A client told me she’d pay me $25 for an event invitation. It was a family friend and I’m no pro but I knew I could make her something in Canva and she would think I was genius.
THEN she proceeded to tell me the church for the event was run-down and she’d have to pay for it to be cleaned up... so she could only pay me $20.
In what world did that $5 make the difference?
After a year-long successful work relationship with a client, they requested a full-bleed brochure to be completed outside of my regular work hours. We went through several revisions and I finished the brochure while on a trip. The client approved. Then:
Client: The brochure printed with a white border. The printing associate suggests that you make the content smaller and allow more space between it and the edge of the page.
Me: I’m so sorry to hear that. Let me look into it right now. What size paper are you printing on?
Client: It’s a regular sheet.
Me: Ok, I double-checked, and the brochure is designed to print full bleed on a regular sheet of paper. I can resize the content but some of the information is already in the smallest font approved for this project. Your target audience may not be able to see it if it’s smaller.
I ended up making the changes. I was told to resize again and some of the information became illegible. After an entire day of back and forth, I got a call. The printing associate reiterated what was said earlier and hands the phone back to the client.
At this point, I was in the middle of nowhere, using my cell to tether internet to my laptop so I could upload the design to the printing company and view the proof.
Me: I am looking at the proof for the original design on the printing company’s website. It doesn’t come up with borders. By any chance, did you request their 1h rush service when you ordered?
Me: According to the website all 1h rush service projects are printed with a white border. Full bleed orders can only be done under their regular time frame.
Client: Why didn’t the associate tell me that?
Me: I’m not sure, but I’ll send you the original file so you can get it reprinted. I suggest that you either print within the regular time frame or find a different print shop.
Client: Can I get 1000 copies of a book shipped to a convention this weekend? I haven't quite finished layout yet.
Me: So, you are new to the whole print on demand concept I take it?
Client: The layout will be done Monday or Tuesday.
Me: After the convention you want to sell 1000 copies at is over?
Client: Yes, we'd like to make a big splash at the show. It'll be awesome.
Me: Yes, being able to time travel to the future to get the final version of the book would be awesome.
Some years ago, we were working with a big client but we didn't seem to understand each other. Their expectations never ever met with the work we delivered.
Client: We need to set weekly meetings to make sure the project's results are exactly what we requested.
Me: Ok, no problem. In order to seize the time more efficiently, I will email you all the work as soon as it's done and I expect you to send some feedback before the meeting so we can discuss the issues there.
Client: Sounds great.
Me: Hi everyone. We didn't receive any feedback about our work. Have you read my emails? Is there any doubt?
Client: Well actually, I don't read emails. I don't have the time to do that.
Oof. There's disrespect and then there's DIS-RESPECT. When's the last time your client was this ridiculous?
Client: What are your rates?
Me: They're clearly stated on my website.
Client: Yeah, but what are your REAL rates?
Me: The ones on my website.
Client: Really? I thought everyone marked up prices online to make it seem like a deal when you give a discount.
Me: Maybe that's a sales tactic, but I'm not really in sales.
Client: Oh. Would you consider giving me a discount anyway?
I’m a freelance designer, working on a local businessman’s website. The client wanted 4 or 5 pages on the site, but never specified what he wanted on each page other than a title.
Me: In terms of design, I think I’ve finished everything you’ve asked me to do. Go ahead and take a look at what I’ve uploaded and let me know if you need any final tweaks before we wrap things up.
Client: Well I looked at it, but there’s no text on any of the pages!
Me: That’s right - you didn’t give me any content to put on the site. You wanted to do that yourself, remember?
Client: Well it needs something on there! Just write some stuff about my business!
Me: I’d be happy to add text for you, but you need to tell me what you’d like me to write. I don’t know anything about your business other than that you repair HVAC units.
Client: I don’t know, just like… stuff about my business.
Me: Okay… how long have you been in business? Are you insured, licensed, bonded, or registered with the Better Business Bureau? Do you have a business address or a PO Box number or anything you can tell me about to add to the site? What kinds of units do you have experience repairing? Are you trying to reach a residential crowd, or a commercial one, or both?
Client: I don’t want to give out any of that information. I accept credit card payments though!
I work as an editor at a production company catering to charities. A client had demanded a film be delivered in 4 days, from a standing start. It was rough, but with a lot of late nights and some work over the weekend, I pulled it off - and the result was worth it. The video was warm, full of heart and human stories, and it really showed the excellent relationship this client had with their service users overseas.
But good things don't last...
Client: We love the film! It really shows our strategic relationship-based approach...hey, that should be the title! A Relationship-Based Approach.
Client 2: No, that won't do.
Me: (inwardly) Thank god.
Client 2: We should call it A Relational Rather Than Transactional Approach!
I tried talking them out of it, but they were adamant. With those 6 words, they sucked all the joy and warmth out of the video.
I'd designed packaging for a client, and after final approval had sent the design to the printer with a greenlight to start printing.
Client: I had a second thought - could we change the wording on this tagline?
Me: No. No! It's being printed as we speak!
Client: Are you sure? It's a really small change.
I work at a Land Development/Management firm in Corporate Planning, but since I am the only one there who can also do graphic design (because I’m a professional freelance graphic designer in my free time too), I was tasked to do the annual report. I was their de facto Photoshop person cum writer. I started writing for the 2014 Annual report and doing the layout for it in December of 2013. I then submitted the entire thing in January 2014 to my then boss because I knew it needed to be printed and released during the stockholder’s meeting in April 2014. I waited two months, but got no reply, so I submitted it again, March 18th, 2014. Still no reply.
I waited for months, still no reply. I had assumed that they moved on with their lives and didn’t need it anymore.
Come September, my boss calls me into her office. She was holding another company’s Annual Report. She asked the other offices to get that for her so just she could provide some “inputs” to my design.
Then she asked me to redesign the whole thing, and sort of “copy” the look of the other company’s Annual Report and finish it in 3 days. As you can imagine, I wanted to kill her. It took me a month to do the previous incarnation and then it took her nine months to comment, then she asks me to redo the whole thing.