Haven’t been on here for ages, but I felt like I needed to post this:

This is long, and it might make you cry.

A couple of months back I worked for a completely clueless dude who had somehow landed a contract for a new website for a huge company. After a while he realised that he was incapable of completing the assignment. He then hired me as a subcontractor and I deleted literally everything he had done and started from scratch. He had over promised and under explained what needed to be done to me. It took many sleepless nights to get this finished with all the amendments and I had to double my pricing because he kept changing the brief.

Even after doubling my prices I still put in way too many hours of work. At one point I had enough and just ghosted the guy as I had done what he asked, and when he submitted it to them they wanted changes. He couldn’t make the changes, so I had to. He wouldn’t pay me extra though. I decided it wasn’t worth my time.

A couple of days ago I heard from him again. He had found another subcontractor to finish the changes. He still needed a few things though, so he promised me that I would get paid after fixing those things. I looked at the few things he had listed in our KANBAN and thought it was a few easy tasks.. until I opened the project..

I had my computer set up to sync with his server because he wanted everything done live and in production. So I naturally thought I would just “sync down” everything that the other subcontractor had done.

Here is where the magic started to happen.. I started the sync and went to grab a glass of water, and it was still running when I came back. I looked at the log and saw a bunch of “node_module” files syncing - around 900 folders. Funny thing is; neither the site nor server has anything to do with node..

I disregarded this and downloaded the files in a more manual fashion to a new folder. Interestingly I could see that my SCSS folders had not been touched since I stopped working on the project.. interesting, I thought to myself..

Turns out, the other subcontractor had taken my rendered and minimised CSS file, prettified it and worked from there. This meant that the around ~1500 lines of SCSS neatly organised in around 20 files was suddenly turned into a monster of a single CSS file of no less than 17300 lines.

I tried to explain to the guy that the other subcontractor had fucked up, but he said that I should be able to fix it since I was the one that made it initially. I haven’t replied. My life is too short for this.

  • 14
    My sincere condolences

    I cried a little
  • 7
    @alexbrooklyn thank you.. I needed to share the pain
  • 10
    After this make sure this 'client' ends up in yer spambox mate
  • 7
    I would like to say that this is something you only experience once in your live but no..
    Just the other day I interviewed somebody(frontend), wasn‘t really convinced and gave him a simple task as homework.

    He had to expand a simple test project and he basically did the same thing.
    He got the project(all set up) and just generated a non minified css(dev) and modified that file instead of.. you know the story.
  • 2
    @ExGetMessage How did it end? Did you tell him it was stupid?
  • 3
    @alexbrooklyn last time I worked for a guy seeking to exploit a fresh mind with a lot of enthusiasm was back in 2000 or so. The only good thing left from that situation was a friendship with an Emmy awarded lady. Some weeks ago I contacted her just to say hi. She replied: whoever you might be ..... Bla, bla, Bla..... A a a a. A. A
  • 4
    @alexbrooklyn He didn‘t get the job and we told him what we would like to have gotten as solution but he only complained and told us it works so it‘s fine.

    We took our time with him and in the end we were on the same page. So good outcome I guess. He will do better next time and I still have his contact. Never give up on people who are willing to learn :) I know, doesn‘t fit your case but still..
  • 3
    Run from such clients.. as fast as you can. It's something you have to learn once in your life though... Clients, customers, users, all of them.. nightmares until proven otherwise.

    Edit: also report this "developer" that rides on subcontracts to his boss. He has no idea what he's doing and seems to have no issues taking shortcuts everywhere to make up for their own incompetence. Might as well give him a shortcut to getting fired? That's what I'd do anyway, to make up for all those sleepless nights. No mercy for those people!
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