‘cept I have WAY better hair than The Donald.
This post is long. I’m warning you. I’m also showing you a picture of my gorgeous hair and me, sans bra behind the cut to make up for the length of this post.
Seriously. That’s after laying around on the couch and feeling like shit and letting it air-dry. You can imagine how amazing it is when I actually take the time to DO it. [editor’s note: I almost never actually DO my hair.]
Anyway, you’re supposed to be calling me The Donald because I totally pwnd his tagline recently with a client:
Let me paint the picture for you… Let’s go back, waaaay back to the summer of 2009. I often get walk-in clients who, either from the signage on the front of the shop or from word of mouth, will walk in and want to sit down and discuss a design project with me. Nine times out of ten, I am able to take ten minutes and briefly go over their needs and quote them a price for a job.
Towards the end of last summer, one of the WORST summers yet for our family-owned print shop, I had one such client stroll into the shop, late in the afternoon. We’ll call him Nick.
Nick had an unusual profession — a Hindu Christian Gospel Singer. Seriously, I know. I was like, “They have that? America rocks.” He had, what sounded like a very simple job. Using an existing flyer from a previous concert of his, edit the date and location to use for a new concert upcoming.
It’s my personal policy that I don’t mess with other designer’s work — even if it’s just to make minor text-based changes. As a designer, I wouldn’t appreciate it, so it’s not something I do. If you want to bring me some previous work with another designer to illustrate your personal tastes, I can use that as a creative starting point.
I explained this to him, he agreed and even commended my integrity. Oh, well thanks, Nick. “I’d like you to use these flyers and come up with a new design. I trust you. You look creative.” Um… What? “Go ahead and do 80% of the work and I’ll come back and sit with you for the last 20% of the work. I can show you how I like for things to be designed.” Erm, nope. Sorry homie.
We ended up having a back and forth dialog for about fifteen minutes about how he could never find a graphic designer who fit his needs. How he’s been working with graphic designers for thirty years. How he has photoshop and he’s had it for ten years. (How old, exactly, is Photoshop? I didn’t realize there was an edition that was ten years old. And if there is, dude. UPGRADE ALREADY.)
I should have dismissed him right then, right there. But I was SO hungry for design work. All of my regular clients had halted all print advertising just to keep their businesses afloat. All of the ancillary small business that pad my check with basic business card designs were nowhere to be found. I really wanted this man’s money.
So I took the job. And it was PAINFUL. I would send him a proof and he would reply with his notes. I’d read the email, go back to the file, and begin some more editing. Then, I’d go to send him the proof again, literally fifteen minutes later, and I would have two other emails from him with more changes. ARGH. So frustrating.
I was a lot more timid last summer. I didn’t correct him, I didn’t charge him for all of the additional edits. I should have — I know this now — but I didn’t.
All in all, it was a ridiculous project. He ended up paying for two and a half hours of graphic design services (though he got more than three) and only printed six copies of his flyer.
Hoo.ray. I felt like I learned a lot with this experience, namely how to punch myself in the cunt.
So, let’s flash forward a few months. My second interaction with Nick was a week before the Christmas rush of shipping packages. The shop that my family owns is one of those shipping/printing/do it all stores and all of my clients know that after December 10th, I’m out of commission until the first of the year. Period.
Nick strolls in on December 15th wanting me to use his previous flyer to create an advertisement for a calendar that was set to go to print on December 20th. NICE.
Again, I really needed the money. I milked it, and made a pretty decent chunk of change off this joker, again. It was a serious blur though – I don’t really remember much about our interaction this time, but I do remember that I charged him more realistically this time.
Last month, I got an email from Nick. The next week of my life would prove to be my breaking point.
Initially, he called. Said he had a quick project. Asked me to do the same thing he asked me to do last summer. I declined, explaining why I don’t fuck with other designer’s shit. Let him know that if he wants me to use the existing file that I made for him, I can make whatever changes he wants. (Keep in mind, the files he wanted me to use to edit were SHITTY, horrible. Just aesthetically ridiculous and built in photoshop which meant raster-based and fucking shitty).
He said it was just a few minor changes. Please, he’d love to sit down with me and go over the design. I told him that if he’d like to sit down with me and have a consult, he’d be welcome to but that I’d be charging him my hourly rate.
Oh, no, no, no. It’s not that big of a deal!
Back and forth for three days. I want you to do this, I want you to do that. I nearly lost my shit then. Keep in mind, I can’t quote him on the job yet because he keeps coming back with more edits.
Between the phone calls and the emails, I’m at maximum communication capacity. So finally, I’m like, “Listen Nick, you can do this your way or my way. Your way will involve you finding a new graphic designer. My way involves you creating one master list of all the changes and edits you want me to make. When I get that list from you, I’ll give you a quote. Swing by, pay the deposit, and I’ll get started and have it ready ASAP.”
So he FINALLY decides to play my way.
And this is what my inbox looks like:
Notice how I was trying to hang with him on the replies… I was getting every second or third email and then, by Tuesday evening/Wednesday morning, I really found my feet and was able to reply to them all.
On Wednesday, I started to feel sick. I thought I had strep again, and I wasn’t messing around this time. By Wednesday night, after dinner, I was feverish, clammy, and panicking a little. I had called the Dr earlier on Wednesday, but wasn’t able to get in to see my doctor until 4pm. I called into work and spent the whole day in bed, shivering under the covers and pouring sweat.
I’m so hot.
I called my boss/dad to tell him the news. Rapid strep test came back negative, I’d be at work tomorrow because I have lots to finish and do, but I’m going to feel like crap. He lets me know that Nick called today and was rude.
Apparently, Nick called at 12:30 asking about the consultation appointment we were supposed to have at 12:00. Um, Nick? We didn’t have an appointment. You didn’t want to pay for the consult.
At this point, I’m sick. I’m cranky. I’m irritated. And I realize, I’m done.
So I send this cordial email to Nick:
I was told that you called the shop today at 12:30, upset. I apologize for not following up with you regarding the appointment that we did not confirm for today.
It has become clear that we are not a good fit.
Please take this opportunity to find a different graphic designer.
Please feel free to pick up your discs anytime.
He replies with:
I did not say anything upset or feel about what happened to you yesterday, Because it can happen to anyone. So you should not think in that manner and I was not upset with you at all. Because we are all human and to get sick is quite natural. Take it easy. I am still fine with you. You can go ahead with the work. I have no problem working with you. So let me know when you are done.
Isn’t it sweet? He is fine with me.
It’s more than just yesterday. I just don’t feel like we’re a good fit. Good luck to you,
I am trying DESPERATLY to keep it short and sweet. What I’d like to say to him is that he’s the most impossible client I’ve ever had and that working with him sounds like about as much fun as scraping a cheese grater across my labia.
why do you feel that way? Because I don’t see you in that way, and I see you are a good fit. Someone, must have given you the wrong message or twisted the actual situation. If I had anything against you, I would have just walked away without even dropping the cd’s. All I asked yesterday over the phone is Jami avail and a lady answered ( I am not sure if she is related to u or not) that Jami is sick and she will not be in today. I mentioned that I had an appt to see whether you might have forgot and then she said she won’t be back today. That was all the phone talk. So I don’t know what happened?
So feel free to talk to me and I assure again that I have no problem working with you. You are right fit and we do in getting this job done. So don’t take it that way. If I had caused anything to hurt your feelings my apolozies to you.
See I have cleared out the negative energy here and also I have extended it with my apology. Hope everything is clear now. So let me know when can this work be done? Thanks.
I quit replying after this email. And really, this entire post has been leading up to this point. I’m sorry, I know. It’s been terribly long-winded. I’m high on Albuterol right now and I’m finding it makes me verbose. Kill me — a blogger that talks to much. THE HORROR!
Anyway, this was his final email to me and I nearly fell out of my chair laughing:
Okay then it is fine. People usually get upset but I have no hard feelings to you whatsover.
Let me tell you the reason why I did not get upset. This is my personal testimony. I am a born again Christian and also God’s anointed man by birth. From my childhood, I had got lot of challenges like this from different people for no reason and it still happens. The ONLY REASON is just because I am in Lord’s ministry. I not only serve Jesus by singing but also preach the Word of God with anointing. It is NOT the people but satan tries to block and hinder the good works of the Lord’s people. Any person who is gifted with anointment from the Lord that person is satan’s special target. There are only very few anointed people in the world.
On Wednesday evening, I felt the spirit of the Lord telling me that something surprise will happen NOT to finalize the flyer. Also, when I walked into the store to drop the cds I felt that but I did not want to jump into any conclusions. So I kept quiet to see what will be the outcome. Don’t get me wrong, God has given me the special gift of the discernment of heart. I can feel and see other people how they view me and think about me. No matter how much they try to hide it from me and give me a NICE SMILE I can feel it. Lot of people under estimate me by my accent, looks or the way I am. But they don’t know that I am an anointed man of God. Only real Christian people will understand it and they had mentioned it to me .
All I am trying to say is that I am not upset for what has happened and I don’t take it personal. Hope you got the spiritual aspect of what I was trying to say. Take it easy. God Bless You!
It took all the professional strength I’ve got in my body to not reply with, “But Nick… You did know I’m Agnostic right? So maybe, what the good Lord is trying to tell you is that I’m part she-devil and you shouldn’t work with me anyway.
Satan told me to aim for your temples.