10 plagues of the PM world


This post is about the much-suffering PMs, i.e. project managers of translation agencies. I say they really have a hard life. So it’s just impossible to be angry with them.

The story goes like this: in the evening I get a request for proofreading from a US agency. Because of the time difference for them it is late at night already, and so they want the job done by the morning (their time). And having sent this request the PM evidently goes to sleep. I am trying hard to understand, where this agency comes from and how they know me, and finally I remember that a couple of days ago I proposed translation of a text for them. This is all very nice, but they sent me neither Purchase Order, nor the desired price for the job, nor which of the files I am to correct: the bilingual or the clean one. Well, the job won’t take much time, not more than doing a free test translation, and here I will probably get paid, with more jobs in the long run maybe. So I do the proofreading, submit it and ask to send me a PO.

And then during the whole week we have communication in the following key: “Oh, my PC keyboard is out of order!”. “Oh, our PO system broke down!”, “Oh, I am out of office today!” I am gradually starting to simmer and be suspicious, but the Blueboard entries for the agency are positive, so I am keeping my temper. At last, the long-awaited PO comes – with an amount double of the expected. I am cautiously inquiring: is that a premium for my patience? – “Oh, no, I got it wrong, thank you for noticing, I’ve issued over 50 POs today!”

So, when PMs are slow and get it all wrong – it’s not the manifestation of their inherently evil nature – they are just too busy!