Clients from Hell

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September 24, 2014

I was once put on the naughty step by an agency I freelanced for. Everyone in the building was working like Roman galley slaves, constantly under pressure, literally seven days a week, putting in stupid hours every day. It was great for my bank balance but family life took a major hit.

Anyway, the boss recognised that things were getting out of hand (especially freelance costs – who’d have thought it?) so he sent round a memo entitled “Work/life balance.” It basically thanked everyone for putting in so much effort and time to help the business, and said that he realised things were going too far and that something had to be done (the first thing would have been to stop telling clients they could have the moon on a stick by 6pm).

That was sort of ok. But then the email said:

“Most importantly, we need to find a way to solve the problem of our work/life balance. So if you could all have a think about it over the weekend and get back to me with some ideas on Monday, that will be a great start.”

They never forgave me for how loud I laughed when I read it.

September 17, 2014

I have told my client several times that we can’t just Google an image and plug that on our website or printed materials. Yet, she still does.

Finally, we saw some backlash because of it. A large newspaper called us and told our eMedia specialist that if we didn’t take a certain image down, they would sue us. I thought for sure this would teach the client. Instead, she told him to Google another image to replace it with. 

Me: I will just need a vector file of your logo before I can get those mock-ups going for you.

Client: Here is my logo. Could you also remove the text off of the logo?

Me: Sure. This is a jpeg though. I will need a vector file for printing and to remove the text.

Client: Can’t you just add a new layer and paint over it?

Me: Well, yes, I suppose. But I will still need the vector file for printing, this image isn’t high enough resolution for what you’re looking to print.

Client: Can’t you just turn the resolution up in Photoshop?

Me: It doesn’t work that way. The image will still be low quality and pixilated.

Client: Well I’m not at home right now so I can’t send you the file. Just go on Google Images and look for it, that’s how I found it. 

September 15, 2014

Client: Please use the attached file as the logo in my website header.

The file was a crooked cellphone photo of a computer screen where the client had typed the name of their company in Comic Sans using the Vistaprint design-your-own-card function.

September 10, 2014

The client sent me their logo in a very low resolution, which I still printed on the dummy version of the menu I was working on. It looked terrible. 

Me: As you can see, I need the logo in a higher resolution for the final print. 

Client: I can’t see the problem. But on the other hand, I’m not wearing my glasses. 

Me: Don’t you have some bigger version of this picture?

Client: Yes, of course! 

The client goes and comes back with a small brochure.

Client:Look, this is our takeaway menu. 

The logo looked slightly better on the brochure, but only because it was smaller.

Me: Okay, this… is in no way bigger. Don’t you have the original file of this logo?

Client: Hahaha, no. We don’t do files here. 

September 09, 2014

I work as an in-house graphic designer. I build ads and marketing campaigns using resources from our vendors. The client, in this case, is an internationally famous candy maker.

Me: The image you sent me is really low resolution. Can you please provide me with a hi-res jpeg or .eps?

(I receive the same 72dpi image again)

Me: This is still very low resolution. Your ad space is rather large and this will look like a postage stamp on a billboard. Please send a larger image.

Client: I’m not sure if you’re familiar with MS Word, but if you put the jpeg in there, you can just click the corners of the image and make it bigger.

Well, I guess I can’t argue with that…

September 02, 2014

We got a request from a regular client (a large marketing firm) for some major work that needed to be done in two days. The work required staff overtime, multiple disrupted schedules, and a lot of favors from some freelancers we work with, but the client was willing to pay a premium for us to meet their schedule.

We received numerous phone calls from the client during this time, each one a request for updates and reassurances because “if the project is delayed by even a day it will cause all sorts of problems.”

We uploaded the final project to our secure downloads site. All the projects here are available for three months. Afterwards, they are moved to an offline archive

The client thanked us for working so hard to meet their deadline, and they confirmed receipt of the download details.

Six months later, my supervisor got a frantic call from the client asking where the download is. My supervisor explained that it was online for three months, but it has been archived. She reassured the client that we can restore it from our archives.

While this is happening, a get a phone call from someone in another division at the client’s workplace, asking the same question, demanding that the link work within five minutes, and wanting to know if we treat all of our clients this poorly.  

After we reposted the files, I decided to check the download logs for the original posting. The client never visited the original download link.

Needless to say, any further rush jobs from this client were taken with a grain of salt. 

August 31, 2014

From an animated YouTube series I was a voice actor on: 

Client: Hey, I just wanted to let you know that [a fellow cast member] killed himself last night.

Me: Oh my God! That’s terrible! 

Client: It’s okay, I’ve sent out emails to potential replacements, and we should be back on track with recording by the end of the week.

Me: Wait, what? I’m really not comfortable with that. Can we at least take a break before recasting him, since this is a not-for-profit series anyway?

Client: He would have wanted the show to go on. 

Me: What?

I got no response to this. That night:

Client: False alarm guys, [the cast member] is alive and well! I just assumed he’d killed himself because he was acting really depressed and he didn’t answer the IM I sent him a couple of hours earlier. Everything’s back to normal, so let’s move on to episode three!

August 30, 2014

Client:  I need you to create an interactive planning app on the web page, like Google calendar.

Me: No problem, we can use JavaScript to achieve that

Client: No, don’t use JavaScript.

Me: Why not?

Client: We don’t use scripts.

Me: You want a fully interactive app without scripts?

Client: Yeah. I don’t trust scripts. The word bugs me.

August 23, 2014

Client: My fiancé and I are unhappy with the engagement photos you sent us.

Me: What’s wrong with them?

Client: We’re wearing sweat pants in them!

Me: But that’s what you wore to the shoot. I asked you on the day if you wanted to change into something more appropriate and you said no.

Client: Well, I didn’t know you were going to leave them in the actual photos. You’re a professional photographer - you’re supposed to Photoshop better clothing onto us or whatever.

Me: That’s not really what I do, nor is it really how Photoshop works…

Client: Don’t lie to me! I’ve seen what Photoshop can do in magazines and stuff like that. It’s not my fault you don’t know how to do your job properly!

August 13, 2014

Client: I’m forming a new company and I need logo by tomorrow to have signage printed.

Me: Wow. Okay. What’s the company name?

Client: Still in talks. Just need a design finalized immediately and we will decide later. Thanks.