Good Question: My client is being totally unreasonable. I don’t know what to say. Help!

When M. wrote to me, she was justifiably annoyed.

“I designed a website for a client. Then she hired a different designer — a cheaper one — to do some site updates. Now the site looks awful, and she wants ME to fix it, for FREE!

Can you write a script to help people like me?”

Yes. I do believe I can.

When somebody makes a ridiculous, unreasonable request — in business, at your job, in life, friendship and love — you essentially have three options:

: Don’t even bother responding. (Silence is an answer.)
: Respond, with an irritated, are-you-flipping-nuts?! tone.
: Respond, with a calm, collected, keep-it-classy tone.

Guess which option I prefer?

Here’s a script that you can tweak and test out, the next time you’re facing off with a preposterous request.

Hey {unreasonable person’s name},

Thanks for writing. And yikes — the situation you described sounds deeply frustrating.

I can see why you took the time to reach out, asking for help.

Here’s the thing:

I made a promise to myself on the very first day {I opened my business / took my current position / started my job}.

As a professional {writer / designer / photographer / teacher / coach}, I don’t work “for free,” unless …

1. I’m {doing a project for charity / volunteering for a non-profit / helping someone in my immediate family. Say, my momma.}

Or …

2. I’m correcting a mistake that I made, personally.

Your request doesn’t fall into either of those two categories, so I’ve got to hold firm on my policy and respectfully say “no.”

I’m wishing you all the best. I know you’ll find a way to solve this.

{Your name here}

P.S. If it’s helpful to you, I’ve pasted a great collection of free and low-cost {writing / blogging / training / web design} resources, just down below. Have at ’em.

And that’s it! Short. Simple. No sweat.

Just personalize and blast off, with a deeee-eep breath.

What’s the most RIDICULOUS request that somebody’s ever tossed at YOU?