Taking Things Personally…

All. Of. The. Time.

If I’ve worked with a client over the course of several months, developed a good working relationship with them, and delivered a solid website for their business, if then something goes wrong with that website or if it goes offline for some reason, I always take it personally. Even if it’s not my fault (and it rarely is) I’ll take it upon myself to feel the guilt and the pain associated with this.

The knock on effect? Well, for starters: stress. Another symptom is that I’ll often work “out of hours” to get something fixed (even if I’m not expected to). I don’t believe in a typical 9am-5pm, Monday through Friday working week anyway, so this doesn’t bother me too much.

On the upside, for the client at least, it also means I never say “it’s not my problem.” It’s always my problem. I make it my problem, even if it isn’t. Yes, this is very draining. But clients usually appreciate it, so that makes it feel a little more worthwhile. I don’t do it wholly for them, though. For me, it just seems like the thing I should do; a professional responsibility if you will.

Sometimes I am the only one on a project that can really deal with a particular issue, through no fault of those who I work with. That’s the drawback of having been exposed to a decade’s worth of web technology and a brain that thrives on problem solving (when it can be bothered).

But when I reflect on what I do give to clients, I feel like they wouldn’t get that kind of service anywhere else. What large company would be sending real-time SMS updates to the MD of a client about the status of some glitches on their website in an evening or over a weekend as they’re working on it? I doubt many would even be working on it in the first place.

Anyway, this is a little snapshot of what goes on in my head. I don’t wish to put myself above others, far from it. I’m proud of what I do (most of the time), even if I don’t really know how I arrived at doing what I do.

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