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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?

  • #2
    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.

    Comment


    • #3
      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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      • #4
        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.
        Learn by teaching
        Take responsibility for learning

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        • #5
          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!"

          Comment


          • #6
            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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            • #7
              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.

              Comment


              • #8
                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.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Unfriendly demanding client with zero personli

                  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.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    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.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Unfriendly demanding client with zero personal

                      Originally posted by shift studio View Post
                      why is everyone making excuses for this a$$hole! He sounds like an "Unfriendly demanding client with zero personality"

                      --Shift Studio.
                      Sometimes it's good to give people the benefit of doubt when it comes to remote communication.

                      Person #1 complains about person #2, and who knows, Person #2 may feel the same way about person #1.

                      Best thing to do in any relationship is to tactfully mention your concerns. If they come back like a jerk then your complaints are more than justified.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Unfriendly demanding client with zero personal

                        I'm guessing that some are familiar with this site, http://clientsfromhell.net but I was just informed of it. Puts problems like the one mentioned here into a certain perspective. You don't know either to laugh or cry or spit.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Unfriendly demanding client with zero personal

                          Here you go - a client to avoid. I'd like to do one of these for retouchers. Don't view if you're offended by strong language !

                          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VfprIxNfCjk

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Unfriendly demanding client with zero personal

                            Originally posted by Repairman View Post
                            Here you go - a client to avoid. I'd like to do one of these for retouchers. Don't view if you're offended by strong language !
                            There's a simpler way. Just grow a beard. Then everyone will look up to you.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Unfriendly demanding client with zero personal

                              Originally posted by FCP View Post
                              Hey
                              Any thought on how to handle this?
                              If he pays you, just ignore it! ;-) I have clients much like that.

                              Comment

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