How often have you encountered “problems”


I am unsure if this is an allowed question, I don’t want to put anyone off or cause issues but I always like to know everything…

How often have you encountered “problem” clients - I can assume at times there can be clashes in personalities / micro managing etc but are there just clients out there to find faults, claim negligence, sue etc

I’ve been in office environments and worked for all level from tiny businesses to multi million and had my fair share of “personalities” but because you technically aren’t their employee, can their issues be a bit more out there?


Hi Shelley

I think I must have been quite lucky as everyone I’ve worked with has been really nice! However there have been occasions where I have ‘refused’ work knowing that the client would be a nightmare! Just because someone offers you work doesn’t mean you have to take it! Trust your gut


Hi Shelley, in the early days I started working with a client who turned into a nightmare to work for, alarm bells rang when I asked her what her onboarding process was and she didn’t know what onboarding was. I gave her the benefit of doubt but turned out that my instinct was right. She was super busy and turned out to be totally disorganised, rude and unhelpful when trying to work with her. After trying to work through any difficulties with no success I walked away after 1 week. I have learnt from that to trust my instinct and have since turned work down as things haven’t felt “right”. It really is empowering after years of being employed as a PA. The beauty of being your own boss! As @grantedbusinesssolut says, trust your gut!


I think I must be super lucky… It’s pretty rare. We in the main have lovely clients, although they do, of course, have their own special quirks.

And TBH it doesn’t get to the same situation as it would if you were an employee, because the power balance is a lot different - you can always fire them. There are plenty more clients in the sea!

There’s definitely alarm bells which ring: Trying to get a discount, working from a gmail account, trying to convince us to scrape data or use a database which their mate down the pub got hold of, forcing us to follow processes which are clunky…


You’ve actually hit a few points which I had been thinking about Caroline.

Your comments about “scrapping data” and “databases” from unknown sources are things I’ve seen during my time in admin/secretarial - thankfully I wasn’t involved in it. I’ve dealt with scandal which I had been caught up in “just doing my job” where the manager had created a bogus DB and we were all working from it which led to 100s thousands pounds of discrepancies.

Needless to say - everyone involved from the ring leader to little ol me were subject to a lot of investigation, thankfully, they saw I had no part in it and was mearly following orders and didn’t know anything about the source of the DB/information but always wondered how you could be covered from situations like this.


Yes I have been approached by a fair few people who are completely dodgy. Making payments on anyone’s behalf, dodgy processes, reluctancy to pay upfront- if things don’t make sense or don’t feel right, don’t do it!
Some people are of course, just disorganised or struggling, but you will know in your gut if something is wrong x


I guess that’s also non-employee stuff - as an employee, you aren’t held responsible for your actions if someone tells you to do it. As a self-employed business owner, you’re expected to know how to handle data according to ICO, or what needs reporting to HMRC etc. If you do it wrong, YOU are responsible as well as the client.

Now personally I see that as a positive, because we lost out on jobs all the time because clients asked us to do unethical jobs and we wouldn’t. Now it’s illegal, no one else will do it and we tend to get the work because we have demonstrated proper knowledge of the subject.