When I was a senior in college, the chair of my department sent out a job proposal that the head of a retirement home in the next city over had sent to him, looking for students that would be interested in drawing mockups of a planned expansion for the facility that they had, so that they could present them to potential investors. I applied, and they asked me to come to the facility to present my portfolio.
I didn’t have a car at that point, and it would take nearly two hours to get there by bus. I got dressed up and paid for an Uber, figuring it would be worth it if I landed the job. When I arrived, the client was friendly and impressed by my portfolio. She took me on a tour around the beautiful building.
Client: Have you had any family members in an assisted facility like ours? If you do, then you know how important this work is.
First warning sign.
Client: Of course, we’re a Christian non-profit so we have to be very careful about how we spend our money.
Client: We’re actually hoping to find a student who will do this as more of a portfolio piece. We don’t want to put that much money into this part of the expansion.
There it is.
Me: You sent some rates to the department chair – what happened to those?
Client: Oh, those were the prices that a professional illustrator quoted us for the work, I guess I forgot to mention that we didn’t actually want to pay that!
So this lady tricked my school into sending one of their students over under the assumption that they were going to get paid work, tried to guilt-trip me into doing free work for a poor, Christian retirement home with top of the line facilities, and made me spend $50 to get an Uber both ways to do it, only to ghost me when I gave her a semblance of a realistic quote. Real classy.