This client isn’t from hell, but this situation certainly is.
I was working on advertising for a domestic abuse campaign. It involved a series of advertisements that showed a prepubescent boy who appeared heavily beaten. While creating the campaign, the client and I couldn’t agree on just how “beaten” the boy should appear, so I gave him a few (photoshopped) options.
While waiting to hear back, I ran into the client’s assistant as we were passing each other on the street. After exchanging pleasantries, we both went in separate directions – just as the client’s assistant realized they were supposed to get in touch with me.
Client: Oh! I have something to email you.
Client: We’re going to go a bit farther – we want more options.
Me: I’m sorry, I don’t understand.
Client: We want the child to be beaten more!
I froze on the opposite side of the street, which he took to mean that I still didn’t understand. So he began to mime punching someone.
Client: (shouting) Beat the kid more!
I nodded numbly. In response, he flashed a thumbs up before heading on his way.