Client: How’s the project coming? We are approaching deadline.
Me: I’ve asked you for a due date several times and you still haven’t provided one. What is the deadline?
Client: There isn’t one, but we are approaching it.
I guess I’m on schedule.
I received an email from a guy who needed help with compositing one green-screen shot. He sent the files to my Dropbox, along with a text file containing clear instructions on what to do. I completed the task and sent it back to him.
The next day a different shot showed up in my Dropbox with a new set of instructions. I finished that as well.
The next day, I woke up to find my Dropbox completely full. He had given me the rushes for his entire film, plus 6 text files detailing where to cut and how to arrange the scenes. I hadn’t agreed to this AT ALL.
Me: Sorry! I didn’t realize you wanted me to edit your whole film. There’s no way I can finish it before the deadline you’ve given me unless you offer someone to help or compensation for my time.
He was incredibly upset. He didn’t speak to me again and edited the film on his own.
I once asked a potential client about his deadline:
Client: I want it by yesterday!
Me: Well if that’s the timeline, it’s going to cost more.
He was stunned. I maintained a poker-face, but in my mind was thinking “dude, I have to invent a freaking time machine to finish your project by yesterday… obviously, it’s going to cost!”
A colleague of mine asked if I could rebrand his company, and I agreed. He signed a contract, paid his deposit and we set a deadline for initial concept proofs. I met the deadline, and I send him the initial proofs. He chooses a concept, but I wasn’t certain that he really liked what I’d come up with, so I asked him if he’d like me to go back to the drawing board and keep working on something.
I assumed all was good. After the first round of revisions, I pressed him a little.
Client: What’s not to love?
I went ahead with the next round of revisions, after which he finalized the design and asked for the files.
Two weeks later (a month after I’d initially submitted concepts), I received an email.
Client: What do we do about the logo? It’s not masculine enough.
…Okay. I make the corrections he requested.
Me: Is that better?
Client: I don’t like it. Actually, I think it’s terrible. I feel like I’m not getting my money’s worth – I could probably put $300 on a contest website and get something I love, so why am I paying you? I mean, this is taking really long. It’s been over a month since I saw your concepts!
Me: …Well, maybe you can tell me more specifically what you’re looking for?
At this point, he sends me links to Google search results for “masculine logos.”
Client: I don’t know why I have to do all this research.
Me: I’m sorry you feel that way. But can you tell me what you SPECIFICALLY like about these examples?
I followed up a few times. Eventually, he texted me to let me know that he’d gotten my email but hadn’t had time to respond. That was over a month ago now. I’m still waiting for his response.
Jeez, I’m sorry it’s taking so long. Must be my fault. *shrugs*
Me: I will not be available for any calls during the afternoon because my Grandfather died and I was taking some time to take care of my mom, who was very close to him.
Client: Can we do just a quick call then?
I mean really, if there ever was a reason to just let it wait a day, maybe grieving the death of a loved one would be it.
I didn’t even honor her with a response and made her wait the maximum time before I needed to respond.
Client: I need you to make another site for me. I’ll give you the info this afternoon tomorrow, and the site will go live on Monday. Think you can do it?
Me: Oh, you’re serious? No!
Client: Ok, so Monday it is!
This conversation happened on Thursday. The deadline was “Monday.”
The content came in on Tuesday.
I think it’s almost ready to sign off on. Just one more thing…My client, every day, for the past 2 weeks.I think it’s almost ready to sign off on….
I was designing a new office for a client. After working on the design for nearly 4 months (they wanted changes made almost every single day and changed the location thrice) as well as corresponding back and forth with various building contractors, my boss called at 12 Midnight:
Client: We need you to see how many more people we can fit into our current office.
Me: Sure, but why? We’re already halfway through the various approvals we require to start building.
Client: We won’t be moving into a new place until next year. We’re not renting that unit anymore.
Client: We will need this by Monday.