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Quick rant about the word 'quick'

This is one of my occasional mini moans. For context, I’m a proofreader and I therefore base my fee on the number of words required and the level of English involved. Obviously, the poorer the English, the more time it takes me to proofread and correct documents, and the more I charge the buyer. So…

A potential buyer asked me if I was available for a ‘quick job’. The word ‘quick’ is one that always makes me suspicious.

Me: “When you say quick, how many words does the text contain? Can you please send me a representative sample of the text so I can assess the level of English and therefore how much work will be required, and what I will need to charge you”.

Response: “It’s a quick job”.

Me: “Yes, you’ve already told me it’s a quick job but without knowing how many words your text contains, or how many errors it may have, I can’t confirm whether or not I can do the job for you. Also, what is your deadline for completion of the work?”

Response: “Quick job. ASAP”.

Me: “Please don’t contact me again.”

I know from experience this sort of buyer would be a nightmare to deal with.

Buyers, please understand us sellers are not mind readers. Sometimes we perform miracles, but if you can’t explain yourself clearly, then I don’t want to deal with you.

The word ‘quick’ is utterly meaningless when you use it. I will decide if a job is quick - not you.


It’s quick, it’ll only take you 50 hours to get through and I’m sure you can do it in 2 days time!


Seems like a spammer and just for fun. He doesn’t know the value of our time. Let suppose he needs quick job. He doesn’t need to send that text again and again. Instead he can at once send you the job and tell you the timeframe . But you did good job also an advice for us. Correct me If I am not right.

I just think half of them are so naive to what is required in gigs they just hope for the best in their broken English.


When someone says “quick job” or “are you available” they might as well say they want to take out your kidneys and sell your children to science.


Actually, I think the buyer was genuinely wanting a job done. I suspect he was probably messaging other sellers as well (which is fine!) - but in doing so he wasn’t focusing on the information I needed from him.


Exactly. You’ve summed up beautifully the point of my mini moan.

Had I agreed, the word ‘quick’ would probably have involved a barely legible long winded document that would have taken me hours to complete. In other words, not quick.

Yes, I agree. While I am prepared to work with people whose level of English might not be amazing, if they can’t answer basic questions to allow me to understand if I have time for their job, and therefore what I need to charge - then I don’t want to work with them.

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Yes agreed. Potential buyer will never waste seller time by sending spam messages. He will ask you everything in simple and clear way. And even guide you for the job. But there are such buyer who want to treat us like their slaves.

In my field it can be quite difficult to define order scope, direction, etc. For proofreading it’s trivial - just send me the text you need proofread. Why even mention it is a quick job? Send the damn text in the first message. I’ll let you know how quick it is.


I have faced this too. In my opinion this is how buyers try to spend less on the project by saying ‘its a quick job’ up front. Now if you quote more than their liking, the very first response would be that it’s a quick task. And when the say its a quick task in first message, a new seller would tend to quote less to not scare him away. But yeah these ‘over informed’ buyers are a nightmare to deal with.


I agree. “Quick” is entirely subjective, too. I consider “quick” to be anything faster than my allowed time limit specified on my gig page. I’ve had people finally admit their idea of quick means two hours. Then, some try to convince me my schedule is not as busy as I claim. It’s just frustrating to find this out after several messages back and forth about the scope of the project.


Spot on.

I allow 20 minutes per gig. Anything less than 20 minutes would indeed be quick. But that is for me to decide!

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Yes, in my humble opinion you are correct. I can easily see how a new or inexperienced seller would jump on this opportunity of taking on a ‘quick’ job.

But when you’ve been selling on Fiverr for a while, you get to understand the code words for scammer / nightmare buyer.

For me, the word ‘quick’ is one of those code words.


I love quick jobs, they pay very well by the hour. The thing is, buyers have no idea what a quick job is. In my experience, it’s 50/50. Half the time it’s worth it, half the time I tell them to hit the road. All in all, 50/50 is way better than the average for a new contact, so I can’t complain.

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It truly baffles me how many people ask for pricing without sending the text or word count. I’d say at least 30-40% of first messages are some variation of that.


As a proofreader, word count (and level of English used) is everything.

Why people can’t understand that is beyond me.


Hahaha your story is very funny. QUICK JOB ASAP please :sweat_smile: :upside_down_face:


I love quick jobs but I have not gotten any even the one I got was cancelled by the damn buyer

As a translator, I need to add file type to that list. A scan of a handwritten text, or text scattered over 30 jpgs instead of in 1 Word doc might not be quite as quick as the number of words suggests … PDFs too, PDFs are tricky!

What’s also nice is the people who message about a “quick urgent job”, you reply within literally 5 minutes, and then are left to wonder for the rest of the day, or even the next day if they want you to do the quick urgent job now or not, until they remember you and you get to read “Sorry, it was urgent, so I had someone else do it” … That’s okay, even if I replied within 5 minutes, but idk, if I’d message 2, 5, or however many sellers about that same job, I’d message the other 1 or 4 and tell them sorry right after I gave the job away, but maybe that’s just me and my bad upbringing …