Clients From Hell is a hilarious compilation of terrible real-life experiences freelancers have had with their clients. BuzzFeed spoke to Bryce Bladon, the man behind the site, to find out more.
Bladon said that although he’s had relatively limited contact with his own clients from hell, they’re people most freelancers will have encountered:
Anyone who spends a substantial portion of their professional career freelancing will run into them. The variable is how many, how often, and how far you’re willing to work with them. It’s worth noting that it’s not just freelancers who have to deal with bad clients; be it retail workers and crummy customers, or servers and frustrating patrons, crappy clientele is an aspect of work that’s almost unavoidable.
A whole range of professions have used the site to air their frustrations with difficult clients. Bladon:
It was initially designer-based, but it quickly bloomed into other creative professions (e.g. copywriting, photography, etc). Digitally based work and IT are other big sources. We’ve always had a wide range of submitters, though. Fast-food workers, plumbers – all sorts submit.
He singled out designers as having the most difficult time communicating with their clients:
It’s a relatively ethereal profession, in terms of defining and communicating its worth (and your expertise in it) to clients. There are rules, but those rules can be broken by the best. As a result, it’s misunderstood, and a lot of clients assume their own expertise in it.
To avoid being a Client From Hell, Bladon has these rules to live by:
There are two reasons a client hires someone: Either they don’t have the time, or they don’t have the talent. They need to appreciate that. Don’t waste your time breathing down the person’s neck if you’ve properly vetted them; that wastes everyone’s time. Likewise, don’t shy away from trying to understand some of their decisions – this person you’ve hired is there to meet your specific and unique needs, so you need to appreciate how. You also need to appreciate that they’re almost definitely better at what they do for a living than you are.