The (bad) client manifesto or how (not) to engage the services of a designer / developer.

The following is for the vast majority of good clients who don’t do all these things but occasionally do some of these things. And just so that you know that we know what you’re doing, and that if you find yourself doing these things, and you are a good client, then you should JUST STOP IT.

1. Start by saying it’s a small job that shouldn’t take long.

2. Undermine the level of skill and experience of the person you’re trying to hire by saying your niece’s cat could do it. But Tiddles is unavailable because it’s winter and she’s currently napping 23 hours a day.

3. Slip in that you need it urgently. It’s always for some meeting / demo / launch, and for some reason it’s always in 3 weeks.

4. Mention that you don’t have a big budget. But that there’ll definitely be more work coming.

5. Negate any suggestion that the the job can’t be done given the lack of time and budget by mentioning some thing you’ll do (or get someone else to do) that will help speed things up. But it won’t and you have no intention of actually doing it.

6. While the work is in progress, fail to meet all deadlines on deliverables and feedback. But ask for more things. And do it in lots of separate emails. That don’t make sense. And expect an immediate reply to all of them. And if you don’t get it, call, text or IM to ask if your email was received. Oh and ask for lots of progress meetings to discuss how important the job is and to ask for more things. And don’t have any understanding of how you not meeting deadlines and asking for more things and taking up the designers time pushes the timeline out. Still expect the designer to meet the original deadlines. Actually, call them a day or two earlier to ask how things are coming along and if they might be ready yet.

7. When the work is presented and it’s not perfect, act as if you spared no expense. Suffer complete amnesia about warnings you were given about the insufficient time and budget, and demand a Ferrari when you’re paying for a Fiat. This despite the fact that the work is actually damn close to Ferrari standard because despite the time and budget, the designer has high standards and couldn’t present an inferior product.

8. Oh, and then phaff about with paying the bill until you get a letter of demand. And then make some casual remark that you somehow missed all 47 emails, texts and voicemails politely requesting payment.

Rinse and repeat. But say it won’t be like last time. IT WILL.

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