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.
I was doing some light bookkeeping for a client as an added service. I sent them an Excel spreadsheet with all the tabulations.
Client: Oh, is there any chance you could do this in a .doc table instead?
Me: I mean, I can copy and paste this into a document if you want. Tables won’t do the calculations for you though.
Client: That’s what I mean. I’d rather you did in Word and did the math yourself. I had Excel mess up a file once and I haven’t trusted it since.
Great – turn a one hour job into a three hour job and introduce a greater margin of human error. Great decision.
I was contacted by a writer who wanted me to illustrate a webcomic he was starting in 2019, I repeat, 2019.
Client: I want to push out a strip every day. I can’t pay you, but if this hits the way I think it’s going to, we’ll be pulling in profits by the end of month two.
Yeah, sure. And by “yeah sure” I mean “absolutely not.”
I was asked to design and code a website. I told my client that I’d create several views for desktop, tablet and mobile devices. After the designs were finalized with the client and the website was coded for WordPress we had a final meeting:
Client: This Website isn’t optimized for different devices at all.
Me: What do you mean?
He showed me the final site on his website:
Client: Can´t you see it? When I reduce the size of the browser window, the tablet and mobile view show up.
Me: Well, that’s what responsive Websites do.
Client: I can see the MOBILE view on a DESKTOP screen! How can this be optimized at all?
I quit working with him shortly after this.
When I was starting out as an illustrator and designer, I did a few designs for a friends’ band. Album cover, posters, t-shirts, that sort of thing. They didn’t pay me, and I never asked them to. It was a fun project for a buddy.
One day they invited me to rehearsal, which SOUNDED cool, but it turns out rehearsals are really freaking boring. Then, at the end of two and a half hours of hearing half-songs over and over and over, my friend declared:
Client: Okay! Band meeting.
After twenty minutes of some preamble:
Client: You’ve done so much for us that we feel like you’re part of the band. But we’ve been talking about it and we think we want to move in a different direction for our branding.
Me: I mean, that’s fine. I’d be happy to do something else, but also that’s your prerogative.
Client: Well, I think we should put it to a vote. All in favour of hiring a new designer for the band?
Everybody raised their hands, and then looked at me like I had a vote.
In one unnecessary meeting, they basically put me IN the band so that they could MAKE ME VOTE MYSELF OUT.
I make bespoke hats for clients and sell them online. I do high-end work, and that’s reflected in my prices. Typically, the people who commission a hat from me don’t have any issues with that. Of course, sometimes I’m still surprised.
Client: What’s this extra charge?
Me: Which charge?
Client: This twenty-dollar charge!
Me: Oh, that’s shipping and handling.
Client: This is ridiculous! I didn’t agree to this, you pay it!
Me: You’re paying $500 for a fitted hat, and you’re upset about a $20 charge to get it to you safely?
Client: I refuse to pay it.
Bad end: I paid the shipping and handling, and they wrote me a negative review. Silver lining: I now charge $500 for the same hat and including shipping and handling. I left a response on their review saying that I changed my policy and they amended it.
Business has increased since I raised the price.what’s the most ridiculous quibble a client has had over your pricing?
This week’s deal is on a premium font family that’s just awesome.
Often, font sales have 100s of fonts — which is great — but sometimes all you need is one versatile font. Nickson was designed from the ground up to remind you of the diners and garages of Route 66 in America’s golden age. It’s effortlessly cool and stalwart, and you’ll return to this look again and again — especially since it comes with 15 styles and 100s of badges and elements. It’s the kind of font you want on a tattoo it’s so good.
The Nickson family of fonts normally sells for $25, but for a limited time it’s only $12. Sell ONE design with this look and you’ve made your money back and then some.
Around the Holidays last year, a client asked me to come into the office to finish a job. What they didn’t tell me is that the staff Christmas party was that afternoon.
No, I wasn’t invited. I sat in the corner with headphones on while everybody drank punch and ate goodies.
Me: I’m sorry I can’t complete this today. My kid is sick and I’m taking care of him while he’s throwing up. I can turn it around by noon tomorrow, but I’m needed here.
Client: I thought you had a laptop! You can work in the bathroom, can’t you?
I told him the wifi doesn’t make it to this room, but secretly decided to fire him as soon as I got paid.
I have a client who runs a small business, and every time we meet she shares really inappropriate information about all the people working for her. Example:
Client: That’s John. His dad has cancer so he’s taking some time off. Yeah, it’s really sad. I have to give him time off though, which sucks because it means I have to hold off on firing Tanya. She keeps coming to work late, and I can see she spends all her time partying because she posts about it all the time.
Client: Sorry! So for this ad campaign…
I just kept my head down, did my work, and tried to forget what she told me as soon as I heard it.
But I just got a friend request on Facebook from her…
I was hired to put together a website for a local business that hadn’t updated its (hideous) website since the early 2000s. It wasn’t a big job – I was going to start from a WordPress template and make changes to match their vision.
Me: What would you like changed?
Client: We like to stand out – can you make some of the text flaming?
What I didn’t say is if they wanted to stand out, they shouldn’t have changed a thing.
The company I worked at was doing some IT work for a huge multi-national. The multi-national had hired a large audit company to do a software audit, and check they had valid licenses for all the software.
The audit company told us to install and run a piece of software to do a report.
Me: Uh… that software isn’t licensed for that purpose, so… no?
Client: Oh, okay. We’ll pay for the license.
They did, and so we were able to install and run the software legally. We couldn’t figure out if they were being hypocrites, or if they were testing us.
Client: Please, come into the office. It would be so much easier just to show you what I need directly.
Me: I would really prefer not to.
Client: Please, this is just how I work. Let’s talk face to face.
I made arrangements to go to his office, a two-hour round trip.
Me: I’m here to speak to [client]? We had a meeting scheduled.
Assistant: Oh, he left for lunch – but he told me to give you this brief.
I’m a software developer working for a company with multiple clients. One of our clients receives a daily transaction file with full account numbers, but they want to avoid complications with passing their security audit by getting rid of full account numbers, at the suggestion of their auditor. They could still receive full account numbers by making some security changes on their end, but they didn’t want the additional audit requirements.
Client: Can you mask all but the last 4 digits of the account numbers and send us a test file?
Me: Here you go.
Client: Great! We’d like this in production ASAP.
After the change goes into production:
Client: We don’t get full account numbers anymore!
Me: Right, that’s what you requested and what we tested.
Client: But we need the full account numbers for customer service issues!
Me: Do you want me to revert the changes?
Client: No, because we’d no longer be in compliance with our security audit.
Me: What would you like us to do?
Client: We need the full account numbers!
Client: Make sure I’m ready to go at noon.
Client: Or 12:30 or 1
Me: So make sure you are about between 12 and 1. Okay, will do.
Client: Yeah, but at 1:30.
Me: So you want me to get you at 1:30. Will do?
Client: Yeah, but not then cause then I won’t be ready in time so before that.
Me: So get you at 1:30 but actually before then, but not between noon and 1.
Client: Yeah but it’s gotta be by 1 at the latest.