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Not Going To Happen 'Cause I'm Not Harry Potter (Impossible Patron Requests)

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I worked in a book store who decided they needed to run a January sale (despite us not selling any seasonal items) and the sale would be buy two get one free.  Which is great but they didn't bother to get the tills programmed to do it automatically so we had to sort everything and do it by hand, not a lot of fun when someone decides to take advantage of the sale to buy every Beatrix Potter book or every Mr Man/Little Miss book.  They let it run for the first few days where only the cheapest ones were free, we had lots of people demanding separate transactions so they swapped it to be every 3rd book being free.

At work, I do graphic design and document layout work for a variety of clients and each one has their preferences and that's fine for the most part, once I get a feel for their needs I can nail it with a minimum of revisions.  But for the past few weeks, I've been working with a new client and I'm getting pretty close to pulling my hair out.

Round #1 -  I am provided with a PDF document that outlines their "visual identity".  It lists the fonts and art you are permitted to use, how to treat the logo, etc.  So, I do the preliminary layout emulating the examples in the design guide.  Client doesn't like the layout and sends me a "sample" layout to copy which does use the fonts, but in a way COMPLETELY inconsistent with the design guide. 

Round #2 - So I attempt to emulate the sample layout, despite the fact that the proportions are all wrong for the size of the items I'm designing. But now I'm using the "wrong font".  The font has the right name and is from the right foundry, so what is it that looks wrong?  "I can't tell you, it just looks wrong!" I went to their ftp site and attempted to download a copy of the font from their resources folder and it was a Mac-formatted Type 1 font.  We're on PCs...cue bellyaching that we can't possibly do design and layout properly on a PC, etc., etc.
I finally did some deep research and found that the incredibly commonly distributed font in question had been revised with a slightly different serif on certain characters about 3 years ago but that the font name and publisher was exactly the same.  The best part?  The "bad" character was in the layout exactly twice and the font is so small I could barely tell the difference.
Also, he complained that the photograph that goes in the layout had a "weird tint" and that I should adjust it according the sample he sent - but that the yellows in the sample were too green and the blues were too red so keep that in mind.

Round #3 - I bought and installed a new copy of the font and sent the revised layout.
Now the leading and tracking is all wrong!  Apparently, I should have known that they ALWAYS use 9pt. type with 10.25 leading and -10 tracking for these kinds of items and couldn't I tell from the sample? (FYI - the printed sample he sent was in a larger font size and the letters were quite spaced out.) Also, there's nothing about these specs in their "design guide".
The sentences were broken at the wrong positions. (I followed his layout.)
I used a regular hyphen instead of an en dash.  (They're the exact same size, no swishy bits or anything different, but whatever.)
And WHAT WAS I THINKING in the photo adjustments? (I dunno, you send me a picture of a blue and yellow widget and tell me to make the colors right based off an inaccurate reference.)

I'm waiting for the markups and new references to arrive today.  Wheeee!

I know that this client can mean a lot of money for my company, but I am not wanting to work with this person any more!  Either give me precise specifications or don't act like I'm an idiot for not reading your blasted mind.  I know you work for Big, Important Company but that doesn't mean I automatically know all the details of your corporate style. Also, your "real professional designers use Macs" attitude is really hilarious to me - in the past 20 years, I've used both systems separately and together.  If you know what you're doing, you'll get consistent results from the same software on either platform.

I have other clients who are even more particular, but they tend to send proper spec sheets, useful design guides and marked-up layouts, I usually average one revision with these guys, usually for minor copy changes...and zero attitude.

I honestly think this person just doesn't want to work with our company and is trying to make the process as difficult as possible. Sigh.

I have my emails and photocopies for my bosses, so I'm not worried about my performance evals or anything.  It's just sooooo tiresome dealing with this person.  I'm almost to the point of not caring about the product...and I take tremendous pride in my work.


I got another call from someone I can only describe as less than sane.

Me:  "Introductory spiel that includes my name and department at COLLEGE!"
Caller: "This is Sue.*... (long delay) Sue Smith." (A few seconds of silence while I wait for her to continue with what she is calling about as most callers do.  Cue realization that this is not going to be a normal conversation.)
Me: "This is Department at COLLEGE.  How can I help you?"
Caller: (She is not speaking very clearly.) "Can you please transfer me to mumble mumble mumble head coach of mumble mumble."
Me: "I'm sorry, I didn't catch all that.  Could you please repeat it?"
Caller: "Larry Smith, Head Coach of Other College Sports Team."
Me: "Ma'am, I'm sorry, you've reached COLLEGE, and our team is the TEAM."
Caller: "But I need the number to the Other College Team Head Coach."
Me: "I'm sorry, I don't have that.  We only provide directory assistance for COLLEGE."
Caller: "But how am I going to get the number?"
Me: Suggestions regarding Google, 411, dialing 0, etc.
Caller: "But can't you transfer me?"
Me: Reminds caller again that we're the COLLEGE TEAM not the Other College Other Team, and that I don't have numbers outside our call system.
Caller: "But I'm not a TEAM fan anymore, I'm an Other College Team fan."

It took me two minutes to get her off the phone. 

She sounded like my previous batty sports team coach caller...but gave a totally different name.  I'm not entirely sure it wasn't the same woman though.

*Name made up, obviously.

You mean you don't have all numbers for all college faculty in the country memorized yet?  Not even THEIR directory assistance? For shame!  You may expect a call from HR in the morning!

Greencat when I worked for Citywide bank we would get calls all the time asking to be transfered to "other bank" and after finally getting it through to them I had no way to transfer them to "Other bank" we would have another 10min argument over why I did not know the number.

"but couldn't i just look it up on line!"

well heck I would love to, but I have no Internet access because i work in a credit card call center, and why you can't do it is beyond me because you told me you Google to find our number  ??? :o


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