My expanding foray into web-development is starting to make my head hurt. On tomorrow morning’s schedule is a meeting to “reassess and discuss”… good grief! Even before the shit has properly hit the fan, I can tell this project has all the momentum of a turd headed straight down the toilet. I really should have taken better note of those warning sings! Namely:
- When a client sends over a poorly-prepared, incongruent, and disorganized folder of material, accompanied with an email stating that the product model names/numbers “are probably going to change… we can call them anything.” Um, am I laying-out a website, or completely re-branding your company?
- The client says, “Do whatever you want with the material; I don’t care.” Yes, your level of care and concern is obvious.
- The client requests a non-disclosure agreement; okay, no problem… but can you send me one that doesn’t still have “Fill In Blank Here” still appended all over it?
- The client shows me several $20k+ websites he’d like to emulate, then provides me with a handful of embedded 400px images with which to build an immersive landing page. Are you kidding me?
The greatest facepalm aspect of the whole deal is this: the client is a decent guy, a partner of a great source of referrals, and insisted on paying up-front (which I clumsily failed to refuse). Now, I feel like I owe this poor guy something… like a chef who has been pre-paid to create some grand feast from customer-supplied ingredients, only to find the kitchen stocked with nothing but crusty mayonnaise and freezer-burnt fish-sticks, while hungry guests mutter and fidget with their silverware in the dining-room through the door.
Meanwhile… I have these other dream clients, who come to me with clear vision, organized quality content, and great enthusiasm for close collaboration. Like Julia Child inviting you over to whip up some Coq au Vin with friends.