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Hell is other people. Who are clients.
August 16, 2010 3:16 PM   Subscribe

I want something like Facebook. And don’t try to rip me off, I know that Facebook is free.
A collection of anonymously contributed client horror stories from designers.

Not Always Right, but for design people.
posted by i_cola (141 comments total) 33 users marked this as a favorite

 
ugh, another LOLCLIENTS post.
posted by boo_radley at 3:18 PM on August 16, 2010 [10 favorites]


I think that it is funny and I am enjoying reading them.
posted by frobozz at 3:23 PM on August 16, 2010 [12 favorites]


I took it more as a list of suggestions for breaking designers' collective will.
posted by GuyZero at 3:26 PM on August 16, 2010 [8 favorites]


Cont.
posted by fixedgear at 3:26 PM on August 16, 2010 [7 favorites]


"We want a photo of large sunny happy smiling faces on the cover of the booklet. But it should be done so that nobody can recognize their race or sex."

This reminds me of one of the everpresent recycling ads on the subway. It pictures a bunch of anthropomorphic trash containers, and all of them have very obvious genders and races. I think The Onion had an article about something similar, but I can't recall it.
posted by griphus at 3:30 PM on August 16, 2010


My reaction to sites like this go something like:

HAHAHAHA LOL
HAHAHAHA LOL
HAHAHAHA LOL
Wait, this one's a completely legitimate concern raised by the individuals the site is trying to mock.
HAHAHAHA LOL
Yeah, huh, this one seems legitimate too, no reason to mock that.
And now one is an exaggeration so that the person posting to the site can feel superior.
HAHAha... yeah, I'm not feeling it now.
posted by I EAT TAPAS at 3:30 PM on August 16, 2010 [42 favorites]


"The logo should be bigger, and also the text."

"Center that!"

"You should never use punctuation on a poster."

"These colors are too different."
"Blue and white?"
"Yeah. They should be closer together so it's easier to read."

"Add the text there." (points at a piece of the print near the line denoting the edge of the page)
"It's the edge of the page."
"No it isn't."
"..."
posted by sonic meat machine at 3:31 PM on August 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


I was contacted to do a branding project for a client who sold fruit juice locally. He came to my office and presented me with a storyboard of how the introduction animation for his website should run: The first few slides show a banana, pineapple, peach and strawberry happily dancing and cheering as they walk around in circles. About three or four slides in, they all jump into a working blender and their juices splatter all over the screen. The last slide is just their logo slowly fading in. He was dead serious.

I would buy that man's fruit juice.
posted by EarBucket at 3:33 PM on August 16, 2010 [89 favorites]


I read that entire site last night in a fit of misanthropy. I found overlap, almost suspicious overlap, with a few choice bits from ClientCopia. I briefly considered trying to come to some kind of taxonomy for the litany of quotes from the greedy and stupid, but I decided against it, since I did not want to weep for humanity all day. Instead, I put off calling back someone for freelance work.
posted by adipocere at 3:33 PM on August 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


I used to do production art for t-shirts.

We had a cruise line come in, they wanted t-shirts. They wanted a "parade" of boats and gave us pictures of all the types of boats they use. The shots were all of the boats from the side. They wanted the boats "going into the sunset", so we'd be seeing the boats from behind.

I got to spend 3 hours trying to explain to them that we needed shots of the boats from behind and they kept saying, "Why don't you just rotate the boat?"

Sigh.
posted by yeloson at 3:34 PM on August 16, 2010 [18 favorites]


I was contacted to do a branding project for a client who sold fruit juice locally. He came to my office and presented me with a storyboard of how the introduction animation for his website should run: The first few slides show a banana, pineapple, peach and strawberry happily dancing and cheering as they walk around in circles. About three or four slides in, they all jump into a working blender and their juices splatter all over the screen. The last slide is just their logo slowly fading in. He was dead serious.

Not long ago, at a gas station in Truro, Nova Scotia (which is to say many degrees removed from the centre of the hip universe), I saw a poster featuring an image of a rat surfing a big wave. The whole thing was done in retro tones and styles, and there was a little tagline/logo in the top corner in '70s travel poster font and colours reading "Tropical Cheddar." It was an ad for a tropical cheddar slush, which does not taste like cheese, I'm told, but is the colour of cheap fast-food "cheddar" and probably tastes at least vaguely like tropical fruit.

Asked my adland pal about it, he said, simply: "You are not the target."

So, yeah, in this media universe, dude with his self-immolating fruit is simply ahead of the curve.
posted by gompa at 3:41 PM on August 16, 2010 [5 favorites]


Can you change the font to something kinda funky? It has to be funky.
I find this to be an entirely legitimate complaint. And it reminds me of a story. My wife works for a major professional sports team, and there were a series of signs created for a promotion a few years back. The typeface was entitled "Crackhouse". It was a ... funky... font. Anyway, there was no problem with this at all until the owner asked about the signs and someone laughingly mentioned that they were in "Crackhouse".

Apparently the order went out immediately that this particular promotion was to immediately change course and use a different typeface.
posted by norm at 3:41 PM on August 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


About three or four slides in, they all jump into a working blender and their juices splatter all over the screen. The last slide is just their logo slowly fading in.

In other words: Just spray your creative juices all over it!

Why should it be that only animals want to be eaten?
posted by filthy light thief at 3:43 PM on August 16, 2010 [4 favorites]


After numerous anecdotes about bothersome clients asking for spec work, free work, and balking at invoices I saw this:

Looking for stories

We’re looking for your best and most memorable stories to add as exclusive content to our upcoming book.

If you’ve been waiting to share a particularly horrific story, or if you have any tales relating to lewd and lascivious events, send ‘em in, and if you’re lucky, you’ll get published (anonymously, of course)!


What a ridiculous client! This site is HILARIOUS!
posted by m@f at 3:44 PM on August 16, 2010 [20 favorites]


Clients From Hell, and the Passive-Aggressive Service Providers Who Have Very Few Skills at Setting Up and Managing Expectations and Establishing Boundaries, but Complain Anyway
posted by KokuRyu at 3:45 PM on August 16, 2010 [30 favorites]


"Please send me a reasonable estimate."

BWAHAHAHA WHAT A MORAN AMIRITE
posted by Gator at 3:46 PM on August 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


Why the heck should I pay for the domain of my company’s website? I own the company and I came up with the name!

I still think a lot of these are exaggerations and outright lies. But you know ... I used to work with a guy I can totally picture saying the above. And not because he doesn't understand how domain names work. More that he would be just ranting in general about the world, and it could be construed as ignorance. He just wants someone to agree with him.

"Yeah, fuckin' a, David! It IS weird that you can trademark something in one medium and it won't be valid in another. And then you have to renew it? Dude. Bunch a' savages in this town."

"That's why I like you, Bell!"

"Thanks. Anyway, it'll cost about $9.99 to pick it up for the first year."

"OK."
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 3:48 PM on August 16, 2010 [19 favorites]


I want something like MetaFilter. That should be about $5.
posted by Wolfdog at 3:50 PM on August 16, 2010 [7 favorites]


A taxonomy? My client....

1) doesn't want to pay my fees.
2) doesn't trust me.
3) won't listen to me.
4) has bad taste.
5) is unprofessional.

Once you boil a joke down to "three kids, two dogs, a brick and Cory Doctorow" it really isn't funny anymore either.

Whoops, forgot one.

6) Should find a service provider who understands all these things are part of why they charge 3x salary rate for piecework and will just suck it up like a rainy day in April.
posted by seanmpuckett at 3:50 PM on August 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


Once you boil a joke down to "three kids, two dogs, a brick and Cory Doctorow" it really isn't funny anymore either.

Yeah, but there's a second part to that joke, where the brick comes back in. Don't tell it for like two or three days after you've told the first. Then, it's all hilarious.
posted by .kobayashi. at 3:53 PM on August 16, 2010 [6 favorites]


That fruit jice ad proposal has now been realized.
posted by misteraitch at 3:54 PM on August 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


You're forgetting:

7) absolutely knows that computers can do anything, you just have to "make" them do it.

It's a close cousin to "... all you have to do is ..."
posted by adipocere at 3:58 PM on August 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


Can you HTML5 it up?
posted by Artw at 3:58 PM on August 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


~Can you change the font to something kinda funky? It has to be funky.
~I find this to be an entirely legitimate complaint.


No, it isn't. At least not unless you can define and provide an example of what you mean by "funky." Tossing around meaningless terms like "funky" is of no help to a designer trying to give you what you want. One man's "funky" is another man's "tropical" is another man's "urban" is another man's "weird" is another man's "retro" etc. etc. etc.
posted by Thorzdad at 3:59 PM on August 16, 2010 [6 favorites]


Ugh, reading this site is like re-living last week.

I don't want to re-live last week.
posted by lekvar at 4:00 PM on August 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


“We find E-mail unworkable, time consuming and awkward. We prefer to work via focused conference calls. We don’t type."

I am so totally with them on this one. You want to get a job done, scrap email and pick up the phone.
posted by ciderwoman at 4:01 PM on August 16, 2010


At least not unless you can define and provide an example of what you mean by "funky."

Sunglasses, a skateboard, a boombox, sweatband and an afro. In the background a bendy music staff with notes on it in a rainbow of dayglo colours. And a dog with sunglasses too.
posted by Artw at 4:04 PM on August 16, 2010 [8 favorites]


No, it isn't. At least not unless you can define and provide an example of what you mean by "funky."

If that was all they said about it, you might have a point. Is it that hard to say "I'm not sure what you mean by 'funky'. Can you clarify?" I can easily see a client asking this, though, and in many contexts it would be understandable and reasonable.
posted by norm at 4:06 PM on August 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


The music notes are sort of shiny and 3D at the edges, you know, like in those hip-hop paintings.
posted by Artw at 4:07 PM on August 16, 2010


Client: "Would you like to design a website for my daughter? She started her own company and I’m very proud of her."

Me: "That’s very nice of you, what kind of company is it?"

Client: "She mows lawns in our neighborhood."


LOL DUMB KID THAT'S NOT A REAL BUSINESS LOL
posted by Gator at 4:09 PM on August 16, 2010 [5 favorites]


As long as this is (incorrectly) going to be sticking around:

My boss' boss used to do database work back when it was still clever to write your own general purpose Stack implementation. Some time ago, we were having issues with SharePoint not retrieving data (I won't bore you with the details) and he said "This can't possibly be hard, I used to do this kind of thing all the time!"

So I wrote up an invoice for a 486-dx2 66Mhz computer, a copy of turbo pascal and analytica reflex so we could do things the easy way.

He was amused. I am still employed.
posted by boo_radley at 4:09 PM on August 16, 2010 [13 favorites]


griphus: Graphic Artist Carefully Assigns Ethnicities To Anthropomorphic Recyclables. Almost identical to what you describe, to the point that I can't help wondering if you've projected an Onion-memory into a reality-memory!
posted by Slyfen at 4:12 PM on August 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


Client: ”Do you want to have babies?”

Me: “Pardon?”

Client: ”A friend of mine’s single, she’s super cute and I think you’d get along great. She’s into art and stuff like you are. And she seriously wants kids. I can hook you guys up, seriously!”


Clients from Hell? More like Clients from Fuck City, USA.
posted by Uppity Pigeon #2 at 4:17 PM on August 16, 2010 [8 favorites]


boo_radley, could you give it up on the threadshitting?
posted by Artw at 4:19 PM on August 16, 2010 [3 favorites]


At least not unless you can define and provide an example of what you mean by "funky."
Don't be such a baby. Taking layman's terms and intuiting what the client wants and needs is the mark of the professional. It's the reason why you can go to the doctor and say you have a hurty owie right here and have him discover your pneumonia.
posted by bonaldi at 4:21 PM on August 16, 2010 [11 favorites]


This site it ok, I guess. I think it needs to pop more. Can you make it pop more?
posted by brundlefly at 4:21 PM on August 16, 2010 [6 favorites]


I thought boo_radley's story was funny, and kind of along the same lines as the original post.
posted by HopperFan at 4:23 PM on August 16, 2010 [7 favorites]


can't help wondering if you've projected an Onion-memory into a reality-memory!

No, these are actually real. (There are many others, these are just some ones I found online.)
posted by Threeway Handshake at 4:28 PM on August 16, 2010


If it's all getting a bit LOLCLIENT-y, this long one might make you sad.
posted by i_cola at 4:32 PM on August 16, 2010 [5 favorites]


And on the topic of this here linked website, what is it with the collective celebration of every graphic designer having issues communicating with their clients? I cannot think of any single profession that wouldn't have to deal with these same issues.

Car salesman website: "I want a car with a lot of pickup!" LOL
Mechanic website: "It is making a funny pinging sound." LOL
Florist website: "I want some pretty flowers for mom on her birthday" LOL
Doctor website: "It hurts when I pee" LOL
posted by Threeway Handshake at 4:35 PM on August 16, 2010 [14 favorites]


This is not "batshitinsane."
posted by dhammond at 4:37 PM on August 16, 2010


Every single time I see a site like this I ultimately wind up feeling far more empathy for the Stupid Clients than I do the Cool Guy Designer/Compiler of said Stupid Client Requests.

Besides, Stupid Clients need the most attention.
posted by jeffehobbs at 4:41 PM on August 16, 2010 [9 favorites]


I wonder how many of these ended up in court.
posted by lore at 4:41 PM on August 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


Don't be such a baby. Taking layman's terms and intuiting what the client wants and needs is the mark of the professional. It's the reason why you can go to the doctor and say you have a hurty owie right here and have him discover your pneumonia.

Exactly. This always irks me about these lolclient sites. I mean, was that the end of the conversation? Did the service provider just sit and blink there? If so, they're doing it wrong.

I can think of three questions to turn that totally reasonable request from a layperson with a vision into something workable:

Can you show me some examples of funky text you like? Do you think these few pieces of text in my sample set are funky? How do you feel about surfing rats?

Translating layperson requests into workable, well, work, is what service providers do.
posted by generichuman at 4:41 PM on August 16, 2010 [6 favorites]


I liked the reversal:

Client: “Hmmm, could you make it bigger?”

Me: “That’s what she said.”

Client: “You’re out.”
posted by ifandonlyif at 4:51 PM on August 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


I had a nightmare of a time with a client last year. He was installing a shopping cart on a client of mine's site. The site was selling seats at a dinner function and the site's owner knew that the majority of tickets were being bought by assitants and secretaries and that the site therefore needed both "Your Name" fields and "Name on Credit Card" fields. The installer refused to do it because he thought it was "dumb". I told him I didn't much care what he thought about it, that it made sense to me, and the client had asked for it. They needed to be able to address the purchaser by their name, even though they were buying tickets that would be charged to credit cards for their companies or bosses. (This was a $10k per table event.) The develoepr flat out refused. It was the most frustrating time I ever had with someone I was paying in my 15 years of design.

I couldn't believe that this guy was a developer. Stunning. I wanted to throttle him through Skype. For fuck's sake: you know how to do it, the client wants it, it makes no difference to you whatsoever, it isn't hard--why are you objecting?! "I dunno. Just seems... dumb. Tell them it can't be done."
posted by dobbs at 4:56 PM on August 16, 2010 [4 favorites]


Client: “We want every single upper case letter removed from the site and replaced with all lower case.”

Me: “Okay, that’s a lot of work. There are dozens, probably hundreds of instances of upper case letters on the site. Unfortunately, we’ll have to bill you for this.”

Client: “That’s fine.”

Me: “Can I ask why you only want lower case lettering?”

Client: “Because it’s cooler. Oh, and we want to make it a policy for the site — users are not allowed to use upper case letters either.”


man, even I can do this and the last thing I designed was an ascii cake for a friend's birthday
posted by rollick at 4:58 PM on August 16, 2010 [5 favorites]


I'd love to see one of these done for the requests voters make of their representatives.
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 5:02 PM on August 16, 2010


OTOH, I get a smile from some of these tales, because every business person at some point realizes that "this would be a great job if it weren't for the customers."

OTOH, I dislike the premise (as others have noted) that the quip is the end of the story. My old boss used to come up with seemingly crazy ideas that he wished realized in print and then, as the internet evolved, online. A less savvy response to Boss would have been to whine or complain, but what he wanted was to be recognized for his thoughts. Usually a simple--"wow, Boss, you are ahead of the curve on that one. Let me see what we can do." Then, tell him what we could do in his budget and what he wanted might cost (if it were even possible), and I'd get the green light for what we agreed was possible.
posted by beelzbubba at 5:03 PM on August 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


There's never any justification for centred text.
posted by WPW at 5:07 PM on August 16, 2010 [9 favorites]


The genders of those recycling bins are obvious to me, but I'm not reading the race at all. Unless there's something I'm missing about portly trash cans.
posted by HeroZero at 5:07 PM on August 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


"When I used to get RFPs during our web development days, I would always refer to them as Requests For Pain.
— Jason Fried


I am going to have to remember that one.
posted by Xoebe at 5:08 PM on August 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


Sunglasses, a skateboard, a boombox, sweatband and an afro. In the background a bendy music staff with notes on it in a rainbow of dayglo colours. And a dog with sunglasses too.

I am not quite sure what you're selling here but god damn if I don't want to buy it
posted by xbonesgt at 5:08 PM on August 16, 2010 [7 favorites]


"How will people know to click the button? I am scared they won't know. I want you to put a big red arrow that reads 'Click here to Continue' and have it point at the button."

I had to work with the marketing genius who said that for over a year. That guy owes me a prescription to rogaine.
posted by milarepa at 5:20 PM on August 16, 2010 [3 favorites]


Oh come on guys, this one's great:

Me: ”I will create a login box on your website. Once someone registers and logs in, the website will recognize who the user is and provide relevant content.”

Client: ”That sounds great. However, instead of a login box I’d like to use biometrics to identify the user.”

Me: ”Not sure what you mean.”

Client: ”When someone visits the website, I want them to be able to put their hand on the monitor. The monitor will then scan their hand to confirm who they are. I think that would be a lot more engaging. How much extra would that functionality cost?”

Me: ”Several hundred million dollars.”

Client: Why are you being a wiseass? Can you do it or not?

Me: ”No. Sorry. That’s a little too advanced.”

Client: ”Fine. I’ll try another web designer.”

posted by breakfast! at 5:27 PM on August 16, 2010 [16 favorites]


New favorite: "Ok, the horse lost. Can I pay you in cocaine?"
posted by ifandonlyif at 5:36 PM on August 16, 2010 [3 favorites]


Yeah, but there's a second part to that joke, where the brick comes back in. Don't tell it for like two or three days after you've told the first. Then, it's all hilarious.

Congratulations on the longest setup-to-payoff time in the world, Cousin Steve from 25 years ago.
posted by DU at 5:39 PM on August 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


These can grow old fast, that's for sure. I prefer the surreal to the bitter -- clientopia's "put a landlord hat on the landlord" is probably my favorite ever.
posted by mendel at 5:46 PM on August 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


Me: ”No. Sorry. That’s a little too advanced.”

Client: ”Fine. I’ll try another web designer.”


Well, that's just stupid. Instead of the smug insider-jokeyness of "That's a little too advanced" why not just say it as it is?

"Sorry, but that's completely technically impossible. Monitors are not input devices. You could ask NASA to do that for you & they still wouldn't be able to make it work. Now, since that can't be done, would you like the password login, as I suggested?"
posted by UbuRoivas at 6:20 PM on August 16, 2010 [3 favorites]


The shaded areas reflect areas we don’t have service and the light areas where we do have service. Currently the Great Lakes are light, and implies that we deliver into the lake. Please shade all of the lakes.

That actually sounds pretty reasonable to me.
posted by 6550 at 6:21 PM on August 16, 2010


Monitors are not input devices.
They're not? Sent from my IPhone.
posted by fixedgear at 6:27 PM on August 16, 2010 [9 favorites]


Well, that's just stupid. Instead of the smug insider-jokeyness of "That's a little too advanced" why not just say it as it is?

Well I would imagine that they were a bit more polite about it, but I think leaving that client, unless the client was both rich and stupid, was the best course of action.

It is the equivalent to saying to a home builder, "Okay so you have my home, but let's say I want to move my home, I like the location but it'd be better if I could move it to a new location when I want to, like I can move my car."

"That's not possible."

"You can't just put a couple of engines on it, like make it a really big car? I was thinking it could separate into two homes, like the Enterprise. Also, can you build a couple of different versions to see which I'll like?"
posted by geoff. at 6:27 PM on August 16, 2010 [4 favorites]


ugh, another LOLCLIENTS post.

I think clients deserve all the LOL they can get.
posted by dunkadunc at 6:30 PM on August 16, 2010


Graphic designers sure are bad writers of dialogue.
posted by UrbanEye at 6:33 PM on August 16, 2010 [3 favorites]


They're not? Sent from my IPhone.

That's a good point, Mr Client. Touchscreens are gaining market share, and maybe one day they'll be sensitive enough to be able to pick up the details of palmprints.

But for now, they're not that sensitive, and we need to cater for all clients anyway, including those with regular monitors. You wouldn't want to automatically lock out 80% of your market, would you? Even if the technology did work like you want it to, which it doesn't...?"
posted by UbuRoivas at 6:34 PM on August 16, 2010


"I keep looking at this website and it just isn’t blowing my skirt up for some reason. Can’t really explain why."

Yep.
posted by orme at 6:38 PM on August 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


'I can make the color orange seem more Christian.'

Best resume line ever.
posted by Huck500 at 6:42 PM on August 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


I am so totally with them on this one. You want to get a job done, scrap email and pick up the phone.

Only if I can record the call and bill for the time.
posted by Tenuki at 6:47 PM on August 16, 2010 [4 favorites]


How many clients does it take to screw in a lightbulb?

TWELVE ! !!! LOL!!






Wait. I told that wrong.

Why does it take 12 clients to screw in a light bulb?






BECAUSE THEY"RE SO GOD_DAMN STUUPID! LOL!!!!
posted by mazola at 6:54 PM on August 16, 2010


'I can make the color orange seem more Christian.'

LOLBELFAST
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 6:54 PM on August 16, 2010 [17 favorites]


I am so totally with them on this one. You want to get a job done, scrap email and pick up the phone.

If you want a job done, stop bugging me with phone calls and send me an email I can attach directly to a task reminder.
posted by robertc at 6:57 PM on August 16, 2010 [7 favorites]


Well the thing is its *not* impossible. They would have to buy everyone who might be a client a special monitor, of course *after* having NASA develop it. And as for the smug part, when someone asks you something basically retarded, you either tell them its retarded, or as this person said 'no i can't its to advanced'. Really you don't want work from ppl living in outer space.

I'm forced to deal with people who think they are magical IT gnomes. Once one actually implied that *he* himself was working on a wireless technology that never loses signal, is always fast and is available everywhere. Same said person cant figure out why his windows FTP server stop working when the firewall is on. I also want him dead:)

UbuRoivas: "Me: ”No. Sorry. That’s a little too advanced.”

Client: ”Fine. I’ll try another web designer.”


Well, that's just stupid. Instead of the smug insider-jokeyness of "That's a little too advanced" why not just say it as it is?

"Sorry, but that's completely technically impossible. Monitors are not input devices. You could ask NASA to do that for you & they still wouldn't be able to make it work. Now, since that can't be done, would you like the password login, as I suggested?"
"
posted by MrLint at 6:59 PM on August 16, 2010


I just came in here to say that if you ever need to lowercase a website,

perl -pi -e 'tr/A-Z/a-z/' *.html

will pretty much do it for you. (I'm sure there's a perl one-liner to lowercase text in the image files too, but it's probly longer ...)
posted by jhc at 7:03 PM on August 16, 2010 [4 favorites]


Tenuki, that's where the follow-up "per our discussion" email comes in.
posted by Mister_A at 7:03 PM on August 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


Most of these are funny. Some of them are hilarious. Some of them are unfunny because it seems like the client was probably joking around to begin with. Some of them are unfunny because the client seems to have a reasonable concern.

Hilarious:

Client: ”…and I’d like to offer the website in Italian.”

Me: ”Are we going to be offering services in Italy?”

Client: “No. But it will make us look more professional and sophisticated. People will think that we’re Italian and that our food is good.”

Also hilarious:

"Can you make the site loader slower? We want it to feel more elegant."

With this one, I suspect the person who said it was originally trying to be funny:

"The problem with you college students is that you always expect to get paid for the work that you do."

Here's another one where it seems like the client was being deliberately comical:

"Just spray your creative juices all over it!"

This, I don't find funny at all:

Client: “Can you quote me for a three page site?”

Me: “Sure. What are the three pages?”

Client: “Home, Contact, and Login.”

It sounds like the client just wanted to know what a very rudimentary site would cost. It might be a fairly unsophisticated way of asking about that, but I don't find it especially funny.

This isn't funny either:

"Please stop abbreviating “continue” to “cont.” It looks too much like “cunt.” Thanks."

"Cont" as an abbreviation for "continue[d]" is pretty sloppy, and it's fine to worry about an unusual word looking too much like profanity.

This is also not funny:

"Please send me a reasonable estimate."

I think Gator has this covered.

So, I would say this site has a lot of potential but should be more selectively edited. I give it a B-.
posted by Jaltcoh at 7:09 PM on August 16, 2010


These are as fake as those "real true embarrassing moments that are totally not made up" stories they run in women's magazines.
posted by Mayor Curley at 7:12 PM on August 16, 2010


When I considered having a website made, I wouldn't do it before taking basic web design classes, just so I would know what the hell I was talking about.
I'm a product designer, BTW, so I feel them! Know what you are trying to make!

And keep up the comments, b/c they are all very educational!
posted by swooz at 7:26 PM on August 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


Client: “Home, Contact, and Login.”

This one didn't strike me as funny either. Think about it for a minute though... Login to see what? He's only doing home and contact page which is most likely public.
posted by Roger Dodger at 7:26 PM on August 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


Me to client: Could you please give me a list of the items in order of priority?

Client:
Priority wise, item 8 is the highest. We need to have it ready by the end of this week. Item 3 is the following one. Could you have it finished by the end of next week? Item 6 and 7 are very quick ones and I am sure you can have them done in 10 minutes. Item 2 is more important than item 1 and you can leave item 4 for last. Item 5 should already be done.
Note: 100% true.
posted by kirkaracha at 7:32 PM on August 16, 2010 [7 favorites]


Some of those could easily be resolved by having Morbo talk to the clients.

"When someone visits the website, I want them to be able to put their hand on the monitor. The monitor will then scan their hand..."

"MONITORS DO NOT WORK THAT WAY!"
posted by qvantamon at 7:32 PM on August 16, 2010 [4 favorites]


Priority wise, item 8 is the highest. We need to have it ready by the end of this week. Item 3 is the following one. Could you have it finished by the end of next week? Item 6 and 7 are very quick ones and I am sure you can have them done in 10 minutes. Item 2 is more important than item 1 and you can leave item 4 for last. Item 5 should already be done.

But if you finish item 6 before item 1 the wolf eats the billygoat.
posted by qvantamon at 7:34 PM on August 16, 2010 [9 favorites]


"I’m not sure about the black text on a white page. Can’t we make it easier to read?"

These people clearly do not come from a professional background.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 7:37 PM on August 16, 2010 [4 favorites]


Mayor Curley: These are as fake as those "real true embarrassing moments that are totally not made up" stories they run in women's magazines.

I'm amused that this was your reaction, because the way that so many people seem to get off on LOLCLIENTS, it actually feels more like Penthouse Forum for designers.

Dear Clients from Hell Dot Net, I never thought this would happen to me...
posted by MCMikeNamara at 7:39 PM on August 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


What makes you say that? I've encountered variations on many of these in my own work. I think a lot of the stories are whiny - clients don't know how to design, or how to describe design, that's why they own a restaurant. If you're a professional, you should be able to deal with it. But that doesn't make the stories fake.

I've had a client who was a numerologist decide to address me by a new name (Diane) because he felt that the numbers in my actual name didn't add up to the right vibration or something. There are crazy people out there, they need design work, and their car needs to be repaired, and they contact receptionists. Everyone's got a story.

Mind you, I always thought those embarrassing/cute stories in women's magazines often reveal that the person writing in is stupider than their husband or child, who was making a joke at their expense.
posted by harriet vane at 7:42 PM on August 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


I notice that whenever you link Metafilter to a collection of stories, the most popular response will be to call bullshit. Eventually somebody will link to a collection of bad posts from Metafilter and the consensus would be that nobody would ever post such things.
posted by Pope Guilty at 7:44 PM on August 16, 2010 [5 favorites]


Doh, I was responding to the same comment from Mayor Curley, not to the Penthouse idea :)
posted by harriet vane at 7:50 PM on August 16, 2010


"No. Sorry. That’s a little too advanced." is a great reply, actually. After the umpteenth person who refuses to listen when you explain, in great detail, why That Won't Be Happening, to someone who is just absolutely certain this can happen (because that's what they want), you come to realize that technical reasons are utterly meaningless to people who have absorbed two deadly ideas: that the customer is always right, and that the person with the MBA will always make the correct decisions versus the people who "merely" carry out implementation.

There's nothing like sighing and realizing that this company will never take your technical reports quite so seriously again because your boss is making you write an email to them asking if they have something where their handscrawled superbills can just be ... dropped through a slot and be transplanted into the billing (accounting + insurance filing) software, filling out all of the slots and checking whatever boxes are appropriate. It's only slightly less worse than knowing that Google has an email in their endless data vaults from you requesting that the site be the number one in rank for a given search term; it is also not technically feasible to send via email the enamel you have ground off your molars in having to write such a thing.

Some of those requests only seem fake. I've heard too many of the ones that seem wildly unrealistic to be surprised that these were real requests.
posted by adipocere at 7:52 PM on August 16, 2010 [9 favorites]


With this one, I suspect the person who said it was originally trying to be funny:

"The problem with you college students is that you always expect to get paid for the work that you do."


I think it's more that this designer hears this joke about six times a week. It stopped being funny a long time ago.

(There's a rant in here about feedback my store got in a retail setting where our customers were upset we weren't laughing at their stupid jokes...)
posted by gc at 8:04 PM on August 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


This one didn't strike me as funny either. Think about it for a minute though... Login to see what? He's only doing home and contact page which is most likely public.

Yeah ... I see your point ... but that's just a bit too cerebral to strike me as funny. I could imagine a website where you logged in and got additional content or functionality on the homepage. Also, is it ridiculous to want an estimate on three basic pages with a plan to add more pages later?
posted by Jaltcoh at 8:09 PM on August 16, 2010


Client: “I want a way to track all the people that come to my site. Names, addresses, telephone numbers and cell phone.”

Us: “Well, there are some tools to capture visitor information but not to that level unless the viewer supplies that to you. They would have to register at the site and that kills page views.”

Client: “I don’t know why this is so fucking hard! You are the 5th firm to tell us that! Its fucking 2009, can’t anyone make the internet work right?”

posted by contessa at 8:16 PM on August 16, 2010 [3 favorites]


perl -pi -e 'tr/A-Z/a-z/' *.html

I suspect that the problem was probably not the HTML, but the loads of copy contained in images that you find on many sites created in the pre-CSS era. I could see that being potentially hundreds of hours of work for a big, overdesigned corporate "portal" or similar waste-of-bandwidth.
posted by Kadin2048 at 8:17 PM on August 16, 2010


Well the thing is its *not* impossible. They would have to buy everyone who might be a client a special monitor, of course *after* having NASA develop it.

Alternately, a 'slap' fingerprint scanner markets for a bit over US$3,000. I could set up a shopping cart so that customers can buy themselves one before using your website if you like. Or would you prefer to give them away? Oh, right, they'd need one first before they could get to the shopping cart, so you'd have to give them away.

You'll also have to pay for proprietary biometric software to handle the fingerprint data, which will set you back at least a couple of hundred thousand dollars, with ongoing annual support & maintenance at 10%-20% of your initial outlay.

I can set this up for you for an initial spend of around $32,000,000 for 10,000 customers, or $630,000,000,000 if you want to reach about 2/3 of the American public, more if you want to go global.

Oh, and add $500 for the home page itself.
posted by UbuRoivas at 8:22 PM on August 16, 2010 [3 favorites]


IANAWD but I did have the distinct personal displeasure of being a "go between" on a web team to bring my bosses' insane demands creative vision to a web project at work since I was one of the more technically-inclined people in an office populated mostly by technophobes.

One told me, "I want a link to a web page where people can give us a complaint so we can get it by email."

I interpreted this as: "I want users to be directed to a page where they can fill out a simple form that will be posted as an email to someone when they hit the "submit" button." This is the task I gave the web designer.

Web designer said, "Well, it's a little outside the scope, but mock something up for me with the fields you want and I will put the server side script together in a couple weeks when X, Y and Z are done, and we'll test it."

Me: "Thanks."

Three weeks later, Boss: "Where's that complaint link I wanted?"

I explain that the server script was a minor addition to the scope but should be done any day now.

Boss: "WHAT???? It takes three weeks to make a stupid LINK??"
posted by contessa at 8:27 PM on August 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'd love to see one of these done for the requests voters make of their representatives.

The Capitolist (Previously) used to include a lot of that sort of thing (mixed in with other frustrated Hill staffer stuff), but sadly it appears to be defunct. Even when it existed I was wary about posting too many goofy constituent stories on it because god forbid your boss in up in some blog shitstorm because his mean snarky staffers mock constituents on a website. Sometimes the temptation was too strong though: we got everything from, "My grandson got suspended from school; please make them take him back" to "I think the best way to keep illegal immigrants out is put alligator-filled moats on the border" to "Make the evil scientists stop beaming rays into my head."
posted by naoko at 8:31 PM on August 16, 2010


I once had a woman tell me she didn't read the instructions because "I thought they were just instructions"

I gave up that day.
posted by MrLint at 8:45 PM on August 16, 2010 [3 favorites]


Client: “We want every single upper case letter removed from the site and replaced with all lower case.”

Me: “Okay, that’s a lot of work. There are dozens, probably hundreds of instances of upper case letters on the site. Unfortunately, we’ll have to bill you for this.”


*{text-transform:lowercase;}

I'll send you an invoice.
posted by Hoenikker at 8:52 PM on August 16, 2010 [11 favorites]


I had my boss ask me to set up a function on the website so that customers could log in and see where the truck carrying their freight was.

I asked him what we were going to use on the trucks to generate location data.

"Oh, just have the internet locate the trucks, I'm not going to spend any money on this."

Headdesk.
posted by pjern at 9:10 PM on August 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


That fruit jice ad proposal has now been realized

Now with vegetables!
posted by Evilspork at 9:18 PM on August 16, 2010


Wait, this one's a completely legitimate concern raised by the individuals the site is trying to mock.

Really? Seriously? Please link to it, because so far I'm at least 8 pages in and haven't read a single legitimate concern.

I worked this beat for over 10 years or so, and I have to say, it's horrible. There are redeeming moments, yes, but overall it's really difficult and there just isn't any understanding among clients that this is actually work. They don't treat it seriously, because it's just pixels on a page.
posted by Deathalicious at 9:30 PM on August 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


I've been on both sides of this story and I don't think this site really gets to the core issues of client/designer problems. But I think web geeks have a natural advantage, they have the tech skills to whine about their clients online. I am almost tempted to put together a site so clients can gripe about bad designers and web geeks. Let me do one.

I'm working at a company setting up a web store. Our ISP is holding our domain hostage and won't give us the passwords, he won't let us maintain our own site, he has to do even the most miniscule changes. But he never returns our calls. He sets up a web store for us and (it's a long story) I finally finish it.

Client (me): Ok, we spent 2 months inputting data into our web store. We tested it and everything works. Put in the HTML redirect to make the site live now.

IT guy: No, I want to test it personally before it goes live. We'll set up a conference call and you can show me it works.

Client: We're doing this to sell a time sensitive product. We can't wait. If the site isn't up in 2 weeks, the sales opportunity will pass completely. Just make it live now.

IT guy: I insist on testing it first. It is my reputation on the line.

Client: No it isn't, it's our reputation on the line. We could be making sales right now if you'd just put in the HTML redirect to make the site live. It's ready.

IT guy: I insist.

A week later he finally sets up the conference call. We approve the site and insist it goes live now. He wants to do further testing, but we insist it goes live. Drop dead date is 6 days away. We should be online already. He reluctantly approves. But the next day, the site still isn't live. This really pisses me off, it's just one line of HTML redirect which I could do myself if he'd give us the passwords to our own damn site. But he's holding us hostage. We spend days emailing and phoning him to ask why the site isn't live yet. Finally, 1 day before the deadline, we get an email.

IT guy: I am waiting for your approval on the website. When will you be finished testing so it can go live?

Client: We gave approval 5 days ago. We wanted it online 5 days ago. Make the site live NOW. What part of NOW do you not understand?

The site goes live two days later, one day after our drop dead date. We weren't even in the Google index when the big single-day bonanza of orders hit.. someone else's web store. We didn't sell a single product, our competitors killed us.
posted by charlie don't surf at 9:34 PM on August 16, 2010 [3 favorites]


You know what's worse than a client that doesn't know what they want?

One that knows exactly what they want. Those are the ones who are nigh impossible to please.
posted by azpenguin at 9:35 PM on August 16, 2010 [3 favorites]


contessa: "Boss: "WHAT???? It takes three weeks to make a stupid LINK??""

Technically, "mailto:complaints@example.com" is a link. The alternative is maybe overengineered, but doesn't rely on people setting up email clients on their desktop.
posted by pwnguin at 9:36 PM on August 16, 2010


We didn't sell a single product, our competitors killed us.

That story veers way beyond mere incompetence, into the zone of arguable corruption.
posted by UbuRoivas at 10:06 PM on August 16, 2010


Ultimately, the service provider/client relationship is about being a good fit as it is about anything else. Sometimes personalities clash or do not mesh, which provides fodder for snotty websites linked to here. If you can't get your client to trust you enough to listen to you, or if you can't communicate easily with your client, it's time to move on. Hopefully this can be done early enough in a project so that no one is inconvenienced.
posted by KokuRyu at 10:17 PM on August 16, 2010


Our ISP is holding our domain hostage and won't give us the passwords, he won't let us maintain our own site, he has to do even the most miniscule changes. But he never returns our calls.

Why would you even consider a continued relationship with the developer at this point?
posted by Tenuki at 10:29 PM on August 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


Our ISP is holding our domain hostage and won't give us the passwords, he won't let us maintain our own site, he has to do even the most minuscule changes. But he never returns our calls.

What am I missing? Why didn't you just go with another ISP straight away?
posted by moody cow at 10:30 PM on August 16, 2010


Really? Seriously? Please link to it, because so far I'm at least 8 pages in and haven't read a single legitimate concern.

OK, how about this one:

"Please send me a reasonable estimate."
posted by Jaltcoh at 10:33 PM on August 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


You want to get a job done, scrap email and pick up the phone.

Because then you can totally deny every word you said, and every word I said. I learned early there are people with whom you need to document everything. Not that it will stop them from trying to rewrite history, but at least you won't find all of the egg on your face.
posted by Jimmy Havok at 10:35 PM on August 16, 2010 [6 favorites]


My gf used to handle the hard calls at an ISP. My favorite: "I know you people are bindling my email! Stop it!"
posted by Jimmy Havok at 10:41 PM on August 16, 2010


OK I've been thoroughly reading through the complaints now and I'll tell you one thing that this site is: it's the perfect URL to dump into any argument about how the unfettered free market is the perfect instrument for the setting of labour prices.
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 11:42 PM on August 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


"OK, how about this one: 'Please send me a reasonable estimate.'"

I interpreted it as: the designer sent a reasonable estimate, and the client responded with something like "ha, right. Now send me a reasonable one." Because many clients are notorious for wanting design on the cheap.

It's true that a little context would have helped, though.
posted by litlnemo at 12:54 AM on August 17, 2010


Designer's revenge

[By professional troll/humorist David Thorne - more of his stuff here]
posted by MuffinMan at 1:15 AM on August 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


What am I missing? Why didn't you just go with another ISP straight away?

Exactly. I proposed switching ISPs the day I discovered we were being held hostage, which was like Day 2 on the job. But the boss didn't go for it.

My job, as I saw it, was to sever toxic relationships with incompetent companies like this one. These vendors were used to doing things their way at their inflated prices. When I came along and obviously knew what I was doing, they knew their days were numbered. They pushed back to make it look like all their problems were my fault, like that message that he was waiting on my approval, when we gave approval a week earlier.

I am beginning to thing this was corruption, as another commenter suggested. Relationships with these toxic vendors were all established by my predecessor, the owner's sister-in-law. She must have been getting kickbacks. When you're new in a job and every single vendor is totally incompetent, and you keep going to the boss with plans to eliminate ALL his long-term suppliers, they begin to wonder if it's them or you that's the problem. This made the sister-in-law look bad, and she eventually collaborated with these vendors to get me fired.
posted by charlie don't surf at 5:53 AM on August 17, 2010


I just came in here to say that if you ever need to lowercase a website,

perl -pi -e 'tr/A-Z/a-z/' *.html

will pretty much do it for you. (I'm sure there's a perl one-liner to lowercase text in the image files too, but it's probly longer ...)


Now write me a script that will restore every bit of text back to sentence case once the client realizes his idea was fucking stupid to begin with. Which is what inevitably occurs.

It's not that the requests are all that difficult; it's that the universal truth tends to hold up: clients don't actually know what it is they want. And they create insane amounts of extra work because they don't know this.
posted by grubi at 6:07 AM on August 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


Methinks a lot of the commenters here protest too much, or are clients themselves. Sure, many of these might be fake, but few of them are outside the bounds of believability. Maybe you're right in that these stories seem, if not fake, then snide and elitist, but I'm sure that these are just 'money' quotes, that blastwave of dumb that throws you off balance for a split second before professional diplomacy returns and you have to say things like "That's... a little beyond the scope of what's available to us, perhaps we can consider blah blah blah..." Also, there's a unique frustration borne of that look/tone that people get, one that hears all of your reasons why not and demands for money and time for these things like a child not getting his/her way, and why can't you just stop talking about stuff I don't understand and just DO WHAT I WANT *whine*

Also, mechanics and doctors DO make fun of the dumb shit you (and I!) ask them about, however, since they are not in the trade of making websites, they generally do not make a website on which to do so.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 6:17 AM on August 17, 2010 [3 favorites]


Now write me a script that will restore every bit of text back to sentence case once the client realizes his idea was fucking stupid to begin with. Which is what inevitably occurs.

svn, git, hg, …

If you're not using source control you deserve exactly what you'll get.
posted by jacobian at 6:28 AM on August 17, 2010


If you're not using source control you deserve exactly what you'll get.

Thank you for not seeing my point.
posted by grubi at 6:30 AM on August 17, 2010


A true client from hell would route around the possibility of source control, or at least render it more difficult, by making a bunch of changes before asking for the text to be changed back.
posted by Artw at 6:44 AM on August 17, 2010


Now write me a script that will restore every bit of text back to sentence case...
/*
    *{text-transform:lowercase;}
*/

posted by nicepersonality at 7:16 AM on August 17, 2010 [5 favorites]


The thing with the fruits in the blender reminded me of the art of Greg Brown. (the example is the 2nd item on the linked page). I like his work, although some are rather dark.
posted by Goofyy at 7:16 AM on August 17, 2010


I was contacted to do a branding project for a client who sold fruit juice locally. He came to my office and presented me with a storyboard of how the introduction animation for his website should run: The first few slides show a banana, pineapple, peach and strawberry happily dancing and cheering as they walk around in circles. About three or four slides in, they all jump into a working blender and their juices splatter all over the screen. The last slide is just their logo slowly fading in. He was dead serious.

This has been done. And probably before then too.
posted by mippy at 7:23 AM on August 17, 2010


These are as fake as those "real true embarrassing moments that are totally not made up" stories they run in women's magazines.

"...and then the client, who is soooo cute and I've had a crush on since I was 11, asked me, 'Can you make this page look more like...Geocities.' OMG. Crush. Over. The worst part was I realized my tampon string was hanging out the bottom of my totally cute (and white, omg) miniskirt the whole time!!"
posted by kkokkodalk at 8:36 AM on August 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


This, I don't find funny at all:

Client: “Can you quote me for a three page site?”

Me: “Sure. What are the three pages?”

Client: “Home, Contact, and Login.”


By adding login functionality, it's not really a 3 page site anymore; you'd have to build the backend, which can be a significant time-sink.
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 8:37 AM on August 17, 2010


By adding login functionality, it's not really a 3 page site anymore; you'd have to build the backend, which can be a significant time-sink.

See above.

I understand the problem; I just don't think it's clear enough to be funny.
posted by Jaltcoh at 9:25 AM on August 17, 2010


I am so totally with them on this one. You want to get a job done, scrap email and pick up the phone.

Leading to the famous client denials: "When did I say that? When? Prove it!"
posted by Mo Nickels at 11:19 AM on August 17, 2010 [4 favorites]


man, even I can do this and the last thing I designed was an ascii cake for a friend's birthday

I assume the problem was that all the text in logos and image elements also had to be changed. That's considerably less trivial than just doing a global "lowercase all text".
posted by ymgve at 11:52 AM on August 17, 2010


charlie don't surf: "

I'm working at a company setting up a web store. Our ISP is holding our domain hostage and won't give us the passwords, he won't let us maintain our own site, he has to do even the most miniscule changes. But he never returns our calls. He sets up a web store for us and (it's a long story) I finally finish it.

...

The site goes live two days later, one day after our drop dead date. We weren't even in the Google index when the big single-day bonanza of orders hit.. someone else's web store. We didn't sell a single product, our competitors killed us.
"

At week 2; when it was clear that this bozo was actually hindering your business, why wasn't he being sued for holding your business processes up?
posted by NiteMayr at 12:20 PM on August 17, 2010


The css text transform would probably work pretty happily across all the browsers people actually use these days. I remember the days when that very much wasn't the case...
posted by Artw at 12:22 PM on August 17, 2010


Leading to the famous client denials: "When did I say that? When? Prove it!"

This has happened to me, and I don't even have a design job. It's especially bad because I explained to the person that the form would be very confusing as she was describing it, but she insisted I sink the hours into doing it anyway (and is high enough above my pay grade for that to stick.) Now she denies she ever wanted it that way, wants it changed to a different format (the one I suggested to her as a counter initially), and doesn't understand why it's not "the way she wanted."

The problem isn't clients who don't know about design, or clients who are picky. The problem is clients who insist they know better, even though they can't do _____ work and are seeking the help of a professional. Clients who cannot reconcile themselves to the idea that they might not Know Best at all times and in all situations; clients who are only listening to themselves. Clients who lack the self-perspective to even consider that they might be an obstacle rather than a panacea, and assign all blame to others. All the communication in the world isn't going to bring them around, they're not listening.
posted by Phyltre at 12:28 PM on August 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


Yeah, that sort of thing can get expensive real fast - and generally not for the client.
posted by Artw at 12:32 PM on August 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


In lowercasing the text on the website, I'd imagine that text rendered into images isn't as big a deal as text that's in the database. You'd have to write a script to go in and grab each data element and transform it. That'd be a pain in the butt, and wouldn't be tremendously compatible with version control.

Therefore, I'd go with the css text transform.
posted by Galaxor Nebulon at 1:01 PM on August 17, 2010


The problem is clients [...] who cannot reconcile themselves to the idea that they might not Know Best at all times and in all situations

The problem is Dunning-Kruger.
posted by MuffinMan at 2:09 PM on August 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


With this one, I suspect the person who said it was originally trying to be funny:

"The problem with you college students is that you always expect to get paid for the work that you do."


I don't. I've heard plenty variants on that "joke" in my time, and they're never, ever funny. It's why I implemented Fuck You Pricing. You want me to do what, exactly? Ok, that'll be [z]. (where z = x times y, with x = regular price and y = anything from 2 to 5 depending on how atrocious I know the client will behave based on past behavior). Clients who have no definable Y factor get told I can't possibly fit them in, my schedule is booked. Clients without Y are the spawn of Satan, as a general rule.

My personal favorite Satan-spawn was a client I'd taken on for a friend while said friend was on maternity leave. I was on the phone with one of my own clients. Satan-spawn called me and didn't get an immediate response, so proceeded to call back every 30 seconds for 5 minutes. I even sent her an email in the middle saying "I'm sorry, I'm on the line with another client, I'll call you as soon as this call ends," and she KEPT CALLING. Unless the earth is about to rocket into the sun without my direct intervention, that is not acceptable behavior! (Note: the earth wasn't about to rocket into the sun, nor was the problem at hand anywhere close to critical).

Yes, some of Clients from Hell comes off as LOLClient, but damn, sometimes you gotta vent about these people because it's that or a bottle of Xanax washed down with gin.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 2:11 PM on August 17, 2010 [9 favorites]


I assume the problem was that all the text in logos and image elements also had to be changed. That's considerably less trivial than just doing a global "lowercase all text".

But the punchline is the client's request to lowercase user input as well, implying that the designer believes this so unrealistic as to be laughable. Unless the users are uploading images of text as well, that part is what made me frown.
posted by rollick at 2:48 PM on August 17, 2010


The problem is Dunning-Kruger.
Dunning-Kruger doesn't say that people who're bad at something think they are as good as pros, it simply says that they rate their skills higher than they really are.

Eg, if I decided to have a go at neurosurgery, I might pop open the cranium and get to work, and afterwards think I hadn't done that terrible a job, and patients die on the table all the time, after all. But I'd still be aware that actual doctors were better at it than me. Dunning-Kruger doesn't say I'd think I was as good as them.

The real problem is that too many people don't treat design as something needing skill and training as surgery does, they treat it as something that anyone can do, if only they have Photoshop and a bit of common sense. Hell, doesn't my cousin's son have Photoshop?

When you don't acknowledge that there is expertise and skill in a field, you're more likely to insist on your own opinion, and be more reluctant to accept that it's wrong.
posted by bonaldi at 5:55 PM on August 17, 2010


It's not that it is impossible to change user input to lower case that's laughable, it's that users will either assume

(1) you don't know what you're doing and have a broken site that changes what they wrote

(2) you do know what you're doing and hate the fact that you think it's a good thing to change what they wrote

You won't win.
posted by ifandonlyif at 6:00 PM on August 17, 2010


At week 2; when it was clear that this bozo was actually hindering your business, why wasn't he being sued for holding your business processes up?

There are several reasons.
1. It is hard to prove actual damages for potential sales not made.
2. The ISP guy could kill our ongoing business by shutting down our existing online functions before we had a replacement.
3. The ISP guy was drinking buddies with my alcoholic boss.

Take your pick. I had a full plan to move all our services over to Rackspace.com, and a detailed presentation to describe my transition plan. On the day I was scheduled to present it, my meeting was changed to an exit interview.
posted by charlie don't surf at 7:59 PM on August 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


2. The ISP guy could kill our ongoing business by shutting down our existing online functions before we had a replacement.

Guys like this are where I get most of my clients from. Passive/agressive shitheads who resell hosting or pressure their clients into buying into their shared hosting account. I understand the draws of that (passive income, easy cash etc.) but it has always seemed so slimy.
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 9:38 PM on August 17, 2010


Well, that's just stupid. Instead of the smug insider-jokeyness of "That's a little too advanced" why not just say it as it is?

"I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question."
posted by prak at 3:39 AM on August 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


Dunning-Kruger doesn't say that people who're bad at something think they are as good as pros, it simply says that they rate their skills higher than they really are.

I know. And in this instance, because the client underrates the skill involved in design, becasue they don't understand design, they overrate their ability to do it.

Dunning-Kruger basically boils down to "the less you know about x, the less likely you are to know you know nothing about x, and therefore you overrate yourself."
posted by MuffinMan at 8:20 AM on August 18, 2010


charlie don't surf: "At week 2; when it was clear that this bozo was actually hindering your business, why wasn't he being sued for holding your business processes up?

There are several reasons.
1. It is hard to prove actual damages for potential sales not made.
2. The ISP guy could kill our ongoing business by shutting down our existing online functions before we had a replacement.
3. The ISP guy was drinking buddies with my alcoholic boss.

Take your pick. I had a full plan to move all our services over to Rackspace.com, and a detailed presentation to describe my transition plan. On the day I was scheduled to present it, my meeting was changed to an exit interview.
"

Sorry 'Charlie. Sounds like point 3 bit you in the ass there. Did it work out okay in the end? (for you)
posted by NiteMayr at 8:37 AM on August 31, 2010


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