Client: (texts) I need you to start working on another site. Please *lists full quota of information about colors, info etc*
Me: Do you want me to prioritize this over the other work you asked for?
Client: Stop texting me I'm on holiday
Me: That'll be two hours.
One hour later:
Client: Here's more content to integrate.
What he added basically doubled the job. He also requested that I attend to a few minor tasks immediately. I took it in stride, took twenty minutes to do the small stuff, and started incorporating it as quickly as I could.
An hour later:
Client: You done?
Me: Not quite yet!
Client: You said you'd be done, and I expect you to stick to your own deadlines. This is highly disappointing.
A business reached out to me, asking me to come in to discuss the project, budget, etc.
Unfortunately, my contact at the business (the marketing director) wasn't available that day so I had to talk to the owner.
Client: So what is it that you can do for me?
Me: I'm a content strategist. I can build out a series of articles and a social media schedule to build your SEO, helping your business show up in more searches.
Client: And HOW much does this cost?
Me: Well, as I already discussed with [marketing director], my fees start at $X and go up to $Z.
Client: And people PAY you this?
I left without a contract or anything. The marketing director got in touch with me a day later and apologized profusely, basically begging me to come back. I agreed on two conditions: that I wouldn't have to work with the owner and all my approval would come from marketing, and that I would be paid for that useless, useless trip into the office.
When I was a student in college I was contracted by a company to film and edit a video. The pay was only $200, but I agreed because I needed the money.
To do the job, I took pro equipment to several locations, setting up, tearing down, and taking responsibility for all transport. I spent hours editing the video. I sent frequent updates to the client throughout the process. Despite my best efforts, they kept asking for major revisions at every turn.
Client: Can you add this footage to the video?
I found a way to make it work and edited the video numerous times to meet their needs. I sent it to them and they were impressed... for five minutes, when they asked me to try something else entirely.
Client: Can you just try-
Me: I'm sorry, but we're well past reasonable expectations for revisions based on this budget. Any additional adjustments will require additional pay.
Magically, the video was perfect and needed no further corrections.
Last year around this time, I was asked to develop a website for a client because they liked my previous work with their friend. I gave them a 20% discount on a quotation for a project that I estimated would take two weeks. The client quickly showed a preference for very long meetings - each meeting taking 2-3 hours.
Let this be a huge warning sign for you folks!
Eight months later, I am still working on this project. It hasn't all been bad, but I've learned a few things from it that I've put into effect elsewhere. For instance, now I only take meetings on Mondays and Fridays.
Me: Based on your user stories and requirements you submitted in May we plan to deploy the next major software release in August.
Client: OK, great!
Me: Looking at the feature request you submitted in mid-July, we can get you that feature by mid-September.
Client: Wait, what happened to August?
Me: You asked for more to be added, and it will take a month.
Client: You gave me a timeline, and I expect you to stick with it.
You gave me a feature list and I expect you to stick with it too, jerk.
Had a project that should have been finished one and a half months ago, but the client slowed everything down because of personal reasons. I'm right in the middle of three new projects now, but still willing to help this client, even though the budget is pretty small and I barely have any time anymore. It's not the first time something I waited for two weeks had suddenly to be done overnight.
Client: I need you to work some more on this project urgently. Can I send it to you at the end of the week and you work on it over the weekend so I can get it back on Monday?
Me: Well, actually I'm pretty busy again and have family plans over the weekend, but if it's that urgent, I'll see where I can fit it in. Send it to me as soon as possible.
Client: Oh, okay. It can wait until Monday then.
Now it's Tuesday afternoon and I haven't heard from the client yet. Don't cry wolf, please.
I'd been working on a project for a week. The client had told me they needed it by the end of the month.
Client: Is it done yet?
Client: But it's the deadline!
Me: What? You didn't tell me that. You said it needed to be done by the end of the month.
Client: Yeah, but we have an internal policy to set aside two weeks for review before something goes live.
Me: But I'm not internal.
Client: You should have researched our policies before you took this job. That's what it means to be a professional.
I came very close to being ACTUALLY unprofessional in that moment.