My Passive-Aggressive Plea to an Unnamed Client

Dear Client,

Thank you so much for choosing to work with me. I’m pleased to hear that you are so ecstatically happy with the final results of our project. I agree that the work ended up being pretty damn good, and I hope that is reflected by the response you get from your upcoming presentation of it.

That said, if we are going to work together again in the future, I think we may need to set some ground rules. I hope I’m not overstepping the bounds of the client-contractor relationship, as I certainly wouldn’t want you to feel like I was taking advantage of the fact that my work rocked, despite your ongoing attempts to sabotage it.

So, before I agree to take on another large project on your behalf, here are a couple of things that will need to change:

1. When I say that I don’t work on a certain day of the week, that means that I don’t work that day. While appreciate that you agreed to include my additional childcare expenses on your invoice, that’s not really the point of my family-friendly work schedule.

2. If your project is so utterly urgent that I must work on my day off, then perhaps you should go ahead and follow up on your end of the project. On the other hand, I’m sure my other client appreciated the extra hours I was able to put in on their project when I was sitting around waiting for you to do what was necessary for me to do my job.

3. When I send you a bullet-point list of questions that absolutely must be answered in order for you to get your document, it would be helpful if you would simply answer them.

• As a sub-point, I’d like to add that you do not score extra points for avoiding the questions for 36 hours and then calling a last-minute, two-hour meeting.
• As a second sub-point, I should probably also mention that if you do call said meeting, you should use it to actually answer the questions on the BULLET-POINT LIST I already sent to you.

4. If we were to somehow end up in that same ridiculous situation again, then please pay attention when I send you the partial document, this time with the same missing pieces highlighted and clearly explained.

5. If you don’t give me the information I need at that point, could you go ahead and do it one of the next five times I send you various versions of the very same highlighted questions? ‘Cause that’d be really neat.

6. When you don’t follow through on any of the above things, I will not add yet ANOTHER unscheduled workday to my week…even though you once again have me add the childcare cost to your invoice.

7. If you say that you’re going to be available all day on the day that the project absolutely has to be done, why don’t you go ahead and respond in a timely manner to the essential questions I send to you? You know, the ones that were originally on the bullet point list and were then highlighted.

I know that I’m good at what I do, and I very much appreciate that you recognize that. However, I cannot conjure statistics and strategies for an industry that is completely foreign to me while also creating a type of document I’ve never created before, all in the course of three days. I can expound on your information. I can make it sound great. I cannot, however, MAKE IT UP. I’m sorry to tell you, but you have to take some responsibility for getting the outcome you want.

All right, Client. I’m feeling a little better now that I know we have everything cleared up for next time. I really do appreciate your money, and the project was quite interesting. With a few little tweaks to our working style, I think we could make a go of things in the future.

Thanks so much for your attention to this matter,








4 responses
  1. Lorna Doone Brewer Avatar
    Lorna Doone Brewer

    @Jack – I had to check out your site to make sure you weren’t just leaving irrelevant comment spam. It appears that you are a real person, are a writer, and are actually pretty funny. All of this leads me to ask, “Huh?” It is 2:30 in the morning, so perhaps it’s just sleep deprivation, but I can’t quite figure out what your comment means. Throw a very tired girl a bone, wouldja?

  2. Jack Avatar

    Hi Lorna – Sorry for the cryptic comment and late reply. I guess what I said was a joke to myself (thereby just as irrelevant as you suspected). There is this episode of 30 Rock
    where Jack goes off on an impassioned rant and then Liz just goes “Ha ha, what?” and I guess I was itching to repeat it.

    At any rate, I feel ya, but I wonder: Is this a real client or some kind of composite construction? And is there any chance they would read this?

    Oh and have you ever seen
    .-= Jack´s last blog ..Google Goggles: The World is Your Hyperlink =-.

  3. Lorna Doone Brewer Avatar
    Lorna Doone Brewer

    @Jack – Sorry I didn’t respond to this earlier. In answer to your question, this was, in fact, all one project for one client. It was excruciating. I’m not too fearful that this particular client will read my blog, as they’re in a totally different field in a totally different part of the country. I also sort of removed as a sub-contractor on this particular gig, so there’s little chance they’d even recognize that this situation described had anything to do with them.

    That said, it’d probably serve me right.

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