Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Taking Advantage Of the Recession

There is a reason why I don't work for agencies from certain parts of the world - parts which do not subscribe to my Aussie values, lets say, of fair dinkum. Here is one of these reasons.

Point Blank is a blog allegedly run by "Asia's Leading Translation Agency" (says who?). Today, they are blessing us, poor freelancers with some advise about how to survive recession:

(1) Cut down on expenses - yeah, ok. Must be food, as my overheads are not really that high. Maybe I will work better on bread and water?

(2) Here is the big WOW. First the STICK: "work offers must have dwindled down to alarming levels, which is probably why you are reading this piece." No, ya dork! I am reading it because Google spewed it into my inbox. Then MORE STICK: "Why aren’t you getting work like before? Because your clients do not have sufficient money to pay you." And the SOLUTION: "Lower your rates! " Apparently, "it's alright to receive less pay for the work you do, rather than not receiving anything at all. You can always go back to charging your regular rates once things are hunky dory."

Question: Is Asia's Leading Translation Agency going to lower its rates too? And who decides when "hunky dory" starts? It has been very busy in my inbox in the past few weeks, and none of my European, Aussie or US clients are talking about lowering rates. I have heard rumours on PROZ about an agency emailing their contractors asking for a discount (and getting shooed off), and rubbish about this being a purchaser's market and therefore freelancers need to "cooperate" with agencies - in my opinion, they should get the purchaser to buy directly from them, not cooperate to their own disadvantage. But to put this on a blog and market is as "advice for surviving recession" is unethical.

Please correct me if I am wrong.

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