Posts Tagged cheap skatery

Client Types: The Micromanager

Last winter, I took on a project against my better judgement. It had TWO of the five red flag warnings–one is always enough–and yet, out of desperation, even after the initial “skills test” took over three days to finally complete, I agreed to the project and have been sorry ever since.

If the skills test bullshit wasn’t indication enough that the whole thing was going to be a nightmare, her line “other freelancers are charging about half that” should have tipped me off.  But for some reason I ignored it. Then I found out that this project was to be her  first experience project managing anything, so I was to be her guinea pig. Oh was I ever.

I had completed 3/4 of the project but realized too late that the client was not the sort I preferred to do business with. It was a project I had taken in desperation and the fixed rate was far too low to make it a priority over other (paying) work, but I had convinced myself that it would be a good idea to take on this project for reasons of creating new portfolio samples.

But micro management and 9th and 10th draft versions where the client wanted fonts changed and tables resized on a wireframe the end client would never see had quashed any degree of challenge that the project could present – I was dead inside. So I informed the client I would not be continuing the work.

I received an emotional rant that demanded I return half of the deposit back for not completing the project. Long story short, the payment was so low and the client so  fucking crazy I eventually conceded.

I considered some passive aggressive revenge for about a week, then absorbed it as a lesson learned. Though thoughts of revenge still cross my mind now and then.




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The Vendor Client relationship – in real world situations

Oh clients…just stop it.


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Red Flags

Folks, listen. I’m giving you a list of phrases that if you hear during your negotiations with a potential client are giant red flags trying to tell you something.

That something is NO.  Do not waste your time with this client, you will be so sorry that you did. No amount of desperation is worth the bullshit you will have to endure. The amount of time this asshole will waste will ultimately cost you money and anyway they might not even pay your or if they do, they will ask for their money back 6 months later for ridiculous reasons that have nothing to do with you.

The following phrases universally signify that these clients will be the shittiest clients you’ll ever have the pleasure of working for 100% of the time.

1. This is an easy job.

Oh really, motherfucker? If it is such an easy job then why don’t you do it yourself? Why are there 189 files of unsorted support material that need to be sifted through to identify relevant information, images, etc?  How does 29 pages of a transcribed lecture fit into 10 minutes of material?  Have you even looked at any of this stuff?

2. It should only take an experienced freelancer XXX amount of time.

An experienced freelancer….meaning someone experienced in producing shitty work? Or do you mean someone so experienced self loathing and desperation that will work for 40 hours even though you are only paying them for 10?

3. Other freelancers we are used to using only charge half that.

That’s great, you should hire them!  Oh wait, I’m redoing this project because you didn’t like how it came out the first time? I see…

4. Those terms are higher than we have a budget for, but we can promise you 4 months (or 6, or 10) of following on work, so we can give you lots of hours!

You know what, my goal is actually not to work more hours for fewer dollars than what I am worth.

5. You’ll have to take on a test project for free first.

You’ve seen my portfolio, you know what I can do. I think I would rather be paid than complete half of your project for free.

You’ve been warned, kittens. Just remember, you have the right and even obligation to lose the losers. You have my permission.


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