I try to learn something every day. Preferably something new, but some lessons need repeating until I finally get it. The lesson I’m struggling with right now is “never let a client rush your work”.

I have a client who accepted my estimate for their site, including the timeframe for completion, which is April 30. I started work and was feeling very good about the project, until the second meeting, where I was introduced to someone who I was told would now be my contact during the project.

I had not been made aware that I would be dealing with anyone other than the client, but I agreed, since I felt that having someone whose job it was to provide me with content, images, etc would be helpful, and would move the project along smoothly, without my having to wait for the client, who is busy running his business, to do so.

But unfortunately now he is pushing to have “something” up by the  end of this week. He says he doesn’t really care if it’s complete, we can finish it later – how much later he doesn’t say.

This is a problem for me on several fronts; first and foremost being that I have a schedule that I try to adhere to and if I am to do as he wants I will have to reschedule work for other clients. This is not fair to them, and it makes me look disorganized and unprofessional.

Secondly, allowing a client to push me to make these sort of changes almost invariably leads to inferior work, either due to the rush to finish, or because once the “something” is up, the work that is left to do becomes an afterthought and the site remains in an unfinished state for far too long. Either way, it leaves both of us dissatisfied.

And lastly, my computer recently crashed and the result was that for 8 days I was unable to do any offline work – I could use my laptop to edit online but all by code snippets and other files were on the broken computer. It would have been a nice vacation if I had not been so anxious about my waiting clients, and it has put me under even more time pressure now to get everything back on track.

I’m going to have to figure something out that will suit both of us – the last thing I want is a dissatisfied client, but I also cannot commit to his new timeframe.

I’ll write more as the issue resolves.