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A collection of client horror stories from designers and freelancers on CFH.

Holy Flying Hamburgers, Batman!

, , , | Right | April 11, 2022

Client: “Why is the photo grainy? It looks terrible on your flyer.”

Me: “You sent me a zoomed-in photo of the hamburger using the camera on your BlackBerry. They’re three mpx at the most.“

Client: “I’m not sure what mpx is, but if it’s like mph, then the photo wasn’t moving. The burger was on a plate. On a table. Not moving.”

Everyone’s Favorite “Type” Of Client

, , | Right | April 10, 2022

Client: “I can’t concentrate when you keep tapping like that!”

Me: “I’m typing. This is the sound of typing.”

Client: “No, THIS is the sound of typing.”

He starts gingerly finger-pecking the keys.

Client: “Notice the difference?”

Me: “All right, then. This is the sound of work actually getting done.”

Client: “It’s the sound of a jerk being a… jerk, if you ask me.”

I don’t work for him anymore.

Math Turns People Into Monsters

, , , , | Right | April 9, 2022

Client: “Okay, I’ve totaled everything and I’ve come up with $543,698. Double-check my math.”

Me: “I got $562,552.”

Client: “That’s wrong. Do it again.”

I add all the numbers again.

Me: “Okay, $562,552.”

Client: “What? Now we have three different numbers!”

Me: “No, we don’t. That’s the same–”

Client: “Stop talking! You’re doing something wrong. Just concentrate on the counting, and the numbers won’t come out so screwy.”

Me: “I’m pretty sure it’s $562,552.”

Client: “Now you’re just pulling numbers out of the air. Do the math again!”

I redo everything from scratch.

Me: “Okay, the total is… $562,552, definitely!”

Client: “See, that’s what I had the first time!”

Calling Is Not Their Calling, Part 4

, , , , , , | Right | April 5, 2022

I answer the phone.

Me: “Good afternoon [Company], how may I help you?”

Caller: “I need to speak to [Owner].”

Me: “He is unavailable at this time.”

He’s actually sitting at the desk on the opposite wall to me, but I am paid in part to screen calls.

Me: “Is there anything I can help you with or would you like to leave a message?”

Caller: “That is not the right way to handle this call! If [Owner] is unavailable you are supposed to offer callers an appropriate time to call back, or give them an alternate means to contact him.”

Me: “I apologize, I am not sure what would be a good time to try to call him. I can give you an email address if you like.”

Caller: *Very sarcastically.* “I guess, if that is as close as you can come to actually doing your job, you should give me the email address.”

I provide the company email address.

Caller: “No! That is not his email address, it is a generic email address that someone like you reads, and that is not the appropriate way to give out someone’s alternate contact details. You provide the private, personal contact information for people, so that they can conduct their business properly and professionally!”

Me: “Well, that is the email address we encourage people to contact us on. If you would like to speak to [Owner] personally the best option would be to leave a message and he could call you back. Would you like me to take a message for him?”

Caller: “I told you, that is not appropriate! You are being extremely difficult and not doing your job properly. Now, tell me, at what time will I call back when [Owner] will be able to speak to me? I guess I need to make an appointment now to phone people as well as tell you how to do your job!”

My boss is in the background gesturing at me to just hang up.

Me: “I am unable to provide a time when [Owner] will be available by phone. If you don’t wish me to take a message—”


My boss is of course the owner, who I am not supposed to get to the phone until I know who is calling and why, and he agrees to talk to them. Normally I would hand over a complaint to him, but not when it’s obvious this caller won’t give me their name or purpose for calling.

Me: “I am sorry you feel that way. I am handling this call as I have been instructed. If there is nothing else I can do for you I am going—”


My boss, having heard the last two interjections through the phone from the other side of the room comes over and grabs the phone from me:

Boss: “This is [Boss]. I’m sorry my staff didn’t get your highest priority memo for how conversations are going to go. If you want to send me a transcript for approval you can send it to [Company email address], because that is the only email address we give to people who we DON’T WANT TO DEAL WITH! GOOD BYE!”

I later found out the caller was the new site supervisor for one of our best clients, and he had a legitimate and pressing need to speak to the owner to get a change order approved ASAP so the materials could be ordered and the project wouldn’t have been delayed.

 He could have gotten the owner’s direct cell and email from 1) any of the quotes that had been sent, 2) the side of the truck that was sitting on his site at that moment, 3) any of his workers he directly supervised, most of whom had called the owner or the manager (the owner’s brother) many times for previous issues or 4) any of our employees who were currently working on his site.

 Or he could have just said who he was when he phoned, I would have put him on hold for a second, told the owner who was on the phone and the owner would have taken that call.

Instead, he threw a giant tantrum.

When his boss called my boss to complain about the delay in the change order, my boss explained what happened with the phone call. It was the end of the new site super’s short leash, as he had been causing problems with his personality from day one, and he ended up lasting less than a month at his new job.

The first time his new replacement called he said “Hi, it’s [Name] from [His Company] calling. I’m looking after [site] now and have to ask [owner] about some additional work. I don’t seem to have his cell number, could you text it to me?” Which I could, and did, and it took almost thirty seconds.

Calling Is Not Their Calling, Part 3
Calling Is Not Their Calling, Part 2
Calling Is Not Their Calling

We Wonder If They Have Similar Discussions With The Electric Company

, , , , | Right | April 3, 2022

Client: “Why have you taken my website down? I demand you put it back immediately!”

Me: “You didn’t pay your January invoice, and although I explained very clearly the consequences of that non-payment, you still refused, so the website is now offline.”

Client: “But it’s February now, so put it back online at once.”

Me: “Well, you are refusing to pay the February invoice, too, so I’m afraid that’s not possible.”

Client: “Are we going to go through this charade every month?”

Me: “I honestly hope not.”