Subject: Need this started ASAP!
Message: I had to take an emergency trip to the Bahamas for a yoga meditation retreat. Can you get started right now, so I can have it by Monday?
I’m trying to set up a phone conference with a client whose website I’m designing. I had sent him an email with my availability the day before. Note: I have a part time day job that I do my freelance work around.
Client: I need you to call me tomorrow at noon so we can go over more website details.
Me: Unfortunately, as I mentioned, I’m unavailable at that time tomorrow. How about 5pm? Or I’ll be available all day Thursday.
Client: No. None of that will do. Tomorrow at noon.
Me: Unfortunately, that is outside of my posted office hours, which I sent to you on Monday. You could always email me your requests, and I can contact you about them on Thursday?
Client: I don’t want to contact you on Thursday!
Me: Can I ask why Thursday won’t work for you?
Client: Because I don’t want to have to call you outside of my normal office hours!
I had notified a client three times that I would be away for the week following my wife’s surgery, beginning two months prior to the surgery, and one last time the week before. Each time he sounded surprised, but just as concerned about her health. Imagine my own surprise on the morning of the second day of my wife’s convalescence:
Client: Are you there? My contact’s really anxious to get their site moving. Can you get started on provisioning the server?
Me: No. I’m not available for at least five more days.
Client: What? This is critical for me!
Me: My wife’s on vicodin and the baby’s teething.
Client: So by tonight at least?
I’m not a professional graphic designer. I work in a print shop and sometimes do work for friends and acquaintances. Somehow, my bosses found out about this.
Client: We’re thinking of getting new business cards made up. You can do that kind of thing can’t you?
Me: Yeah sure. I charge for it though.
Client: Ha! Nice one.
Me: No, seriously, I charge for it. Even my friends have to pay.
Me: Because it’s time-consuming. I don’t have much free time, so I charge people for eating in to it.
Client: Well, you can do it here while you’re at work.
Me: I normally charge around £350 for design work. I get paid a little over £7 an hour here.
Client: That’s a ridiculous amount of money!
Me: I think you’ll find it’s about half the price of what professionals will charge.
Client: £350 for an hours’ work? That’s insane!
Me: I can’t design anything in an hour. I can maybe doodle something for you, but I can’t design it properly in an hour.
Client: I was hoping you could do it in your lunch break.
Me: I’ll be having lunch in my lunch break.
Client: What’s so difficult? It’s only messing around with paint.
Me: Do you mean actual paint or MSPaint?
Client: Either or.
I’m a designer who made the mistake of giving a client some computer advice once. This story takes place over two years since I had worked with that client.
Client: Hey, how are you doing? You know, I seem to have a problem with my PC. I’ve tried everything, but it just isn’t working. No need for you to come here, I can bring it to you.
Me: You know, I’m busy at work, and I can’t really take a break.
Client: Yes, but it won’t start! What am I supposed to do?
Me: Take it to a service.
Client: No way! I’d have to pay for that!
A client sent me 24 files over Skype…
Client: I need to send my logo to a printers, but I don’t know what one to send. I’m just sending you all my files can you tell me what one to send.
Me: You’ll want to use a vectorized-one, preferably a file-format like -
Client: I don’t have time for this, I’ll email you the files instead.
Me: You already sent them on Skype -
Client: Let’s make time to make sure you get all the files.
I spent weeks writing dozens of online descriptions for a client’s motel chain. These were all instantly approved with enthusiasm, except for the 73rd.
A group email was sent out from the client to the entire project team — including both my bosses — blasting me for “numerous spelling errors.”
Pouring over the copy that I had already submitted and intended to send, I found that they were right - I had misspelled one word, ‘museum,’ in the 73rd description I sent. It was literally the one and only spelling error in the entirety of the copy I sent over the project’s lifespan.
Client: We want you to change the shape of the character’s head again.
Me: I’ve already explained to you that additional changes will cost extra. I’ve already changed his hair, his clothes, and the facial features on about 20 characters. If you want me to do any more changes, I’ll have to charge.
Client: Well, that isn’t really in our budget right now. How about you do it for free, so we can stay under budget?
Me: I’m sorry, but you either need to reel back the changes you want or find more money.
Client: I can’t see why we have to do either.
Client: (texting me at 7:30 AM) I need the other company’s logo in a watermark on the third page of the documentation and in the presentation, with a red outline instead of blue. Just the circle part of the logo, not the words. Their representative will be here in fifteen minutes.
Me: Absolutely–could you email me a copy of their logo, and I’ll do that in thirty minutes, when I get to my computer?
Client: When are you planning on getting to your computer?
Me: It’s snowing, and I’m about 25 miles out in rush hour traffic, so it should take me about thirty minutes.
The client emails me four different versions of the company’s logo, all miniscule jpgs, as I’m still driving to my office.
Client: You can do this on your iPhone.
Me: I’m in traffic, and it is snowing.
Client: Don’t worry, you can look on their website for more logos.