Your Fired, now what

Your Fired, now what. Sometimes, you need to end a relationship.  All projects and clients do not benefit your business and some are just toxic.  It might not be you, but them.  Most of us think it is about us, however, sometimes it is a bad client.

Be honest, because sometime it is us.  Maybe we are not knowledgeable to complete the project.  Stop trying to learn on the job, as your client suffers.  You are just developing a toxic relationship.  Setting up fail responses is not the foundation of a success relationship  Making sure your client is super excited every time you speak, should be the expectation.  Otherwise you might be growing a toxic relationships. Toxic relationships are not good for you or your client.

Your Fired (story time)

A couple years ago, while attending  WordCamp Asheville (in North Carolina), I had to complete a couple of projects. So I decided to drive up on Saturday morning, it is about an three and half (3 1/2) hour drive from my house. A few weeks prior, I created a branding model for a faith base client.  Instructing my client (the pastor) to share her sermons on Monday as a blog post.  The pastor  had advised me that, her sermons were completed by Friday night or Saturday morning.  Creating a step by step process on how to schedule a blog posting, the upcoming sermon.  Even creating some back end videos as a reference point.

At 7:00pm on Saturday, the pastor called me with a few questions about the blog posting process. Since we had decided to schedule the posting on Monday, I decided to get back with her on Monday.  The calls continued through out the night and were followed with emails.  The emails became increasing angry filled.  Finally the last email was filled with some treats about creating untruthful reviews about my agency and myself.

What are my rules (you are fired)

I have a policy and it has been shared with all my support clients.  The only urgent situations are

  • your site is down (white pages of death)
  • your site has changed (layout issues)
  • malware is present on the site (funky coding on the front page, unauthorized re-directs [ usually to a porn site ])

The issues surrounding this client did not reach the urgent level. On Sunday morning, my phone was filled with several profanity laced texts and voice messages.  Pulling up the client’s site, and noticing the issue was a category issue.  The client had not selected the correct category.  After making a couple of changes to the client’s site, the sermon displayed.

Being completely stunned, and embarrassed by the content of the messages.  Not sure if the embarrassment was due to the fact that the subject matter was coming from a women of the cloth, or it was a women.  Not being able to enjoy a weekend of learning, I decided to leave my conference early on Sunday.

Missing an opportunity to network and grow my brand and knowledge base, I decided to contact my client.  The pastor did not answer my call.  As I drove home, my phone ranged.  It was the pastor.  Somehow the category issue, was a problem with the training and video presentation.  When discussing the nature of the voice messages and texts, I was greeted with “I was mad.”  Really.  You think.

The next morning, the client texted me.  It was not an “thank you”, but she was complaining about how long it took me to response.  The expectation was for better service.  And this was an urgent issue, which should have required my immediate attention.  While my position did not change, I decided the level of professionalism had reached a point of no return.

Receiving about five more emails, about the amount of payment, level of support, and some other unrelated issue, I decided to give the client a call back.  It was time to fire the client.  I advised the client that the she was being fired.  The hosting was going to stay in effect for the next 45 days.  She would need to secured a new hosting company, security platform, back up system, and support teams for updates.  The client hung up on me.  Sending the client a follow up letter, and expecting to receive some negative reviews…It was time to sever the relationship.


The client did not move their site.  Having ManageWP, the site was taken down and a landing page was installed.  The client called and was upset.  I referred her to the email.  I hung up.  Later that day, an board member called and asked if we could put the site back up.  Explaining the situation, the board member advised a payment would be submitted and new hosting company would be secured.  After payment was secured, the site was put back up.

Later the pastor called and tried to explain.  The relationship was very toxic.  When asked if we could start over, my response was…”I do not think we are a good fit.”


Image courtesy of Chris Adamus

JDS WebDesign is a Web Design and Brand Marketing Agency located in Marietta, Georgia.  We create AWESOME on line presence for Start-ups and Influential People/Organizations.  To learn more about us or how we can help you and your organization, you can contact us.

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