A friend who was getting a Ph.D. in Physics wanted my advice on creating a website. I admired his tenacious personality and his intelligence, so I was happy to discuss my ideas and knowledge with him. He asked me to visit him at his place, that he was sharing with some other people.
When I visited him, it was the middle of an icy winter and he lived in an interesting situation. Let’s just say that he was not so much a client FROM hell as a client IN hell.
Me: It’s great to see you.
I was shivering due to the cold temperature in the house.
Me: Um, it’s really cold here – would you mind turning up the heat?
Client: We don’t have heat throughout the whole house. Can’t afford it. I can bring over a portable heater, though.
Me: OK. Thanks.
Later in our meeting….
Me: Hey, I’m going to get some water. Do you want some?
Client: Don’t use the tap. It’s not suitable for drinking. The well water is filthy and could be poisonous. That’s why we drink water from the water cooler.
Me: Oh – thanks for letting me know.
After our meeting…
Client: I’m glad we could meet at my place. I had to have the tire replaced on my car the other day, and I could barely afford it. Us grad students barely get paid anything.
I was stunned that this client was living in such a dire manner, as he was one of the most brilliant minds I had met. Needless to say, I wasn’t going to get paid much for consulting with him for his website.