May 17, 2017

If I sat down and made a list of the frustrations I’ve had with consultants I’ve worked with since I left the corporate world, I’d burn out that pencil. See those teeth marks toward the tip? There’d be a whole lot more of them.

Seems to me that the concept of serving the customer is absolutely foreign to folks who have never worked in a large or more formally structured organization. If they’ve always had low-level jobs or worked for themselves, they’ve never been exposed to what I call “the disciplines” and it makes me insane to work with them.

It does. I have to admit it. In-fugging-sane.  And here’s why:

They can’t meet a deadline to save their lives.

Well, maybe to save their lives.  Maybe if it were that. But normally? They take deadlines as “suggestions.” Maybe they’ll make it but probably not.

Things come up.

I love the excuse “something came up.”  Or they have a long tale of woe.

They don’t understand that I don’t care about their tale of woe. My tale of woe began when they missed my deadline. So now, I’ve got my own tale of woe.

Note to consultants and other service providers: your client does not care about all the reasons why you missed a deadline. Just meet the damn deadline.

“Done” does not include checking their work.

Do not give me work that has not been proofread. Or checked for accuracy. Not too long ago I got a work product back that was more than 50 percent wrong. Completely fugged up. Completely.  Seriously wrong. Creating horrible time crunches. The consultant clearly had not checked their work. And never had.

If I had treated clients like that when I was a consultant, I’d have had very few clients. It’s very hard to recommend someone who can not meet deadlines or deliver an accurate product. I wonder if they know how many times I could have referred them and either didn’t, or was honest about their strengths and weaknesses.

Communication? What’s that?

Oh, those long silences, in which I thought work was being done but actually “things came up.”  Deadlines also came up … and went. Whooshing by in a flash.

Another time a consultant gave away my small account to another consultant she’d trained to take her overflow. She had gotten way too big and important for what I had on offer. Of course, I hated working with her because she was so difficult and I liked the new consultant better. Far better. But she never had the courtesy to call me and have a discussion about it–she just handed me off and send me a short email about it. I wonder if she knows how many times I could have referred people to her in her newer venture and didn’t. Or how many of her former clients have commiserated about how awful she was to work with.

These are more than frustrations. They’re another indication that the disciplines, the courtesies and customer service have disappeared in the 21st century and that there are a whole bunch of people who have never been exposed to them–and have never thought of them on their own.

As I wrote this, I was ready to scream. I had two consultants who are lagging in delivering work product. They’ve missed numerous deadlines. It was too late to find someone else. I just had to push and prod. And pick my battles.

Where’s my medication? Oh wait, I don’t need meds. Neither do you. I have a downloadable audio for anxiety and stress, right HERE. Check it out!



26 comments on “Frustrations
  1. ryderziebarth says:

    I am using your anxiety down load and absolutely love it, so thanks for that. On this subject I have several things to say. I was always taught, WAAAYYY back in my early career, that clients DO NOT want to hear that you have other clients The don’t give a rat’s ass. To them, they are THE only client and expect to be treated as such. I agree with that.Two: there is absolutely zero excuse for not getting back to someone ‘s email within an hour unless you live in a different time zone, it’s clearly after business hours, or someone in the family has died( even then I managed to meet my deadlines in a master’s program while my father lay dying in the hospital.)Those basic guidelines in any business relationship should firmly established right up front. These day, days and week-long lapses in answers to mail are deal breakers and should be written into every contract before you even begin to work together. Time is money and such behavior is rude, unprofessional, and just plain frustrating. It is the first sign of an unorganized company and a huge red flag to move on immediately.I will admit I am a terrible proof reader, and very impulsive to hit the send button, and that’s why I HIRE MY OWN EDITOR( or good friend) to look over my work before the client sees it, at my OWN expense. Knowing your weaknesses in business is a huge strength and your clients will appreciate your extra efforts in their behalf.Thanks for this post, Carol.

  2. I can’t believe what a nightmare this has been for you Carol – it certainly emphasizes the importance of doing things with excellence and treating your clients with the utmost respect.

  3. Robin rue says:

    I can’t stand it when I give someone a deadline or they give me a time that work will be delivered and then they don’t come through. It IS frustrating.

  4. Jenn JG says:

    Sounds like you are a hard worker and take pride in your work and your self. too Bad more people cant be like that to avoid such frustrations. Thanks for sharing

  5. Anosa says:

    Working with people who are not professional enough is really a pain in the ass and its depressing when they don’t meet the deadlines. Patience is our bestfriend when it comes to that situation.

  6. leah says:

    wow sounds stressful! It’s such a shame when you work so hard and people just throw it back at you. I bet you just want to shake them sometimes eh!

  7. Oh man that is the worst as far as excuses to meet deadlines! I love that audio that you shared thank you!

  8. My husband’s company hires consultants to come in and write contracts/bids for work, to ensure compliance, and quality assurance. Though since the beginning I have never known one of the consultants to turn it in on time, complete, and compliant all in the same swoop. It’s always someone else’s fault. It is frustrating.

    I feel even customer service at the civilian people level declines further and further. “The customer is always right” has been debunked, and now it’s every man for himself.

  9. Lisa says:

    I can completely identify with what you are saying. I work for a large corporate company and have experienced some of these things. It is incredibly difficult when your deadlines are so reliant on others meeting theirs!

  10. GiGi Eats says:

    I trust pretty much NO ONE when it comes to work. NO ONE. I only trust that I WILL do things on time. Sadly, sometimes you need to out source and that’s when things get risky!! IE: people get lazy! 🙁

  11. JEssica Taylor says:

    These are all pretty frustrating to be honest! Especially those damn deadlines.

  12. Amber Myers says:

    I cannot stand unprofessional people. Drives me nuts. If you say you’re going to do something, do it! But so many people don’t :/

  13. Claudia Krusch says:

    Excuses to meet deadlines are so frustrating. I get that emergencies come up but I have heard some dozies.

  14. I’ve had to deal with a lot of cranky people too. I get what you mean by deadlines. That is why I ALWAYS get sponsored posts up within 48 hours. I do have to say that some people that have contacted me (mainly 1) has been very rude. I’ll put a link in the website part of the bottom where it asks for that, email and name. You should be able to see it in the back of your site where comments come through.

  15. Heather says:

    I’m just going to play devil’s, advocate, here. I have not been able to successfully keep workflow going with my blog since January because of my husband’s surgery and then the loss of his job, which halted my work so that I could dedicate time to help him find employment.We also are losing our house and have to move into an RV. I’ve had months of devastating thoughts of being homeless. I know it’s a sob story you wouldn’t want to hear, but life things do happen. However, if you’ve committed to the deadline, you should do it. I have not committed to anything new in light of our new situation, if you can’t do the deadline, communication should be vital so that work can be transferred to someone else. It’s common courtesy and in this day of connectivity, you can always reply indicating why you need an extension. I think the key here is to not commit in the first place if you can’t do it.

  16. Molly says:

    Life can really get in the way sometimes when trying to complete a goal. We have to role with the punches and persevere.

  17. That would certainly be hard to work with people who couldn’t commit to any kind of a deadline. When they cannot you probably need to run away from them as soon as possible.

  18. Kim says:

    I share the same sentiments! Like why commit when you cannot do it anyway? I dont get it! They dont see how what their do causes a domino effect to other things ugh

  19. Omgosh I cannot imagine working with someone like that, I’d go nuts!! >.<

  20. Czjai says:

    What a headache those consultants must have been! I can just imagine your anger and frustration and disappointment!

  21. Amy says:

    Customer service certainly has gone AWOL in the 21st century. It’s so annoying!

  22. Shannon says:

    Communication is such a huge factor in getting anything done, and it’s insanely frustrating when others don’t do it well! Thanks for the downloadable audio, sounds great!

  23. Katja says:

    Missing deadlines is my pet peeve too – it’s so disrespectful.
    Katja xxx

  24. Tiara Wilson says:

    I tend to get frustrated a lot now a days. I get frustrated when I feel like I cannot get it all done or don’t have enough hours in my life.

  25. Heather says:

    It is amazing to me the difference in “done” that I see when I am working with others. I was an accountant before I was a blogger…and that meant a serious deadline every month.

  26. Rebecca Swenor says:

    This is a great post and a great way to vent your frustrations. Anxiety leads to stress which leads to so many negative things. Communication is big for anyone in business and in life. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

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