The Friday Funny: “Yeah that’s not what I was looking for at all.”

There’s probably no evaluator or client on earth who hasn’t had to do a little back-and-forth to negotiate what the key points are and how they should best be expressed in reports and presentations.

There is a need to balance conveying what’s really key with being responsive to the concerns of the client, all without letting inappropriate personal views sabotage the quality or value of the product.

And, of course, to deal with criticism from someone who may not have deep expertise in our craft.

How does this back-and-forth negotiation work when deeply-held views differ wildly but there is still an urgent need to agree on the final deliverable?

Blogger and author David Thorne enlightens us … [We’ve just sampled snippets of the exchange to give you the highlights, so if you’d like the full version, please click through to David’s site (although cat lovers may want to give this a miss!).]

 

From: Shannon Walkley
Date: Monday 21 June 2010 9.15am
To: David Thorne
Subject: Poster

Hi
I opened the screen door yesterday and my cat got out and has been missing since then so I was wondering if you are not to busy you could make a poster for me. It has to be A4 and I will photocopy it and put it around my suburb this afternoon.

This is the only photo of her I have she answers to the name Missy and is black and white and about 8 months old. missing on Harper street and my phone number.
Thanks Shan.

From: David Thorne
Date: Monday 21 June 2010 9.26am
To: Shannon Walkley
Subject: Re: Poster

Dear Shannon,

Although I have two clients expecting completed work this afternoon, I will, of course, drop everything and do whatever it takes to facilitate the speedy return of Missy.
Regards, David.

From: Shannon Walkley
Date: Monday 21 June 2010 9.37am
To: David Thorne
Subject: Re: Re: Poster

yeah ok thanks. I know you dont like cats but I am really worried about mine. I have to leave at 1pm today.

From: David Thorne
Date: Monday 21 June 2010 10.17am
To: Shannon Walkley
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Poster

Dear Shannon,
I never said I don’t like cats. …
Attached poster as requested.
Regards, David.

From: Shannon Walkley
Date: Monday 21 June 2010 10.24am
To: David Thorne
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Poster

yeah thats not what I was looking for at all. it looks like a movie and how come the photo of Missy is so small?
From: David Thorne
Date: Monday 21 June 2010 10.28am
To: Shannon Walkley
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Poster

Dear Shannon,
It’s a design thing. The cat is lost in the negative space.
Regards, David.

From: Shannon Walkley
Date: Monday 21 June 2010 10.33am
To: David Thorne
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Poster

Thats just stupid. Can you do it properly please? I am extremely emotional over this and was up all night in tears. you seem to think it is funny. Can you make the photo bigger please and fix the text and do it in colour please. Thanks.

From: David Thorne
Date: Monday 21 June 2010 10.46am
To: Shannon Walkley
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Poster

Dear Shannon,
Having worked with designers for a few years now, I would have assumed you understood, despite our vague suggestions otherwise, we do not welcome constructive criticism. I don’t come downstairs and tell you how to send text messages, log onto Facebook and look out of the window. …
I have amended and attached the poster as per your instructions.
Regards, David.


Just a short ‘taster’ here, and the full version is definitely worth a read. Want to see what they agreed on finally? Check out the full post on David’s website.

And if you like the quirky sense of humor, he also has some interesting sounding books as well, including the bestseller: The Internet is a playground: Irreverent correspondences of an evil online genius.

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