Clients from Hell

Submit your story
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. 

August 15, 2014
"Can you make that grey more cheery?"

Penetration “Tester”

A while back, I posted a job application as a backend web developer and penetration tester

Client: Cheer up! I got the perfect job for you!

Me: What’s the job?

Client: I want you to hack websites for me and add my advertisement to their index!

Me: Other than that being illegal, that is not my job.

Client: Why the hell are you a penetration tester then?!

Me: The keyword is “tester.”

August 14, 2014

Client: Hi, can you make me a CD? I want to know what it costs and when it’ll be done.

Me: Sure, what kind of package do you want? What can you tell me about the artist and their music?

Client: No time for any of that BS, just tell me the prices.

Me: Well, here are some rough ballparks for five or six different package types.

Client: Just make me a few of each.

Me: Can we narrow it down a little? And can you at least tell me the artist name and type of music they make?

Client: Just do your job and I’ll pay you.

Me: Sorry, no offense, but I think I’m going to pass on this project,

Client: MOTHERF***ER! Do you think Whitney Houston gave up when people told her to? Do you think Michael Jackson quit when the work was hard? MAN UP, YOU P***Y!

I design and format PDF book-interiors for clients who want to sell their books through print-on-demand publishers.

Client: The interior is just a mess. Fix it.

Me: It looks like you created this file and uploaded it yourself. Can we format it for you?

Client: Oh, sure.

Time passes. We finish formatting the file and the author signs off on it, so I upload it for them to their print-on-demand account.

Client: The interior is STILL a mess. Why didn’t you fix it?

Me: It… looks like you re-uploaded the file you made over the file we formatted for you.

Client: Yes. Why isn’t it fixed yet?