“Mistrust makes life difficult. Trust makes it risky.”
When I started as a translator I was naive and trusted that, I make a work and the agency will pay me – very simple. In the beginning, I worked to “nice” agencies and they paid me regularly without problems. Then, I would say, in the beginning of 21st century everything changed. I made a translation, but the agency did not pay. It happened once, twice, but because the sums were small I did not do anything except accepted the loss.
The situation has worsened especially during the last couple of years. Now I have reached the point that I hardly dare to accept any work from new clients. There are so many bad-payers in the translation industry that the probability to bump into one is very high. I can still do some tiny translations to new clients, but I do not do anymore anything big as the first translation to the client.
Then I have some weird clients. Just a week ago, a client I have already done some translations and one test translation approached me. One message came to my main e-mail address asking if I were interested to do a project. From the same agency came another mail to my secondary email address asking if I were interested in doing a test translation (1000 words medical text!!). After I told that, I already have done a test and I have no intention to do any more free translations I have not heard of them anymore. However, I will be very careful with this agency if they still contact me.
Therefore, I can admit that nowadays I am scared to do any translations. I don’t trust that I will get paid ever – I’m even worried with old clients due to the fact that there is a very bad economic crisis going on and the agencies don’t care about us freelancers, they are only interested in making profit and earning their own living.