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project hot air balloon


By 6:31 PM

Originally uploaded by looseid

"Your caustic and erratic communication has grown tiresome and I have no desire to continue working with you."

I typed these words this afternoon to the most difficult client I have had to date. I took his project on as a favor to a friend last June, but like a bad rash, he hadn't gone away.

1. He was the client with the neverending project.

Let it be known that I completed the original job he submitted; he paid me in full and was pleased, or so I thought. This book had been proofed, proofed again and right as it was ready to be published and as I was about to close the project, he sent me a long list of niggling revisions that made my eyes water and fists clench. The original project was estimated @ 20 hours of production time and a year later, he was still taking the book apart.

2. He was the client who could reach you but who you couldn't reach.

This man lives in the sticks two hours away from the city with limited phone hours because "mother" retires early. He sends everything through the US Postal Service and doesn't own a cell phone, so he is on a time line of yesteryear. I would even guess that the one phone he shares with his mother is corded like a newborn baby. This alone could have been quaint, even charming. But when we had to set up a face to face meeting, it took 2 whole weeks to plan and he left no room for error or change because I couldn't get a hold of him until that day.

He works a municipal job, so he observes every possible Holiday in the Western world; and because he's close to retirement and the state is on a furlough program, he takes a lot of additional time off. He has internet access only at work, so unless he were under the FBI's witness protection program or a double-oh agent, he couldn't be any harder to reach.

3. He's not a people person.

Enough said.

The only thing going for him was that he was prompt in payment. And this bothered me more. I didn't like putting up with bad behavior because he paid the tab.

I've never cut off a client before but I was done with the job and done with him.

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  1. Am glad to hear you are dealing with variety of difficult clients.

    Have fun, and good luck!