Looking at the Glass Half Full in the Translation Business
In translation as in everything in life, bad things happen.
I don’t know why it took me this much time to blog about this experience I had over 2 years ago.
I worked for a client a couple of years back and then he was nowhere to be found when it was time for him to pay. After several months of trying to get a hold of him, mainly through his friend, who happens to be one of my good clients, I was still unable to get him to pay his dues. I was going to get his friend (my client) to pay for the damages, since work was done through him, and then I learned that I wasn’t the only one whom he did not pay, as he owed money to so many other people, since he was bankrupt. It was only then that I thanked God that the amount he owed me was not significant.
Moral of the story: always look at the glass half full, in the translation business as in everything else in life.
What I also learned is to have clients (at least new ones) give me a down payment prior to beginning with the job. Someone once asked me a very important question: why should you trust the client that he will pay you everything upon delivery when they don’t trust you to deliver the translation after they pay you a down payment?
Food for thought right there. For more in this regard, check out a previous blog post I wrote a while back.
Here’s a lovely quote to end this blog post:
“Some people see the glass half full. Others see the glass half empty. The enlightened are simply grateful to have a glass.”
- Mark Desvaux
Unfortunately customers forgetting or unwilling to pay is a common problem one cannot really avoid in translation business. Of course, it makes sense to do a quick background check on all new customers you have no experience working with. I try to charge all my customers in advance, whenever it is possible and as a rule all larger assignments should be prepaid and private customers should pay in advance.