"One day, a new client whom I'd never met in person, called me immediately after I sent a first draft. For context, I'm not in IT, hence part of my confusion, and the client's office is over 50 miles away."
Client: This looks great, but I can't read it on my screen. Can you do me a call off?
Me: Sorry, I don't know why that is. What program have you used to open it?
Client: Word – why, does that matter?
Me: That's funny, it should be fine. What are you seeing? Can you screencap it to me?
"The client does so, and although not all the document shows up on the screenshot, what's there is clearly fine. It occurs to me that the client must be partially sighted, and that he needs me to convert the document into some sort of audio file."
Me: I'm sorry sir, I don't have the software to do that. Is there somebody in your office who's familiar with what you use who could do it?
Client: What? I just want a call off! The machine's right next to me!
Me: I'm sorry sir, but I don't know how to deliver what you're requesting. If you let me know what software you use I might be able to figure it out, but I'd have to bill you for the extra time ...
Client: Bill me for what? I just want a call off. Any moron can do it!
Me: Sir, I'm sorry, but I don't understand. I'm not familiar with the equipment I'd need to do a 'call off' for you ...
Client: You mean you don't know how to use a f**king printer?
Me: What? Of course I do! I thought you said you can't read it!
Client: Right! I hate reading things on screen. I need it on paper!
Me: ... you mean you need a printed copy?
Me: Well, I can put one in the post for you this afternoon ...
Client: That's no bloody good. I need it now! I need you to come and do a call off!
Me: ... you need me to come to your office – now – to print something for you?
Me: You can't print it?
Client: Not when that's what I'm paying you for!
This article was originally published in issue 254 of net magazine. To read more stories of client nightmares, head over to Clients From Hell.
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