By Doing Nothing, The Problem Has Resolved Itself

, | Right | May 5, 2008

(I’m part of a small animation company. One project, in particular, is assigned to me alone, forcing me to deal with two customers. This is a specification nightmare waiting to happen, but I still accept it. This happens at a meeting relatively far along, with work close to being finished.)

Me: “So, that’s the current state. I still have to add in details, but that’s not an issue within the deadline.”

Customer #1: “Looks great to me already. Looking forward to the final product… Just one gripe.”

Me: “Yes?”

Customer #1: “The animation runs too slowly.”

(I’m confused, as I made it pretty fast already. [Customer #2] pipes up.)

Customer #2: “What? No! It is way too fast!”

(I try to interrupt the beginning squabble, but am not successful. The two customers squabble for a full fifteen minutes whether it is too slow or too fast.)

Me: “Excuse me?”

Customer #1 & #2: *still squabbling*

Me: “Excuse me! I’ve got another meeting in fifteen, so may I make a suggestion?”

Customer 1 & 2: *simultaneously* “Yes?”

Me: “How about we compromise and leave the speed as it is?”

(The looks the two of them exchanged were golden, as if that thought had never crossed their mind. It’s one of those rare cases I got it my way…)


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Oh, What’s A Little Third Degree Burn Anyway

, , , | Right | March 21, 2008

(In high school I worked at a do-it-yourself pottery painting store. Customers would purchase a blank piece of pottery and paint it with colored glazes, and we would fire the finished pieces overnight in kilns. Pick-up time for pieces is 6:30 pm. A customer shows up at 10 am wanting her piece.)

Customer: “Yeah, I painted something yesterday and I want to pick it up.”

Me: “I’m sorry, but your piece is still in the kiln. I can probably have it to you by 4 if you can’t wait until 6:30.”

Customer: “Why can’t I have it now?”

Me: “Because it’s still in the kiln, and it needs to finish baking and cool for several hours before I can take it out.”

Customer: “But can’t you just get mine out now?”

Me: “I’m sorry, but the kiln is running at 1600 degrees and is locked shut. Even if I could get it open and get your piece out without killing myself, the piece would shatter from cooling too fast.”

Customer: “Can’t you just get it out?”

Me: *facepalm*


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The Son Of Captain Obvious

, , , | Right | February 7, 2008

(Our offices are on the eighth floor of a building. The upper floors are occupied by an art school.)

Student #1: “Oh, wow. The elevators on this side of the building are really small.”

Student #2: “No, they’re not. It’s just their size that makes them look small.”

Me:

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Depth Perception Strikes Again, Part 2

, , , , | Right | January 21, 2008

(The following took place outside a small dentist’s office. The client requested an electric sign that that was a full-color copy of their business card, it took four weeks to fabricate and cost $3500.)

Dentist’s Wife: “Wow, that turned out JUST perfect! My husband is going to be so pleased to see that up when he gets back.”

Me: “I’m glad you like it, we’re very happy how it all came together.”

(A crane truck and two installers hoist the sign in the air, attach it to the 16′ pole and turn the lighting on.)

Dentist’s Wife: “Oh wait, that’s… that’s not right, you need to take it down now, I don’t believe this!! I want our money back!”

Me: “Ma’am? What’s wrong?”

Dentist’s Wife: “Well look at it, will you? It’s not right, it’s not the same as our card.”

Me: *pulling out my paperwork* “Now ma’am, both you and your husband approved the design, you signed off on the comps, the shop drawings, the contracts and all the permitting. We just can’t be expected to–”

Dentist’s Wife: “Any fool can see that these do not look the same! Oh, my husband is going to be so mad with you people!”

Me: “But why? We’ve worked closely with you on every step of the approval process, they are identical in every way.”

Dentist’s Wife: “Just look at this and you can see how different they are!”

(She holds the business card up at arm’s length and closes one eye.)

Dentist’s Wife: “Look! Look! The sign… the sign, it’s just so much… bigger!”

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Nonsense Be Thy Name

, , , | Right | November 24, 2007

(I am a video editor, teleconferencing with a client about a commercial I edited for him.)

Client: “I don’t like the music you picked. Do you have anything else?”

Me: “The order said you wanted your jingle in the spot. It’s the one you had the radio stations send us…”

Client: *interrupts* “Yeah, yeah. We gotta have the jingle. I just don’t like the music that goes with it.”

Me: “So you want the jingle without the music?”

Client: “Yeah. And, like, can you take the singing out of there? Like, the music, too; can you just edit it out?”

Me: “I don’t think I understand. You want me to edit the jingle so there’s no music or singing?”

Client: “Yeah. I mean you guys can do stuff like that, can’t you? Like, with the computers you got?”

Me: “We can’t really, um, do it like that. If you don’t want the jingle sung, we could have [The Jingle’s Hook] read in the voice-over.”

Client: “No, that won’t work. You can’t just read it. We gotta have the melody in there with it.”

Me: *loathes his career choice*


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