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ben_s

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Pardon me while I explode. :rant: Hey, I feel better already with a smiley.

Our business wound up with the client from hell. They were so outrageously rude and disorganized, chaotic and pushy, obnoxious and intolerable. We had a team member - normally calm - literally become sick with massive headaches and nausea from the stress. There were red flag warning signs we didn't pick up on. But it also didn't occur to us just how terrible some people could be as customers.

They were charming personally, up until they started trying to get a lot of extra work for free. Their new demands came, of course, in a three hour meeting that had them on their cell phones at least half the time. In these calls, they told off their callers for not being respectful! They showed up late, and the actual work to be done should have taken half an hour - and never did get finished. :brickwall:

We have a meeting tomorrow that they imagine will be to further define the project - like we found out they "further defined" for the last six vendors they've had - coincidentally all incompetent, they said! :footinmouth: :lalala: We've already decided our outcome of the meeting will be to kick them to the curb, hand over what we've done so far for their deposit, and tear up the contract. They want to have plenty of time and not be rushed! Won't they be surprised at how much can change in 10 minutes!

My business partner wanted to send a scalding hot email telling them off. I said, let's wait and try to be civil in person. We are meeting at a public cafe, so they are unlikely to cause a scene. :hissy:

I asked the oracle:

Outcome of sending the hot email? 33 retreat, no change. We give up and stay away.

What should I understand about my fears about the ranting hot email? 5.5 waiting > 11 peace. I hope that with a longer term view, we can have not just retreat but a lasting peace.

Is my hope for a negotiated peace realistic? 16.2,3,5 enthusiasm > 28 preponderance of the great (overload). No, no matter how hard we try to be gracious servants, they will pile on more and more until everything collapses. :deadhorse:

This seems very clear to me: we need to stop working for them. Still not sure if email or the meeting is the way to go.

(After the meeting from hell, we picked up a delightful new client. Everything got put together in an hour, they are happy and we are happy. We aren't too worried about the lost money from the bad client. Actually, we're looking forward to not wasting any more time with them.)

I think the Yi is saying my partner's right: give up already. Any further interpretations?
 

shefa

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I hear yes, terminate the business relationship. It seems your values are not on the same page. I believe the 33 is telling you to retreat from the situation, not so much that sending the email will result in retreat. Does this sound true to you also? Go with your inner voice.
 

ben_s

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Thanks Shefa, my intuition is absolutely saying to get out, but be polite while locking the gate.

Forgot to mention I also asked, what outcome would realistically come from trying a collaborative solution to the situation? 56 the wanderer, no changing lines. "Strange lands and separation are the wanderer's lot." Nothing we do will measure up for us to be accepted as insiders in their lives!
 

shefa

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It sounds like from 56 that you would be on "a quest of your own," as Karcher puts it. This does not sound like the ideal scenario, but there is some success indicated on the journey. Perhaps this just means to be polite and earn some good karma as you walk far away.
 

hilary

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Happy to have provided the means for emoticon therapy!

I suspect 33 is the result of the superheated email: end of relationship, successful retreat that saves your bacon. Either right away, or, should they reply to the email, the moment when you realise you actually don't want to continue the conversation.

And without looking in detail at 16 to 28, I think Yi is being funny. Is that a hope for a negotiated peace, or an Enthusiasm for back-breaking overload? And yes, of course you can continue to negotiate for as long as you like: see line 5.

The email doesn't have to be red hot, of course. It could be exceptionally professional, calm and collected, still accomplish a perfect 33, and be remarkably satisfying to write. :mischief:
 

Tony_L

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Our business wound up with the client from hell. They were so outrageously rude and disorganized, chaotic and pushy, obnoxious and intolerable. ... They were charming personally, up until they started trying to get a lot of extra work for free. ...
I asked the oracle:
Outcome of sending the hot email? 33 retreat, no change. We give up and stay away.

What should I understand about my fears about the ranting hot email? 5.5 waiting > 11 peace. ...

Is my hope for a negotiated peace realistic? 16.2,3,5 enthusiasm > 28 preponderance of the great (overload). ... we need to stop working for them. Still not sure if email or the meeting is the way to go. ...
I also asked, what outcome would realistically come from trying a collaborative solution to the situation? 56 the wanderer, no changing lines.
Ben,

Seems to me that your interpretations are on target. Here are some other ideas on the lines:
33: Get out while you can, risk of deception.
5.5 > 11 (maybe you should go out with your colleagues for a few drinks before deciding the best way to handle terminating the contract; or maybe their alcohol abuse in the root of some of their obnoxious behavior).
16.2,3,5 > 28: They're stepping all over you like an untamed elephant, which has gotten you to a breaking point.
16.2 you've hit a rock, don't even complete the day with these people.
16.3 they are stepping all over you like wild elephants
16.5 they are making you guys sick, get out before they kill you.

56: they are not interested in a long-term relationship with you. They're just passing through and using you for what they can get in the process.

Best wishes,

Tony
 
M

meng

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Ben, this is probably the first post I've seen here where the one posting had a more clear grip on the reading than any other interpretor could possibly have. I'd say you've picked the bones clean on this one before setting it on the table.

The only leftover thought I have, which may be entirely redundant, is that 16 can be much ado about nothing. Perhaps it gives these folks a sense of power to make you folks run around pulling your hair out.
 

ben_s

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Thanks to everyone for the moral support. We had two people give us specific advice about our next steps. We sent a short email to cancel today's meeting because of health issues, with a promise that we'll follow up early next week.

Next week's follow up will be a short letter:

"Sorry this working relationship isn't providing what either of us needs. We are not able to provide the quantity of meeting time you said you need for success without feeling rushed. Therefore we are canceling the contract effective immediately. Here is our invoice for the investment we've made in the project so far, minus your deposit payment. Because we are canceling on short notice, we do not expect payment of the balance. Enclosed is all the work completed and work in progress done so far. Good luck with your business ventures in the future."

It's especially helpful to see Tony's take on 56 and Meng's on 16: this is the way they run their lives, whether or not we are on the scene!
 

hilary

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Yes - very nice and 33-esque:
'Below heaven is the mountain. Retreat.
Noble one keeps small people at a distance,
Not with hatred, but through respect.'
 

steve

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Hi
Everyone is right here
(any chance of keeping the deposit)lol
I think the client will feel like they are slapped across the face with with a wet fish
I dont think 33 is a sign of weakness its a sign of strength
Its complicated
So as long as you have acted , whats the word well we all know it.with honor,,no blame
yea sure walk away

Steve
 

ben_s

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any chance of keeping the deposit
Yes, Steve, someone else gave us this great idea. The letter will include

"Invoice:
What we've already contributed $x/hour x N hours = ...
- $ we've already received from client's deposit
= $ we're already short on this project at time of cancellation

But because we are canceling at short notice, we don't expect you to pay this."

I loved that suggestion!
 

steve

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well i wouldnt give it back
but hey thats me

Steve
 

ben_s

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Steve, we're not going to give any money back. The point is: the value of the work we've already done (we're the vendor here), is MORE than the value of their deposit. When we cancel the project, we don't owe them anything. We've already done more work than they have paid for so far. Sorry if this isn't clear.
 

lorrainep

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I'm dying to know what happened. Sometimes when you tell a customer you're not playing anymore, they shape up and you can proceed with some kind of relationship.
 

ben_s

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Actually got a positive email from them that seems to indicate sincerity. I will keep y'all updated.
 

ben_s

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Well, bad news and unknown news. We wrote a very pissed-off letter about the way they wasted our time, which doesn't mean that we have a crisis. It was good for our emotions to get that out. Then, we sent it. Probably not a good idea. OK, I confess, not a good idea. Actually, I was so upset that I overrode my partner's reservations and had us dump it out already, instead of wasting any more time on the problem. My partner thinks that now, I owe an apology to the ex-client for the excessively harsh wording - which my partner would have taken out if I'd not been too angry for patience.

I asked the oracle:
Do I have a moral obligation to do anything more about this or can I just be free of it
11.6 peace > 26 taming power of the great

I would really like advice on how to interpret this reading.
 

willowfox

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Do I have a moral obligation to do anything more about this or can I just be free of it
11.6 peace > 26

Line 11.6 says it is now too late, the email has gone, so just let whatever happens happen and do nothing more about it, simply carry on business as per usual.

Hex 26 says to hold firmly to your principle of not backing down, stand firmly by what you did.
 

hilary

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What she said :)

11.6 says specifically that when the walls have already fallen into the moat, it's not helpful to bring in the army to defend them. It's done; relationship over; there are no moral obligations to something that isn't there any more. Judging from the context, this is in no way a bad thing: it implies this city was due to fall down in the natural flow of things.

So instead of expending good energy after bad, 'From your own city, declare the mandate.' Seems your time might be better spent on clarifying exactly what kind of customer you do want to work with, and getting the word out.
 

steve

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Hi Ben
I just left this club where people were strern

Hope i didnt get u into trouble

Steve
 

steve

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I wouldnt worry mate
your over reacting
willow fox told me to deal with a client , 2 months later i did
Yea i am the boss

dont stress

Steve
 

steve

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You really are an elf hilary,
oh my my goodness

Steve
 

ben_s

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Thanks again to the advisory board. :bows:

We had meetings with two more prospects, looks like one of them will be a very nice person to have as a client.
 

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