Archive for the ‘work sucks’ Category

Surprise?

February 2, 2010

So the client drama that I told you about last week took an interesting twist today…

Earlier this morning hubby had a talk with the client’s (we’ll call her “G”) business partner/investor (let’s call him “V”).  Basically the hubs let him know what needed to be done to resolve the issues once and for all.  They just need to send us more text and more images and their site will look better.  V agreed.  We also reassured him that the bilingual capabilities of the site would be up and running by next week.  In fact we are updating all of our sites with the latest version of our software which runs a million times faster and is much more user-friendly (I hate that word, it is so over-used).  The bilingual functions are part of that upgrade.  Hubs also told them that they could pay off the rest of their balance over time.  It was all good.  V assured him that he would keep G under control and keep her from going off on us again.

Literally a few minutes later G called us to personally apologize for her behavior.  I don’t think I’ve ever heard a client apologize to us before, that was a huge surprise.

Then about six hours later we get forwarded email exchange between G and our business partner in the US (he usually handles all client relations but since this client is over here we had been more involved).  Her email started out as a request for an additional email server but then totally U-turned into this:

“Anyway your multi language not ready, We wanted to add Flash on web and Q already knows this but now he is telling me that need some one to do it,I mean we have to pay someone for design flash any way, We have pay to you 250USd for beginig I mean before starting web site and I told you that balance will be clear after web fnished.  Everything takes too long  time with you and be frankly I do not want to continue with your company. I kindly request you to refund of our payment.

Awaitig for your urgent response
Kind Regards”

What.  The.  Fuck.

He had already responded and agreed to refund her money, a fact that also took us by surprise.  As a company we had never really addressed whether or not we would give refunds, and even though it’s not a huge amount of money, it would be coming straight out of our pockets.  I wish he had talked to us before he responded to her, but I know he did it because he was frankly tired of dealing with her bullshit and would rather be rid of her.  He also wants to protect us from abusive clients.  I can’t say that we disagree, it just came as a total surprise.  We did not see this coming.  He had already taken down her website by the time I got his email.

I just finished drawing up a contract termination agreement.  They get their refund as long as they agree not to use any of the material we created for them.  For us it means a lot of hours down the drain, but for her it means she’s basically taken her business back to square one.  She don’t even have a logo now.

Le sigh…

Oh well.  Sometimes you just can help crazy people.

I do not run a charity.

January 26, 2010

Client drama had reared its ugly head this last week.  *facepalm*

How the hell does it happen?  They go from good client to bad client like warewholves under a full moon.  ARRROOWHHH!

First I should probably tell you a little more about what we do for our clients.  To say that we design websites would be an over-simplification, that’s what we used to do.  A year and a half ago when we started our business, we would both scower craigslist looking for any ole programming or design job that we knew we could do.  We got various clients doing this, but usually (okay, MOSTLY) with these gigs, people were always trying to get something for nothing.  Putting up a website that both looks good and works well takes hours and hours and hours of work.  We would put in these hours/days/weeks/…months of work, and then have to literally chase down payment from them, or they wanted so many changes that took so many more hours that end the end the payment wasn’t worth all the effort.  At a certain point we came to the conclusion that there had to be a way for us to get something for nothing as well.  Everybody else was doing it, why not us?  What I mean is, a way to make fully-fledged websites without all the hours of work.  There are three basic purposes for most websites:  publishing, selling, or social networking.  So if we could design a framework that could perform each of these functions by simply installing it onto a web address so hours of programming the same thing, over and over, would be eliminated.  Better yet, we would make our program easy enough to use so that when clients wanted changes they could just go make them on their own.

If you’re having a hard time understanding what I’m talking about, don’t worry, I didn’t know crap about any of this until about a year ago.  If you want an example of what I’m talking about, look at WordPress.  WordPress is the perfect example of a content management system (CMS) used for publishing.  It’s complicated, it’s got a lot of buttons, but most people are able to figure it out on their own and create their own websites.  We’re like WordPress, except we’re geared towards businesses and we have a lot more applications and functions.

So anyways, we’re still in the development/start-up phase of our business so we haven’t had a public release of our software yet.  Hopefully that will happen sometime in 2010.  Until then we are always trying to get new clients both in the US and Turkey.  One new client we have here is chick my age, who is starting up a mining export company with a few business partners.  Basically they ship stuff like chrome ore to China, pretty simple.  She’s a cool chick, speaks English well and I’d say she was a friend before she was a client.  Because of this we gave her a deep discount, and I mean DEEP.  We normally charge $2,000 dollars for a basic CMS website, but that includes a lot- custom web design, content writing, logo design, stock photos, hosting, etc, etc.  Because we are still developing a bilingual application for our websites (that button you click at the bottom or top of the page and it switches the language of the website, not easy to do) and her website would be the first to test it we gave her a huge deal.  We’re only charging her $500 dollars of which she has only paid half ($250).  Her website is very simple and very small, but like I said, she is also a start-up so she only gave us a tiny amount of content and a few pictures.  One thing we cannot do is invent fancy or interesting content for you…well, technically I have, but only for clients who are paying real money.

From the start she LOOOOVED the website, and I got tons of glowing feedback from her along the way.  When I finally finished putting in all the data and images she sent us (which by the way she sent on Dec 28 and her site was up by Jan 5) she still loved it.  Then, it turned….

She had a “friend” of hers look at the site and they told her it was too plain.  What the fuck does this “friend” know about web design anyway?  Suddenly she hates everything about the site.  She sent us links to other websites (one that sells cell phones, the other a music website) and tells that she wants her site to be more like them.  Here is what her site would actually look like if she would send us more content.  She also says she wants flash.  No other description, just, “I want flash.”  Flash what?  Dancing rocks?  You sell fucking ROCKS, fyi.

Flash is web animation, if you’re not familiar, and it is EXPENSIVE and time-consuming to develop.  For that reason, flash is one of the only things we don’t offer.  If a client really wants flash on their website then we hire an outside flash developer and money has to be paid from the client directly to person creating the flash animation.  In other words, Flash=Money.

Then she also starts bitching that it took three months to put her site up.  Uhh, your emails say differently lady, we only got your content a week before your site went up.  You had “Coming Soon” page on your website for three months because it took you that long to get off your ass.  We don’t put up blank websites.  Did I mention she’s only paid $250 dollars?  That’s what I usually charge just for a logo design (and yes, I designed her logo AND a business card on top of that).

Friend or not, we just don’t have time to deal with this crap anymore, we have too many clients that have paid full price and we have plenty of work still to do for them.  We gave her two options, 1) Stop bitching, or 2) Pay in full by the end of the month.  If you don’t do either we will take down your site.  Period.

Luckily (for her) she came to her senses.  She chose option #1.  Maybe it was just her time of the month?  The full moon has passed and she’s no longer werewolf-cunt, I mean, client.  We’ll just have to see what happens on the next full moon…

If you want to see a hilarious representation of how web designing can go straight to hell, check out this comic by The Oatmeal.  It is sooo true.

Demotivated

September 21, 2009

I don’t know what is wrong with me lately.  I feel like I’ve hit an all time low in my motivation levels.  It’s driving me crazy but drumming up the motivation to do anything about it is well, hard.

I don’t want to get out of bed

I don’t want to shower

I don’t want to blog

I don’t want work (<-that one is really bad)

I don’t want to read

I don’t want to write

I don’t want to cook

I don’t want to clean

This is just the short list, and mind you these are the things that I normally enjoy doing.  I don’t want to say I’m depressed because I am generally in a good mood all the time, I just feel suddenly chronically lazy.  I don’t want to blame the pregnancy either because the worst of the fatigue that I had a month ago is finally going away so I actually do have energy these days…I just don’t have any motivation to use it.  It felt like I was getting more done a month ago even though I was tired all the time.  The high I usually get from accomplishing things just isn’t there anymore, and it’s got me feeling bewildered and lost.

I feel especially guilty about not wanting to work because my husband has been working his ass of lately, clocks 18 hour days on a daily basis in front of his computer and never takes a day off.  That should be motivation right there to work harder, but I have a hard time even logging 12 hours each week.  I seriously need to be shaken out of this funk.

We are taking a little vacation this weekend to Cyprus, and I’m hoping the change of scenery will help to improve this unproductive state I’ve been in for the past few weeks.  Something needs to change and fast, or else it’s going to start affecting our business.

*sigh*  Here’s hoping things will get better soon.

Laptop Rx

May 27, 2009

I was without my laptop all day yesterday and today and was like my left arm was missing.  I could feel it in my periphery beside me on the bed where it usually is but when I would look directly at it, it wasn’t there.  The other two computers we have I’ve already taken apart so they’ll be ready for packing (I jumped the gun a bit on that one).  When I say it’s mine it’s not, it’s only a loaner from my mom.  It used to be my step-dad’s but I’m the only one in the house that uses it right now, and it’s my main work computer.  It’s a Dell Latitude D610 so it’s almost a classic, but the old girl still runs pretty nice.  I’m saving up to buy a new one to take with me to Turkey because my mom is a little sentimental about this one and I understand.  Lucky, so lucky for me my step-brothers own a Dell computer refurbishment business.  I used to work for them sorting and testing parts.  I dropped it off yesterday and picked it up today, I offered money but my step-brother refused.  They didn’t have to much–the main problem was heat, it would run for about 20 minutes, overheat and shutdown.  I thought maybe it needed a new heatsink or fan, but it turns out it was simply clogged with dust.  Now when I touch the bottom of the laptop I don’t get third degree burns on my hand.  Major plus.

Since they fixed my left arm, I must give the family business a shameless plug:

parts-people-logo

Now I have a computer business of my own but we deal in software, not hardware.  However, I still learned quite a bit by working there, even though I thought I’d never need that knowledge again.  How wrong I was.  Never turn down an opportunity to learn something new, even if you think it has nothing to do with your life.  You might find out otherwise someday and you’ll be thankful.

Blue Screen Blues

May 2, 2009

Yes, it’s been a rough day over here at the pool, my husband and I run a software business out of our home and today so far zero work is getting done because one of our computers is down.  That might not seem like a big deal to some people, but you don’t use computers like we use them!  He writes code on an average of 16 hours a day with only breaks for eating, bathroom, smoking and rare sleep.  Anyone who writes code or does anything based heavily on computing knows you  can’t just use one computer.  We have a total of three computers (his two desk tops and my one laptop) plus four hard drives that we’re absolutely dependent upon, and we’re about to expand to a fourth computer, a Linux box for extra storage and also to be a server.

This would all be fine and dandy if they were top of the line machines that were made in this century but they’re not.  Today when we woke up (zero sleep because of the tree chainsawing going on this morning) the one that he uses to do everything but code has a fried video card.  Of course it’s the most expensive one we have, because that just makes this situation more perfect.  We have such a tight budget because we’re right on the verge of our first global software release (a PHP framework, but more on that in another blog), so we’ve got borrow to fix this one.

Arg, just when you think things are going your way another wheel falls off!

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