The case of the gullible web designer and the insulting client.

“Here’s my story, sad but true” Dion

“Come all ye friends I’ll sit you down, and sing an doleful ditty…” – Great Big Sea

Last year I set up a website for a recent acquaintence. I moved her site over to host on my server, set up her site in wordpress, made a custom theme, met with her on several occasions to go over her requirements and teach her wordpress. I even made the site ‘responsive’ since, after the fact, she mentioned that mobile compatibility was important to her. I probably put at least 20 hours of work into this but since she was a local acquaintence and we hadn’t agreed on a price in advance (yes I realized, big mistake on my part) I was only going to charge for about 5 hours of work. (yes I know, I should have had a contract, we’ll get to that in another post). So be clear, 20 hours of work at my normal rate = $1500. I was only going to ask her for $375. That’s 75% off for someoene I had just met.

When I sent her a note saying ‘I think that’s it, I’d like to meet with you to go over the final details and answer any questions‘ she didn’t respond for a while, and then wrote back saying she was upset about the fact that the background photo credit in the bottom right of the photo wasn’t visible in all different size views (I had explained why this wasn’t possible without some additional work) and that her calendar display wasn’t to her liking (Something I had suggested we work on earlier but she specifically said she wanted it that way).

I offered to remedy those problems. But no, apparently these were urforgiveable offenses and she insisted she was going to find another designer to finish the site. But here’s the Coup de grĂ¢ce, she offered me $100 “for my time”.

I refused to take it. I told her my reason was I didn’t want to accept money for work for something someone wasn’t happy with, which was true, but really it was since it was insulting to imply all the work I had done was only worth $100. I didn’t want to dignify her offer with the respect of accepting it.

<sarcasm>Yeah I sure showed her, she got her whole site for free, that’s showing them Matt! They wont cross paths with you again!</sarcasm>

The only redeeming piece of all this is I know I took the high road, even after being given every reason not to. (I even waited a whole year to post this rant and left her name and business out of this post.)

She’s since moved her site to another host and it’s still the same design. (and yes, for all you designers out there, even after all this I let her keep the site I had designed, and hosted it for months for free while she found a new host/desigenr. I know, I know if I was cold-hearted ruthless business expert, or perhaps just wise, I would have shut her site off the moment she refused to pay. I took the high road til it hurt. Oh well, “Next time”)

All I know is, if karma exists, she’s got something coming her way.

This post is related to another one I’m working on called ‘I hate asking for money’, it was just enough of a tangent that I thought I’d post it separately and then I can just link ro it from the other post for people who really want tor read ‘below the fold’

Marcus, you will be missed.

Marcus – 2010 – 2014

Wednesday was a terribly sad day for our household. We had to say goodbye to one of our cats, Marcus, who was only 4 years old.

Marcus was certainly our most social and constantly present cat. If you visited our house for more than a few minutes odds are you met him. We had 4 cats but Marcus was cat that jumped up on the couch next to you, or lay down next to your feet when you sat down in our living room. He was always somewhere nearby. If you scooped him up and put him on the couch next to you odds are he’d stay there for a while. He wasn’t the fastest, smartest or most graceful cat, he was always a bit goofy & lazy but he was awesome and out of our 4 cats I know he ranked at the top of our kids ‘favorite pet’ lists. Since he was present he was always the first cat the kids would ‘trap’ in a pillow fort or carry off to another room and he was very tolerant of these events or even being held longer than he wished. He also seemed a bit obsessed with food so he was often found on our kitchen counter trying to lick butter of a bagel when our back was turned, or stealing a piece of spaghetti from a dirty plate.

Yesterday morning he suddenly seemed to have trouble walking. One moment he was fine, the next it seemed like he’d lost coordination of his back legs.

We’d seen this happen to another cat of ours, his sister, Strider several years ago. She was only 18 months old at the time. It turned out had a heart murmur and threw a blood clot that stopped blood flow to her legs.

So seeing Marcus show these symptoms we all immediately started assuming the worst… and, sadly, we were right. Turns out Marcus had a heart defect too though not a murmur. Just like with Strider, even if we had them take extreme measures to try to remove the clot (blood thinning, etc), would likely have the same problem happen again in the future.

So we got the boys out of school and we all gathered at the vets office to say good bye. Afterwards we all went home and tried to process the shock as best we could. Owen kept asking “How can I stop thinking about him all the time???“.

Marcus’s brother, Ranger, is still with us and we’ve been instructed to give him a 1/2 tablet of baby aspirin twice a week for the rest of his life to help protect this same thing from happening to him.

Here’s hoping that works, this dying pet thing is getting old. We moved from Maine to Massachusetts with 6 pets in July 2011. Ranger is the last one of that batch of 6 animals, gone now are Strider, Goblin, Oberon, Seeger and Marcus. We will have five bags of ashes to plant under a tree or a bush sometime.