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RIP: This Business Relationship

, , , | Right | November 30, 2022

In college, we got to work for actual clients that the college brought in for us. Several students would do the project and the client would choose which they liked most. Unfortunately, my design did not get picked, but they still liked it. The client contacted me about using it for another project.

Client: “I loved your design, but I’d like to use it for another website idea that I have.”

Me: “Sure! What’s the website for?”

Client: “I had this idea for a website for younger children who just lost their parents. They can log in and talk to those dead parents.”

Me: *Confused* “So, you mean a memorial site? Where they leave messages for their parents?”

Client: “Yes, but then I will write them back as their parents.”

Me: “…”

Client: “Of course, I would have to charge a small fee for the service. Or put up some ads.”

Me: “…”

We’d Say What We Think, But He’d Probably Write About Us, Too

, , , , | Legal | November 29, 2022

I manage websites and recently one client faxed me some handwritten copy to add to the news section of his site.

In the article, he laid into a rival company that had recently appeared in court and been acquitted of supplying faulty goods. Describing the company as “cheats” who got off because “their sleazy lawyers lied” was one of his milder claims.

Me: “I’ve read your copy and I have some concerns. Under the ‘contentious content’ clause of our contract, I’m going to hold off on putting this on the website until your lawyers approve it.”

Client: “Fine! I’ll put them in touch.”

Later that day, I got an email from his lawyers asking for a copy of the article in question. I sent it, and twenty minutes later, I got their response. It turns out that his lawyers were the same that had defended his rival company.

Client’s Lawyer: “We have considered the copy you forwarded to us regarding a recent court case in which we successfully defended one of our clients against a wholly false claim of supplying defective goods. We have advised [Client] that his article is, in our opinion, factually flawed, libelous, and unsuitable for publication, and we are consequently unable to indemnify it in line with your contract.”

Client’s Lawyer: “Please note that we no longer act for [Client] in any capacity.”

When I wrote the client to tell him that his (former) lawyers said that he should IN NO WAY have this article published, he wrote me back.

Client: “Run it! I’m not going to be bossed about by sleazy lawyers.”

Me: “No.”

That ended our business relationship, except that two days later he accidentally faxed me some new copy. In it, he railed against “sleazy website managers.”

Do You Want A Designer Or Not?!

, , , , | Right | November 19, 2022

I was working on a website/logo/rebranding project. The client wanted her logo to be a nice medium blue. Cool. Easy.

While working on the website:

Client: “Can you make the header black? I want a really dark header.”

Black made the logo look almost neon. She didn’t see anything wrong with that. This was the first sign that things weren’t going to go well.

I did some work to make sure everything fit together, making sure to pick fonts and colors that worked with what she wanted without clashing too much.

Me: “Okay, I have everything together. Log in and have a look.”

Client: “Great! I’ve had a look, and I made a few changes.”

I had a look, and everything was a nightmare. She’d changed the background to a purple that looked like old wine, with bright white block text in bold. There was no difference between her headers and her text body. Random seafoam colors littered the screen.

I cringed and then did my best to alter it slightly. I found a color that matched the logo in tone, instead of clashing like something from an ’80s sitcom.

After I showed her what I’d done, she polled fifteen of her friends for their opinions. This caused her to lecture me about why her design was better… for three hours.

I’ve since dropped said client.  

Their Compassion Isn’t Very Accessible, Either

, , | Right | November 15, 2022

Client: “We’re sorry, but we will not be renewing your employment contract next month. The owner feels you have not been very accessible. You have been great and do great work, so thank you!”

This was after one month of working with a client that involved live web content edits over the phone — literally like I was taking dictation — on Friday nights. I answered calls and did work on Saturdays and Sundays in addition to the normal Monday-through-Friday schedule.  

What’s more, I received this as a reply to an email where I asked to reschedule some tasks during the week of Thanksgiving due to my father-in-law’s passing. I didn’t even ask to cancel anything — just to reschedule.

Error: No Brain Cells Matched Your Query

, , , , , | Right | CREDIT: ANONYMOUS BY REQUEST | November 12, 2022

Let’s say this client’s database is for matching chairs for people who want them.

Client: “What we want is for the search function to bring through all possible chairs, and then we just pick one.”

Me: “I wouldn’t say that’s a good idea. First of all, if you just want to bring through all chairs, then you don’t need a search; you just need a query to pull up a list of all chairs, which is straightforward and you can already do. The search function is to help you narrow down suitable chairs based on criteria — to give you a shortlist and rule out the bad ones. It would be a string that would work something like, ‘Give me a list of all chairs within a certain price range, within twenty miles of my location, that are such and such a colour, and that are definitely for sale.’”

Client: “No, but that’s not what we want. We want to be able to search against the entire database for all of those chairs and then pick one.”

Me: “So why search for them?”

Client: “Well, we want to have all the options available.”

Me: “You want to look through a list of 400,000 chairs listed in alphabetical order and then pick one at random for a single purpose? And then repeat this for the other forty times you need to match the chair? Every day of the week?”

Client: “No, not at random. We want to choose.”

Me: *Headdesk*