Have you ever had a Customer From Hades? A Client From Hell?
Sure you have.
But have you had three of them at the same time, all simultaneously making your life a living hell?
It happened to us, about ten years ago.
A Short Synopsis Of What Our Average Day Looked Like
Wake up at a regular time, but with some effort and an overall feeling of doom. Unfortunately the phone usually started ringing before the alarm clock went off.
Rush through something that approximated breakfast.
Check the “secret” email account we had to communicate just with our virtual assistants, so we could get some peace before the barrage of angst, anger, and aggravation waiting at the email address the clients had. Unfortunately, half the time the message from our VAs was “so-and-so is pissed because you asked them a question last week” or the like.
Check the main e-mail account.
Quickly find ourselves amazed that the same stuff we were doing successfully for all our other clients, who loved it and made money from it, seemed to always backfire for these three Clients From Hell.
Put fires out all damn day.
Avoid being online at night, as it was almost guaranteed one of the Clients From Hell would be e-mailing right around midnight, just to see if they could get us spinning AGAIN.
Repeat the self-loathing the next day.
Until One Day, The Damn Printer Joined In The Fun
This was an especially bad morning. Yet another case where a Client From Hell stuck their fingers in something that was working, in doing so broke it, then expected us to leap to attention and fix it (while they asked every 2 minutes “is it fixed yet?”).
We were so run ragged, we had forgotten to go to the grocery store. No breakfast. We had eaten toothpaste for breakfast rather than starve.
After the usual “crises” abated for a bit, we turned our attention to a document our accountant needed us to sign and fax back. Simple enough.
We opened the document and clicked “Print”.
And That’s When The Last Straw Snapped In Two
Halfway through printing the document (a one-page IRS form that needed our signature), the printer stopped.
The alert beeped and flashed: “Out Of Ink”
Halfway through printing one black-and-white, one-sided document.
The printer didn’t have the decency to alert about the ink running out before we hit Print. Not only could we not give our accountant what he needed, but now this printer had destroyed a sheet of paper we didn’t even have time to go to the store and replace. For crying out loud, we were eating toothpaste instead of food!
What do you think happened next?
Let’s just say…
Two Years Later, When We Packed Up To Move Elsewhere, We Were STILL Finding Pieces Of That Printer Underneath The Furniture!
You could say things were really bad.
Actually, though, this was one of the best things that ever happened to us.
Meet us back here next time and find out why.