I have a tendency to criticize. I think we all do. However, I am careful to keep it from spilling over into my work and adding more negativity to the abundance that already exists. However, sometimes I think it’s important to speak up and even if you stand alone, try to stand for something you feel strongly about. I received the following from a colleague who works directly with many of our clients and is very good at his job. He was disappointed in a recent article published in a very popular translation industry magazine sponsored by a leading translating association.
“I am surprised to see an article like this that focuses so much on defining and, I feel disparaging, customers and clients who are new to our industry. In fact, it seems they are trying to coin a demeaning label for clients who struggle to understand the value or our services. I have been working with clients my whole career. I have met brilliant clients who struggle to understand our value and I have met average clients who also struggle. I have made it my responsibility to help them with this and to further their knowledge to our mutual benefit. Most of the time it works and we agree. Sometimes it doesn’t and I let them know that ITC is always and will always be here to help them. When that happens, I truly wish them the best and I want them to find what they need without me.
I am not offended by the attitude I observed in this article. I am disappointed and saddened by the slowness of some in the industry to embrace each opportunity with humility and understanding. Instead, so many seem to latch onto a disparaging label that they would never use in the client’s presence. By the end of the article, an attempt is made to help try to prove the value of services. However, based on many negative experiences I have seen our clients have with their past providers in our industry, they weren’t offering a quality service at a good value. They were simply charging as much as they could and not doing everything they should.
Without clients, there is no industry. Without new clients that need help, growth is limited. We welcome one and all. Small and large. Expert or Novice. We will partner with clients and we won’t call clients names.”
It’s clear that this article struck a chord with my colleague and I must say I agree. When we dabble in the tempting unprofessionalism in difficult situations, we lower our standards and we dehumanize others. And that is literally what happened here. The label used to describe novice clients, which I will not perpetuate in this article, was an animal known to be enormously fat, lazy and at times aggressive. I agree with my colleague, we have never met a client deserving of such labels and I hope we never hire someone who feels that way about their clients.
Our industry is changing in a large part for the better. We need to keep advancing those good changes and focusing on efficiency, quality, and mutual understanding.
Apologies for the preaching and somewhat negative tone, but it’s good to be passionate about the right things and to stand up for those who need our help