Warning: What follows is basically a personal rant about a particular client. I’ve chosen to share it here because I think many of you will identify all too well. This blog is supposed to be funny, though, so please feel totally free to laugh at me for being such a door mat.
Have you ever noticed how the absolutely bat-spit crazy clients seem to come out of the woodwork just when you need it the least? These are the folks who don’t actually know what they want until you happen to hit the magic combination and they say, “Yes! That’s it!” They’re the ones who talk you into putting aside a few hours on your weekend to do their project but then don’t send you the information you need until Sunday afternoon. They’re the ones who interrupt you repeatedly when you’re trying to use “active listening” techniques to ensure you understand what they want.
In my case, these are all the same client.
Crazy Client, as I call him, has likely been profiled on this blog before. He’s what I less-than-lovingly refer to as a “nut job.” He is obviously used to getting his own way in life and has no trouble throwing money at a problem until it goes away. As Hamlet would say, “Aye, there’s the rub.” You see, I let Crazy Client get away with this stuff because so often he is throwing money at ME. And, it’s fairly decent money, too. That’s what I tell myself, anyway.
This week was too much, though. While traveling through Montana last weekend, I saw an email from Crazy Client. He wondered if I could work on a particular project (the third incarnation of something we’ve already done, btw) immediately. I patted myself on the back as I typed on my tiny Blackberry screen that I was out of town but would be in the office on Wednesday. OK, he says, it can wait until Wednesday. My smugness with “handling” him quickly crumbled, however, when I realized that he probably wouldn’t even send me the info until Wednesday afternoon. Oh, gee. Did I just make things harder on myself?
I’m tempted to say that this is when my migraine began…but it really didn’t hit until after I’d gotten back to the office (on Tuesday…I had stretched the truth a bit to buy myself some time). By the time I received the client’s information, it had gone from rewriting a letter to proofreading two documents, starting from scratch on the letter we’d already done, adding a second letter, and writing a cover letter explaining to the other people needing to OK this stuff precisely why Crazy Client felt it needed to be revisited…again. I think this is really when the headache started to settle in.
By the time I talked to the client on the phone, I was already nauseas, sensitive to light, overheated, and in pain. Talking to the crazy guy who doesn’t know how to communicate clearly (despite several advanced degrees), only served to push me further over the edge. By Friday morning I was in my doctor’s office, accepting three different prescriptions, and praying for a dark room.
I’m starting to think that the money just isn’t worth it.
Derek Thompson says
The customer is always righteous!