Client’s secretary: [Client] needs you to make a form. Do you have any time that he could come in and create it with you?
Me: I don’t think him coming into the office would be an effective use of time. If he provides sufficient direction, I should be able to create something really close to his vision and make minor edits from there. A lot of design is trial and error before I land on something that most effectively reaches your requests, then I would send for edits. Sitting with me while I work wouldn’t be a productive use of that time. I actually just did a form design for another client and it took only two email exchanges, so I’m confident that this can be done over email if he provides enough information and direction.
Clients secretary: He really wants to come in and work on it while he’s there.
Deciding this wasn’t acceptable, I wrote him an email outlining what I’d told his secretary.
Me: I’m sorry, but we have a design process and that doesn’t fall into the scope of what our department does. However, I would be happy to work on his form if he provides direction in email and if I’m totally off-base after that, we can set up a meeting to go over everything.
I have a friend who works in the same building as this guy, and after reading my totally diplomatic email, he went on a tirade of screaming, “I’m the client and he shouldn’t talk to people this way.” She was on another side of the office and heard him clearly yelling my name.