I’ve been maintaining a few Web sites for folks. It’s not a big deal, I have the tools necessary to do it. But it takes time…
Generally not a lot of time, and often I can tweak things on the fly from my iPad or even my phone. But I kinda need the data that folks want me to put into their website. I’m after all not a mind reader and with my work schedule, the people I deal with every day, and being pretty much exhausted all the time I have little patience for uncooperative people.
One of the folks whose site I maintain, has been planning a move, from one location to another. They sent out a notification to everyone on their mailing list in late September or early October.
Fortunately, I was on their mailing list.
When I read the notice from them, I sent an email and said “You’re going to need to update the web site, send me all the information as soon as you can so that I can get ahead of your move and the website is up-to date”
I got a reply, “Yep, we’ll send you the info.”
UNTIL an email the day before Thanksgiving, again to the general mailing list that their shop would be closed Thanksgiving through Dec 1.
I sent another message, “OK I’ve got the new address from your email notification. I’ll update the basics Over the Thanksgiving holiday.” Silence…
I updated the website based on the information I had. I sent a link to my sandbox so they could verify the information is good. Still silence.
4PM on Black Friday, OH we want to add a whole new page can we do that?
I sent back a message, yes we can do that, what do you want the page to contain?
Then, early in the week I get an email that has two JPEG images of their brochure. No other explanation, just a typing chore for me to transcribe the text from a photograph into something that I can even begin to incorporate into a web page.
It’s not like there’s only a small amount of text this brochure is so text dense that I was reminded of war & peace, or The Dead Sea Scrolls!
It would be nice to know what it most important and what could be left out.
I’d have run OCR on the photo, except that the copy they sent me had a bunch of marks on it making it look like a “Captcha”. This rendered OCR almost completely useless.
I’ve finally got most everything into a usable format and now it’s about wrangling the text into some kind of organization and onto a page. Given that today is my one day off this week… I’m not a happy camper because this is not what I’d like to be doing today.
I’d like to be writing, and napping, having sex… Instead of sitting in front of a fucking computer doing someone else’s shit which is what I do all day long, every day at work.
This probably wouldn’t annoy me all that much except that these are “Friends” (Apparently I’m not on their Christmas list) and by the way THEY DON’T PAY ME. Taking advantage of your friends is the surest way to not have friends anymore.
Yep, This started out as a One-off to help them get their business running and now 3 – 4 years down the road I’m still doing it for nothing.
I guarantee that if they were paying me even 25 an hour, I’d have all sorts of pictures, and word files to put in their site. I also know exactly what they wanted and how they wanted it. Instead of working from something that is almost completely useless. 6 to 8 hours paid time would be “Too Expensive” I can hear the whining about the cost now.
Oh and I’d probably have had the time to do it in an organized way, instead of their usual method… PANIC MODE!
I’m thinking it’s time for me to put all their files on a thumb drive and mail it to them with a nice letter explaining how to transfer their domain to another location. Reminding them that failure to pay for their domain renewal will result in the loss of their website and rights to their domain.
Yeah, I’ve been handling the backend stuff for them too.
I think the time has come to cut my losses. Whatever happens after that it would be on them.