I was hired to do a translation of 30 words - washing instructions for a garment. Lol, alright. Said I'd charge 2 dollars (what the heck, right?). I completed the job, and the client was happy. The next day, I am sent a declaration I need to fill where my name, address and e-mail are requested, and I need to sign this form and confirm that I am not from India.
For a 2 dollar job.
I tell the client that unfortunately I cannot sign this form, as I don't have a printer or a scanner, and I was not comfortable with giving out my address details. Luckily enough, the client said that is ok, as long as I write the country since that's the important part. Hmmm...
Then another client who wanted to have a Skype video interview with me on Friday sent me a message. He had asked me last week when I would be available for an interview, and I had said I'd be available after 4PM GMT on Friday. On that day, he sent me a message at 3 PM and asked me if I'm online. I sent him a message saying that I am currently on my mobile device, and I would be available in approximately an hour. At 4 PM, I sent him a message on Skype saying I am available for an interview now or later that evening. No reply. Today, he sent me a message saying that HE was online at 4 PM, and I was not, and that I had not left a good impression on him.
Went back to read my earlier messages to him, confused. Yep... 4 PM GMT is what I had written. I had specified a time zone, and I when I check my message history and my Skype, I certainly was online at the right time.
I compose a message to him saying that I believe there has been a misunderstanding about time zones and asked him to review my earlier messages. Again, no reply.
LOL @ $2 job.
LOL @ Indian. Get it together India. Mannn, you guys have screwed up your reputation royally.
I think a lot of the Skype interviews I get are to confirm I'm not faking my profile. There is a thread in blackhatworld about Upwork and clients complaining about fake profiles. It's probably a lot worse than we see. I'm glad they are working hard here not to let it turn into F-bomb.
If the job had been for 2000 dollars or 200 dollars at least, but for 2 dollars? Like... wtf.
I'm not keen on Skype video chats, but I thought that for this job, it would have been worth it. It would have been an hourly contract and the job description suited my skills to a T. But depending on how the client will reply to my latest message, I will probably withdraw my application now. My previous experiences with people that confuse times because of different timezones are quite horrendous.
I've been pushing back a bit on Skype chats. I don't have video and many people I speak with don't either. It's just that it takes up at least 30 minutes of my time that I have to dedicate on this one person. I usually juggle people around all day and can't do that with a chat.
I had one guy stand me up. He was in Dubai and the time was so weird that planning something was too difficult. He pinged me to apologize, but I decided to drop him. I see it as a sign of stuff to come. lol
I know exactly how you feel. And it's not just the time you have to put aside to talk to them and concentrate on them, it's putting on makeup and changing out of your pajamas as well... Because I kinda was not kidding about seeing working in my flannel pants with cuddly bears on them as a huge benefit of online freelancing.
Not to mention my hair is still green. It's now sort of the colour of ripening hay. Surprisingly enough, my mother likes it, but I would not be so confident that foreign clients will.
I know a lot of people love the Skype.
I just find it kind of invasive. I really enjoy working with clients through email and messaging.
In my own, personal experience, most clients I work with are content to either never use Skype, or, if they do, it is a one-time thing because they want to verify I am who I say I am. Although nobody has EVER said that. But when a client interviews me once via Skype video chat, and then never wants to Skype again, that's what I think is going on.
And I'm totally fine with that. Because I really am exactly who I say I am. And if clients have been burned in the past by people claiming to be something they're not, it is understandable that they want to verify a contractor's identity.
Preston, I totally understand clients wanting to verify the contractor is who they claim to be when we are talking about big and/or demanding projects. I believe most of the projects you are awarded fall into one of these categories. I do, however, work quite a lot on small fixed-price contracts, and from a "time is money" perspective, I decline video interviews for jobs like them. I just do not see the point in spending half an hour putting my face on and then another half an hour talking to the client about a translation of a one-page document. I think the time spent interviewing needs to be proportional to the job at hand. That's why I felt that for this job, it would have been worth it; for a lot of the project I bid on/I am invited to bid on, it is not.
Talking about Skype, I had a client I had video calls with quite regularly, and I honestly enjoyed them a lot, but that was after a certain "comfort level" had been established between us. I knew that I didn't have to put on make-up for him as he didn't give a flying donkey what I looked like. I do feel that as a woman, because of social norms I am always expected to look "groomed", and I've always hated that. I just like to spend my time on other things.
On the other hand, I've had a couple of clients that I feel abused my Skype and were upset about how little I am online on there. They fail to realize that I have several contracts each week, and Skype can be a huge distraction, so I tend to turn it off when I'm concentrating. One translation agency I worked for gave me an earful for it, but I stood my ground. "What if the client needs to contact you?" Well, the client can send me a message, and they will get a reply when I read that message sometime during that day.
I almost feel like writing a huge rant about how I also despite the way group projects are now expected to be handled trough Facebook because "everyone has an account", but I think I'll save that for another time.
@Preston H wrote:
(...) when a client interviews me once via Skype video chat, and then never wants to Skype again, that's what I think is going on.
Maybe. But maybe there is another reason.
Client: Hi, Preston, nice to meet you :-)
Client: So, Preston, tell me...
Preston: You don't wear a tie.
Client: about.. w... what?
Preston: You don't wear a tie. Nor a shirt.
Client: N... no, eh...
Preston: Ok, do you mind to put a shirt, preferably white, and a tie?
Preston: You can do it anytime, but now would be a good time since we're talking, and I am wearing a white shirt with a tie. Also, what's this blue background behind you?
"Where darkness shines like dazzling light" —William Ashbless
Hanna, as I've been working to get Top Rated status back, I would definitely drop that client because once it gets contentious, I think it may end in a bad private review where they can vent without repercussion ... I'll find myself trying to talk myself out of that idea, but then I just check in with my intuition and it's yelling "Drop them!" I always feel much more solid after I do, and inevitably there's a job that pops up with an appreciateive client who has it together, and has reasonable expectations. Hope that's true for you too,