He took several days to pay me, which worried me a bit, but he did pay me at the weekend, which was just as well in retrospect.
Yesterday he sent me lots of information on how to write the perfect Amazon product review. He sent me three PDFs on the subject telling me to write a review on an Amazon product he owned, strictly using the structure he had provided.
I don't work on weekends, so I only looked at the PDFs this morning. One had 7 review templates to follow and another had 7 pre-sell techniques to follow. The third one was something in between. I found this confusing and lacking clear instructions, so I contacted him this morning asking him what exactly he wanted me to do; which of the 7 templates and 7 techniques was I expected to follow as they were all different?
I received a curt reply telling me to pick any of them I liked.
I did that, but halfway down the template I was told to review three popular similar products on Amazon. Was I supposed to review three products from scratch, within the overall product review I was writing? Was I supposed to lift them out of existing Amazon reviews? Or what? It still wasn't completely clear, so I contacted him again asking for some clarity on the matter.
At this point I discovered that, despite having a foreign name, his command of trailer trash styled English was actually very good. He seemed especially fluent in his use of a four-letter word beginning with "F". He could even deftly switch between using this word as an adjective, verb, noun or adverb. His virtuosity in this respect was quite astonishing.
And quite uncalled for too ...
I have been writing online for almost 18 and a half years; I started on February 14th, 1996. I have had hundreds of clients in that time, some have been excellent, some so-so, and some have been like my client of this morning.
I'm pleased to say that the vast majority of the clients I have had have been of the excellent variety. They treat me with respect and treat me as someone with an expertise they are happy to pay for. I, in turn, always treat them with the due respect they deserve. It's a good way to do business, I have found.
However, this is not the first time I have come across a client who seemed to think that just because I agreed to do some work for him, he could treat me as he liked. The tirade that poured out against me on Skype this morning, before I managed to block this difficult client, included things like (and I paraphrase from memory here), "just another ******* stupid freelancer," "you ******* freelance writers think you're so clever," and " **** you, you ******* freelance ******* ******!" (I told you he was good with that word and its variations).
I am proud of the writing skills I have. I am not the greatest writer, nor do I claim to be, but I can hold my own writing good online content. I am fairly well-paid for what I do and I think I deserve it as well.
Why then do some clients think they can treat the writers they hire like scum? We are not common slaves to do their bidding. Our clients do not do us a favor by hiring us. On the contrary, we are the ones with the expertise they lack. However, it is a partnership. We writers need the work and the clients need the expertise. We are at least equals in the partnership.
I think my client of this morning was actually psychopathic, but he is not the first one I have encountered who thought writers could be treated badly with impunity.
OK, rant over. Sorry if I've bored you. I guess I'll have to go looking for another client now ... Someone who appreciates me and my work and can show me due respect, I hope.