We were contracted for part of a study, and the protocol laid out the procedure for the photography portion with more specificity than I’ve ever seen. They laid out step-by-step the calibrations and settings that had to be done. I was pleased to have clear-cut guidance rather than nebulous hand-waving, so I got right on it… until the email.
Client: We have special instructions for you. Here is my phone number. Call me.
Me: I would very much prefer to keep it in email format, both to have a paper trail for your instructions and because I am hard of hearing and phone calls are difficult for me, but I can attempt a phone call.
Client: Call me.
I ended up calling him, dreading the inevitable loss of half the information from mumbling and low volume.
Client: Okay, so- [lays out the exact stream of instructions that were in the protocol already]
Me: Yes, sir. I already was doing that. We’re required by our own SOPs to review the protocol, and I’ve been following those instructions to the letter. I should have this completed by Thursday.
Client: Great, thanks.
The next day, the client phones my office again.
Client: Remember the calibrations.
At this point, all the photographs have already been taken and are in the edit stage.
Later in the same day, he phones yet again.
Client: Don’t forget about the calibrations.
The next day, another phone call.
The Client’s Exhausted-Sounding Secretary: Hello. He’s asking me to remind you… something about calibrations? He said you’d know what that means.
Me: The work is already completed. We’re sending you all the photos on a flash drive. All the calibrations were done as instructed in the protocol. I already emailed him a link to the Dropbox folder containing the images. He’s told me about the calibrations quite a few times now, and I can assure you, I got it the first time.
Secretary, Who Has Clearly Been Through It Herself: Tell me about it, sister.
Imagine my shock and horror when both his parent company and my parent company joined up in a merger. He’s a coworker now. I need to find that secretary and take her out for drinks because we both need them.