Client: I keep getting an error message when I try to check out. I’ve tried checking out three times and I’ve tried EVERYTHING.
The error message?
“You must be logged into your account to checkout.”
I was designing a 300+ page proposal for a client. I would send them PDFs of various sections ready to review. They would print them out of order, make content edits by hand, rescan it and send it back to me.
One section they rescanned upside down.
Client: This section was different than the rest. Please be more careful – they need to be consistent.
I worked with a large Investment bank. Karma bit back – twice.
The project was to migrate all their customer recommendations to a new document management system. The first project manager was a moron.
Me: You have two tasks due next week, both will take me all the available time to do, which is your number one priority?
Project Manager: Both of them!
Two weeks on, he was sacked for lying to the project board about achievables.
He was replaced with a new project manager who was somehow worse.
Me: Your new system doesn’t preserve the original dates of your recommendations, so you will have no way to prove when you told a customer to buy or sell a stock. You need to incorporate that information
New Project Manager: Oh, that would mean a change and I can’t be bothered with all the paperwork for that. I’m sure it won’t matter
Two years later, the client was sued by a customer who claimed that they told him to buy a stock that was already collapsing. They couldn’t prove him wrong. They lost.
One of the items I sell is custom buttons (badges). Local movie productions sometimes buy them to use as promotional items.
I got an email from a new production company, ordering a set of buttons. They wanted a fairly typical design, with the movie logo and assorted quotes from the movie in production. It's supposed to be a horror movie.
Price was negotiated, the deposit made through Paypal, and they sent the content in a simple txt file. All arranged through e-mail, all as usual with such an order.
The logo was simple, and worked well on the buttons. But, the content was... off. These might have been typos, they might not. One quote was "Quiet thinking about the dead were living still."
So, I sent another email.
Me: Do you want me to edit these for grammar and punctuation? I think you might have some typos.
Client: No, they're the way we want them. Use the text we sent.
I figured it must be something sensible in the context of the movie. So, I selected a drippy "slasher" font, typeset the buttons, and sent them jpg previews.
Me: Here are the previews. Please look them over and make sure they are what you want.
Client: They're fine. When will they be ready?
Me: If I have the go-ahead, they'll be ready Friday morning.
Everything was going well, but I was still worried.
On Friday, the client came to my shop. I handed them the box of buttons.
Me: Check these and make sure they're right.
Client: (glancing in the box) They look good!
They signed off, handed me the check, and left with the buttons.
Monday, I got a phone call. I was braced to defend myself, but the caller (not the same person who picked up the buttons) just asked me in a tired voice how much it would be to redo the order as a rush job for Wednesday. I was actually free to do it without a strain, so I gave them the same price as before, and they agreed.
The client's boss emailed me the correct text, which was "Quit thinking about the dead. We're still living." Also, apparently it wasn't a horror movie but more of a suspense one, so in a few quick emails, we settled on a less drippy font.
Wednesday, Client's Boss came for the buttons. I didn't say anything about the previous person but treated this like a whole new order. Client's Boss sat at a table with buttons to check each different design and even looked at their backs to see that they were straight. They approved, signed off, handed over the check, and took the box of buttons.
Thank you, Client Boss, for seeing that the idiot in the equation wasn't me.
I have since had more orders from that same production company, but never saw or heard from the original client again.
Client: The start of the video needs to be changed.
Me: That’s no problem, but may I ask why? We’ve been working on this video for a month and a half and you never said anything about it.
Client: Because it’s black. I can’t have a video that starts with a black image.
He had expressly asked me to make the images and text appear after a few seconds, which is the reason why I started the video like that in the first place.
Me: Um… Ok, though I still don’t understand what’s wrong with it, I thought we were on the same page about this.
Client: You know what’s wrong? When I upload it, it’s going to look just black, and no one will click on it! I thought you were a professional.
At this point I realized the client had never been exposed to the concept of “thumbnail,” and the fact that the first frame of a video is not, in fact, the preview, at least not on the sites where he told me he’d use the video.
I felt a sadistic satisfaction in explaining it to him after being condescended as an “unprofessional.”
I run a small web and software development outfit and we accepted a contract to fix the website woes of this older gentleman. He has his website hacked and defaced every few months so our recommendation was to plug the holes and relocate to a new hosting provider.
Me: Transferring your emails could take a while – maybe a few hours. You have about 15 gigs. We’ll put off having you use the new hosting’s email server until we can get those migrated
Client: No. Give me the access now, I’ve already paid for it.
Me: Understood. Just so you know, you won’t see your old emails until we can get those transferred.
Client: Just get it done!
15 minutes later:
Client: I can send and receive new mail but I cannot find my old emails! I pay you well, I refuse to be treated like this!
I'm a freelance graphic designer who, due to the nature of my regular clients, is usually really busy in spring/summer but things slow down for fall/winter. Because of this, I am generally more open to negotiations during that time.
I saw an ad for a production designer that was riddled with spelling & grammar errors. No name for the company or contact person was given. Their office was also not in the same city that I'm based in. Despite this, I needed the work so I send them an email expressing interest and shared a link to my portfolio. I got an email and all it said was "Call [phone number]. " Still no name.
Me: I sent you an email about the production designer ad you wrote.
Me: Awesome. Can I ask who I'm speaking with?
Client: The OWNER!
Me: Yes, but I'm just wondering how I should address you.
Client: Um, by my NAME...
At this point she realizes she hadn't given me her name and changes her tune mid-sentence.
Not her real name - changed for privacy reasons.
She explained the type of work she needed, which was layout ads for a magazine, and I told her that I'm very familiar with that and I do it all the time for my clients here. Then she asks my rates and how I want to be paid.
Me: I usually charge $XX/hr, but because this is a slower period for me and we're not in the same city I can lower it to $YY/hr
Me: So since this is a new partnership I won't ask for anything up front. I'll show you my work as I go and once you're happy I'll give you a print-ready version when you pay.
Client: Wait, so you're holding the ads HOSTAGE!?!?
Me: Well, no. I'd be asking for payment for the services I provided.
Client: But we don't get paid by our clients until the ads run. That won't work us, and frankly what your asking for is a sh*tty thing to do!
Me: I'm sorry you feel that way, and I'm open to other ideas. But I do want assurances that I get paid for my work.
Client: I can promise you I will pay you. But even if there is a chance of that not happening, that's the cost of doing business. Clients stand us up all the time and we still don't hold anything hostage!
Me: Ok, if that's your business philosophy then I doubt would be a good partnership. Thanks for your time.
I still don't understand how someone can run a business under the idea that it's OK to not be paid.
I cleaned up and converted a client’s logo to a vector then sent them PNG and EPS files.
Me: The EPS file is for your printer – you’ll want to use the PNG whenever you need the logo yourself.
Client: Hey, when I place the EPS files into a word document the response is “this image cannot currently be displayed.
I work in banking, which normally means I only need to communicate information using hard, objective numbers. However, I was assisting a client who was wearing a pink sweater while I was wearing an orange shirt, and she excitedly pointed back and forth between our clothing.
Client: Hey! Same color!
I can only be grateful I wasn’t in charge of designing anything for her