Client: I don't know why they're all coming out blue...
He was trying to create text boxes in PowerPoint and was instead drawing blue rectangles.
When I started doing graphic design as a young man, one of the clients at the agency I worked was a middle-aged family man - married, kids, all that. I actually liked working with him; he liked my work and paid on time. He was happy, I was happy, my boss was happy.
The agency hired another young designer at the same time. She was my age, and objectively gorgeous. We were friendly, but I didn't' really know her and that was fine.
One day, this client came in for a meeting and spotted my colleague for the first time. He started a conversation with her immediately and started complimenting her looks over and over. She was polite but obviously uncomfortable.
He kept coming back in the next several days, finding nonsensical reasons to do so, and kept trying to talk to her. One time, he even asked me to join him for a cigarette-break, acting like we were best friends but really asking personal questions about her. I tried not to tell him anything.
One day, OUR working relationship broke down. He went from liking my work to finding fault in everything, started giving unworkable deadlines, everything. My boss was baffled.
I found out later, he asked my colleague out to dinner, and she shot him down. I guess he decided to take it out on me.
A client showed me the book he published using the cover I designed... complete with watermarks since he hasn't paid for it yet.
Me: You know you can't use that until you've paid for it? I haven't even licensed the images yet.
Client: I like the idea of paying you, but I have to sell some books before I can afford to.
I was providing low-level marketing services to this client for a small retainer when he fired me a few months back. He recently came back to me and resumed the retainer because he couldn't find anyone else to do the work for him.
Client: The store locator isn't working on our website.
I check it out and there's some sort of issue with the Google Maps API.
Me: It's an issue on the Google Cloud Services backend. Can you give me your login information for Gmail so that I can take a look at the account and see what's going on?
Client: What login information? I don't have a Gmail account.
Me: I was literally sitting next to you when it was set up specifically for this project.
We back and forth a little bit and eventually we figure out how to get into the account.
Me: Google has been emailing you for three months telling you that you need to approve moving to a paid account or they're going to delete your cloud project. They've deleted it now and this is going to require a full rebuild.
Client: I didn't know I had to look out for an email regarding that.
Me: You don't read your emails?
Client: I regarded this to be a spam email! I have over a thousand emails from Reddit!
Me: You can unsubscribe from those. You need to keep track of your emails in case you miss something important like this.
Client: Well you never told me I had to look out for this email about them breaking my website. Isn't this what I pay you for?
Me: I don't read your emails, this is a billing issue which you're responsible for. This also happened during the period I wasn't working for you.
Client: It seems like you're just trying to allocate blame to me here.
I was starting to do designs when I was 17. My mother's side of the family is very enthusiastic about supporting my art, but they have a track record of being... pretty terrible at it.
My uncle approached me with a job:
Uncle: One of my friends at work wants to have a patch designed, and he likes to support young artists. Would you be interested in giving it a shot?
Me: Cool! I've never designed a patch but I think that's something I could do. How can I contact your friend?
Uncle: Just send me some samples and I'll pass them along.
He insisted on doing it this way, so reluctantly I agreed to that arrangement.
That evening I went through my art and put together a simple pseudo-portfolio, then emailed it to my uncle and waited. I made it very clear in the email that I wanted to be able to contact the client directly if he decided he was interested in my work. I also made it very clear that the works I'd sent were just samples and not for sale, but I didn't bother to slap a big "SAMPLE" watermark over them.
I didn't hear a single peep back from anyone about it for three weeks. Then my mom informed me I'd received payment from this guy. I panicked because I hadn't met him, we hadn't discussed terms or anything, and I hadn't actually sent him a badge design. I thought I was committed to something I hadn't agreed to.
My mom saw that I was upset and offered me this "sage" advice:
Mom: You're a professional now. Don't blow this, you need the exposure.
After two hours of trying I contacted my uncle and confirmed my worst suspicions. He had sold one of my designs without my permission, or even asking me, to a total stranger, to be used for a completely unknown purpose, for twenty dollars. Not to mention it was a design that I was already using in one of my own projects.
He claimed they both thought those were just the designs I was offering despite the email saying otherwise in plain English. I guess I should have known from following this particular blog that people cannot and will not read anything. After condescendingly telling me I was overreacting and that it totally wasn't his fault, he agreed to get the client to cancel the custom patch order and give him my email so we could get through this process properly.
Unsurprisingly, I never heard from him.
I work as a freelance designer, and I regularly get asked to meet with prospective clients about new projects. To make my life (and theirs) easier, I usually send them a Calendly link, which lets them book any open slot on my calendar. Most of the time this isn't an issue. That was until today.
Client: Can we meet this Friday?
Me: Unfortunately, I'm not available this Friday, but I have some time available next week. Here's a link, which you can use to select a time from my calendar. It shows my available times. Feel free to pick a time that works best for you.
The client proceeds to select a time for the Friday of next week. However, this Friday I receive a notification that the client is waiting in my Zoom room.
I immediately email the client.
Me: Hey there! I see you're waiting in my Zoom room. Did you intend for us to meet this Friday or next Friday? It looks like you scheduled a time for next Friday.
Client: That's correct. I wanted to meet today (this Friday), but it didn't show any open times, so I select a time for next Friday. When do you expect to join the Zoom meeting? I have a hard stop at the top of the hour.
Me: Well, as I mentioned in our initial conversation, I'm not available to meet today. I guess I assumed we'd be meeting next Friday, since that's the time you selected from my calendar.
Client: I know I selected next Friday, but I wanted to meet this Friday. I don't have time to wait until next week. If you're not able to meet today, I guess we'll have to work with someone else!
While I'm utterly dumbfounded by this client's logic, I'm pretty sure I dodged a bullet with this one. When clients show you who they are the first time, believe them!
I provide internal IT and Mobile phone support in a Government Agency
Client: When I call my work phone I get a message that says "this number has incoming call restrictions."
Me: Well, let me see what I can do.
I did the following:
All worked perfectly when I tried calling the number..
Client: That didn't do it! I just tried again, from both my Desk Phone and my Personal Mobile! I still get "this number has incoming call restrictions"!
Me: Can you make a call right now on another phone and walk me through exactly what you're doing?
Client: So, here we go: 0410...
Me: ...That's the wrong number. Your number starts with 0400.
I don't even know where to begin with this one, but how's about a brief background: I am a freelance web developer with an interest in blockchain. I am also an educator.
Four years ago I launched a Fintech company. Three years ago I was approached by a multi-millionaire who wanted to partner with my company, bringing immense value but also another product that would be complicated to legalize.
I accepted and quit my jobs to focus solely on the Fintech company and received a handsome salary whilst retaining a holding in the firm.
So there's the overview, now - this is where the fun began:
I spent the following two years undergoing regulatory compliance and fighting with solicitors to allow us to proceed. My investor would literally spend 2/3 weeks - all day, every day - debating whether or not a specific word should be put in an email, and no I am not exaggerating. She held the purse strings and nothing I or my co-workers did would be allowed to be finalized without her say so, right down to sending a single email to a trusted partner.
Her goal was always to get as much information and knowledge out of the recipient as possible without giving anything away. Basically she was playing cloak and daggers constantly.
This would involve 4 and sometimes 5 nightly meetings that would last 4-6 hours, on top of working all day every day. Weekends? What are those? I worked 7 days a week, morning to night for literally 12 months before I tried to go on a week vacation.
Me: I need a week to spend time with family.
Client: What? Unacceptable. IF you do, I will fire you.
What's more, all this wasted work on inane nonsense means the industry passed us by while I dealt wither her obscure demands. We missed our chance, and now we are left scrambling to try and find another path. Then coronavirus hit:
Client: I can't pay you any more.
Me: Okay, well then let me know when you're ready for us to get back to work.
Client: Oh, you still need to work. I just can't pay you for it.
Long story short, I am still being paid. The people who work for her other companies are all officially off work and have been furloughed by the government and are receiving 80% of their wage - however, they are all actually working and are fully expected to. When this woman rings, if you don't answer the phone there will be an argument. It's just easier to answer.
Its important to note, this woman's background is in software and should be considered quite technical, this would not be the case. She hasn't a clue and it is now very clear that her success is off of the backs of other peoples hard work and knowledge - she is just a complete leach and opportunist that takes advantage of people.
Now, thats the background done, here are a few things she has done today alone that have irritated me:
This woman has made milliions of dollars in the tech industry, and I have no idea how. And, I no longer have my freelance web company, am no longer an educator, and due to coronavirus I am at the mercy of this lunatic that demands that I work 24/7.
In short, FML.
I'm applying for lots of new jobs at the moment because my current work situation is "from hell": lack of respect, office politics, etc. Obviously, I'm not advertising the fact that I'm planning to leave, so as to avoid unnecessary drama.
Client: Thanks for your application! We are interested in your CV, but we always discuss candidates with their managers, are you happy for us to speak with your existing managers to find out if you are a good fit for us?
Me: Sorry, I am not comfortable with that, as they will then know I am planning to leave which will make things very awkward for me in the office.
Client: Well that's very unprofessional.
Yeah, because no professional has ever tried to keep it together in a toxic work situation.
I write white papers for business to business technology companies. As part of my contract, I include two revisions after the first draft is delivered. I had delivered the first draft of the white paper, and the client wanted some changes. Then he got some feedback from some more people in his organization, and we were on Round 2.
Me: I'd be happy to make these changes. However, keep in mind that we're bumping up against the second round of revisions, so before I do these, I want to make sure that this is it. Otherwise, I'll have to start charging my hourly rate, per the contract.
Client: Okay. Be sure to use hashtags in the white paper title.
Me: I strongly recommend you don't do that. Hashtags are used on social media to categorize posts, but they're not used in white papers. It doesn't look professional.
Remember, this is a B2B technology company.
Client: Put the hashtags in anyway.
I sighed, then did as the client asked. He, of course, came back with more revisions. This would be Round 3.
Me: I'm happy to make these changes at $X per hour.
Client: WHAT? That's not what we agreed to.
Me: It's in the contract you signed.
Client: Fine, we'll do it ourselves.
Me: Okay. I'll send over my final invoice.
Client: C'mon, do you think you deserve to get paid?
Me: According to my contract, I met all my obligations. I'm pretty sure a judge would agree that I "deserve" to get paid.
The check arrived seven days after I sent the invoice. Moral of the story: always have a contract, and always mutter "breach of contract" and "lawsuit" under your breath when talking to difficult clients.