Clients from Hell

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August 24, 2014

I am a (female) fashion designer. I create unique dresses, mostly for cocktail parties and weddings.

Me: So here is my quote for the cocktail gown that we discussed last week.

Client: Thanks… I understand the lines for fabric and other material, but what is the last line about?

Me: That’s for my design work and the time necessary to stitch and build the gown.

Client: I don’t understand. How does that account for that sum of money?

Me: Based on our initial conversation and preliminary design, I estimated X hours of work.

Client: You charge money for drawing designs?

Me: Yes.

Client: I don’t get it. Doesn’t your husband make enough money?

August 21, 2014

I was contracted by a local business to create a logo and a website; my client said that a mutual friend referred me.  We discussed his project over the phone and he agreed to meet me at a local coffee shop to start work after the contract had been signed. 

After receiving the signed contract and deposit, I tried to set up a meeting at our agreed upon location.  He refused to meet at the coffee shop because he said it was too loud.  He insisted that I meet him at his home at noon that day. I offered a variety of other public places – I didn’t know him, have never met him, and as a small female, I definitely did not feel comfortable meeting him by myself in his home (especially since his office was apparently in the basement).  When we couldn’t agree on a location, he asked me to go ahead and get started on the logo. We would try again another day.

I sent the logo for review and, after a couple weeks, I received a response from him.  He demanded that I meet him in his basement at noon that next day (by myself) to discuss the logo and the website.  He (again) refused a variety of public options. I offered to meet him at his home when his wife was home from work and my husband could join us. I offered a Skype call with screen sharing. He refused both.

It had to be at noon. At his home. In his basement. By myself.

After we couldn’t agree on a location, he sent a series of angry emails cancelling the contract and demanding the non-refundable deposit back.  Including this:

Client: ​And yes, my business is too important to me to discuss it in some, nasty, noisy, public, coffee shop…​

And that mutual friend?  I called him the next day and found out that he wasn’t friends with my now ex-client and that he had never actually referred me to him!

July 14, 2014
"I’m not sure what to think of this designer. His portfolio seems okay, but I’m like 90% sure he’s gay and I honestly don’t have the patience to deal with that in the long-term."

— A client who accidentally CC’d me in an email to his colleague after inquiring about a project. 

June 27, 2014
"For the ad, use a stock photo of a woman or a person."
June 09, 2014
"Hey, that’s pretty good for a girl!"
April 21, 2014
"Does this rainbow look gay to you?"

feedback from a children’s daycare website

April 08, 2014
"Can you make the Washington Monument look less phallic?"
April 04, 2014
"As payment, I was thinking dinner at my place."
February 12, 2014

I was designing a female mascot.

Client: I want a mascot that appeals to both male AND female viewers!

I make a motherly figure.

Client: …. Obviously, she’s too fat. Can you make her look like a blonde Wonder Woman?

Against my better judgement, I do.

Client: Make her breasts bigger too! And let’s make those daisy dukes, and we’ll have her holding a shotgun!

November 07, 2013
"Nothing personal, but I don’t think you should be involved with the budgeting/financial part of it at all. Because you’re a designer. And a female. But that’s okay! There’s nothing wrong with being a female or a graphic designer."