This will be one of my blog entries where I 'talk shop'. For professional conjure workers problem clients are of great concern. Unfortunately there are categories of clients that often get incorrectly lumped together under the problem client header. So in this blog entry I will introduce the various groups or categories of clients that often get incorrectly listed as problem clients as well as address my opinions on what exactly a problem client is. This information will be really useful for new professional conjure workers who may be starting out.
1.) High-Maintenance Clients
Clients who are high-maintenance can be a burden at times but I do not consider them to be problem clients. A high-maintenance client will typically email me multiple times a day and require constant reassurance. The key with dealing with high-maintenance clients is skill called patience. A professional conjure worker without patience will likely not last as there are so many high-maintenance clients. They are very numerous. The key thing to remember when dealing with a high-maintenance client is to weigh their current and previous hirings of your work. So for example, if you have a repeat client who has hired your services on multiple occasion, then of course you are going to be extremely patient with them. However, say you have a client who has only purchased one setting of light or candle burning (I charge $30), yet is completely over-demanding of your time and energy then of course you need to nip it in the bud. One way to deal with high-maintenance clients who are not repeat clients is to learn when to reply to emails and when not to reply to emails. High-maintenance clients will often send emails that do not require a reply. They may be just letting you know how their day went or of a specific thing that happened, so the worker can judge if the email should be replied to. Another thing that high-maintenance clients will do is ask the same question over and over again. The key thing to remember about this is that they are really not wanting the answer, rather the communication. So the worker can reply with something like, 'please check your past messages as I've previously answered the questions in depth'. That way the client will still get the communication to satisfy them while at the same time you aren't put into a position where you have to constantly repeat yourself. A third tactic in dealing with high-maintenance clients is to let them know when you are leaving, stepping out, or even going out for the night. Because the high-maintenance client is already sending you multiple emails a day, so by replying and letting the client know that say tonight you will be going out for the evening and won't be able to answer emails then this will help stay off any problems that may develop from the client who may think that you are ignoring them. Now, when dealing with clients who have only purchased a small service, such as a setting of light, yet are over-demanding of your time and energy, then the key thing is to remain honest and open. I dont' mean be blunt. Instead, I mean to honestly communicate with the client what exactly that small service is/was and what they can expect from you the worker. For example, when people hire me for simple candle-burning I am upfront in letting the client know that I do not answer questions from them, that I do not send pictures of the burn, rather that when the burn is complete I will then email them the outcome of the burn. Most importantly, I let the client know that candle setting is not the same thing as a complete work. Should the client want more of my time and energy then I am upfront and honest with them and let them know they need to purchase a full complete work in which I do all of the things they are wanting, such as answering questions, sending pictures, and availing far more of myself to the client.
2.) "Freebie" Clients
Freebie clients are clients who may purchase a reading, a setting of lights, or even a complete full work and then from there on out they operate on this assumption that since they paid for a service in the past then from here on out the worker should just give them all kinds of freebies, such as free readings, free setting of lights, free work, etc. Like with high-maintenance clients I likewise do not consider freebie clients to be problem clients. Freebie clients just require patience and you simple have to put your foot down and politely let them know that if they want a reading, a candle setting, a full work, etc., then they need to pay for it. Of course you have to weigh previous purchases of the client to determine if you should or should not give a freebie. I admit in the past I have given freebies to paying clients but I feel I'm good at judging the situation and I'm definitely not afraid of letting the client know they need to purchase a service when I feel that's what is required.
Nit-pickers have this obsession with the work and they will question even the smallest detail. Again, patience is required. A good tactic to use with nit-pickers is to let them know before they hire your services that you will not go into detail with regards to the specifics of what work was done. For example, I tell my clients that they can get a good idea what I did from looking at the pictures I send them after the work is complete but that I will not go into depth with them as to a step-by-step of what I did for the work. Because my role is not the role of a teacher. I'm not teaching my clients. I'm being hired for conjure work and conjure work is what I do for my clients.
"No-hear-ums" are clients who pay for the work and then never check in. If you send them emails they either do not reply or reply days, even a week later. No-hear-ums are not problem clients. However, I prefer my clients regularly check in with me. It worries me when someone pays for work but never checks in.
Liars/Cons are all the same, male or female, young or old. They go from worker to worker trying to get free work while promising they will be sending in payment. I personally think they lie because they think it will cause the worker to go ahead and do something for them for free. For example, liars/cons will email me asking for a free work for money while stating that "next week" they will hire me for a full work. Of course they never do send payment for a full work because they are nothing but liars/cons. They always have sad stories but the key thing is they promise to send payment for full work only in an attempt to get the worker to do free work for them. Liars/cons are abundant. They're everywhere. A conjure worker must learn to recognize them and learn how to deal with them. When I'm dealing with a liar/con, I NEVER do a free full work for them. Instead, I only offer to set a free light (tea-light) for their situation. That way I'm never out more than a few cents. I recommend all new professional conjure workers do a similar thing. Remember, liars/cons are choosing deception to get a free work. They dont' have to use deception. I don't know about you but I do not reward deception.
6.) Mentally Ill Clients
It's very rare that I suspect a client may be mentally ill. However, it has happened. The key thing is to look for warning signs before you take on the client. It's far easier to stave off problems by rejecting mentally ill clients than by taking them on and risk problems. I will give that a very big clue that a client may be mentally ill is if they complain of spiritual attack by voices telling them to harm themselves or other people. Another common one is the belief they are demon-possessed or that a loved-on is possessed. I'm not saying there is no demonic possession. Instead, I'm urging caution when faced with people who claim to be possessed or to hear voices urging for violent or destructive behavior. Now, when dealing with a client you may suspect is mentally ill never actually ask them if they are mentally ill. Instead, just ask them what medication they are on. Most of the time this will not offend them and they will usually then spout off a list of meds. That way you can explain to the client that it may be a problem with the meds or that they need to go to the doctor to have the meds adjusted. Another thing to be on the look out for is schizophrenia. Schizophrenia for some reason generally occurs in people in their early 20s. So a person may be fine as a child or teen and then begin to exhibit symptoms around age 20 or so that may concern loved ones. If you suspect a person may be schizophrenic you cannot diagnose them as such. It would be very wrong to attempt to diagnose a mental illness. Instead, refer the loved one or person to a medical professional. Another thing to keep in mind is that in the elderly certain signs may be cause to suspect dementia, Alzheimer's, or even a stroke. So keep that in mind as well. Even diseases such as diabities may be incorrectly percieved by people so it's always important to educate yourself on the symptoms and to ask the person to seek medical attention.
7.) "Guru-Seekers" And Name-Droppers
Guru-seekers and name-droppers are not problem clients. However, they just don't understand the purpose of conjure work. Hoodoo/rootwork/conjure is not about becoming famous and gathering a following. Instead, it's about helping people and putting them back in control of their lives. Many people are on autopilot with regard to the lives. Instead of being in the driver's seat they are in the passenger seat or in the back seat and many don't want to be in control of their lives. Because if you are not in control of your life and something goes wrong, then you can always blame someone else. It's harder to take responsibility for one's own actions. I hate to say it but it's very doubtful that a guru-seeker and name-dropper can be helped because most of them don't want to be in control. Lots of them just chase fads and personalities.
8.) Perfect Clients
I admit that perfect clients are rare. A perfect client is a client who pays you on time as they claim, not give a run around, or a client who lets you know why they will be paying late. If I only had a dime for every client who claims they are sending payment the next day only to not do so and leave me hanging. A perfect client will check in on the work, will ask questions, and most importantly will follow instructions. Conjure workers lover perfect clients because the process is so positive and smooth. I'll let my readers know a little secret. If you are a perfect client you stand a good chance of getting freebies because your worker LOVES perfect clients and would love to keep you as a client. So how do you become a perfect client? I can't speak for other workers but one my pet peeves is people who email me stating they are sending payment tomorrow but never do. Then they leave me hanging as to whether or not they have changed their minds. Look, if you changed your mind or if problems come up. please let me know. Don't leave me hanging. So how can one become a perfect client? First of all, keep your word. If you say you are sending payment the next day then do it or at the very least email the worker and explain why you can't. Keep in communication with your worker. Ask questions. retain a positive attitude. If you can do these small things then you are on the path of being a perfect client.
9.) Actual Problem Clients
I've only had one problem client. It was years ago. So what exactly is a problem client? A problem client is a hostile client who is very argumentative with the worker. A problem client second-guesses everything the worker says or does. A problem client doesn't follow instructions, believing they know best. In fact, a lot of problem clients will try to boss around the worker and tell them what they are going to do! A problem client will try to stir up drama or cause a war between workers, pitting them against each other. A problem client is a drama queen who gets off on causing chaos. Problem clients are the complete opposite of perfect clients. For example, a perfect client will have a positive attitude. A problem client will be negative all the way. The process is never smooth with a problem client. Problem clients tend to lie to conjure workers. The thing about problem clients is that they often wear a false face. So a conjure worker may not realize the person is a problem client until after they have already taken on the case. However, rest assured that when a conjure worker has made up their mind that they would never take on the client again in the future that it's because it was a problem client. As I stated above, I've only had one problem client. I used it as a learning experience and now consider myself good at weeding them out. For new conjure workers, learning the warning signs of a problem client are a must. I don't care how much the person is willing to pay. It's not worth it. A problem client can become a thorn in your side for years and it can spill over into them slandering you online or even stalking and harassing you. The number one thing to be on the look out for is hostility. Even though I've only had one problem client I get requests from problem clients all the time. I've only worked for one problem client and from then on out I was able to recognize the warning signs so that I don't have to put up with their shit. So the number one warning sign that a person is a problem client is that they will be hostile, argumentative, and will put you down in their initial email to you wanting to hire you! Back in October I received an email from a woman who was a problem client. She wanted to hire me for reconciliation work. In her email she was very bitter, used foul language, argued over my prices even though they are very reasonable, and called me a fraud "like the rest of them", but that she would "give me a chance" despite that. That whole email screamed that she was a problem client and would only bring pain and suffering to me. So I didn't even reply back to her. Trust me, if you are a new conjure worker you must learn to spot the problem clients and cut them off. I don't care how much they are willing to pay because they will only cause you problems, hence the term, 'problem client'.