I created a website for a small two-person company that was referred to me
by a family member. The owner of the company has known that family
member for nearly 70 years, knows my parents, etc. I figured that it'd all be
friendly and fine.
What I didn't factor in was person two. A 20-something woman, we'll call her
Sally, who served as the day to day administrator of the company (glorified
secretary if you ask me) and was the point person on the web project.
Unfortunately, she also had a bad attitude about the whole idea.
Sally: I don't see why we need a website anyway.
Me: Well, it's a good way to get your name out there. If nothing else, it'll save
you from answering a lot of redundant questions by phone or sending out
brochures to people who aren't going to end up as customers. It'll save time
Sally: It still seems like a waste.
Me: Well, (the owner) wants it, I don't need much from you right now, just the
things on this list.
Sally: *reads list* I don't know that I can give you all of this today.
Me: You don't have to. E-mail it to me when you get it all together.
Sally: Fine. If there's nothing else...
She was clearly trying to get me out of her office, so I left, and did as much as
I could with the site without the things she was sending me, one of which was
the original hi-res file of the company logo.
One month later, despite weekly phone calls (always going to voice mail) I
have received no e-mail. I call her again, and I actually speak to her in person
for a change. I'm promised the files within the week. The week passes, and
I go to visit the family member who facilitated this arrangement, and the
company boss is there.
Boss: How're things going? I thought we might have some progress by now.
Me: Well, I'm waiting for the logo and things from Sally. She said she'd e-mail
them to me but that hasn't happened just yet.
Boss: I'll talk to her tomorrow.
The next day, Sally calls.
Sally: You know, you didn't have to running to my boss trying to make me
Sally: I don't answer to you! You had no right to tell my boss that I wasn't
doing what you wanted me to with your stupid website files!
She still neglected to send me the e-mail, so I talked directly to her boss, and
then went in on a day when she wasn't in the office and got the files directly
from her computer myself.
A week thereafter, I got an instant message from an AIM screenname I knew
to be Sally, threatening me and my company, saying that she'd smear me
throughout our town, and telling me to keep my ass out of her office if I
"knew what was good for me." I just ignored it. Psycho woman!
About 14 months after the site was put up, I got a call from the boss. The
site had disappeared from the internet. Why? What could be done? Turns
out that Sally had ignored the renewal notices for both the domain and the
hosting. He asked me if I could fix it. "Only if you want to give me your
American Express number, sir."
He actually did, and his site was back up within a couple of days. A couple of
weeks later, he e-mailed to inform me that Sally had been replaced. I offered
to redesign and update the site for him, and I now maintain it for free, mainly
because I'm glad to not have to deal with Crazy Sally anymore!