Miscellaneous Updates

We were approved by the rescue organization to get the doggie I wrote about last week. Now we have to sign the contract they send, pay the adoption fee and arrange to get the dog. I can’t wait!

I’ve seen a few fencing contractors, and there’s one more coming tomorrow. It looks like the job is going to be about $3k. Ouch. Now I have to figure out how to pay for it.

For the first time ever, I actually fired a client. I was doing a freelance job that spun out of control. What was supposed to be a simple little website became a monstrosity as the client tried to over-control every aspect of the design from his viewpoint, an AOL browser set at 800 x 600 resolution. He wanted a navigation system “like Windows” right down to colors and function, and that it should always be available. Never mind that I don’t have the same Windows version he does or that color schemes could be set differently. He wanted page colors to be set the same as AOL pages. Again, never mind that I’m not an AOL user. When I tried to explain that the best practices of my profession dictate that I make the site navigable and reasonably good looking for as many users as possible regardless of browser and operating system, he didn’t care. He insisted that at least 50% of his users would be AOL users.

All the while, I urged him to get the content together and have it ready. Every time I inquired it was “oh that’s easy, I can get it done in a few hours.” Every version of a proposed template I sent was met with critcism and further instructions about the minutiae. I explained that these revisions would cost him extra, over the contract estimate, at an hourly rate. “We’ll work something out” he’d said.

Finally, I pulled the plug. The project was so far out of scope that, had I continued, the final bill would have been more than twice the original estimate. I had reservations that he would pay it without argument even though the site wouldn’t have gotten published until the bill was paid. I just didn’t feel like dealing with the tug-of-war I felt was coming. Additionally, the project had already sucked way more of what little time I do have than it was supposed to and I could only see it getting worse before it finally ended. So, I cut my losses and quit. A very nice, professional letter was sent to end the project.

Heh. Don’t ya know my step-brother, a professional photographer, called this week and wanted me to do his website? I told him no. Not that this project would have been anything like the one I was just working on. On the contrary, it probably would have been fun. Never mind that I need to pay for a fence. It’s spring and other, house-related projects are calling yelling my name. Perhaps the tax return I’ve been neglecting all this while will yield a helpful refund. Off I go…


  1. that’s a tough one when clients want you to design something that is clearly "wrong"<br><br>i mean, the whole reason for hiring a consultant is to get the consultant’s expert knowledge on something. of course clients have a right to give their input – but when you tell them something is truly ill-conceived and have solid reasons for it (as opposed to just a matter of preference) , then it seems odd they wouldn’t listen…

  2. I hated it when clients wanted things like thunder booming in the background contantly… Who the hell would stay at a site with that racket going on? Or a constant stream of midi music… ick. Or the stupid cursors that leave a trail and follow you around the screen.<br><br>I’m so glad I quit doing freelance. {deep sigh} Now I feel like I have time for myself. 🙂

  3. without going into details to protect the guilty – one of our clients wanted it’s mascot to wink. they thought that it was the coolest ever. for us programmers, we thought it was dumb – but didn’t really care – hey, they pay the bills, right – but the graphic designers – the hipper than the hip – well, the dismay reminded me of the scene in beetlejuice where they make the designer guy wear a powder blue leisure suit. the designers HATED the mascot to begin with – and the winking part – they despised worse – listening to their reaction (not in front of the customer, of course) was priceless though…

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