Client: Someone in Australia is using my name.
Me: It's their name too.
Client: But they're a coal miner! It's making me look bad.
Client: Can you make them change? Or at least remove them from Google?
Post-coronavirus, I onboarded a new client. As we wrapped up our zoom call, I could tell he was sort of expecting something.
Me: ...Is there anything else?
Client: Do you have anything else to say?
Me: I think I'm covered.
He seemed disappointed.
Me: ...Is there something you WANTED me to say?
Client: Well, I know work is hard to come by for most people these days, so I thought maybe you'd want to say "thank you" for the job.
I'm an illustrator known for my distinctive style. While I'm capable of drawing in other ways, I've found that it makes sense to work in one style professionally and let people come to me for what I do.
This client couldn't figure that out.
Client: I love your art so much! I want to hire you for this project!
Client: Can you draw like [other illustrator I'm familiar with] though?
Me: I mean, I can adapt what I do as kind of a hybrid, but if you want that style, why don't you just hire her?
Client: Well, she charges 20% more than you do.
I politely declined - and then raised my rates by 20%.
I work on a lot of record packaging, and sometimes when bands choose to press vinyl, the new possibilities kind of go to their head.
Client: The photos for the record are in the folder.
There are 55 photos in the folder.
I explain why faces need to be large, etc. and that 55 photos would be a nightmare to lay out on one panel of the record.
Me: Can you pick out maybe 10 or 12 of your favorites and we'll run with those?
Client: Sure! Let me make a folder and I'll put them in there.
The new folder only has 48 photos in it. FML.
I had a client who was a strong businesswoman, but every time we meet would use me as a shoulder to cry on. She'd complain about her husband, her mother, anything in her life that was going wrong. She always told me that she appreciated the "girl time," but I can't say that I did - I just wanted to work.
One day, she was asking for my opinion on some marketing materials:
Me: Honestly, both are good options. It's really up to you.
She looked at me for a few seconds and said.
Client: ...You know, you could really be more supportive.
IT'S NOT MY JOB TO BE SUPPORTIVE. I wonder who she complained about to me.
I helped to design the slides for a college professor's class. He also had an academy of business techniques in which he calls himself an engineering "guru". He would prepare presentations by first recording the audio and video as a normal lecture and then sending them as a class to his students.
I was not allowed to know the context of his presentation or the contents of his class as it was "confidential".
Almost all the slides were text dumps of more than one paragraph in 10 pt that probably nobody will read since he switched slides way before anybody could pay attention. These are common mistakes, but the problem was the following exchange:
Client: Could you make the box where I'm going to put my webcam screen bigger?
At this point, he sent me a photo captured with his phone of his screen. You could see a slide with a blue box that occupied 80% of the center of the screen. It covered all his text.
Me: Sure, I'll prepare a template for you and paste it between the slides you want to appear bigger.
Client: No, no. I want my face to be predominant on all slides. It would be easier to edit on Camtasia.
Me: If I do that, it would be almost impossible for all the text to be readable. There's just no room to follow the design guidelines you sent me earlier. Is there a reason for the camera to be on all slides? I would have to shrink your screen a bit.
Client: It is a requirement of the university to appear on all slides.
Me: The email you sent me with the design standards of the university state that the use of audio without video is allowed. If you don't want to constantly change the size of your screen between each slide and let it on one place, I will need to resize your screen or delete part of your text, you just can't have both!
Client: Work your magic! I just want my students to remember my face well! That way it will be easier to advertise my academy.
Client: Good morning!
Me: Uh... good morning? What's the matter? Why are you calling so early?
Client: Oh, is it early? Sorry, I recently read a self-help book for entrepreneurs and it recommended getting up at 5 to get a start on the day. You can get a lot done when nobody else is up!
Me: Yeah, but I'm not up and you're calling me.
Client: Well I need your help with something.
An entrepreneurial "guru" paid me to manage his academy Instagram page that he would use to attract people to his talks. He had a phrase that he kept repeating to me:
Client: Don't tell me you can't do it, tell me how I can do it so it can be done.
Sounds cool, but he usually used this for things like writing more than the allowed limit, trying to change the quality of a blurry image or having a million followers through his personal Instagram account in one day.
Client: We only want 20-word client testimonials, not 100. Please revise your quote to reflect this change.
Me: No. The prep time involved is the same and it's tougher to write a 20-word high impact testimonial than a longer one.
Client: But it's fewer words!