Most of my clients are fantastic! We enjoy great communication and they pay on time. They are the kind of client everyone hopes to have, yet when I find myself inspired to write it is typically after a rare nutty experience!
For instance, last week I received an urgent call from a prospective client I’ll call Horace asking to call him back right away. I returned the call within ten minutes only to be told that I was too late and that he found someone else to translate his document. I thanked him for originally thinking of us and hung up the phone. Since we had never worked with him before, I assumed he was shopping around and gave it to the first person that answered the phone.
Later that morning, Horace called me back to ask how much I would charge. I told him to forward a copy or bring it to the office so a free quote and delivery time could be prepared. That seemed too troubling to him, so he hung up in order to find someone else.
Soon thereafter, Horace decided to contact me again and bemoan that he needed it that same day! At this point, I still had not yet seen the document. There was no way to know the work involved or its cost. My only knowledge was that our office would not get it done that same day, so I encouraged him to call other translators in the area. I was off to lunch.
Early in the afternoon, he again telephoned me. Horace sent me a photo of the document; I informed him of the cost and told him that it could be ready in two days. Horace said it was too expensive, he needed it immediately and would do it himself although he doesn’t speak English. I wished him well on that effort.
In Puerto Rico, we would call this person un caso serio. Later that afternoon, my secretary received a call from Horace. He asked if our office could have a certified translator sign off on his translation for about $15! Yes, he wanted to pass his hack translation with our good name. Somehow, he believed $15 was a fair price for committing fraud. My secretary kindly and professionally told him no.
Now yes, this type of request is uncommon.
Whenever the crazies come out, I appreciate the relationships I have cultivated with good clients. I know that I should write more about the good ones, but it’s just that crazy events make for good storytelling!