYoOylLgEpHj00_UNiw1My0yMCsw0GKT4uFBEeADcaolpTgAAAA&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj4m5bfj7nXAhVCxxQKHXSUCPcQ6RMIYTAK&biw=1366&bih=637



[Edited at 2017-11-12 13:18 GMT]

...

Note Keith Moon in his underpants on drums in this one. The type that's bound to end up dead early. As indeed he did. And bassist John Entwhistle, though John behaved himself and survived until the 21st century. And Jimmy McCulloch too, playing guitar behind Daltrey, found dead in his flat at 26, albeit with no record of drug abuse, so he didn't make the famed "Dead at 27" status of Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix and Jim Morrisson. You might say, in fact, the list of "Rock stars with names beginning with J and dead at 27", but that might be a little long to be popularised.

Drugs, huh? Just Say So.

[Edited at 2017-11-12 13:44 GMT]
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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 13:08
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Agree! Nov 12, 2017

MK2010 wrote:

...and then make sure it doesn't happen again by clearly laying out the terms and agreeing on a system with her. Plus, it's sort of too late to say no.

It sounds like you really want to keep this client, and it sounds like she wants to give you regular work, so be up front with her. "I'll do it this time because I already said I would, but in the future...."

Good luck.


I would explain to the client that usually I am paid for what I deliver not a word more nor a word less, but given the fact that this is a field that I love translating and the work seems regular, I’ll be willing to give it a try for one or two months with an option to renegotiate after that period if need be…


 

Robert Forstag  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 08:08
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
I also agree with MK’s suggestion Nov 13, 2017

Mervyn Henderson wrote:

... the Last Time, in other words.

Hi Texte Style,

I'd go with what MK2010 and Tina said and others agreed with, and give them a chance, but make clear it's the last time you'll do it. They'll see your case makes cents, and theirs doesn't.


I think this would really be the smart move here. 70 euros is not a lot, and you will be making it crystal clear that this is the last time you will be doing such a freebie.

I also agree with what others have said here about flattery being used as a means of manipulation (whether consciously or unconsciously).


 

Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 08:08
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Fixed amount and the volume evens out over time... Nov 13, 2017

I think the only reason this agency can legitimately ask you to do these jobs for a fixed amount is that they are getting paid by the end client on a fixed amount base.
However, if that is the case, and they really think the volume evens out over time, they should not have a problem paying you for the exact amount each time. They should be willing to take the risk of volume fluctuation themselves, if they expect you to believe that the risk is negligible. Since there is no guarantee that y
... See more
I think the only reason this agency can legitimately ask you to do these jobs for a fixed amount is that they are getting paid by the end client on a fixed amount base.
However, if that is the case, and they really think the volume evens out over time, they should not have a problem paying you for the exact amount each time. They should be willing to take the risk of volume fluctuation themselves, if they expect you to believe that the risk is negligible. Since there is no guarantee that you would be the lucky translator (among their pool) to get the smaller jobs that have some "cushioning", IMHO, at this point it would not be a wise decision for you to take this flat fee deal going forward.
If they really think that the plus-minuses even out, then they should be willing to pay you for the exact work, because even if they are getting paid a flat rate from the end client, they would still be able to keep their cut over time, on an average base. Right?


[Edited at 2017-11-13 03:29 GMT]
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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:08
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Catch up Nov 13, 2017

Samuel Murray wrote:

Tom in London wrote:
Texte Style wrote:
So...

[So,] I don't know why you began your post with "so". [So,] was it the logical continuation of something you had written earlier but that you deleted?


So, isn't this the way many people in the UK speak these days?
www.google.com/search?q=starting%20each%20sentence%20with%20so


Not any more, and nobody literate ever did.


 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:08
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Sure Nov 13, 2017

Mervyn Henderson wrote:

... the Irish, mostly those south of the Border, may not BEGIN a sentence with "So"


Sure they might end it like that so.


 

Kay Denney  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 14:08
Member (2018)
French to English
TOPIC STARTER
thank you again Nov 13, 2017

Thanks once more to all those who are making valid suggestions and to Mervyn for the laughs and the video.

Katalin, if it were an agency I would indeed expect them to take the risk for me, especially since there would be even less guarantee of me getting the well paid jobs. However this is a direct client not an agency, which is one of the reasons I particularly want to foster their loyalty.

For all those who answered over the weekend: since I'm not a member, some of y
... See more
Thanks once more to all those who are making valid suggestions and to Mervyn for the laughs and the video.

Katalin, if it were an agency I would indeed expect them to take the risk for me, especially since there would be even less guarantee of me getting the well paid jobs. However this is a direct client not an agency, which is one of the reasons I particularly want to foster their loyalty.

For all those who answered over the weekend: since I'm not a member, some of you may not have seen all my replies (one on Saturday afternoon and two yesterday I think) because they are moderated first and only got published this morning.

I'm doing the translation now and I shall let the client know what I think as I deliver it on Wednesday.
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Mirko Mainardi  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 14:08
Member
English to Italian
[OT] White listing? Nov 13, 2017

Texte Style wrote:

For all those who answered over the weekend: since I'm not a member, some of you may not have seen all my replies (one on Saturday afternoon and two yesterday I think) because they are moderated first and only got published this morning.


Just wondering, but isn't there something like a "white list" for (non paying) users who've been on this site for a long time and are not serial trolls/spammers? And if not, why?


 

Kay Denney  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 14:08
Member (2018)
French to English
TOPIC STARTER
update Nov 14, 2017

The file worth an extra 70 euros has now turned out to be longer than expected by over 100 words, and the part I am already working on is apparently incomplete too.

So we're going to review the workload once everything has been assembled. The person who's supposed to be sending the missing parts is "in an Internet-free place" so it looks like the deadline will melt away too. I have kept to my part of the bargain so I'm in a good position for when we start negotiating. All is well.
... See more
The file worth an extra 70 euros has now turned out to be longer than expected by over 100 words, and the part I am already working on is apparently incomplete too.

So we're going to review the workload once everything has been assembled. The person who's supposed to be sending the missing parts is "in an Internet-free place" so it looks like the deadline will melt away too. I have kept to my part of the bargain so I'm in a good position for when we start negotiating. All is well.

I'm glad to have a community I can count on here, thank you all those who made helpful comments and suggestions!
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