I know I drive some of my clients crazy when I do this, but sometimes it helps that I’m “extremely detail-oriented” (that’s PC for anal-retentive bitch). I had a client email me earlier this week with a laundry list of changes that she wanted made to her organization’s site. (quick history: this client is notorious for requesting large or extensive site changes and needing them literally “tomorrow”)
The list was broken up into several PDFs containing screenshots of the website and what I interpreted were change requests … or, at least some of them I could interpret. There was one PDF, not too huge, about 15 pages … mostly containing links. The problem wasn’t that I had a problem removing them, it was that it was never made clear in any of the documentation that the client wanted old links, bad links, etc. removed. One would assume that they would want them removed, but considering that my personal history in dealing with this client is that they are notorious for wanting content removed and not an hour later wanting it restored. I’m serious. They have no concept whatsoever for budgeting and planning ahead and request most everything at the very last minute.
Many times, I have wanted to reach through the phone and strangle one of these people!
So anyways, rather than spend the next few days going back and forth by email, I printed out every page of every PDF that they sent me, requested clarification for every (what I would assume was a) request and scanned them into a PDF and mailed it back to the client. My co-workers found this funny and I joked about feeling like “being an asshole” … but an email I received a few minutes ago confirmed what my intuition had already told me — indeed they did not want large chunks of their website content deleted.
Gee, what a surprise.
So most people think I’m a real pain the ass when it comes to my job, but experience has taught me this: get everything in writing and make sure it is absolutely CLEAR on exactly what’s to be done with the content I’m handling.