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The Angriest Email I've Sent in a While, or Whether I Should Choose to Work for Free
Autor wątku: Lincoln Hui

Chris S  Identity Verified
Wielka Brytania
szwedzki > angielski
+ ...
Pressure relief Oct 12, 2020

It might be more constructive, and cathartic, to mail them a big steaming turd.

You might want to do so anonymously in order to preserve your professional integrity.


Michael Wetzel
Mervyn Henderson
Zibow Retailleau
P.L.F.Persio
Adieu
 

Lincoln Hui  Identity Verified
Hongkong
Local time: 13:13
Członek ProZ.com
chiński > angielski
+ ...
NOWY TEMAT
Reezon Oct 13, 2020

Mervyn Henderson wrote:

Lincoln,

I copied and pasted all you've written on this so far, including your e-mails to the customer and others on the job, and also your replies to us here. I know it's a weird thing to do, but it comes to 2,677 words. That's a lot of words post-event, a lot of your time, and nobody's mood improves on such an annoying issue the more they write about it.

Maybe Kuochoe, DJ and I, for example, aren't telling you what you want to hear. It's easier to tell yourself what you want to hear, and then write to them after the couple of days you said you'd give yourself to cool off.

I'm just responding to comments right now, and leaving things open so that everybody who wants to give their take has had a chance to do so. Opinions are not quite unanimous, after all, even if I'll give more weight to some than others.

Frankly, I wasn't even sure what I wanted to hear, but I think we've all seen on these boards in recent weeks a prime example of someone who has had cause to regret an email they sent because they did not take the time to boil off or take the viewpoint of an uninterested observer into account, and right now I have the luxury of not having to rush a response.


Michael Wetzel
Mervyn Henderson
P.L.F.Persio
 

Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
USA
Local time: 00:13
Członek ProZ.com
od 2002

angielski > węgierski
+ ...
Well, my take is this Oct 13, 2020

Lincoln, I read the entire story and all the replies, and decided (after some hesitation) to tell you what I think.
First, I am sorry that you had to go through this.
I hope you are not going to be mad at me for saying this, but I think it was a big mistake on your side not to contact the project manager right away on that Friday when you received the project and saw that the previous stage was not completed.
I understand what your thought process was, but it is very important
... See more
Lincoln, I read the entire story and all the replies, and decided (after some hesitation) to tell you what I think.
First, I am sorry that you had to go through this.
I hope you are not going to be mad at me for saying this, but I think it was a big mistake on your side not to contact the project manager right away on that Friday when you received the project and saw that the previous stage was not completed.
I understand what your thought process was, but it is very important to not assume anything ever about these things. Whether it is a problem with the platform, or a problem with the translator, if the project does not look like what you were supposed to receive, always contact the PM immediately and clarify. In my experience, it is better to ask (even at the risk of being viewed as anal retentive) than assume anything and then come to a bitter realization.

I have had my share of receiving "translations" for editing that were absolutely garbage, and my experience is that the sooner I point out the problem the easier it is to resolve it to mutual satisfaction.

Of course, there is a difference with established clients or PMs who know and trust my judgement based on past work vs. your case with your client for whom - if I understand correctly - this was your first job. Perhaps the translator has been working for them for a while and nobody complained about the quality, so they had no reason to believe your claims. (I have had this, too!) But it seems they trusted you enough that they asked for a 3rd party check and that confirmed your statements for them, and now they are offering compensation, post-mortem.

You were late to alert them about the problem and that caused a delay, and they were late to believe your claims. All of this created frustration on both sides. I am sorry, but I think both parties are equally at fault here, therefore, throwing their money in their face would seem hypocritical. I think I would accept their payment, and wait, and if there was another job, I would approach it very carefully, especially if it was from Friday to Monday.
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Jan Truper
MollyRose
Kuochoe Nikoi-Kotei
LIZ LI
Kay Denney
Arabic & More
Veronica Montserrat
 

Kunik  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:13
angielski > łotewski
+ ...
Yes Oct 13, 2020

Give them another chance. It seems that their attempt to make amends is genuine. Both sides are at fault here - if the job was due on Monday morning and on Friday you found that the text was not ready for editing (in your professional opinion), you should have alerted them loud and clear, and repeatedly, instead of assuming things and waiting, especially if this was a newish client.

MollyRose
 

Giovanni Guarnieri MITI, MIL  Identity Verified
Wielka Brytania
Local time: 05:13
Członek ProZ.com
od 2004

angielski > włoski
My take... Oct 13, 2020

don't let emotions cloud your judgement...

MollyRose
Tiina Linnamaa
Felipe Lacerda
 

Lincoln Hui  Identity Verified
Hongkong
Local time: 13:13
Członek ProZ.com
chiński > angielski
+ ...
NOWY TEMAT
Not yet sent response Oct 15, 2020

Toned down somewhat from what I might have sent a week ago


The file that I received was, for all due intents and purposes, unchanged from Google Translate. It is exceedingly disturbing that the handoff message claimed that an internal review was performed, yet it failed to detect what could have been easily determined by copy and pasting virtually any segment into Google Translate, and comparing the output with the "trancreated" file.

With that said, if you wish to continue to work with me, make me an offer and I will take that into consideration before making a final decision; understand, however, that any similar incident in the future will have implications for your company's reputation.

Otherwise, there will be no need to respond to this email.


 

Chris S  Identity Verified
Wielka Brytania
szwedzki > angielski
+ ...
Why? Oct 15, 2020

Lincoln Hui wrote:
Too much

I was only joking about sending them a turd. I think you should say nothing. What do you hope to achieve here? It’s only going to put their backs up. If I were them, I probably wouldn’t use you again anyway given the late delivery. Better to file under “live and learn” and move on.


 

Marjolein Snippe  Identity Verified
Holandia
Local time: 06:13
Członek ProZ.com
od 2012

angielski > niderlandzki
+ ...
Time out Oct 15, 2020

It seems to me that you have already explained to them what was wrong with the file you received, so no need to do this again.
I have felt what I think is a similar amount of frustration with one client, resulting from exceedingly poor project management on the client's part. After the end of the project, I sent them one email explaining why I did not enjoy the project (as I think you have already done). They asked me to give some more details, so I did, in as neutral a way as I could mana
... See more
It seems to me that you have already explained to them what was wrong with the file you received, so no need to do this again.
I have felt what I think is a similar amount of frustration with one client, resulting from exceedingly poor project management on the client's part. After the end of the project, I sent them one email explaining why I did not enjoy the project (as I think you have already done). They asked me to give some more details, so I did, in as neutral a way as I could manage.
I decided only to work with this client if and when I no longer felt angry or upset upon receiving emails from them. Any request from this client since that moment revived my anger, so I have declined all projects so far. I may yet start accepting projects from this client again some time in the future; if, by that time, they have stopped contacting me because I never accept, that will also be fine.
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Kuochoe Nikoi-Kotei  Identity Verified
Ghana
Local time: 05:13
japoński > angielski
A bit harsh Oct 16, 2020

Lincoln Hui wrote:

Toned down somewhat from what I might have sent a week ago


The file that I received was, for all due intents and purposes, unchanged from Google Translate. It is exceedingly disturbing that the handoff message claimed that an internal review was performed, yet it failed to detect what could have been easily determined by copy and pasting virtually any segment into Google Translate, and comparing the output with the "trancreated" file.

With that said, if you wish to continue to work with me, make me an offer and I will take that into consideration before making a final decision; understand, however, that any similar incident in the future will have implications for your company's reputation.

Otherwise, there will be no need to respond to this email.


The first paragraph is fine, but the second and the final line are unnecessarily harsh IMO. And somewhat condescending as well. If I received a message like that, I would think "Well excuuuuuse me, princess!"

It would be better for you to state what it would take for you to move past this incident (more money? an apology? a revised work process?) and then put the ball in their court. All this is assuming that you do want to work with them again. If not, send whatever you want.


MollyRose
Kay Denney
Zibow Retailleau
Beatriz Ramírez de Haro
 

Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
Hiszpania
Local time: 06:13
hiszpański > angielski
+ ...
Lincoln Moment Oct 19, 2020

I had one of those today. Not a first-time customer, quite the contrary, but a longstanding customer's first-time customer. I initially declined, because of a sixth sense or instinct or experience or something, but I was told certain things to win me over, and I agreed. Turns out the things I was told weren't true. The fact that it was heavily-tagged MTPE, for example, not translation. I objected as quickly as possible and sent them what I'd done, saying I wouldn't charge, but wanted nothing mor... See more
I had one of those today. Not a first-time customer, quite the contrary, but a longstanding customer's first-time customer. I initially declined, because of a sixth sense or instinct or experience or something, but I was told certain things to win me over, and I agreed. Turns out the things I was told weren't true. The fact that it was heavily-tagged MTPE, for example, not translation. I objected as quickly as possible and sent them what I'd done, saying I wouldn't charge, but wanted nothing more to do with it. Then they finally got me on board again, promising to rectify the source text with no MT. Source text came back much the same. I've now wasted a couple of hours on this, just under the amount of time it should have taken me to do the bloody thing, and they say it'll be all right next time. Getting that sinking feeling ...

[Edited at 2020-10-19 18:32 GMT]
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Zibow Retailleau
P.L.F.Persio
Adieu
 

Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
Hiszpania
Local time: 06:13
hiszpański > angielski
+ ...
And ...? Feb 3

Is a post on 3 February 2021 back to October 2020 a necropost? A necroishpost?

Anyway, what happened? You never said.


Zibow Retailleau
Matthias Brombach
P.L.F.Persio
Dan Lucas
expressisverbis
 

Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
Hiszpania
Local time: 06:13
hiszpański > angielski
+ ...
OK then ... Feb 4

... I don't know why I bothered. Nor do I know why a dozen or so people bothered trying to empathise with you. Especially as just about every post was met with a "No, but ...", "No, not that either ...", "No, you've got it totally wrong" etc. Just don't expect a mad rush to sympathise next time. Netiquette? Yeah, right.

P.L.F.Persio
Zibow Retailleau
expressisverbis
 

William Bowley
Wielka Brytania
Local time: 05:13
hiszpański > angielski
+ ...
Two cases of irony Feb 4

There's quite some irony here:

Firstly, given Lincoln's recent activity of bumping near-20-year-old threads, that when there's a bump on his own thread, it isn't by him.

Secondly, both sides look very unprofessional here, and all things considered, I'd say that, Lincoln, you end up coming off worse. However chaotic the agency appears to be and however poorly it may operate, they have shown positives that are ever-present in agency speeches and policies but quite rare i
... See more
There's quite some irony here:

Firstly, given Lincoln's recent activity of bumping near-20-year-old threads, that when there's a bump on his own thread, it isn't by him.

Secondly, both sides look very unprofessional here, and all things considered, I'd say that, Lincoln, you end up coming off worse. However chaotic the agency appears to be and however poorly it may operate, they have shown positives that are ever-present in agency speeches and policies but quite rare in practice.

For example, they've been reasonably polite and accepting in the last few messages, more so than a number of PMs and companies are in such situations. Meanwhile, you seem intent on winning arguments. There's very little to like in any of your messages, something which most in this thread have overlooked. Your communication comes off as rude, condescending and arrogant.

They even offered to increase your fee to compensate you! In practice, that is rare.

[Edited at 2021-02-08 14:28 GMT]
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P.L.F.Persio
expressisverbis
 

Lincoln Hui  Identity Verified
Hongkong
Local time: 13:13
Członek ProZ.com
chiński > angielski
+ ...
NOWY TEMAT
And what exactly are you so worked up about? Feb 5

Mervyn Henderson wrote:

... I don't know why I bothered. Nor do I know why a dozen or so people bothered trying to empathise with you. Especially as just about every post was met with a "No, but ...", "No, not that either ...", "No, you've got it totally wrong" etc. Just don't expect a mad rush to sympathise next time. Netiquette? Yeah, right.

And just what on earth are you on about?

[Edited at 2021-02-05 03:01 GMT]


 

Adieu  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:13
angielski > rosyjski
+ ...
These things are like heated arguments with a girlfriend Feb 14

If you say two sentences with restraint, project polite indignation, and then walk away to watch TV with your cat and a beer while ignoring them, it's their fault.

While if you actually TELL them all the reasons why it is their fault and how frustrated you are and why....it is now and forever your fault. You bad bad wicked man you.

Two sentences. Maybe three. No more.

[Edited at 2021-02-14 14:45 GMT]


 
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