The asshole client survival guide
If you know me, you’ll be aware that I don’t work with assholes. In fact, I have a 0% tolerance towards it. So, if you are one of my clients, congrats you’re a decent human. (Yay).
People always seem surprised that I openly admit that I’ll refuse to work with someone that behaves in a certain way. Years ago, I probably would have been shocked myself - after all, they’re paying me.
But having been on the wrong side of a bad manager for way too many years, and having experienced ‘difficult’ clients in my first year as a freelancer, I’m proud to say it out loud: I will not work with assholes. In fact, I’ve even got a few handy tips to help if you’re currently pulling your hair out over one…
1. Remind yourself what’s acceptable
If you provide a service or product that someone else pays for, it’s easy to overlook any poor behaviour. Trust me, I did it for years. But is a lack of gratitude, constant criticism and a general lack of respect really worth the price they pay?
It’s also super easy to think that we’re the ones in the wrong. One of my ex clients provided no information or insight during the onboarding process but expected me to provide a stellar service. They never took ownership themselves and I soon felt like I was at fault. I began to dread dealing with them, work was no longer enjoyable and the only decision was to walk away.
2. Remember you’ll never be like them
Even before I began dealing with clients myself, it always astounded me when people didn’t say please and thank you. It’s the same when you hold a door for someone and they swan through without muttering a word.
To me, there’s something really wrong with this - and I think it goes much deeper. These people are expectant of a service, they lack an emotional intelligence to be able to recognise the kindness of others, and they’re probably taking everything you do for granted. Of course, you’re never going to change them but just be thankful you aren’t like them.
3. Give yourself the option to walk away
I understand that it’s not always as simple as walking away. You might be tied into a contract or really need the money. But I think it’s just as important to remind yourself that you could walk away - even if just for your own mental health.
If things are really bad, why not begin searching for a replacement? That, or close your laptop for the evening and pour yourself a large G&T…