designers are people, too.

Lately I have become completely enamored with the website Clients from Hell. It is “a collection of anonymously contributed client horror stories from designers” and let me tell you — it so accurately portrays what we designers deal with on a daily basis!

I know I’m biased because I am in a creative profession, but I do feel like people in other professions don’t quite deal with the same type of encounters that creatives do. Sure, there are crazy requests that all people get at their jobs, but would someone ever ask a doctor to treat an illness for free with the promise of it being a great learning experience for them? Would you ever tell a builder how to frame a house even though you have no construction experience? Could anyone, with a clear conscience, ask a fireman to put out a fire in half the time (and, in turn, only pay him half of his salary)? I know that what I do may seem like fluff to some people, but it is a job — it took years of education and experience, and it is how I earn a living.

I, fortunately, have never dealt with anything quite as bad as some of the personal accounts on Clients from Hell (for instance, I have never been told “by the way, I can’t afford to pay you for this job, but you will be paid in karma — which is so much better and more permanent anyway”)… but, then again, I’ve got a ways to go in my career ;-) I’m sure I’ll encounter some doozies!

What is the craziest thing someone has ever asked of you at your job?


  1. Yes, to answer your question, my husband the doctor gets hit up ALL THE TIME by patients saying that they can't afford X, Y, or Z, but he should do it for free because [insert lame excuse of why it will benefit him as a doctor]! It's even funnier because he's a radiologist, so he doesn't even do the actual testing, the techs do. Even if he wanted to, and was willing to read for free, he can't just pop someone in for a CT scan.

  2. @EthidiumBromide – WOW, really?? That is insane! So I guess it's not just designers after all who get ridiculous requests, haha. I just cannot imagine ever asking someone to give something away for free. Crazy.

  3. As a fellow graphic designer I can totally relate! I think my personal favorite is when I tell I client that I can create something for them and then they let me know that they have Publisher or Word and want to know if I can use that type of program so that they can change it later on if they decide they don't like what I did. *cringe*

  4. I have often wondered what it is like to have a creative job like yours… dealing with crazy clients is not something I had considered before!

    I work at a hospital doing physical rehabilitation research, so I think the craziest things I've had to do at work usually involve being a subject for friends' experiments – some of them sound like mad scientist stuff, like testing reflexes with electric stimuli or virtual reality. I like science so I usually think they are cool, and they can be a nice break from regular work. But some of them are not much fun! I have done my share of running experiments on other coworkers too (including the electric stimuli ones). If I tell my friends about my day at work after an experiment, they usually look at me like I am crazy :)

  5. Love this post (and that particular comic strip of Dilbert). It's amazing what clients request. I recently had a client try and weasel an entire logo design out of me for free – hah – crazy clients!

  6. Will you rap with me? (I'm a therapist, ? from a 14-year-old client). A little Jay-Z for him, a little Lady Gaga for me – we're both off key but we make it work!

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