I made a web site for a small local business. One afternoon the client phoned me to say he was having trouble setting up Outlook on his laptop. IT wasn’t my problem, but because it was no bother I offered to meet him at a local cafe that evening to get it set up for him. While I worked on his laptop we engaged in the usual small talk.
I looked and felt awful that day, and conversationally I explained to him that I was looking after my mother-in-law while we waited for a space to open up in a care home. She had advanced Parkinson’s disease, and it had been quite draining for all of us.
The client smiled and broadly extended a handshake. I took it, though I was a bit confused.
How would you like A CURE for her Parkinson’s Disease?
He then went into a sales pitch for the MLM, “miracle” cure “magic health juice” he was selling on the side.
Needless to say there is no cure for Parkinson’s Disease, and if there was you wouldn’t sell it in a dark café to a web designer doing you a favour as part of a pyramid scheme. In fact, I’m pretty sure if this guy had the cure to Parkinson’s he probably would know how to sort out his Outlook inbox.
I took a deep breath, summoned all my professionalism, and politely declined his “very kind” offer. I finished the work and went home. After reflecting on the incident, I l decided to part company with the client, as there was no way I could continue working with someone who had seen my family member’s sickness as a sales opportunity. This was my client’s response to being fired:
Client: You’re being very unprofessional.