I work in customer support and take abuse all day long.
Client: F*** you.
Me: Ouch, that’s not nice.
Client: Sorry, I’ve been having a bad day, I guess I shouldn’t take it out on you.
Me: (internally) YOU THINK!?!?!?!
First day on-site with a new client. At reception the team leader arrived to take me to my desk. She greeted me with a scowl and en route to the desk she stopped because she really needed to tell me something.
Client: We are very religious in this team and we have rules: There’s no cursing or taking the lord’s name in vain.
In other words: welcome aboard, sinner!
Me: So…. what functionalities will you be needing on your website?
Client: We don’t really know, but if we were to build an e-commerce site, what technologies would you use?
Me: Well there’s a whole range of stuff you could do, Shopify, Squarespace, you could build it from the ground up, or maybe even use WordPress. It’s really up to what you need.
Client: I don’t think we should be working with you because you proposed technologies before we decided on functionalities.
Me: (flipping table in rage)
I started my morning with this delightful conversation before I could even answer the email the client had sent about it 20 minutes prior. For background, we were replacing mirrors in a hotel: we reduced the number of different sized mirrors from 13 to 3 in order to, ironically, avoid confusion:
Me: Good morning, Client, how are you?
Client: Confused. I have 12 mirrors of type 1, 4 of type 2, too many of type 3, but none of type 3 when I should have 28.and I should have 28.
Me: I understand your confusion. Per the plans we sent yesterday, we are only using Types 1-3. Type 4 was consolidated in with 3, which is why you have extra.
Client: You don't understand, type 4 is listed on this order.
Me: (panicking slightly) You should not have any of that. Are you saying you have four mirror sizes?
Client: No, I have three.
Me: Alright, that makes this easy: all rooms get type 3 except for the ones that get type 1 or 2. There are only 14 of these in total - just refer to the floor plan.
Client: I don't know why you didn't just send me a list of rooms saying which mirrors go in which room!
Aaaaand, we get to the heart of the matter: client just didn't want to have to read the 16 room numbers that are different and wished we'd broken down all 450 rooms individually.
I paint murals but work part-time in a skate shop so that I can still turn down creative work that I don't want to do. One of the other staff in the store left me a note about a customer who wanted a logo designed and had left their number. I don't design logos so I didn't follow up on it.
I phoned a customer who had special ordered some skateboard hardware. After discussing the hardware, this happened:
Client: Are you the artist?
Me: Yeah, probably.
Client: I have been trying to get hold of you for THREE MONTHS. I've left countless messages at the shop and they said they would leave you a note.
Me: What was it regarding?
Client: I need a logo designed.
Me: Right, I saw that note. It said to contact you if I was interestd, but I don't really do logos so I wasn't interested.
Client: I need a hand-drawn logo of a monkey...
Me: (interrupting) I'm sorry but I don't design logos.
Client: Well if you LISTEN to what I WANT then you can tell me if you know anyone who can do it.
Because I was representing the shop I was polite and listened to the end. He was aggressive and condescending the whole time.
I said I would let him know if I thought of anyone. But I don't think I dislike anyone enough to give them his phone number.
Me: Good afternoon, according to the ticket placed you cannot load the website, I will need control of your PC for a few minutes, is that okay?
Client: Yes, thank you.
The client continued to work, typing responses to emails.
Me: Uh, for me to do this I will need to have full control of the PC, without your input. We cannot both use the PC at the same time. Would you like me to connect again later?
Client: No, it's OK.
And yet they kept opening and closing emails for the next two minutes.
Me: It's a quick job - I just need you to stop typing and using the mouse so I can get it done.
At this point the client "accidentally" (?) disconnected the TeamViewer session.
Me: Please watch the entire video very carefully, as multiple revisions slow down the process considerably. Export times can run very long, so please ensure everything is correct.
Client: Looks great! Approved!
Me: Great, we will get everything rolling.
12 hours later...
Client: Hey, I just noticed...
*Head goes through desk*
In a meeting with an attorney who expressed interest in my website development skills as a freelancer, the attorney wanted to know more about my skills and experience.
Client: So, where did you learn web development?
Me: I took online classes and created websites as a hobby, and now it’s my main interest. I do a lot of freelance work.
Client: So you do a lot of freelance work. Are you like a starving artist or something?
Me: Well, freelancing has allowed me to learn a lot of my skills, and work on a variety of projects. It's going pretty well.
Client: I mean - why don’t you get a career planner? (he said incredulously)
I guess some people think having a strictly linear career path is the only means to success.
As a freelancer working with a home improvement business, I was tasked with working with various departments on communications projects. I noticed there were constantly changing “rules” about what people needed to do to provide customer service and meet different department needs.
Throughout the course of a couple of weeks, I learned about tons of ways people had to “check” with each other in order to schedule and document projects - since different people had different ideas about how things should be done. Assumptions, accusations, and customer complaints were common.
The team leader who had been there awhile barely knew how the computer system worked that the team relied on to schedule projects, so he was of little help.
Here’s an example of just one of the many frustrating conversations I had with the client's staff:
Me: Have you followed up on this customer concern that I sent you an e-mail about a few days ago? The customer called again to follow up and said she hadn’t heard from anyone.
I received a jumbled, confused response:
Client: The customer should know better than to ask about that, I mean, it's complicated.
Then, someone from the office rushed over to my desk to further explain the issue without any resolution, looking alarmed and angry. I e-mailed the associate again to gain further clarification.
Me: Are you going to call the customer, then?
Client: I KNOW HOW TO DO MY JOB!
I might also add that yelling, high-pressure drama, and offensive language was common at this office. I left shortly after.
I work for a small company where the boss went on vacation for a week. He left me with a months worth of projects to complete in that time with the expectation, "see what you can get done in a week." Seemed reasonable. This week he came back.
Me: How was your vacation?
Client: Good. How was yours?
Me: ...um, I wasn't on vacation. I was here working on projects.
Client: Well... let's face it. When I'm not here, nothing gets done. Unless you got everything I left you with finished, then you were pretty much on vacation.
Later in the day he dropped hints about removing "some" holidays and/or vacation time to accommodate the "lack of work that got done while he was gone."