I work at a publishing house. I’m basically a professional buffer for editorial and production – I work with our authors as clients directly and catch their mistakes and questions before they bother people higher up the food chain.
This particular author had been proving a nuisance from the get-go, demanding things we don’t usually do and acting self-important the whole time, so I should have figured this would happen. He submitted for inclusion in their book images of paragraphs of text.
Me: Can you supply me captions for your images?
Client: I don’t need captions. These aren’t normal images.
Me: We require captions for all figures.
Client: Those images aren’t figures. They should be treated a block quotes. They need to go exactly where I put them with no other text surrounding.
Me: I’m afraid we can’t do that. If the images get bumped to overleaf pages for design reasons, there needs to be some way of identifying them.
This guy then throws a fit, ending with…
Client: …if necessary, I will rewrite the text around the images after the pages have been designed so the the images will sit properly within the text.
This is practically impossible to do from a financial standpoint. Rewriting after type-setting and composition is HILARIOUSLY expensive and extremely time consuming.
Me: I’m afraid we can’t do that. It’s not practical from a financial standpoint, and it would delay publication by at least a season.
Client: I want to talk to your production supervisor.
I pass him to my production supervisor. They have a phone conversation that lasts two minutes, during which time he tells my client politely) exactly what I told them. The conversation ends with the client calling my supervisor “incompetent.”
I get this e-mail the next morning.
Client: Dear Underling: I had a very dissatisfactory conversation with your Supervisor yesterday, in which he was very rude and dismissive of me. As I see it now, we have three options: 1) Supervisor can do his job and accommodate the rewriting process, 2) I will take care of design myself (NB: LOL this person couldn’t figure out how to use Dropbox), or 3) I will have no choice but to break our contract.