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Do you have a client from hell?

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We all know the overused retail mantra 'the customer is always right'. It's been rammed into our consciousness since we got our first Saturday shops as grumpy teenagers and began having to deal with The Great British Moron. In my experience, the customer is more often than not, wrong, but seeing as they are ultimately paying your wage, a little patience has to be applied before you start reaching for their jugular.

We all know the overused retail mantra 'the customer is always right'. It's been rammed into our consciousness since we got our first Saturday shops as grumpy teenagers and began having to deal with The Great British Moron. In my experience, the customer is more often than not, wrong, but seeing as they are ultimately paying your wage, a little patience has to be applied before you start reaching for their jugular.

As adults, customers become clients, but there really is little difference between the two. They can be as demanding, unrealistic and as bone-idle as each other; it's just that the problem with clients is that you have to deal with them on a regular basis, perhaps even daily, perhaps even, horror of horrors, hourly. Clients are also probably paying you a significant amount of money which makes up a significant chunk of your business. Upset a customer and they might swear at you and never return. Upset a client and the repercussions are a lot more serious.

Clientsfromhell.net is a website which has been set up for designers who can anonymously submit doodles, comic strips, snippets of conversation, emails and any other format of client-related rage. It provides a great source of amusement and therapy which is best accessed following a particularly challenging phone call. If you suffer under a particularly stupid boss, this can also be vented via the website.

Here are some recent highlights.


'I don't want to print my brochure in CMYK, because it is more expensive and has one color more than RGB, so print it in RGB and I will save some money.'

Client: It was my mum's 60th at the weekend and I filmed two hours of party footage and vox pops of my family sending her best wishes. I want you to turn in into a 10-15 minute video; I'll give you £30.
Me: That's nowhere near enough for my time. [I usually do 2-3 nightclub promos for £100].
Client: Yeah but it's a present for my mum so I can't afford to pay as much.
Me: I've never met your mum and I'm not willing to give her £70 worth of my time, especially if you're only putting up £30 of your own money for it.
Client: I'm not asking you to give my mum £70, just do her video. I'm paying £30 of my own money. And I'm thinking of starting a business filming birthdays, this'll definitely lead to more work, I promise.


Boss: 'Carl just showed me that people can right-click our site and view all our code.'
Me: 'Well, yes, that's how web browsers work.'
Boss: 'Take the whole thing down, now! I'll be damned if I'm going to give our competitors all our god-damn code!'

Client: 'How about we pay you in free alcohol?'
Me: 'Only if I can make your poster out of macaroni noodles.'

Client: 'The banner looks terrible it's all fuzzy and you can't read it.'
Me: 'That's odd because I'm looking at your Etsy shop now and it looks great.'
Client: "No not that one, I also had it printed into a 1.5 meter long banner to hang over my stall at the market. Looks horrible!'

Client: 'We don't want people to think that everyone using our service is black. Can you make most of the people white?'
Me: 'They are stick figures; I don't think there's going to be any racial profiling.'
Client: 'Well you're using black lines for all of them. We want to see most of them as white.'
Me: 'Don't you think that would look even more racist? Besides, it's a white background; the white stick figures would disappear.'
Client: 'Then change it to a black background and make the black people disappear. I don't know, just figure it out.'

Client: 'How come all the photos I took have the heads cut off?'
Me: 'Hmm, Did you look though the view finder when you took them?'

Client: 'I don't know what that is. Can't you just move the picture up so I can see their heads? I mean theyre digital pictures?


Clientsfromhell are also in the process of making a book and are looking for stories specifically about clients making inappropriate or awkward advances, throwing temper tantrums, lashing out at you in public and offending you with racist, homophobic or sexist remarks. When you consider that there must be enough of this kind of thing going on to make a whole book about it, suddenly your dopey client isnt looking so bad after all.

http://clientsfromhell.net/

By Jessica Hazel - freelance writer jessica_rose_hazel@yahoo.co.uk
 

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