Monday, November 17, 2008

Is it over yet?

Have you ever had a project that should have been simple, but just wasn't? I just finished two (frantically trying to find some wood to knock on).

My recent poster/postcard/web graphic project--and another project I was simultaneously working on for the same client--were both plagued by miscommunication and technical difficulties. For example:
  • The client provided the majority of the copy for the pieces--but changed it three times throughout the course of the project.
  • I wanted to create the files using Adobe PhotoShop and InDesign, which I don't have--meaning I had to rely on friends and other clients who do have the software, which was a logistical nightmare. Especially in light of the fact that I had to make multiple rounds of changes.
  • The client communicated to me, in writing, that several logos were supposed to be on one piece but not on the other--and when I delivered a proof according to those specs I was told the logos should be on both.
  • I delivered the final versions, in PDF (per specifications), on a CD--she wanted to email them to her printer, but couldn't open them so she had to take the CD to her printer (fortunately, her printer was able to open the files).
  • The other project required very minor pricing and text edits to an existing brochure (which, incidentally, I did for her last year). When she reviewed the file, she realized she'd forgotten to tell me to update one section, and she also saw that I had missed some subtle wording changes.
  • I revised the brochure and emailed her the file as a PDF, but when she tried to open it she got a message that said it was damaged. I opened it from two different computers, and it opened fine. I burned it to a CD for her, and when she opened it she noticed that the font of one text box had changed. I removed it and emailed it to her (it opened fine this time).
  • She asked me to email her the invoices for both projects--when I did (they're Word docs), she said my contact info was cut off and that she couldn't move the text herself. When I opened the docs, they looked fine to me. I PDF'd them and sent them to her that way--she couldn't open the PDFs. I ended up having to fax her the invoices.
It got to the point where I grimaced every time I saw there was an email from her in my inbox. I think the freelance gods had it out for me for some reason--hopefully they've been appeased and will leave me alone for awhile.


Lori said...

Yea, that sounds like it's time for a holiday vacation. Luckily, there's one on the way!

I've been praying for a reprieve with a certain client myself. She gets, well, excited when I send her something that isn't what she was expecting. Oh hell, let's be honest - she gets excited when I send her something she IS expecting. I just sent over a file and asked for some very specific feedback and help. I'm cringing because she usually doesn't read the emails I send - she opens the files and freaks out.

I have Excedrin poised and ready for use. Ugh.

Angie Ledbetter said...

Ah, the never-ending joys of freelancing and trying to communicate by email. :)

Anonymous said...

The wonderful world of technology. *whispering because my hubby is a computer tech*.

Take a vacation, you deserve it.

writtenexpressions said...

No rest for the wicked--that project may be behind me but I have several others still in the queue! I guess I'll take a break when my clients do.