I was debating whether to bring this up quietly as a support ticket, but after reading these steady streams of posts about the reviews process, I decided it might be better to bring it to a public forum and offer my two cents on the matter.
I accept GoChecks as a fact of life in order to continue working with Gengo. And they can serve as a wakeup call in some cases, so I try to receive them constructively. And in fact, in most cases I welcomed the reviews, because hopefully I can build back and rehabilitate my score (albeit at an excruciatingly slow rate). I concede that it's easy to feel victimized over receiving a low score for a "harmless" or unintentional mistake (a mistake that shouldn't have been made anyway). But lately, it feels as if I have to defend myself by asking for re-reviews more frequently. In addition, and this is merely a perception of mine, it feels as if the quality of the reviews has gotten worse.
I've read the many posts complaining about the reviews, and I would say that it's difficult to properly judge individual situations unless we all could see the entire source text, the translated text, and the full review of the jobs in question. But we can't do that, so I won't talk about reviews which I perceived to be "subjective." I will only talk in the simplest terms regarding what I believe to be two objectively "unfair" reviews.
In one case, the review was flat-out, unquestionably incorrect (a March 9.5 score that was changed to 10). That review indicated a comma splice that did not, in fact, exist. There's not much more I can say about it than that. But if you take my word for it, this sounds like a "critical error" on the reviewer's part.
A review in May indicated a "critical error" (7.2 changed to 10) -- I won't get into all the details, but the source text from the customer contained a sentence that seemed vague enough to allow for several possibilities. Since I only had 2 hours to complete the job, I submitted the translation, but wrote to the customer relaying my concerns, asking them to verify and correct my concerns. They wrote back after a few days with additional information (thereby justifying, in my opinion, the decision to submit and fix it later), and I submitted the correct translation via the comments section. However, the reviewer wrote in their comment that "revisions made after submission in the comments field are outside of the scope of reviews; reviews assess errors present at the time of submission." -- which sounds like a rather soul-crushing bureaucratic answer. Anyway, I argued that the review should take into account the totality of the job, including my communication with the customer, because that was the process which helped me to arrive at the correct translation. And furthermore, the correct translation I provided was basically the same phrasing as what the reviewer suggested in their comment.
These are simply common sense arguments. If the reviewer doesn't know what a comma splice is, they should be doing their homework before penalizing someone for an imagined offense. And if the reviewer thinks that comments don't count, then do they believe that they aren't being used in order to arrive at a correct translation? In fact, this reviewer understood that I was using the comments section for this purpose -- they said so in their review -- and yet they decided to penalize me anyway!
So those are the facts of the matter as I see it. Now let me tell you how this experience makes me feel from an emotional standpoint.
I don't know if I'm being reviewed more frequently than others (almost once a week on average, and I've received close to 300 in total), but it can feel at times like they're trying to catch me on an "off" day when the reviews keep coming one after another. That in itself is exhausting, but I'm okay with it, because the more good scores I can get, the better for my GoCheck score. However, it begins to feel like an assault when I get the sense that I'm being reviewed incorrectly or unfairly.
And even when I achieve a successful re-review, it's rare that I get any sufficient answers from the reviewer. Nor do I get an answer when I ask what I should do in the future if a similar situation occurs. The incorrect review in March (the non-existent comma splice) came with no explanation whatsoever. Just the revised score.
The re-review from May (7.2 changed to 10) came only with a comment that said, "Updated to reflect change in reviews policy." Which means, what exactly? That sounds like the reviewer saying that they revised the score only because of a change in policy. So I was at the mercy of a policy decision? Did that policy change suddenly occur in the day or two between my re-review submission and the subsequently revised score? If I am required to be up to date on grammar rules and whatever style guide a customer assigns (and updates constantly), then shouldn't I be assured that the reviewers are following the rules as well? Why is it up to me to catch an incorrect review? If I didn't contest these reviews, my score may have dropped low enough to get me revoked. If I'm going to be judged this severely, I would hope that the reviewers are held to the same standards themselves.
Maybe subconsciously, what I really wanted was an apology or acknowledgement of the mistakes. Perhaps that is a bit much to ask for, but you know what? If I had received some form of acknowledgement, it would at least make me feel better about the whole thing -- that I would know that there were fellow human beings behind the process too, that they make mistakes too, and that they're trying to get better as well. Being tossed a revised "10" score from the other side of that bureaucratic wall doesn't feel so encouraging.
Reading the forums, I get the sense that the Gengo staff who respond to the posts are trying their best, encouraging the frustrated translators to try various methods in order to work out their various issues. The reviews, meanwhile, feel as if they are coming from some kind of bean-counting mentality.
In the old days, if the boss didn't like you, he or she could call you in and say, "Hey, this isn't working out, etc." Here, it practically feels like I'm being subjected to death by a thousand paper cuts until my score gets low enough to eject me. Look, I get the reality. I'm nothing more than a gig worker in a larger ecosphere that can easily survive without my contributions, so I'll have to accept it or find something else to do.
I apologize for this long-winded post. Normally, I'd prefer to just keep my head down instead of complaining. But this entire situation has been frustrating, fills me with constant dread, provides little or no satisfaction (even when a re-review is successful), and is ultimately a soul-sucking experience, because it feels as if the time between reviews and re-reviews is nothing more than a short period of relief before the whole thing simply happens all over again. Groundhog Day.