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Elliptical Earther

Clients from Hell - 22 September 2020 - 4:00pm

I was designing a logo for a company with the word ‘global’ in their name. They wanted something really minimalistic, classy, and straightforward. Naturally, most of my sketches were with some sort of circular shape.

A couple of times the guy really liked something just to hate it the very next day cause he’d consult his partners and they wouldn’t like it. In the end, he rejected the last version he previously liked because of the following:

Client: First of all, the Earth isn’t really perfectly round. It’s more elliptic, so the association to “global” is lost.

At least he didn’t say the Earth is flat! What’s the most ridiculous reason a client has ever given you that your design is wrong/bad/not worth paying for?

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What’s Russian for “Client From Hell?”

Clients from Hell - 22 September 2020 - 3:00pm

I’ve never decided whether I was being unreasonable here or the client was, so I thought I would submit my story and see what everyone else thought.

This happened approximately 15 years ago. A friend and I were starting a freelance film company making promo films and things like that. Someone I knew vaguely contacted me because he wanted a DVD made that he could sell to tourists in his shop. I would film and edit it and deliver the finished film to him.

I was just starting out and the place/subject of the film was something I was passionate about too so I agreed to do it for a small fee. The equipment we used would be loaned to us for free but we had to pay for the insurance to cover it while we used it, which is what the fee for the film would cover. We didn’t charge for our time or any other expenses. 

Planning was done extensively and plans drawn up. The film would be a ‘virtual tour’ of local tourist attractions and sights and presented by a local tour guide. We would be paid half upfront and half on completion. The upfront half was paid and everything was arranged. 

On the day of filming, we all met at the location and my client brings another ‘presenter’ with him as well as the local tour guide presenter that we’d been working with all along. 

Client: This is our presenter! She speaks fluent Russian, so I thought we could do it in English and in Russian.

Me: So… you want it in one film? So one speaks in English and then one translates in Russian? 

Client: No, we’d need two DVD’s making, one English language and one Russian. 

Me: You want me to make two films then? And edit two films?

Client: (Getting annoyed) Yes, one in English and one in Russian! 

Me: This isn’t what we agreed or planned for. That would be essentially making two films and we’re agreed to make one. 

Client: But we’re filming it all anyway, what difference does it make if you film it a second time ? 

Me: Well, we only have a limited amount of shooting time at some locations, so potentially filming it all twice could take significantly longer. Also I can’t edit a film in Russian. I don’t speak Russian. I wouldn’t know which element she’s talking about when, or what parts to include or edit out… 

I ended up filming it in English and Russian, but not editing it. We were never paid the second half of the fee.

Before filming, I also had to explain to the client why his customers couldn’t buy the DVD and listen to it on their personal CD players while they walked around the tourist attractions. That should have been a warning…

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Family drama

Clients from Hell - 22 September 2020 - 2:00pm

I’ve had a remote client for the past 6 years who’s been one of my favorites. She’s very pleasant and pays me well. The other day, when discussing the latest brief, she suddenly mentions that she’s the grandmother of one of my best friends.

She’s never mentioned her family relations before and they don’t have the same surname so in disbelief, I ask my friend. Turns out it’s true and my friend freaks out, begging me to block her. I learn that the grandmother, my client, has been abusive and violent towards her for years and isn’t even allowed to contact her. The client claims that my friend referred me to her all those years ago which is a lie, as they haven’t spoken in years.

I have no idea why my client would lie about that but needless to say, this is the last job I’m doing for her. No amount of money is worth being an involuntary part of my friend’s family drama.

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Help me help myself

Clients from Hell - 21 September 2020 - 4:00pm

Client: I don’t understand this new website tool.

Me: Okay, there’s a good online help system built in –

Client: A what? Oh, I didn’t know. How do we get to it?

Me: See here, in the upper corner, where it says “Help”, you –

Client: Whoa, whoa. Let me write this down. “H-E-L-P…”

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My busy is more busy than your busy!

Clients from Hell - 21 September 2020 - 3:00pm

Our company CEO has a business partner who often comes into the office and demands we do small, but frequent projects for him. None of these jobs are properly scheduled in, and we often have little or no warning to plan around them.

The team and I have full schedules, and somehow have to squeeze his demands in around our scheduled/paid work. It’s very disruptive, but we make time for him as our CEO considers this work top priority.

One project involved the setup of a small 5-page website. Despite our busy workload and with a degree of compromise, we got it done. When we finally hand it over for him to populate (via the CMS), we get the following response:

Client: Don’t you know I have a busy schedule? I don’t have time to populate this site!

Pure Gold.

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I didn’t pay your invoice… or did I? No, I didn’t.

Clients from Hell - 21 September 2020 - 2:00pm

Client: Re: Bill XXXXX from YYYYY is due. This has been paid, maybe you should check your bank account before sending this!

Me: Sorry for any confusion, as I previously emailed we have moved to a new automated system this month. I’ll look into it.

This system takes a feed directly from our bank and automatically sends reminder emails when invoices are overdue.

I have double-checked our bank just now and the system is correct. This invoice has not been paid.

So not only has this client not paid me, but he also tried to make me feel bad about it.

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The bundle of bundles! 26 best-selling bundles for $21!

Clients from Hell - 20 September 2020 - 4:00pm

This week’s deal is some kind of giant, mutant MEGA deal, created from 26 other popular bundles at less than a dollar apiece. 

> You could make the case that it’s a meta deal.  VERY postmodern.

There’s so much here – thousands upon thousands of amazing elements that are incredibly useful. Textures, patterns, image masks, vector symbols, vintage illustrations (including some SUPER COOL retro video game system diagrams), halftones, vintage wallpaper patterns… It’s a lot. A LOT a lot. This is among the best deals we’ve ever promoted here. Give yourself a gift. You’re worth it.

If you bought all 26 of these bundles together on their sale prices, they’d add up to $375. Again, that’s if you got them all on sale. For the next week, you can get a sale on that price and get all 26 bundles and its thousands and thousands of useful elements for just $21 – that’s literally savings on savings. 

> Check out the deal here. 

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Dogwalker from hell

Clients from Hell - 20 September 2020 - 3:00pm

One of my friends is starting a new business venture as a pet sitter and she asked me to “bump up” a logo her partner put together (I don’t know what she thought she was saying either).

I didn’t change her concept, just tidied up the lines and proportions. After sending a few versions the following convo occurs: 

Client: Can you make the cat and the dog more badass?

Me: …I’m not sure what you mean?

Client: Well, I don’t know how to explain it.

Me: Maybe send me a pic of what you mean?

Client: I know! give the cat a bow tie and a mustache, and have the dog smoking. 

Me: …I think putting a cigarette in a dog walker logo might send the wrong message. 

Client: A pipe then?

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Shes in on the joke

Clients from Hell - 20 September 2020 - 2:00pm

Working as a remote phone tech support for a real estate company. 

Client: Sorry for being a bother. My last IT guy used to call me an id10T error. I guess that spells idiot backward.

Me: (Oh no it does not…)

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Multilayered process of densing.

Clients from Hell - 19 September 2020 - 4:00pm

Me: We only have a 640 x 427 pixel image, we don’t have enough resolution to print at 10 x 7.5 in.

Client: Images can be scaled, which does not mean enlarging them, it means a multifold process of layering to increase the pixel information such that they can eventually become information dense enough to expand in size.

Me: That is quite dense.

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Source: Internet

Clients from Hell - 19 September 2020 - 3:00pm

I work as an in-house designer at a fairly large FMCG company.

A while ago, I was asked to clean up our chairman’s PowerPoint presentation he regularly uses when speaking on conferences, industry summits, and the like.

He really loves illustrating his slides with all kinds of pictures, from photos to clip-arts, illustrations and, yes, sometimes even memes.

At the bottom of every single one of them, in 12 pt Arial: “Source: Internet”

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No digital stuff needed…

Clients from Hell - 19 September 2020 - 2:00pm

Email from a distant family connection:

Client: I have great news! I have finished a two-month online course in Digital Marketing and I am willing to work with you. If you build and host the website for my new Digital Marketing company, I can offer you a 10% share of the profits. And best of all, I will do all the Digital stuff for the website so you will have no work to do at all apart from keeping the server.  Your coding experience and my Digital Marketing will make us both rich! 

I have been supplying Digital Marketing as part of my web build and hosting package for 23 years. In fact, I was doing it in a previous life when I was a professional marketer for years. But I guess a two month-certificate DOES entitle him to 90% of the business…

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<p>This conversation took place during

Clients from Hell - 18 September 2020 - 4:00pm

This conversation took place during the design phase of a typical website project.

Client: We should use the gallery widget from [well known video service provider] on our new site! No sense in us creating something new, when they have one we can use already.

Great! Client demonstrates good understanding of embeddable widgets and the value in using them.

Me: Excellent idea, we’ve done our research and can see it’s as simple as logging into your account, and getting an embed code from your provider. We will include a sample in the design and set this up for you during development.

At this point, I supply a link to a page showing how this feature works, and what the output looks like.

Client: No no no, you’ve misunderstood completely. The provider won’t code for us and we don’t know how to code either. As discussed you have to log in and set up the gallery for us.

Me: No problem, it sounds like we’re talking about the same point. Our plan is to do exactly as you’ve suggested. We will log in and handle the setup for you. It’s all in the project plan we provided.

Client: You’re still not getting it! We won’t be doing this ourselves. You have to do this on our behalf.

Me: …

This exchange continued for quite some time. The client was adamant that we didn’t understand and got more irate. Eventually, they begrudgingly accepted we were talking about the same thing all along.

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$50 still okay?

Clients from Hell - 18 September 2020 - 3:00pm

In my spare time, I create custom clothing and costumes for clients. This exchange just happened verbatim, but I swear I have a version of it at least once a month.

Client: I really want you to make [this] and I need it in 2 months. Can you do it?

Me: Let’s review the specifications and see if we can make it work. If you could fill out this form so we can determine budget and materials, I’d appreciate it!

Client: Well I can only spend $50 and it’s gotta be really shiny!

Me: Unfortunately, I don’t charge for less than $100 on custom pieces. I have to factor in cost of materials as well as my time to create and execute the garment.

Client: What? But you’re just going to make it with cheap stuff. It shouldn’t be that expensive. I can get [this] for $50 in China. You can’t charge more than that.

Me: $50 rarely covers the cost of materials. I can’t promise you a quality garment. A number of those oversea vendors have workshops and distribution centers to allow for faster, cheaper pieces. But it doesn’t result in good quality. So if you do buy one from them, you risk getting a cheap product.

Client: Screw you. I’m going to buy the other one and tell everyone you’re ripping people off!

1-2 months later.

Client: So that dress I bought fell apart when I first put it on. Can you make me one? I need it in 2 weeks. Is $50 still okay?

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Search engine, search fuel, search maintenance… so expensive!

Clients from Hell - 18 September 2020 - 2:00pm

Client: I bought a new computer! I’m going to take a course to learn about internet addresses.

Me: You can just use a search engine.

Client: The computer was expensive! I can’t afford a search engine too!

This was a few years back, but I think still worth sharing.

What’s the dumbest thing you have heard a client say? 

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The circle of freelance life

Clients from Hell - 17 September 2020 - 4:00pm

Client: We want this completed ASAP!

The client sends multiple emails asking to complete work as fast as I can. I work long hours and pull overnighters to get the work done.

I send an invoice… and suddenly the constant communication stops. Weeks later:

Client: Sorry, I can’t pay you yet I have other bills to pay first.

This happened recently, to me, but it happens all the time when you work in creative fields. Remember: you’re only a priority when the job’s not done.

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Web Design 101

Clients from Hell - 17 September 2020 - 3:00pm

Client: For this job, I want you to throw your ‘Web Design 101’ manual out the window and listen to me!

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Are you single?

Clients from Hell - 17 September 2020 - 2:00pm

Streamer messaging me on instagram.

Client: Hey I see you draw. Do you make twitch emotes?

Me: Yes I do.

Client: Dope! Could you make me some?

Me: Sure thing. Let me know your ideas.

Client: Sweet. I’m not sure yet, still thinking ahahah.

Me: No problem at all.

Client: BTW are you single? :p

Credit where credit is due: is there any clearer way to signal “I’m not going to pay you, and I’m also going to be a nightmare”?

I ended up blocking them. B Y E

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Unsupported browser, unsupportive client

Clients from Hell - 16 September 2020 - 4:00pm

The project my company is working on relies on UnityWebGL to run (though it was previously a Windows Standalone application). 

Client: We’d like this to run in Internet Explorer 11 or Firefox. 

Me: (after some testing) IE won’t load it, but Firefox works great. 

Client: Why? You can’t get it to work on IE at all?

Me: It seems UnityWebGL doesn’t work in IE11. From the site, “IE11 is not a supported browser. It is only listed in this compatibility table for completeness.”

Client: Can IE11 run this if it’s hosted on the machine and run through IE?

Me: no, IE can’t support UnityWebGL player at all. IE11 is not a supported browser. 

Client: Understood. 

Client: (5 seconds later) Try it anyway for sh*ts and gigs. 

Me: It errored, with the message “Please note that your browser is not currently supported for this Unity WebGL content. Try installing Firefox, or press Ok if you wish to continue anyway.“

Client: …and? Did you click ok?

Me: Yes, I clicked it and it errored out. Because IE11 isn’t a supported browser. 

Client: Clearly you’re doing something wrong. If it works in Firefox, it will work in IE11. 

Ever had a client not believe the truth? Let us know

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Snippy Tool

Clients from Hell - 16 September 2020 - 3:00pm

I was working on an animation project for a client.

Client: We need to have a stronger design for this character, something that really sells this project and company. 

Me: Alright, that sounds fair, the design does need updating.

Client: Look around for inspiration. Are you familiar with stuff like South park, Simpsons, Family guy, Jungle Book, Cinderella, that kind of stuff?

I have a degree in animation. I’ve watched and studied cartoons my whole life.

Me: Uh, yeah.

Client: Well, they all have good design, so work on making this character stand out.

Me: Okay, well I can work on that. Talk to you later.

They called me 5 minutes later on their personal phone.

Client: Just to let you know, don’t get tense about it, but you came off as a bit snippy with me, like I’m wasting your time or something.

Me: …Oh, I apologize, I didn’t mean to come off that way-

Client: Well you probably didn’t realize, you need to work on that if you want to continue being a team leader. Talk to you Monday.

Why is it always people on the lower end of the stick who have to grow thicker skins? I guess “uh, yeah, I know the most basic touchstones of my discipline” was enough to bruise this ego.

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