Client from hell

November 5, 2008

It took me much longer than usual to write another post. I’ve been … preoccupied… for the last two weeks, finishing a job for a client from hell. I am designing and producing a website for him, have been doing it for last 4 months. Four months is a loooooong time to create a website. The client from hell didn’t know what he wanted, even though he thought he knew. He would never give any clear instructions. He would never tell me exactly what and how should be done. He would wait until an element was finished, to tell me that it was not what he wanted, even if, maybe, he said it was, but he didn’t mean it like this, he meant it like that. Boundaries of any kind are clearly unknown to my client from hell. His mental space occured to me as a dense, gray fog in which nothing stands out clearly, there are no shapes, no contours, nothing to hold on to. So once we signed a contract, my client from hell and I, I promptly got overwhelmed, lost and scared. Scared because I had no idea what I was doing. That is I thought I knew, intellectually I knew, but I didn’t feel I knew, and he clearly wouldn’t tell me. Whatever it was I was doing, however, I was responsible for it. I signed papers, I took his money, I had to deliver. This job took me on a four months long journey of getting lost, falling, crumbling, being terrified, wanting to hide, resenting, avoiding, trying to quit, then finally realizing that this cannot continue, asserting myself, taking my stand, taking responsibility. Today morning I was walking around a hilltop behind my house. It was a gorgeous morning, sunny, breezy, quiet. Fall and winter sunlight in Ojai is wonderful – soft, golden, rich, not the white bleached glare of summer. I thought about the process I went through, particularly the last two weeks of my coming back to myself, getting my life back in my own hands. I thought about how to write about it, it seemed a great subject for another blog. Then I felt who I am. I opened. Trees responded, they are the way I am, we understand each other well. I was, standing on the hilltop next to an old oak tree. And I WAS. And all my adventures with the client of hell were just a tiny little speck in who I was. In who I am.

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