Client: I need a custom design for the brochure.
Me: Sure, can you let me know how you’d like it to look? Even a few bullet points would help.
Client: I’m too busy for bullet points.
I was hired for a website in December. The spec was relatively simple, yet the client kept haggling over the design of the site. This was fine.
What wasn’t fine was that he constantly ignored emails requesting content for the site. I eventually gave up emailing. When he finally came back to me and said he wanted the site finished by month’s end, I had to inform him I was actually going on holiday.
To try to make it up to him, I worked 24 hours straight to get the site to what he now wanted, wrote up a manual for the site use, and sent it off.
Imagine my surprise when he emailed me, despite knowing I was away, to say how upset and angry he was that the site still wasn’t ready and that my going on holiday wasn’t an option for me.
In his angry email, he listed out a series of faults. For each, the solution I wrote was the same:
Me: Refresh your browser.
Whatever we need to keep you vaguely happy.
Early in my design career, my sister-in-law asked me to design a banner that would hang in a large club store for 30 days. She needed it in 24 hours, and, of course, she didn’t want to pay for the design. After 17 revisions, most of which were to make the design “more purple” or “less purple,” she finally approved a design, and I sent it off to the printer. I called her a month later.
Me: How did the banner work out?
Client: What banner?
Me: The banner I designed for you to display at (store).
Client: Oh, that. Okay, I guess.
Me: What do you mean? Was something wrong?
Client: I don’t think so.
Me: Uh…so it looked okay?
Client: I don’t know. I got busy and never made it to (store) to see it.
Me: I thought you shopped there all the time!
Client: Normally, but I’ve been really busy.
At the time of this story, I was working as a translator. I worked with books, mostly, and had translated over ten titles. A friend of a friend wanted to open a small-press publishing house and contacted me to hire me. I said great, and gave him my page rate.
Client: But for that much, I can hire a REAL translator!
I have a client who I completed a website for some time ago. Our contract well over, he still texts me small changes to be done to his site (for free). As a courtesy, I had been doing them from time to time after our contract was over. Finally, after too much time had passed to be considered small nitpicks, I had to say to him:
Me: If you think you would like to have me on retainer to do site work or support, you can purchase a maintenance package and I can take care of requests with priority. I have a lot of clients on the go that I have to respond to first
Client: No, just that link thing, I understand other clients have priority. If your tied up, you can just give me a time when we can revisit this.
Client: All I would like is that link.
Client: And the ability to do a gallery without the pictures looking wonky when I upload.
Client: And those spreadsheets I sent you inserted into the pages.
Client: Thanks, see the attached for the rest.
Me: What we do here takes a lot of effort; you can’t just ask for something and not provide any details.
Client: Ha, effort! You’re funny.
Me: Well, if it didn’t take effort, why couldn’t you do it yourself?
Client: I have a life and a job. I’ll go find someone that will do whatever I tell him.
I saw that you posted on Facebook that you are starting a month-long vacation today. I was really happy to see that! You definitely won’t have any clients today and I need you to do an edit for me by this afternoon.
You probably won’t get paid for this. We’ll provide most of the supplies, though.