You are correct and thank you so much for chiming in!
The client do seem to be a classic narcissist. His pride is more important than his website...it's sad.
He did keep on enumerating all his achievements and how great he is, how much he spent on the site etc. In the end, he became laughable.
I posted about this to inform people that even good freelancers can come across really bad clients. Also, just because a client has a good history doesn't mean that he/she is okay to work with. All his past work history in the platform is for graphics and web development.
I truly pity the next writer he ensnares with his claws. He is very manipulative and can be very good at making things look the way he wants to. In our emails, he dismisses the points I bring up and won't give real specifics about what he finds as wrong in the article. This bloke simply kept saying it is non-native English in quality because I don't look English and my location says I'm in the Philipines. In his opinion, I should be in the UK to write real English haha! I don't think he even read it to be honest. RACISM indeed.
Another reason why I wrote about this incident is because oDesk can be very strict on freelancers (getting suspended or reviewed is fairly easy) but may not be employing the same level of watchfullness over clients.
As a freelancer (and also as a client), I believe it is important to inform people if they are wrong. I truly want his site to succeed. The English is passable but I won't buy their products if I would base my decision solely on how their content is written. Some content are okay but some looks like it written by someone in grade school. No wonder he said that for some reason, only a few of his pages are getting great traffic.
He wrote stainless steel as STAINLES STELL. That content is live on a real website. It hurts my eyes!
Some people can't be helped I guess.
By the way Corrine, Thank so much for taking the time to write. I hope to see more of your posts
Wow, Dianne! What a nightmare of a client. Glad you got away from him.
This is definately the negative side of freelancing - dealing with troublesome clients.
Did he honestly think that being married to a Brit qualifies him as an expert writer? Tut tut!
Stephen, would you be willing to offer your services as an Arbitrator?
Dianne, you're in a no-win situation here and my advice would be to stop responding to him. Shut the contract down, and ignore him. Don't respond to his emails anymore.
Take your break, help the people in the small village your heading to and let it go (I know it's hard). It's not worth it to get into an Internet fight with anyone. Someone wants to act like an idiot, let them--you have better things to do with your time.
Of course, after saying that, I would probably be sending him emails telling him he's an idiot and end up getting suspended.
Hi Dianne if you're still there.
"Shut the contract down, and ignore him. Don't respond to his emails anymore.
Take your break, help the people in the small village your heading to and let it go (I know it's hard). It's not worth it to get into an Internet fight with anyone."
You don't go off on a break to get more angry than you were before. Let it go and be the better person, and throw yourself into enjoying your break...
Stephen and David,
I did end the contract when I received the first email. It was clear from that point what he was truly up to. I guess it is primarily why he won't let me be. Some people can't accept it if you take away control from them.
On a completely different note, I'm enjoying my vacay/work. We still got to trek (AGAIN) by first light tomorrow but we'll get to where we're headed soon (YEY!). I'm really surprised that they have internet and a station/camp this far out (another YEY!).
Oh and I received another forum email from someone who needs help. I might need to make my signature WAYYYY bigger.
Chat support IMPROVED a lot! The agent chatted with me using conversational English! Non of the copy pasted stuff. It's like getting real cake after years of instant mixes.
They won't investigate the client because they need a few complaints to start a review but hey, we know they're simply following protocol. I'm just glad to receive a clear and honest response. Gee, I missed that!
Oh wow... good luck trying to make parallel lines meet, Dianne.. and I do hope that your case is dealt with fairly. Now, I'm really curious what his emails look like
and by being 'untouchable' -- does your client really know what that meant? One may interpret it as belonging to a lower caste in South Asia or someone vile/loathsome to the touch (as defined in the dictionary).. I would make a pun out of it just for laughs.
To be fair, his english isn't that bad. I don't expect anyone to have perfect grammar in their email or in the forum; however, I can't ignore certain things like spelling MANNER as MANOR. He said, "can we end this n a satisfying manor?"
I was so tempted to say that a manor would indeed satisfy me haha but refrained from saying so because he might not understand wordplay and simple jokes.
Again, his English is understandable but he is far from the expert which he claims to be. When I pointed this out, he gave out all sorts of excuses such as it was his colleague (a Brit) who said my writing is soooo bad. I wanted to ask, "is that the same colleague who published STAINLES STELL in your website? the one who supposedly edits all your content and has extensive experience in publishing?"
True about the word untouchable. Someone obviously missed history class haha.
I did thank him on my last email for the laughs
Oh, I did check their Linkedin profiles and it looks like they did work in publishing and have established careers. It is why I am so perplexed by how they behaved towards me. It migth be a case of either RACISM or SUPERIORITY COMPLEX.
I wonder how they managed to get to where they are by writing content like that (with plenty of spelling mistakes). Never mind the grammar. The spelling is a dead give away.
Did a quick search and there are a lot of people publishing things on the internet who think "stainless stell" is correct. Maybe your client Googled his misspelled words, found that other people spell as badly as he does, and used it to prove to himself that he is right and you are wrong.
I think this has less to do with the client not being a native English speaker than the client being full of himself. As everyone else said, just let him go.
I have a client who is not a native English speaker (he lives in the UK actually) and he is very aware that his English sometimes needs correcting.
It's nigh-on impossible for a non-native speaker to truly gauge whether someone is a native speaker/writer, as they don't know the nuances that make the difference (because they're not native - it's a vicious circle). They can, of course, notice that their English has been vastly improved, without necessarily knowing how or why.
You're right Marcia, it does seem he's like that.
Like you, I also have clients with impeccable English but they never claim to be an expert either. So either the client is a narcissistic racist or his wife and colleague are both dyslexic haha! Btw, I'm not making fun of dyslexic people, just the client
I don't think he believes that being married to a Brit = being a native English speaker. He's obviousy just trying to seem like he's an authority on the language. That, plus the thinking that he can do no wrong.
------------------------------related mini dialogue with self/forum-----------------
My heritage is quite a mix up. I'm a real mutt, (biologically and culturally speaking as well as language-wise) but I know for a fact that English is my first language. With that said, I will never claim to be an expert in it EVER. I catch myself making mistakes plenty of times so nope, not an expert here
Being born to a language does not make one an automatic expert. Plus, the spoken form of the language often doesn't reflect the written form...except may be in places such as forums where people often write as they speak or think. As for accent, people can't place my accent at all. It seems it's all mixed up as well Australians would say I sound American, and Americans would say I sound Canadian and Canadians would say I sound like a mix between the other two. Sometimes I can fake a Harry Potter accent as my expat friends call it haha!
Let's also not forget people who solely speak English from birth but can't write something publish worthy even if it's just for a personal blog.
If all native English speakers are excellent writers, we won't have them looking for freelancers to do their writing for them. There will be no editors as well as there's simply no need.
I have to cut this short now. Goodbye civilization and hello jungle! whohoo!
Thanks again everyone!
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