Being in the design industry, you deal with all kinds of crazy clients... and believe me, no one understands this better than fellow website designers.
This past week or so has been annoying to say the least. I have been working on a website for over a month now, communicating and collaborating with the client every step of the way as I normally do, making sure they are happy with everything.
Finally, when we're nearing the finish line, the client disappears for 10 days. Awaiting their response, I move onto other things. Suddenly, D (my fiance, who handles sales for me) receives an email from the client stating how dissatisfied they are with everything, how they pretty much designed the website themselves (ok wHaT!?), and how they would like a 100% refund immediately. Along with these kind words, they listed a bunch of random things that they disliked about the website... all being totally minor issues such as a font size being a tad too small which would have taken me 2 minutes to fix had they simply said something. They were clearly reaching for things.
I was shocked. Not only had none of these things they were dissatisfied with been mentioned to me at ALL during our entire month-long ongoing communications, but the fact that they couldn't say this directly to ME really pissed me off. It made me wonder if they really were unhappy with things or if they were just searching for reasons, ANY miniscule reasons to get their money back. You don't just suddenly have a complete 180° overnight and suddenly dislike everything that was created to your own specifications.
The nerve some people have. Imagine working at your job for a whole month, getting a paycheque during that time, and then having your boss tell you that "oh by the way, I would like you to give me back your entire paycheque for this month". Ridiculous!
You'd think this was a one-time case of a bad client, but unfortunately it is not. This very same thing happened only a week or to before as well. That makes me sound like a terrible designer, but I promise you I am good at what I do, and know what I'm doing. You just can't avoid difficult people. I even offer unlimited revisions to a design until the client is happy with it... so normally, my "happy client" success rate is 99%.
I've got a pretty good instinct when it comes to who will be a difficult client, and who will be a great one. I can usually figure this out during the very first correspondence... and guess what... I totally called it with these two. I made sure D got the payment up front for the first client, because I had this awful feeling that they would be one of the types to make me work my butt off, then take off and not pay the final fee once the site was completed. There are too many shady businesses out there that try to outrun payment for design work, and it's not right.
I also think it's kind of hilarious how people think that D can help them at all. He does sales, then forwards the clients to me. Everyone seems to think he is my boss, because why would a girl be running a whole company? Too funny.
I was thrilled to find this website today. I had some good laughs, did about 20 face palms, and then realized that it's the annoying times, the frustrating times, and the "I just want this to be OVER" times that help make my skin thicker and contribute to me being better at what I do.
Have you had any terrible work experiences?