Clients from Hell

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August 20, 2014

I was working with a client on a cover for his band’s latest album.

Client: Can you Photoshop me with blue eyes?

Me: Sure, do you want to use this photo for the album cover instead of the one we already have?

Client: No, I just want to see.

It was a strange request, but I do it anyways.

Client: Cool. Now can you do it in this photo, where I have a mohawk?

Me: Uh, I could - but am I getting paid for this?

Client: I’d rather not pay you for this, it’s not for the album.

Me: In that case, I’d rather not do it.

I’ve recently had a client who needed posters for an event happening a week later. 

Even though I followed her instructions to the letter, she complained with each draft I sent. Finally, all was agreed upon and the poster was sent to a printer.

The day before the event, she called me in distress.

Client: These posters look terrible - it’s missing the date and some of the colors!

Me: I’m looking at the final example here - the one we agreed on – and it looks like I didn’t forget anything. But maybe —

Client: You know we have a deadline TODAY, right ?

Me: Yes, of course I know that - but I don’t know what went wrong. If you could send —

Client: It’s not my job to know what’s wrong, IT IS YOURS.

Me: If you can just send me the PDF you used for a quick look, then —

The client hung up on me.

I called around to discover that printer’s raster image processor was unsupported, and it had therefore removed some of the colors. This was a somewhat common occurence for them.

I called the client back and tried to explain what had happened

Client: What are you going do about this?

Me: I have had them make you some new posters, free of charge. Because the rush the method is a little different, so the quality won’t be the same, but —

Client: Jesus f****ing Christ! How in the world can you be so unprofessional, dumbass?

Me: As I’ve told you; the problem lies with the printer you use. Apparently —

Once again, the client hung up on me.

August 19, 2014
"How much bigger is 10 millimeters compared to 8 millimeters?"

I’ve been working on a copywriting project with a new client. After sending her my first draft, her comment was that she wanted something “edgy.”

I went back and made some changes, but her feedback was the same - it needed to be “edgier.”

After numerous back-and-forths, both through email and phone calls, I finally found what she wanted: she meant she wanted the word “edge” to appear in the copy more.

August 18, 2014

The Proof is in the Poster

I was working with a client on a poster project and I hadn’t heard anything back in a while. This client is often bad at communicating, so I was concerned something might go wrong. Though I’d provided a proof that she liked, she hadn’t filled my invoice yet.

Once I finally reached her, the job was approved, I got paid, and I provided a print-ready PDF.

A few weeks later, she emails me to say that the printer had trouble matching a colour from the PDF. This was confusing, since I had converted everything into CMYK, and I had cannablized parts of this poster from another project I produced for this client (which had printed just fine).

After trying to troubleshoot with the client as the middleman, I asked if I could contact the printer directly.  She was actually relieved I took the initiative and said it wasn’t a problem.  

I asked the printer was what areas were causing the problem and if he could send me the PDF he was using to print.  Sure enough, the PDF that came back to me had a big ol’ “PROOF” right in the middle of it.  Neither the client nor the printer had questioned this.

I resent the print-ready PDF and, miraculously, there were no more problems.

Client: Can you put one of those sand boxes on the website?

Me: I’m sorry, what boxes?

Client: Sand boxes. With the little dots inside. So people can take pictures.

Me: Um… QR codes?

Client: YES! One of those on the site!

Me: Well, what would it link to?

Client: The website!

Me: But… they’re already on the site.

Client: Oh, I see.

August 17, 2014

We were discussing terms for a mobile app my client’s retail company wanted.

Client: What about if instead of your fixed fee, we gave you a percentage on our profits? You might get more money, and you’ll be more motivated to do a great job!

Me: Aren’t you going to make it free?

Client: Yeah, so what about it?

"I feel like the placement of the image throws the whole page off balance. Can we move the image one pixel to the right?"
August 16, 2014

The Importance of Specifics

I’ve been working with a client for far too long.  She’s a nice enough lady, but she’s very particular about what appears in her videos. Unfortunately, the particulars tend to come out only after she’s determined what I’ve done is wrong.

Client: Can you use a more Arial-ish font for the final slide?

Instead, I change all the fonts to Arial.

Client: I asked you the first time - can you make the font more Arial-ish?

Me: I can’t make it any more Arial than it currently is. It’s Arial.  Would you like a different font?  A specific typeface would be helpful.

Client: Just use something sans-serif.

I Googled ‘sans serif fonts’ to discover the prime example of this font type is Arial.  I changed nothing.

Me: I went ahead and used a sans serif font.

Client: Great! That’s just what I wanted!

"Weird Al" Yankovic - Mission Statement 

Because every freelancer has had to translate buzz words at some point in their career.