I'm going over some font options on our package design with a client.
Client: "I showed these to two friends, one is dyslexic and the other has ADHD. They both said it was hard to read."
We finished a 30+ page site for a client only to receive a phone call from a very upset client.
Client: Help! The new website is not working right!
Me: What seems to be the problem? Everything seems to be working fine on our end.
Client: We’re trying to print all the pages out and they look terrible when they’re on paper!
Me: Why are you printing the website out?
Client: Well, two reasons - first is that our CEO doesn’t like computers. He will only approve your work if we print it out for him.
Me: I’m not sure that’s going to work - websites are meant just to be displayed on computer monitors. What’s the second reason for printing it out?
Client: We wanted to make a backup in case your site goes down.
Another exploration into the grey areas, from the Clients From Hell archives.
In the summer, I wrote complicated code to test a client's eshop (the test creates a virtual user, clicks on buttons, makes a purchase, etc.). The client was satisfied, paid on time, no issues whatsoever.
Five months later:
Client: "All the tests are broken. Nothing completes, most of them get stuck. I need to get this fixed by tomorrow evening!"
Turns out, the client wanted more features, so they hired someone else to create a whole new eshop with the requested features, and this resulted in different texts on buttons, checkout process, everything.
Me: "Well, you changed everything, it's gonna take me at least a day or two to get to know the system before I can start designing tests, which will take another week."
Client: "Oh, well, I guess I'll just have to wait. But it's still going to be free, right? It's been five months since you delivered, so it's still a warranty fix."
We were discussing the user experience for a website to be built targeted at preteen to teenage boys.
Client: The experience needs to be more whacked out and random. What if a giant tongue came out from the ‘V’ of the logo and licked the whole screen every now and then?
Another design problem licked, from the Clients From Hell archives.
Me: Since this is a lot of ongoing work and requires constant updates, can we switch from a fixed price contract to an hourly contract?
Client: No way! That would be like me handing you a blank cheque.
I really don't want your money but fair pay.
Client: We would like to use the motif which we’ve sent you, but it doesn’t look winterly enough. Can you turn the beach into a winter-wonderland and the woman in the shirt wearing something warmer, but more revealing?
Yet more seasonal misogyny, from the Clients From Hell archives.
I did marketing campaigns for a small company. The company barely had any money but did have a boss who thought he could get everything because he owned the world. One time, I had to launch and maintain a Facebook page for one of their products, while he kept me busy with a million other things. I was the only one who did marketing because the boss didn't (and couldn't) invest in more manpower.
Boss: Do something that will get us more likes for our product page on Facebook. Also, we have no budget.
I did the best I could in the little time I had without money for an ad campaign. That meant doing everything by hand, from liking other pages and researching, to commenting on postings that could be of interest to us, to sending out dozens of PMs and emails, trying to get peoples' attention.
A few weeks later, we had the first revision of the project.
Boss: Why do we only have a few hundred likes on Facebook? [Competitor] has several thousand!
Helpful Employee: Maybe it's because [Competitor] has two people working full-time on the same stuff [My Name] does in a quarter of the time because you won't pay him more, as well as a budget of several thousand Euros whereas we have none?
The boss huffed and puffed and left the table, mumbling something about the competitor having several thousand likes and why he can't have that.
I'm glad I stopped working for them and cut contact (except for [Helpful Employee], who's still a friend of mine).
A client requires a single image for the front page of a new website but is indecisive and asks me to choose one. They can’t work out how to send it via email, so they offer to post the file onto a DVD disc instead.
Me: I’ve just received your package. I’m a little confused; you’ve sent me 17 DVDs and they all appear to have your PC backups on them.
Client: Oh yes, good to hear they arrived safely! Just choose an image that you think is best for the design.
Me: None of the discs are labelled and they all appear to be complete backups of your computer, some dating back several years. To make things easier, could you let me know in the folder the images are kept?
Client: Okay, but you’ve finished the webpage now, so you have time?
Me: Not enough time to go through all of these DVDs. Look, sorry if I wasn’t clear. I don’t know where to look because none of the discs are labelled and they each contain your entire computer backup.
Client: Well I’m not technical but even I can find them if I google them!
At least they know how to backup? And other silver linings from the Clients From Hell archives.