My partner and I were rather excited to have the opportunity to work on an iPhone app for a client that wanted to release a game. Considering it was our first iPhone app related project, we were rather lenient about the contract, and agreed to present some concepts of the game first.
Client: ”These look great! I would like to continue on with this project.”
Us: ”Glad you like the concepts. Can we set aside some time now or perhaps in a few days to set up the contract?”
Client: ”About that… You see I’m not a very visual person. You can’t expect me to be able to tell what the game is going to look like from these concepts. I need to be able to see what the first level is going to look like before we can set up the contract.”
Us: ”With all do respect sir, we can’t do that. You’re asking us to build the game without having a contract.”
Client: ”No, I’m not. I don’t know how to make a game, but I made a website 7 years ago, so I know how this works. You need to show me everything first before I agree to a contract. I want to see the first level of the game before we set up a contract. If you can get that done, I will have the contract ready when we meet again for the presentation of the first level.”
After some thought, unfortunately, my partner and I agreed to complete enough of the first level to show the client what the game would look like. About 80 hours into the project, we set up another meeting with the client to show him a render of the first level of the game exactly as it would appear, as well as a proof of concept that allowed the client to test the gameplay, physics and functionality but without the art assets implemented.
Client: ”This looks great!”
Us: “Glad you like it. Now about the contract…”
Client: ”What about it?”
Us: ”Well, you said that you would have it ready today on the terms we agreed upon.”
Client: ”Oh no, I never said that. See, I don’t think I can agree to a contract when I can’t see all of the art in the game and actually play it like that. What you’ve presented to me now isn’t really showing me what the game will be like.”
Us: “You can see the appearance of the game environment… You can even play the game. The art assets aren’t in the playable demo because that would be asking us to build the entire game.”
Client: ”No, I’m not. You can’t ask me to play this demo and try to visualize what the game will look like. I want to see what the last level will look like, and any other levels that look different from this one. Then I will be comfortable enough to set up a contract.”
Client: ”The site looks terrible. The columns don’t line up, and the text is all over the place. I’m seriously concerned. We had an agreement and I will not pay your invoice until you resolve these issues. “
Me: ”The site looks fine to me in Chrome, IE, Firefox and Safari. Which browser are you using?”
Client: ”I use Internet Explorer on a Mac.”
Me: ”That’s a dead browser which can’t support contemporary websites. You should really use Firefox, Safari or Chrome.”
Client: "Look, it doesn’t work and you need to fix it. Are you going to tell that to everyone else in the world using IE on a Mac?"
Me: ”I honestly believe that you may be the last one.”
I had to design a book for the history of an African American church in my area. The job was a nightmare. It was pieced together from pdfs, word doc files, spread sheets and terrible scans. After 80 hours of work the bindery made an error and put the books in a black cover, not the requested navy blue. The client wanted a discount on the job because of the error to which I reported to my manager in front of the client “They want a discount just because they are black.” It’s probably the most embarrassed I have felt in my life.
I designed an invitation for a client who apparently felt that it was not their place to proofread. They sent me numerous emails explaining how unprofessional I was because I apparently don’t know how to spell (of course, the mistakes weren’t made by me).
“I’m sure it’s going to be much less correction when the spelling of a basic English words is wright”.
We provide hosting for a client who works in a neighbouring state. Due to some server issues their site was down for an hour, which lead to the following abusive, 30 minute long phone conversation which included the following:
Client: “We don’t even know what you people look like! You haven’t even flown down to see us! Frankly I think that’s disgusting.”
Client: “Hey, sorry to call you on your holiday. My boss has found out about me running a business on the side and has blocked me from accessing my webmail. I just need you to log in and read some emails to me.”
“I want it to roar like lion. Like a digital lion.. Actually, let’s add a lion somewhere. Or maybe have it meow and then have a cat. I hear people on the internet like cats.”—Client sells home insurance.
Client: “This bill is a bit premature, don’t you think? I sent you an email last night saying that I would be not paying for the artwork until you re-sent it to me named as the following: McCainnsFamilyReunionFile.pdf NOT 10045 McCainns-FINAL.pdf. I don’t even know what 10045 means. Why would you put that on there?”
Client: “I need you to make me a Flash banner ad that shows a cartoon guy hitting himself over the head with a hammer and then stars come out of his head and he says something like, “We must be crazy to charge such low prices!” And I want some funny cartoon music playing the whole time. Is this something you’re comfortable with?”
Me: “So go ahead and clear your cache and the changes should be made.”
Client: “No. Everytime you ask me to clear the cache, it screws up all of my usernames for websites. I’ve had enough. I have several government websites that I log into and I can’t enter in all of the information every time. If you can’t fix the site, I am going to have to find someone else.”
Client: “These JPEG photos are only 5616 pixels in resolution and they’re only about 5MB each. They’re clearly taken by an amateur photographer with a pocket camera. We need them to be at least 20MB to print properly”
Phone conversation with an acquaintance of my boss. They wanted to host a server with all of the music they’d copied from CDs, pirated or downloaded from iTunes.
Me: ”Legally, I need to sway you from starting a website that charges people to download all of the music you’ve copied off of your CDs.”
Client: ”What? Why? There’s all kinds of places you can get music for free. iTunes charges. I’m like iTunes!”
Me: ”No, iTunes has paid for licensing to distribute the music and make a profit off it.”
Client: ”Whatever, I’ll just get one of those… Now, on to the design. I want it to look exactly like iTunes so people think they are using them. Can we even get a web address that’s similar? Something like uTunes or iMusic.”
Me: ”You know Steve Jobs enjoys suing people, right?”
I was in a meeting with a new employee and we were rehearsing for a product demonstration that we were delivering as a team. The lights were off and I was standing at the front of the room by the projection screen when I said, “This is the part that really shows off what our application does. This is where we get the client excited about it.” The new employee’s immediate response was to hoot and holler like a maniac as she pulled her shirt above her head to reveal her exposed bra. I was appalled.
I immediately left the room and went across the hall to the first office with a door on it. I walked in and closed the door. Two female co-workers were in the office. I sat down. One of them asked me what was wrong. Before I could explain, the new employee followed me into the office. I asked her to leave. The other co-worker again asked what the problem was, to which the offender replied, “Oh, it was no big deal. I just lifted up my shirt… Like this!” She proceeded to do it again, horrifying her audience.
The next day, I went to talk to a friend, who was also a co-worker, to ask his advice on what to do about it. Should I talk to her again (I had already discussed her inappropriate behavior)? Should I talk to my boss? Go right to HR? Just as we’re discussing the options, I look out the window next to his desk. The woman is standing on the sidewalk of the main street that our building is on with her shirt pulled up over head showing her breasts off to a friend riding a motorcycle towards her. I guess she forgot to wear a bra that day.
To wrap up a meeting, I told a client I’d give him a call if I needed anything. He replied (in front of my entire team), “Oh, really? Well, that’d be just great. You can call me anytime. I’m available at night. Late, late at night. So, you’ll call me one night?”
Client: ”Because this is the first time that we’ve met, I want to be completely upfront and honest with you. I want to let you know that about five years ago I was in a mental institution, but then I found Jesus and he showed me a vision. That vision was what I want to discuss with you today.”
Me: ”Okay.. How can I help you?”
Client: ”I want you to design some business cards for my company. I fix air conditioners.”
I was sitting in a meeting with the marketing director going over the proposal for a 15 product rebrand when the owner of the company barges in and yells: “Is this him? I’m not going to let you retire on our dime, kid. Your work is great but you’re about $7,000 over priced compared to my cousin.” I stood up and said, “thanks for your time,” to the marketing director, nodded to the owner and then left.