I’ve worked with many clients from hell over my career but the worst person I’ve ever worked with was a creative director from hell.
This creative director was a nice enough man but had the biggest ego that I’ve ever worked with. If he didn’t get his way, he made it his mission to work against the person who challenged him.
It all started to go downhill when we had a design meeting about some design changes to the site. He told us how we should all to be honest and there are no bad opinions. He rolled out the changes for the top nav to use the main brand yellow as the background and the nav items as white. I pointed out that a lot of the audience for the site are seniors and having that low of contrast will make it hard for them to read. That was all he needed to hurt his ego enough to dislike me.
Over the next couple of months I had to work with a Creative Director actively trying to work against me. He would do things like:
- Get mad at me about very small details when I didn’t follow the style guide but never actually send me the style guide. When I would mention that I don’t have the style guide he would say “You don’t really need it, you should understand our style by now”
- Get me do to ads with no direction or content, just a vague idea then get mad at me when it wasn’t exactly what he wanted. Then he would get another designer to redo it and tell everybody in the design meetings how much better the other designer’s version was.
- Create make work projects for me to design banner ads that would never end up getting used then make it look like I never did any work because nothing I did was ever used.
In the end I decided to talk to the HR department about it and next thing I knew he decided that the marketing department was too big and it needed to downsize. I was the only person let go.
But on the plus side, I got a massive severance package from the company and it allowed me to take time off and only apply for jobs that I really wanted to do rather then jump into another job just to pay rent. I ended up getting my dream job where I have been ever since.