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We Hope She Didn’t Fire Her Therapist, Too

, , , | Right | January 4, 2023

I’m a web designer and developer. I had a client who was launching a site for a huge week-long annual conference. Tickets usually sold out within days of being posted, so I had to make sure the site was fully prepared for launch day. 

I was supposed to be hired on to do the website for the next five years.

The client was completely disorganized when sending me content, sending me tons of emails with random attachments and even worse formatting. 

There was no organization to these at all — no subject lines in the emails that would give clues about what was attached, nor filenames that described what was in the documents. I tried desperately to keep them organized and track them for changes and updates, and I really did the best I could.

The afternoon before the launch, I was going through the site and realized one page was missing its introductory paragraph. I emailed the client to ask about that content.

Me: “Hey! I seem to be missing some content for the home page. I’m not sure if you sent it or not, but if you could send that my way, I will update it immediately.”

I got an email response very soon thereafter. 

Client: “CALL ME IMMEDIATELY.”

I did.

Me: “Hey! You asked me to call?”

The client answered crying, sobbing, and wailing into the phone.

Me: “Uh…”

I tried to calm her down and ask what was wrong, but she refused to answer, instead sobbing into the receiver for several minutes. Eventually, she passed the phone to her husband, who explained that she was “too upset” to talk to me. 

When she calmed down (relatively speaking): 

Client: “When I found out you’d miss that content, I realized you must have missed other content elsewhere, and I realized our whole launch was going to be ruined!”

Me: “I emailed because I was going through the site to make sure everything was as it should be, and this was the only mistake I found. I’m sorry I missed this content, but I assure you that everything else is as it should be.”

She refused to resend the content. I was eventually able to find the missing document buried in an email chain with dozens of other attachments. 

The client never spoke to me again. I had a few brief conversations with her husband, and then they fired me. The site went live without a hitch, and the workshop sold out in a few days. I even saw comments on their site saying it was the best ticket-buying process they’d ever experienced. 

Fortunately, I took a deposit upfront — at least I got paid. 

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