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Update on Dear Client: October 24, 2011

Posted by Jill (@bonnjill) in Business practices, Random musings.

Long time no hear! I can’t believe it’s been a month since my last post. I have been so overwhelmed with work that I haven’t done anything but work. I haven’t even gone out very much since I’ve gotten back.

I hadn’t even left Germany yet and had a large project lined up for when I returned – 78 pages of legal documents. Then I was in the airport in Newark on my layover and had two additional job requests from my favorite client – one I accepted and one I turned down. And the next day I had one of my other clients start bombarding me with medical reports. I’ve translated 26,982 words in the last two weeks and have about 1600 to go before leaving for the ATA conference tomorrow. I haven’t even had my resumes printed out or gone over my first-time attendees presentation with Ted Wozniak yet. So you’ll hopefully understand why I haven’t written a blog post or decided not to organize a blogger’s lunch this time around.

One thing I have managed to do is keep track of my finances. The invoice to my Dear Client: is now 6 months overdue. It really is ridiculous that this company can’t manage to squeeze out a measly $60 in 6 months… Anyway, here is the response to the scathing e-mail I wrote the accounting department promising to mention them and the non-payment to everyone I spoke with at the ATA Conference. I thought you all might get a kick out of the response. There may be a global crisis around the world, but none of my other clients seem to be feeling the effects. And they are paying much larger invoices!

Dear Jill,

Please, accept our apologies for the delay.

As you know, there is a global crisis around the world, and we are not out of it.

Besides that, this company has been restructured, and I´m the new person in charge of the accounting department.I´m taking care of your issue, and I´m trying to get a payment authorization for Friday November 4th. Payments are going out on Fridays, and there are scheduled from one week to another. So, I´ll do my best to include yours by next payment series.

Our major customers are also delaying payments.

Nevertheless, we are working hard in order to distribute our resources among all our collaborators with maximum priority.

We understand this situation is difficult for you as well, but we are sharing what we have.

I hope you can understand the situation and we´ll try to resolve this soon and amicably.

[Name edited upon request since she no longer works there]
Accounting Department



1. Kevin Lossner - October 24, 2011


2. Diandra - October 25, 2011

Haha. Would probably have been cheaper for them to pay right away – all the working hours spent explaining to you why they do not pay don’t come for free, I guess. ^^

3. Maria - October 25, 2011

Love how EVERYTHING gets blamed on the “global crisis”.

cold coffee -> global crisis.
slow internet -> global crisis
flat tyre -> global crisis

… and so on 🙂

4. RobinB - November 1, 2011

OK, I get it. It’s the Greeks, of course. They’re the direct cause of translation agencies delaying $60 payments because those agencies are holding onto large volumes of Greek sovereign debt (or they had so much spare cash to speculate with they went out and bought CDOs on Greek debt). And now they’re being forced to take a haircut. Why can’t they be open and transparent about it, I wonder?
Bet they lost your invoice, BTW.

Jill (@bonnjill) - November 1, 2011

That might explain the first month or so, but I resubmitted the darn thing… And they actually sent out an e-mail to their vendors in August saying payments would be slightly delayed.

5. céline - November 9, 2011

I would have replied saying “As you know, there is a local crisis around my bank account, and you’re directly responsible for it.”

6. Pierre - December 3, 2011

There must be a software somewhere helping those kind of agencies giving these lame excuses. I’ve seen the same vocabulary used in a client who was regular and become an overdue expert overnight.
The logic is impeccable, «you’ve produced 80% of our profits but we need to spread the cash flow to our numerous collaborators which are much more important than you, as they produced very minor volume with poor quality.» Mind you I had 5 K$ on the line, down to 1 K$, but it took one year and half. Translators should start a bank and loan these poor souls some money.

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