From the first point of contact, the Translation/Interpretation agency shows me the voyage I will go on if I chose to work with them.
They reveal their professionalism in this field and their respect for a good contractor by how they speak to me, what they tell me about themselves and their operation and the contents of the all important contract and agreements. Some sound like sweat shops with supervisors who worked at the Gulag, others are working out of a dry cleaners with about as much knowledge of court interpreting. But when I match the criteria listed below, I have found some T&I agencies that are so well run that I get excited about the mutually productive and enjoyable relationship we will have. And for some, it has been many years of a great experience working together.
See if your next agency contact shows you these signs.
1. Their entire staff has done professional interpreting or translating work and they know the terminology, the expectations, the market and the work they are going to ask me to do.
2. They have read my resume and are familiar with my specialization and credentials.
3. They know the laws and regulations that I am bound to and that they are bound to.
4. They negotiate rates and terms instead of insisting I adhere to theirs.
5. They aren’t collecting resumes that they never read.
6. If they can’t afford my rates, they tell me instead of never calling me.
7. Their contract reflects correctly and specifically the interpreting proceedings or translating legal material work that they expect me to do.
8. Their contract is intelligently crafted to reflect a contractor –subcontractor relationship and does not include irrelevant responsibilities applicable to employees.
9. They are respectful and polite and never condescending. They show how they realize that with all the big money clients in the world, their company fails without good contractors who actually do the work.
10. They don’t ask me to find them another subcontractor for an assignment, also known as doing their job for which they are paid a salary .
In your experience, is there another sign?