Would-be clients who don't send the work, or explain what's going on:
I'm a freelance editor, and recently agreed to work on a project that the client said was urgent/on a tight schedule. We agreed that I would do one piece of it starting on January 5, and another starting today. The fifth came and went with nothing more than a promise that I would have the contract for the work by the sixth, and that only after I asked "what's going on?" The contract did turn up, but it was pulling teeth to get the client to tell me that the actual work wouldn't be arriving within the time set aside for it. Having had no further news, yesterday I asked about this weekend's chunk of work, and got a vague "we're working on it," followed at noon today by "you should have it sometime today." It's now past 4 p.m. in our time zone (mine and the client's), with no project to work on, and no further word of what's going on.
I suspect I'm going to be looking for a polite way of saying "your lack of preparation is not my emergency." This is already a short turnaround deal, and they aren't paying me anywhere near enough for me to lose sleep in order to get it in on time.