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Unfriendly demanding client with zero personality

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  #1  
Old 04-03-2014, 08:30 AM
FCP FCP is offline
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Unfriendly demanding client with zero personality

Hey

I have this client, who happens to be my biggest client, who has been rubbing me the wrong way.

When he calls he's very monotone and he doesn't say goodbye. We all have experienced people like that. He just says ok and hangs up. It's so annoying to me. No thank you, no good bye have a good day. He just hangs up.

He never says please or thank you in his emails regarding work either. He often request things to be done quickly only he puts it as 'I need this a.s.a.p!" The a.s.a.p thing with the explanation point is getting very frustrating.

He seems like a decent guy. I don't think he means anything by how he acts. Maybe he doesn't realize it. I just find him to be rude and often unrealistic about his expectations. There are other problems with this client and the way he acts just makes them worse. I just want to tell him stop with the explanation points, say thank you and please once in a while, and don't expect me to cater to you like I'm your employee. I am not sitting at my desk waiting for you.

I am not trying to stroke my own ego here. It's just rude and it's getting to me. Particularly that there are other problems.

Any thought on how to handle this?
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Old 04-03-2014, 01:00 PM
dkcoats dkcoats is offline
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Re: Unfriendly demanding client with zero personli

When I was in the biz (we're talking the seventies here) I had a client - my biggest - with whom I got along well enough on the set but who had some objectionable habits. Like booking a half day and showing up with a day's worth of work - and expecting to pay for half a day. Stuff like that.

On one occasion he crossed off the invoice total on my bill, wrote in what he wanted to pay, and sent a check. I called him and more or less demanded payment for the original amount. We met for lunch to hash it out. He gave me a choice - he'd pay the bill or I could keep working for him. I told him to pay it.

Luckily I had recently picked up a new client who would become way bigger than this schmuck ever was. Over time he alienated about every photographer worth the name in town.

Moral of the story - life's too short to waste it dealing with assholes.
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Old 04-03-2014, 01:35 PM
Flashtones Flashtones is offline
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Re: Unfriendly demanding client with zero personli

I don't have any advice, and I do commiserate. Seems like some few small acts of courtesy on his part could go a long way.

I have one client who is actually quite a gentleman, unless he's stressed; then he can be a bulldozer. I have a bit of a short fuse myself, and I've had to manage my responses. But I used to work there on-site, and now I service them from home. The communications can still irk me at times, but I manage my emotions and accept the occasional upset is a small price to pay for being able to service a good chunk of my business in my pajamas with morning hair. A privilege you too may share. To me the good far outweighs the bad.

Sounds like you could use an app that someone should invent, if it doesn't already exist, that puts pleasant headers and footers in front of and following all this persons emails. Inserting "Greetings my most beloved of providers" and "Warm thanks for your quality service" might go a long way to ameliorating your pain, even if this person isn't actually saying it.

Just part of the mental games we play to survive in a cut throat world...
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Old 04-03-2014, 02:16 PM
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Doug Nelson Doug Nelson is offline
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Re: Unfriendly demanding client with zero personli

Speaking as someone who has been told he lacks social skills, you might want to cut them some slack. Some people can't carry a tune, some people can't draw, and some can't have a conversation without ruffling feathers.

And speaking as a small business owner, I was well-aware that I had some customers simply because I was willing to put up with them and the competition wouldn't.
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Old 04-03-2014, 02:47 PM
Flashtones Flashtones is offline
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Re: Unfriendly demanding client with zero personli

And sometimes people are oblivious and might even appreciate a little wake-up call.

You could ask:

You: "Btw, are you unhappy with me or my service?"

Him: "No, not really; why do you ask?"

You: "Well you never say hello or ask how I am or say thank you, etc. Just makes me wonder sometimes if you're feeling hostile towards me?"

Him: "Not at all, that's just my style. I'll try to do better though."

You: "No problem, good to know. Thank you!"
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Old 04-04-2014, 12:33 PM
Shoku Shoku is offline
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Re: Unfriendly demanding client with zero personal

Some people are focused on too many things at once, which might be the reason for his lack of phone etiquette.

Regarding his email: many people have not been trained in proper email etiquette - there are very specific rules to composing good business communication. Someone who is genuinely a nice person can come across like a steamroller in email and not realize it.
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Old 04-08-2014, 10:36 PM
eraanexact eraanexact is offline
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Re: Unfriendly demanding client with zero personal

He might be of the mindset that his check to you is thanks enough. If he pays on time and brings work often, then maybe it's not so bad. I think we all have clients we'd rather work with than others.
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Old 04-09-2014, 02:16 AM
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shift studio shift studio is offline
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Re: Unfriendly demanding client with zero personal

why is everyone making excuses for this a$$hole! He sounds like an "Unfriendly demanding client with zero personality"

--Shift Studio.
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  #9  
Old 04-09-2014, 06:49 AM
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Benny Profane Benny Profane is offline
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Re: Unfriendly demanding client with zero personli

Quote:
Originally Posted by dkcoats View Post

Moral of the story - life's too short to waste it dealing with assholes.
Yup. Should be a plaque on my desk. Facing out.
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  #10  
Old 04-09-2014, 06:03 PM
klev klev is offline
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Re: Unfriendly demanding client with zero personal

Rudeness never bothered me. I've been accused of being rude on enough occasions, so perhaps I just accept it in others. Usually when it comes to unquantified things like asap, I ask for an actual timeline. It makes little sense to hold work back if it's completed, so every deadline includes an implicit "as soon as possible". It's just that having only that provides little information about the hard deadlines of the project and whether I should expect after - hours communication to facilitate its completion.
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