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Pat Dryburgh

I was recently pointed to a hilarious new site, Clients From Hell. Last week was a particularly rough week personally, with some clients at work making some incredibly difficult demands. Finding this site gave me a great sense of relief, knowing that I wasn’t alone in what I was dealing with.

As I’ve been reading some of the recent posts (this site is easily the most updated blog I subscribe to), I’ve started to worry a little about what I was reading.

First, while many of the tales are quite humorous, some contain quite a bit of cynicism aimed towards the client. While this often results in a funny post, I wonder how that type of attitude begins to manifest itself in client/service provider relationships. Just as someone can “hear” you smile when you are on the phone with them, I truly believe that the attitude we have towards our clients is evident in any communication we have with them.

Second, a recurring theme appears to be simple ignorance on the part of the client. Many stories poke fun at a client’s reaction to seeing “Lorem ipsum” text being used as filler. Others point out a client’s misunderstanding of the value of the services being requested. Some simply reveal that many clients are likely not as technically savvy as those in the design industry.

In my opinion, this sheds a revealing light on the poor job those in the design, photography, and copywriting industry have done to communicate what we do to those outside of our industry. We have created such a thick bubble with our online communities that anyone outside of that bubble has a difficult time understanding what it is we do. A large number of the issues those of us in the creative field face could be quickly solved with a little education, and a more liberal amount of patience offered to those who require our services.

I support the idea of a community having a forum to vent their frustrations and share in their trials. I also believe that laughing at a situation with friends can in many cases take the sting out of a trying circumstance. I just hope that reading these stories will remind and encourage me and others to continue to foster a positive attitude towards those we serve, rather than increase the chasm between client and creative professional.

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