Ainslie Paton romance author

Clients From Hell

I have clients.  They can be … interesting.  Fortunately there is Clients from Hell

Here are some snippets:

clients frm hell

“The grey banner is too wide vertically.”


I live in Europe, but I work as a contractor for a client in America.

CLIENT: I have been reviewing your hours, and you working in your evening time is unacceptable.

ME: We discussed that shifting my hours to the evening would make it so that more of my hours would overlap with your hours.

CLIENT: I just don’t see how you could do your best work in the evening.

ME: Well, what hours would work best for you?

CLIENT: You need to work core business hours for your timezone. Early mornings are necessary for system upgrades and maintenance. You also need to be available to take calls from me and other clients in the afternoons and evenings, and possibly at night. There are also a few holes in the weekend and afternoon scheduling that could use your attention.

ME: You just asked me to work 24/7 – in addition to evenings.


Can’t tell you how often this one happens:

CLIENT: Are you available to meet Tuesday or Wednesday morning?

ME: Yes, either morning is fine.

CLIENT: Wonderful, how about Tuesday at 3pm?


An illustration brief included lengthy and detailed instructions which we were expected to follow “precisely and to the letter.”

 We were asked to depict a boy with “a hand over his mouth (covering a cough), one hand holding a bag, and one hand holding a guitar case.”

The temptation to produce the three-armed monstrosity precisely requested was overwhelming.


“We should email our customers with a survey asking if they have the internet.”

CLIENT: Listen you f***ers – our website is all fuzzy. I don’t know what you’ve done but it is totally f***ing fuzzy.

ME: I think you might have problems with your internet connection. What you’re seeing is some of the images progressively downloading and –

CLIENT: Don’t give me any of that nerdy numpty nancy boy mumbo jumbo. All the pictures look like shit. If you don’t believe me go on the site and you’ll f***ing see.

ME: No, you’re confused – you see, if the images…

CLIENT: Listen f***er, I’ve got better things to do than…

A long, long pause follows.

CLIENT: …Oh wait, you’ve fixed it.

clients frm hell 2

CLIENT:  Can I edit the content of design?

ME: Sure, if you have Illustrator or InDesign. The file format will match those programs.

CLIENT: I assume PowerPoint will work as well? I know everything there is to know about that program.

*Editor’s Note: Except applicable file types


I was listening to the client thoughts on a few finalized TV spots via a conference call. The scripts were approved a month earlier and a member of the client’s staff was on-set during the shoot.

CLIENT: I don’t know. I don’t really want to bring this up…

ME: What?

CLIENT: Well, there’s just something about two guys standing at a bank counter…

ME: What?


ME: Two guys standing at a bank counter seems gay to you?


ME: I don’t see that.

CLIENT: Well [as if this is a perfectly logical statement] you’re from the city, though. We’re from a smaller town. Of course you don’t see that.


ME: I can’t use the photos you put into the word doc for your website. I need the original JPEGs

CLIENT: I don’t understand. How did people put pictures on websites before computers and Internet?

Editor’s Note: I… what?

I’m part of a team that developed an iPad app for our client. When it came to testing, we had a meeting with the client where he tested the app while we watched. The navigation of the app involved sliding across the screen to move between content. After some rigorous testing, the client gave his approval and everyone left the meeting happy. Minutes later, we get a panicked call from the client.

CLIENT: I got back to my office and the main display looks all blurry and wrong now.

Still in the building, I went to see what the issue was.

CLIENT: Look, this is unacceptable. I was all ready to go live, and mistakes like this are wasting what little time we have.

Luckily, I understood the problem immediately, and quickly wiped the smudges caused by his fingers swiping on the screen.

CLIENT: Oh… my mistake.

9 Responses to “Clients From Hell

  • This is too funny…I have lived through a few of this type of situations in the past…when I was still working. Now I don’t have to worry about clients from hell!!! (Suzanne)

  • Yes, yes, yes… I can relate!

    • If you’ve never visited that site – it’s hysterical. Save it for a day when you need sore sides from laughing

  • Reading these, two things happened: My respect for your ability went way up…(that would be the ability NOT to choke them till what little brains they have ooze out their ears.) AND I see why you put up with me…I’m a breath of fresh air by comparison!

    Another stellar post!

    • The stories I could tell.. except I don’t write horror – or speculative fiction or urban dystopia – but maybe I should!

  • Hell to the yes! My boss, all the way!

    • Oh gawd! If you’ve never been to Clients from Hell – it’s such a laugh – in a kind of – hmm that hurts way

      • Have bookmarked it and will read at my leisure. Thanks for the laughs!

Hello, what are you thinking?

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