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[personal profile] primaleph
Today I received the following voicemail message from a client who's probably in my top 3 least favorite clients ever. It went as follows:

"Jason, [name] here. I haven't been using the computer - I never have, since you came in here, when you were having lunch here in my office that one time. So I wanted to get on to check my email, I can't get on, it says my password is - 'login failed because your user password is not entered correctly' - and I thought it was the same password that I had. I can't get on the Internet either, I don't know why. I guess you have to be able to log in correctly. So I need your advice here. I don't know what my password is, except for what it used to be. So give me a call. I need to get this done, cause I know you were paid for this already. All right, thank you, [phone number]."

This probably seems fairly innocuous, except perhaps the part at the end about being paid. But it bears pointing out that the time he talks about, when I was eating lunch in his office while working, he demanded that I leave immediately because I had dared to do so. I was pretty furious at the time, and thinking about it still leaves me upset. I spoke to a former employee of his who's also a client of mine - the lady who originally referred him to me - and she said I should write him a letter. So I did. And also got an email reply from him, and wrote one final reply back.

My letter:

Dear Mr [Name],

I'm writing in response to your message from earlier today. There are too many things I need to say to do it over the phone.

First, I know the Internet works on your new computer - not just because I tested it, but because you wouldn't even be able to try to log into your email without a working Internet connection. As far as your password: I don't know what it is, and I have no ability to change it for you. You'll need to talk to the company that provides your Internet access at work, so that they can reset it for you. Offhand I forget their name right now.

The main reason for this email isn't the problems you're having with your work computer, though. You may recall that when you arrived at the office and found out I had eaten my lunch there, you demanded I leave immediately, which I did. I was not finished setting up the computer at that time, so if there are any lingering problems with it, that's likely the reason.

It seemed from your message that you're still upset about that lunch incident, so please let me apologize. Had I known it would be a problem, I would never have done it... However, no one who works there told me, and I do routinely work while eating. Many of my clients even try to feed me while I'm working, whether I'm hungry or not. And i did notice your employees going out, getting food, and eating it at their desks. So I hope we can agree this was just a misunderstanding.

However, the main issue here is that I don't like the way you treat me, and haven't for quite some time. Your message today was rude and imperious, which really disinclines me to want to help you. Ever again. Why? Because I can scarcely remember a time you have ever treated me with respect, and that is unacceptable. I'm really tired of your cracks about my hair, your attempts to circumvent my rates and work hours, and the way you usually want me to come the same day you call, even though I've told you repeatedly that isn't possible.

Politeness and courtesy are prerequisites for dealing with me at all. Those who act as if they're optional are people I don't need in my life. I refuse to accept another message like the one you left me today. Please either apologize for your rudeness or never call me again. The choice is yours.

Jason Feldstein
The Computer Wizard

His response:

Did you get paid that day Jason? Now you tell me you didn’t finish the work. You had eaten your lunch you say? You were eating your lunch in my office sitting at my desk when I walked in to that stench. You had your smelly onion sandwich and can of coke on my desk without a coaster you inconsiderate fat boy. Your coke can left a stain ring on my desk.
Work while about eating and not working but charging for your time and not finishing the job.
People feed you? Why?
You do half ass work kid and then sit around to milking the clock.
you history pal

My final response:

There was no coke can. There was a styrofoam cup. But it did leave a stain, which I would have covered the cost of fixing had you ever asked.

Truly, you don't know anywhere near enough about computers to be able to accurately evaluate the quality of my work. The things I had to skip were optional - for polish, so to speak - and since you saw fit to kick me out, I left.

I have never been treated so appallingly by a client. Seriously, "fat boy"? What are you, a preschooler?

Please don't bother emailing me back. Any future emails from you will be automatically deleted. Good riddance.
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November 2012


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