Don’t be the Client from Hell This Holiday Season!

Client from HellThe client from Hell, the boss from Hell—there are many permutations of this phenomenon. But sometimes the holiday season brings out the worst in us.

End of the Year Rush

In the marketing and PR world, this is the time of year when clients find unused money in their budgets and scramble to get new projects out the door before the year ends. That naturally creates a cascade of chaos, flowing down from client to agency to production house to vendors.

At the bottom of the stream are the creatives—the graphic artists, the copywriters, the programmers—the people who are doing the work.

From the client’s perspective, his deadline is shaped by the major holidays. So if his input is needed by, say, the Friday before Thanksgiving, he figures, “I’m not flying out of town until Wednesday night, so I’ll just get it done right before then.”

You Want it WHEN?

Which is all well and good—unless he’s expecting the work to be completed by the time he returns on Monday. Or the next phase of the process requires a Monday deadline. Either of which leaves the poor creative toiling away over the holiday while every one else is enjoying their family and relaxation time.

Of course, the worst is when the creative makes the sacrifice, cut shorts her own vacation and manages to get the project done by Monday morning. And then it sits. For days, maybe even weeks. Making the sacrifice for naught.

Like I said, this NEVER happens to me. But a few years ago I created this short video to dramatize the problem, and I post it each year as a public service. Please take a minute and twenty seconds to check it out:

(By the way, xtranormal, was a very cool tool. All you had to do was submit your script, pick your characters and you got finished video delivered in minutes without having to hire those pesky actors or expensive photographers. It’s no longer available, unfortunately.)

Are You the Client from Hell?

So if you recognize yourself in this scenario, if you’re the client or boss from hell, do us all a favor and watch the video. And if you know someone who fits the bill, pass it along to them.

Happy Thanksgiving to U.S. readers. May your holiday be work- and stress-free!