Client Karen Demands Special Treatment, Gets Fired Instead.

Posted by Annie N. in Cringey On 1st September 2021

A woman got hit swiftly by karma when she demanded that a designer dedicate all of their time to working on their project rather than actually live their life. The designer decided it was best to fire them on the spot.


It started when Larrione @thebrandhero posted this exchange she had with a client onto Twitter. 

"Set boundaries.

If people can’t respect those boundaries… ✌🏽"


It showed a client demanding every minute of OP's time because they had paid her $5,200 to create a website.

Before any further discussion could take place, OP refunded the money and told them to be on their way. 

This very small, yet impactful exchange kicked off a massive conversation on Twitter where people shared their own stories, debated on the professionalism of the reaction and celebrated OP's response to the client's unreasonable behaviour. 


This user shared a personal experience. 

"A long time ago when I did web dev, we found time & again that the cheapskate clients were always the worst; most unreasonable, & most demanding.

The higher-end clients understood the value of our work, the value of time, & the value of money.

We stopped courting penny clients."


This one pointed out that the payment was for the work and not being at the beck and call of the client. 

"Well no the job you’re doing would be paid $5,200. Anything else you do is done free of charge"

This user agreed and said, 

"No amount of money is worth losing your sanity. That client sounds like an amateur who couldn’t afford you in the first place. Professionals don’t let their anxieties dictate their business interactions."


This user also said that if terms are decided at the beginning of the project, then those must be respected by both parties. 

"100% facts! Terms of the job are set in the contract--timeline, scope of work, communication about progress, etc. Once you pay me, I abide by our terms. If you pester me, I'll reiterate the terms (& charge you for the time spent reiterating the contract). Keep it up? You're gone."


This user said that while money can be a factor, in some cases even those with limited means find it better to walk away.

"Poor folk value freedom from abuse and toxicity as much as rich folk do. You don’t need money to understand and applaud courage. I’ve quit jobs (while broke) for far less."


One user shared their experience of getting caught in the hustle and destroying their own mental health as a result.

"I made the mistake of running for the money...because I'm not from wealth. The burnout & loss of quality of life from the needless 24/7 "on call" crap in software engineering isn't worth it. Ill do work but its for set hours / days and when I'm not working, I'm not working"


This user commented how they've done the same. 

"I have refunded entire projects after several weeks of work because of issues like this. You're paying top of market for me because I demand it. I'm not indebted to you. If you want special treatment, like my being on-call 24/7, that is available but it costs extra."


Not everyone, however, agreed with the OP's response.

"Once a contract is signed refunding the money is not professional unless both parties agree to it. It is like abandoning the project midway leaving the client hanging high and dry. What if client was in the middle of an important demo or launch and some minor bug stalled it?"


This user said that while this may have been cathartic, burning bridges was a bad move. 

"Yes this may be very satisfying in the moment but very detrimental long term. Especially bragging bout it So many better ways to set boundaries and potentially turn this client into a brand champion. Instead…Happy clients tell a few people about u unhappy clients tell everyone"

This commenter said that not everyone can afford to walk away from $5,200.

"You do this if you can $ afford to do this. Also, doing this may cost you other jobs cause you burned a bridge right there & the client will likely talk smack about u to others. You used a bazooka approach when maybe a pea shooter would have worked."

This one said that while their point was valid, putting the screenshot up for the world to see would be bad for future business. 

"Your point is valid. 100%. Get all of it in writing beforehand.

Keep in mind, tho, posting clients' dirty laundry for all to see may cause any future clients from doing business with you because they don't want to end up "publically aired," too, if there's a misunderstanding."

Some were just entertained by the conversaion.

"“What’s going on. Why did I get a refund?” took me out. 😂😂 You said it’s chess not checkers."


OP later shared an update where users appreciated her confidence and thanked her for saying what most people can't.

"This one made me cry tears of joy.

Y’all keep sending me messages like this, it was bound to happen! ❤️"