Yes, it is All Hallow’s Eve. Halloween. A time for scary stories. I won’t tell a story about ghosts, goblins or witches…something far worse. The envelope switcher. Yes, a creature so repulsive that you may have never even heard mention of this beast.

In order to understand this animal we must define the creature’s behaviors. An envelope switcher exhibits the following behavior when observed in it’s habitat (typically a small cubicle in an office jammed with underpaid and frustrated project managers). The ES (short for envelope switcher) typically works in an environment where the goal is to do as little as possible on a given project. The less time spent the better. Questions from the ES’s tribe (translators, editors, desktop publishers) typically go unanswered causing confusion over the context and meaning of the document being translated.

The ES typically receives little or no support from the tribe leaders. The leaders turn a blind eye to inadequate technology being used. The ES is resigned to having little to no control over the outcome of a project. Desperation sets in. The behavior is contagious. The ES behavior begins to spread…..

What is left for the ES to do….very little. The ES simply accepts projects, sends files to translators, receives files back from translators, and sends the files back to the customer. Little or no oversight. No passion for the task at hand.

Beware of the infamous envelope switcher!

Obviously, I am parodying the situation, but you should certainly be aware that many language service providers have envelope switchers in their ranks. They are, unfortunately, a consequence of their organization. Not all language service providers are like this. Be sure to do your research and discover how your projects are being managed.

Happy Halloween!

P.S. No candy for the envelope switchers!!!!

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