I started my campaign of increasing my prices.
Before you think, how easy it is and come with the ideological s***t, what I just posted last week, I can tell you, there are few and very important problems, when you increase your prices:
1. an agency has more than one of you. Literally you are interchangeable with other translators. There is no agency, who only keeps one translator in a language pair and this for obvious reasons. Neither there is a translator working for only one agency, I think, or if, than that translator certainly has another occupation.
2. you are not the first person, who wanted to change the cards on the table. Vendor managers – yes, for those people there is a name, they are the vendor managers – are used to get emails from translators saying: “I want to have more from the marmalade jar”.
3. you might think, you are sure, when you want to increase your prices, until you get the responses from your outsourcers, who then make you feel, like the most fortunate to be their slave and this is good so, so please shu-up and labor!
I had sent my new year’s resolution emails to my outsourcers.
No-one accepted my increase. Truly, not one agency said: you are right, sure, no worries, sorry, we used you this way. What they did say?
1. We can’t accept your decision to increase your rate to <my_new_rate>. Your <previous_even_lower_rate> was your advance. If you increase your rate, you lose this advance and our PM-s will give the jobs to other translators, because the quality will be the same.
Well…I truly had no idea, how to respond. It was like being punched into the stomach on the day of your worst hangover. You not only confirm to me, that I work for less, than the majority of your translators, but you also confirm, that the only reason, you chose me was not, because I am pretty the best, you can get in the specialty fields, you work in, but only because you pay me less, than the others? Than a figure comes, which gives me an overview, that I got through them so much money, so if I increase instead of my newly proposed rate only with the half of the amount, I still will even get lot more money, than I got this year and this is the only thing, they can offer me.
The figure was right, don’t get me wrong, but the way, how they got here, was wrong. I can’t possibly work for a low rate, because with this low rate, working 12 hours a day, having my computer all-over-the-time on my back(pack), I get a lot of money. I want to do quality! I need time to think, it is not like assembling a chair from IKEA. What I actually do, requires time and a working mind! I am still perplexed about their response.
But here another one:
2. Thank you for your email, I forwarded it to our boss. Until (s)he gets back to you, could you please proofread for us 220 words for 1 euro?
I was crawling from laughing. I know, why she asked me to do this. Because the girl, who proofreads by them also gave them the goodbye letter. You imagine 220 words for just 1 euro? I told them my rate again and they told me, I would be too expensive, they can’t afford to work with me. Strangely this agency just has sent out to its translators a beautiful email about having taken important steps (conformity to some industry standards, new image, new website, more important international clients) to move from a small translation agency to one of the monster agencies on the market. So what, you grow on my shoulders, but I should get a single euro for working?
The last is the best:
3. Thank you for your email. If you consider to work for these rates, I hope, you understand, that we need to give you other type of work too. In this first step, please do a translation into a foreign language. We will provide a native proofreader. (and after I refused to do this translation into a foreign language, they said:) I hope, you understand how easy task this would have been for you. You just would had to translate, the native proofer will do the main job.
I couldn’t believe it. I question my ability to find good agencies. If I worked for people, who really treat me like this to follow their own interest, what should I wait from agencies, who I will work for? I sent out some applications, no answer yet. Today I continue hunting. wish me luck!