How much extra do you charge for subliminal messages?
Client: I want to make a social networking website which I can earn profits from.
Me: Can you provide me with more details? What ideas do you have?
Client: I want it to be like Facebook and Twitter but people will have to pay to use it. I really can’t tell you any more than that.
Look, I don’t want to name drop, but I actually have a connection to Mike Zucker Big.
The following occurred during conversation in Gmail. I’m currently contracted to this client on a project unrelated to this conversation.
Client: Hey, do you think you could design a website for me?
Me: If you email me the information, I can let you know.
The client didn’t respond to the instant message and he never emailed me. I forgot about it.
A couple weeks later, he fired me from our current project, stating:
Client: You blew me off by asking me to email you the information. And you were rude enough not to follow up.
A client requested my presence at a meeting in Wales. She sent me the details of a presentation she wanted me to write for her (for free) while on the train, rationalizing that it would “keep me out of mischief.”
Her assistant sent me the details and a train ticket code. However, when I got to the station, the code to pick up the ticket didn’t work. The station staff were all very helpful, and eventually, just as the train leaves, they tell me that the ticket was picked up and used that morning.
With no way to make the meeting in time, I called the client and left a message apologizing and explaining the situation.
Five minutes later, she gave me a call back.
Client: What do you mean you’re not on the train? What’s the problem with your ticket? I used that code this morning and it worked fine for me. And anyway, if you’d really wanted to have got on that train you could have made it happen.
She carries on chewing me out through a series of escalating phone calls, texts, and emails, until the presentation time looms near and she realizes that she was counting on me to provide it for her.
The full text of her email reads:
Client: Well? What have you got for me?
I was doing a presentation for a top executive in a big company. To start the meeting, I went to the white board and started sketching a diagram.
Me: So, suppose we do a match between the customer database and the transactions database and…
The big shot laughed.
Client: You are so naïve.
Me: What did I do? I barely started…
Client: You see that database? It’s mine. The other one belongs to the SOB in the next room, and we haven’t spoken for months. So forget about your idea. If you want to succeed here, bring me something that only depends on me, and in case it fails, no one will never know. If it’s a success, I’ll look good and we can do business.
I work at a bank. Obviously, security is important here.
Me: Hello, you’re speaking to -
Client: (drunk and angry) F*** off and listen, my card isn’t working and I’m in a bar in Thailand waiting to get my c*** sucked. Fix it now.
Me: And this is a “Bank A” card, correct?
Client: Of course it is, why else would I ring you?
Me: Alright sir, but first -
Client: (swears under breathe)
Me: I need your customer ID number.
Client: What the f*** is that.
Me: The 16 digit number used for telephone and online banking.
Client: How the f*** am I supposed to now that?
Me: “Bank A” gives this number to you when you join us. It starts with your birthday and ends with four other numbers you should know.
Client: (shouting) Well I don’t f***ing know it, so just fix my card.
I tell him that before I can fix his card, I need to identify who he even is. I ask for his sort code and account number, and he only knows the sort code. I use this to bring up the first page of his account, which gives basics but no security information. It indicates that he is bankrupt, which may explain why the card isn’t working.
Me: Unfortunately, you will have to call back tomorrow and speak to the fraud team so they can ID you.
Client: What the f***ing f*** do you mean ‘call tomorrow’? I need it fixed now! If you don’t, I’ll sue you, not the bank, YOU, for not allowing me to just access my account without any hassle. Do you know who I am? I have millions of pounds in your bank and I will ruin you.
Me: Sir, threatening me will accomplish nothing. “Bank A” has specific guidelines to protect you, your account, and those 'millions’ (remember, he’s bankrupt) of pounds.
A heavy silence.
Client: Did you say “Bank A?”
Me: Yes, my name is so-and-so and I work for “Bank A.”
Client: Nevermind, this is a “Bank B” card.
A client needed desktop support; Word crashed, he hadn’t saved his file, and couldn’t find any auto-recover data.
Me:It looks like the auto-recover feature was turned off.
Client: That doesn’t sound like something I would do. I’m sure it’s turned on.
Me: I’m looking at your preferences right here - ‘Save auto-recover info’ is unchecked.
Client: Yeah, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t do anything like that, so there must be auto-recover files somewhere. Keep looking.
Client: Here’s the final copy.
Me: Are you sure this is the copy you want to run with?
Client: (angrily) It’s the final copy! Run with it!
Me: If you say so. But just so you know, the copy says “keep your equipment ruining in top shape.”
Client: We both know it is supposed to read “running in top shape.” Why would you use the copy if there’s a mistake?
Me: Well, final usually means final.
Client: Well, final has a new meaning. Fix it!