I work at a law office as the communications manager. As a side project, I began helping our international clients with expedited passports. I have a good relationship with an expediting company and can help our clients 1 on 1 when they had trouble understanding the paperwork/needed hand-holding.
Client: Okay, we want to leave this weekend.
Me: Unfortunately, that won’t be possible. I emailed you a week ago asking about your travel date, it will be impossible to process your passport in the time described. Also, I warned you 2 months ago that this would happen if you waited for [legal process not related to passport] to be finished. But you insisted that we wait.
Client: (immediately calls) You said it would take 2-3 days!
Me: Two days from the agency appointment date. I was very clear about that. And because there is a Public Holiday Monday, it will be impossible unless you travel to [City] in person. Also, I only attend agency appointments by appointment so I have time to gather your paperwork. I have other meetings today and cannot leave the office.
Client: Well we can’t do that, it’s impossible. We can’t travel with the kids and we aren’t good on US roads. What if we left a week or two from now instead?
Me: Yes, I can definitely help you make that happen! Let’s meet at the agency on [date] and I will get things started with the expediting company. I’ll email you a map and a list of what I need you to bring. I’m glad we found a solution and I look forward to seeing you then. You will save a lot of money this way as well.
Client: Great! Thank you very much! We will meet you there.
One day later:
Client: We need it this weekend, you said 2 to 3 days, so we need to go to the agency right now and get it!
Of course, the agency is closed until after the holiday at this point – also acceptance agencies don’t make passports, they only accept applications.
Don’t you love it when clients think they don’t have to listen to what you’re telling them? Making demands is no substitute for “reading comprehension.”