Don't kill yourself

As a PostgreSQL consultant you end up working with a lot of different types of clients and these clients tend to all have different requirements. One client may need high-availability, while another needs a DBA, while yet another is in desperate need of being hit with a clue stick and while it is true that there can be difficult clients, there is no bad client.

What!!! Surely you can't be serious?

Don't call me shirley.

I am absolutely serious.

A bad client is only a reflection of a consultants inability to manage that client. It is true that there are difficult clients. They set unrealistic expectations, try to low ball you by with things like: "We can get your expertise for 30.00/hr from India" or my favorite: calling you directly when it is after hours to "chat".

How are these not bad clients? They are not bad clients because it is you that controls the relationship with the client. You as the consultant have to set proper boundaries with the client to insure that the relationship as a whole is positive and profitable. If you can't manage that relationship you have two choices:

  1. Hire someone who can
  2. Fire the client

Woah! Fire the client? Yes. Terminate the relationship with the client.

It is always amazing to me how many people can't fathom the idea of firing a client. It is always some sacred vow that a client can fire you but you are left holding the bag, somehow that bag is filled with the feces of some dog and you are expected to light it on fire and leave it on the porch of some unsuspecting high-school football coach.[1]

The counter argument to this is usually "I need the money". This is a valid argument but do you need the money so badly that you are willing to sacrifice your health or your relationships? It is astonishing how many consultants are willing to do exactly that. In the words of the legendary band Big Fun, "Suicide, don't do it"[2].

The better you manage a client, the better the relationship. Good luck!