tonybaldwin | blog

non compos mentis

> The customer had complained about the quality. (MY RESPONSE)

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(working around the clock for a large agency, doubling up on projects from their London and California offices.
The London PM writes me, attaching “corrected” documents, with the client’s feedback)


Project manager (Big Company, London Office) wrote:
> The customer had complained about the quality.

They’re also morons.
I don’t have much time to play this game right now, because I’m busy.
First they wanted 17,000 words in 4 days, and now they want an additional 8000 in less than two days…All the while I am also cranking out similar volume for Fulana PM at same BIGCOMPANY in CA, USA.
I’m translating the documents as quickly as I can, and firing them off to you, admittedly, without a solid proofreading.
That’s what happens with rush jobs.
All the same, after a quick perusal of the changes on the first few pages of the first document you returned to me, I must say, they are simply wrong.
For instance, look at this:
That is how they “corrected” the word “established”, which I had spelled correctly, in the first place.
In another instance, they changed “bank cards” to “band cards” in reference to payment methods.
What, in God’s name, is a “band card”?
Here, we call them “bank cards”, which is what I had written in the first place. I have several in my wallet.
“Deposited to an account” or “in an account”…same thing, and, I would venture to state that “to an account” is more correct.
I deposit money, in the bank, TO my account.
No need for correction there.
In another instance, they replaced the €/Euro sign with a $/dollar sign.
The original quotes all financial figures in €/Euros. Hello.

Some of their corrections aren’t necessarily “incorrect”, but are unnecessary, as the original is not incorrect, either, and their stylistic alterations, if anything, make the text less efficient and needlessly verbose.

I haven’t seen a single “correction” here that is valid.

I’ve seen this game, before. They’re making arbitrary, and mostly INCORRECT “corrections” and whining, in some hope of getting a discount.
Well…I’ve been working non-stop on these documents.
I worked in until 2am last night, and I’m up at 7am, and back in the office working, and will continue through the holiday, July 4th, weekend, as I have another large project, also from BigCompany, due Monday,
and, I’m not granting any discounts.

I am a highly skilled, highly educated and trained linguist, and, above all, an expert in the English language.
Your BIGCompany knows that. You’ve been sending me work for over 3 years now, and never once has there been a complaint.
So have many, many other clients, including such well-reputed agencies as TransPerfect, and BTS/Bowne Global Desktop, both of whom are known to test potential providers without mercy.
I work efficiently. I provide top quality translations at unheard of rates (Another client called yesterday, simply dumbfounded, and wanted to know how I could afford to give them such excellent work at such low rates). I go beyond the call of duty, and even take screenshots and cut out the images from these miserably copied PDF files, and manipulate them if need be [with the GIMP, of course], and insert them to the target file, so that the translation appears PRECISELY like the original (how many of your providers do that? I don’t know anybody who does that…)
Apparently, this client knows not with whom it is they wish to play.
I can support my original text for every supposed “correction” I’ve seen here, so far.


Incidentally, if I hear another complaint, I will stop work on this project immediately, and they can go jump in boiling lake of fetid dog excrement.
I have better things to do with my time than give up the holiday for whining morons attempting to fish out discounts. I can’t afford to work for less, and I refuse as a matter of principle, anyway, especially when working around the clock over the holiday, which I should be spending eating grilled hotdogs and drinking beer and creating a general nuisance with small, colorful explosives with the rest of my family.
(I’d say, “and friends”, but I’ve lost all my friends from working around the clock like this for three years…they all think I’ve become a vampire, or something).
If the client wants cheap translations, tell them to hire a sweat shop in China for $0.02/word and see what kind of quality they receive.

I understand, Ms. Project Mgr, that it is the client, not you, making a complaint. I enjoy working with you.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have work to do.



Written by tonybaldwin

July 3, 2008 at 8:28 am

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