Things That Angry Essay Writers Say to Clients
Everything depends on our writers, but writing model papers is no easy gig. Just think about how long it took to turn out your own term papers. Our writers produce smart, articulate model essays in a fraction of the time it would take most mere mortals to do the work--they have to, because this business is all about tight deadlines.
What kind of people get the job done? They're smart; they're quick to cut to the chase; and they're very nimble typists. Which also means: get on their bad side, and you're likely to have a stinging little email winging its way to your inbox in no time at all.
We love our writers! But we still get a kick out of the things they say when they get frustrated with the job. Here are some of our favorite notes.
"She gets one page of instructions. One. At the end of the page, I stop reading."
This was the case of a new, nervous client, who could not stop sending instructions, advice, sample answers to be reviewed and followed, random notes from her class, online question and answer chats with the professor concerning essay requirements... By the time she finalized her order, we had accumulated nearly 15 single spaced pages of random thoughts and instructions for the writer to follow-and this was for a two-page model paper! As the writer pointed out, it would have taken more time to review the instructions than to research and write.
Variations on the theme abound:
"Kindly advise the client that if I receive one more email with ‘helpful hints' I will be forced to write the entire essay in my mother's native tongue, which is Hungarian. (I notice that none of the dazzling number of "helpful hints" I've received say anything about having to write this in English...)."
Of course, the order form does say something about having to write the paper in English, and even which kind of English-British? Australian? But this client's endless stream of "helpful hints" had driven one of our most easygoing writers to the brink...
"Do you have any idea what this means? Tell him he has to hire us to edit [his emails] if he wants me to read them."
Clients turn to us for help with their writing...which means that the instructions they send are not always entirely clear.
"Noooooooo. No. Read attached. This says the EXACT OPPOSITE of what he asked for the first time. No. Tell him I'm going on strike."
The client in question had come to rely on this particular writer, so the word "strike" was enough to motivate him to clear things up asap.
Then there are the times writers threaten to take matters into their own hands, when clients fail to get us the right information.
"Please inform the client that he grew up as a poor black child in the backwoods of Alabama. Which he and his seven sisters called ‘Bamma. I'm thinking of throwing in how he had to walk 10 miles to school in hand-me-down shoes held together by string and a prayer. Or maybe he wants to send me some notes???"
The model personal essay is difficult to tackle if you don't know what the personal story is. The assignment was to write about any personal challenges the student had overcome on the road to college, but it was 48 hours to deadline and all the client would say was that he trusted the writer to know what to write.
Whatever the real story was, we were pretty sure the client didn't grow up poor and black in rural Alabama, since his first language was Chinese...
"Not my job to hold her hand. Next time she doesn't send the actual ASSIGNMENT with her order, I am going to make up a paper on ANY topic in American history I damn well please. NO MORE SENDING ASSIGNMENT THE DAY BEFORE THE PAPER IS DUE!!"
We like how when this writer gets upset she CAPITALIZES LOTS OF THINGS.
"Fair warning. If she doesn't say what program she wants to apply to before I have to start writing this, I'm going with Astrophysics."
(She chose Sociology.)
"Hey guys, just to clarify... They want a model response to judicial board charges of plagiarism? (Wow!) But they don't care how we explain it? Can you make sure they really don't care what we say? Because I'm thinking of going with difficult pregnancy, trouble thinking straight, under lots of pressure, water broke just before paper due, etc."
The client expressed no opinion. Pregnancy it was.
Ironically, one of the most common threats writers make when they get fed up runs something like this one:
"Tell her I'll do it exactly the way she says."
On the face of it this might sound like excellent customer service. But sometimes the writer knows the client doesn't really want what he or she asks for. In this case the professor's instructions clearly asked for APA formatting, which is favored in many of the social sciences-and the writer delivered. But the client came back to us multiple times, pointing out "problems" with the cites: Where were the authors' first names? Why weren't all the words capitalized in the article titles? Etc.
Eventually we convinced the client to ask the professor for a list of sample citations, and the she realized the writer had gotten it exactly right. Sometimes threatening to actually do what the client wants is how the writers make their point.
"Look, if you want I'll make this sound like it was written by the Proust of undergrads. But it's a total waste of time. Tell the client he might want to learn how to write a basic sentence before complaining about the model paper."
The writer was correct, of course, that a model paper is most helpful if it represents the right level of proficiency. But basically we just liked this one for "the Proust of undergrads."
"Yes I can apply Bandura and self-efficacy. It will be entirely wrong and stupid, but glad to do it. Then she can fail the course, which would probably be a good thing since she's obviously an idiot."
Note: we tend to leave out wording like "entirely wrong and stupid" or "obviously an idiot" when we take a concern back to the client.
"So do I let the project run over deadline, or do I write it? I swear if she doesn't get back to us ASAP, I'm going to write it on echoes of Romeo and Juliet in the ill-fated love between Kermit and Miss Piggy."
Another topic was eventually negotiated, but we would have enjoyed reading the paper.
"That means 25 [words] each. Questions ask for 200-300 words. Am not going a single word over. Good luck to him."
This was a take-home essay exam. Full model essay responses would have required a 5-6 pp order, but the client didn't want to order more than a page. We wonder how he was able to make use of his 25 word responses-and whether he passed the exam!
"25 pp? Seriously? Whatever. I'll write it, but it won't get approved. Make sure client knows she'll be laughed out of program."
The order was for an entire Education dissertation in 25 pages. We also wonder what became of this one.
"I am going to write it exactly the way she told me to, but no way this is what the prof wants. Please save her emails, because she is going to fail the assignment and then come back to us demanding a rewrite."
The writer was correct. The student's strategy was off base; she failed the assignment and demanded a free rewrite. We forwarded the messages in which we suggested a different approach and she adamantly refused. In this particular case, she ended up having to order the project from scratch.
"The US never invaded the Soviet Union. No one invaded the Soviet Union!! I'm writing it, since I've got nothing else to go on at this point, but you should warn the client the sources will all be made up since there aren't any sources about US invasion of USSR. (Because it didn't happen.)"
Ironically, the client seemed very pleased with the work. We aren't sure what that says, exactly.
Sometimes when the frustration mounts, writers go for quick and nasty.
"Tell the client I said there is a special place in hell for people like him. Thanks."
Not a message we passed along verbatim. But we did mention something along the lines of the writer being "very upset."
"Hemingway couldn't make this essay readable. She needs to try engineering. Something without a lot of words. She shouldn't be allowed to use words."
Note how writers like to refer to writers. First Proust, now Hemingway...
"KARMA. This dude needs to learn about karma. What goes around comes around."
This would be the philosophical approach-with the merest hint of threat.
"What a total self-entitled jerk. I predict a rude awakening once he gets out there into the real world."
More predictions of doom...
"Dear Lord. I would LOVE to see what happens when this girl gets into the real world and tries to act like this. I predict total failure, WHICH SHE DESERVES."
Predictions of doom, plus capitalization!
Sometimes the response is nasty, but a little less quick. For instance:
"There's a coded message for the client in the essay. Enjoy!"
This project had quickly gone sideways after we discovered the client asked the writer to analyze the wrong book for a 20 page essay. That was just the first of a number of frustrating "miscommunications." Each time a problem arose, the client blamed the writer-in extremely colorful language-before realizing he was the one who caused the error. Eventually the stress got to be a bit much ...
The coded message wasn't too hard to spot. If you took the first letter of each paragraph it spelled out: "You are an ass."
Three times in a row.
Needless to say we hastily had some minor changes made, the message disappeared, and the writer received a stern warning. But we'd be lying if we said we weren't impressed by the writer's ingenuity.
Of course, some of our writers are a little softer in their approach:
"This is my very unhappy face. Please forward."
Apparently in this case the writer thought that a very close up shot of his tense, angry frown might jolt the client into sending the instructions we needed to get the model essay done. We considered having t-shirts made.
At the outside limit, writers will threaten never to work with a particular client again-or occasionally they'll threaten to cease working with a whole class of clients.
"Sure I'll revise it, but I'm never working for this person again."
As it turns out, the writer and the client did work together again many times. But first the client learned a valuable lesson about how to keep talented people working for you.
These two did not end up working together again...
"No more business students EVER. They are the worst. Tell her I'll never work for her or anyone like her again, and that she'll be lucky if anyone ever wants to work with her ever."
The writer did continue writing for business students-she has a real knack in the area. But never again with this particular client, who was quite a handful, no doubt.
"What's up with the ed[ucation] students? No more ed for awhile, please!!! I just can't take the idiocy. I know you have to be all nice with the clients and everything, but I'd appreciate if you'd tell this woman I say she's the reason our schools are all f**ked up, and she shouldn't be let near a classroom."
As it happens, we're pretty sure there aren't any differences by subject matter. The vast majority of our clients, whatever they're studying, are pretty wonderful to work with. But from the writer's point of view a couple of bad encounters can spoil their opinion of a whole discipline.
"I know I'm not the only one who's got problems with this guy. You shld let him know pretty soon will not be any writers left willing to work w/ him."
We did find plenty of other writers willing to work with this particular students. But it's a cautionary tale. The writer-client relationship runs two ways. The more sensible and respectful clients are, the more chance they have that the strongest writers will work with them.
When it feels inadequate just to threaten not to work for a certain client any longer, we move into the realm of the revenge fantasy. Some of these are pretty run of the mill. For instance, there's a whole genre of legal fantasies:
"She should look up the definition for defamation. My husband's a lawyer."
We love the writer. But given that her husband's a lawyer, she should probably realize that there is nothing to sue about here. Not defamation for a client to complain, even if they complain rudely and are very wrong...
"Would it help if you mentioned my brother-in-law is a lawyer?"
The brother-in-law variant.
"My dad's a lawyer."
The parental variant.
"I did two years of law school. I won't hesitate to sue this jerk."
The "I completed some law school" variant. Again, we never understood what the suit might be about.
There's the Turnitin revenge fantasy:
"I'm submitting this to Turnitin as we speak."
Very occasionally a client will try to contest payment and get their money back by attacking the writer's work on frivolous grounds. This can become a time consuming headache for all concerned, and in this instance the writer was afraid she'd lose a lot of money (she didn't) and that the client would plagiarize her work.
Hence the "Turnitin revenge fantasy."
Of course, you don't actually submitt essays to Turnitin, so we knew the writer was just blowing off steam. Plus which, as the writer was well aware, posting the essay would mean she'd never work for us again. Every model essay we produce is a one of a kind product that becomes the sole property of the client. We make sure that, beyond the writer and our staff, no one from our end ever sees it.
"Then post it everywhere on the web and Turnitin will screw him."
We didn't, and it didn't. But it didn't hurt for the writer to get that off her chest.
The one-word version of the threat. We knew what she meant.
But our hands-down favorite angry writer response is the revenge fantasy!
"WTF? If he complains about one more thing, I'm coming to his house with a dumptruck of cow manure. (You guys will send me the address, right? ;))"
A number of our writers are in rural locales and so have special manure-related forms of retribution at their disposal. (But no, we didn't supply the address.)
"Tell him my boyfriend is 6'2 and used to box professionally."
It is funny to think that a big guy might come punch you out because you were unhappy with your psych paper.
"My grandmother can do a curse that will make a very special part of his body shrink down to the size of a pea."
One of our all-time favorites. We couldn't pass this colorful little threat on to the client, obviously. But in the interest of his man parts, we took special care to emphasize that he needed to interact more civilly with the writers.
"I live next door to a voodoo shop, and I don't need to know where she is in order to get someone to do a spell."
We love Brooklyn, where (apparently) people live next door to voodoo shops!
But don't you need a lock of hair or something?
"I've been told I have psychic powers. I wonder if he can sense that I'm concentrating all my most evil wishes on him?"
This was a longstanding client, who graduated on time and went on to a lovely job in his field of study. We're not sure that the writer did have psychic abilities...
"I don't know how, but I will find him. And he will not be happy when I do."
We think has kind of fantasy has to do with the nature of life online. Sometimes you really want to yell at a person in person. But that never happens in our business. This is a pure fantasy of having the satisfaction of a physical confrontation.
"He sent the syllabus. I know where he goes to school, even what time his class [is]. [He should] consider that before ranting at me again."
A creepier revenge fantasy with stalker overtones. And it's true, in some cases writers receive syllabi, resumes, or other personal information. However, we only entrust these materials to writers we've come to know and trust.
Balancing out the creepiness of the above? The writer is a woman in her 50's and a recent grandmother, who writes romance novels and gardens when not working with us. We're thinking this was pretty much a pure bluff.
"This woman is clearly insane. I don't know how to deal with insane people. Tell her to take her meds or I'll call her mother. She might be insane enough to believe that."
In at least two cases, interestingly, writers have threatened female clients by invoking their mothers! Probably even fantasies of having your boyfriend bop a woman client in the nose (or tracking her down on campus) just feel way too creepy to be satisfying.
"OK. I think I've been reasonable here. Now I'm done. Guess what? We come from the same town. I know her mother. How about pass that along?"
The writer had been editing this client's resume and recognized the town. Did she really know the client's mom? We were alarmed.
With a little bit of probing, it turned out the student's hometown was over 100 miles from the town the writer grew up in (and moved away from over 20 years ago). And this is no tiny hamlet we're talking about: population 62,447 according to Wikipedia. So the writer's little threat was pure bluff.
But being able to tell on a student to her mother: somehow this felt uniquely satisfying to a writer with college age kids of her own.
Despite the fantasies of meeting clients (or their moms) to tell them off in person, in the end our writers are mostly loveable nerds, who can't help but plot their revenge in ways that require advanced computer skills.
"I've been developing a subliminal watermark that flashes FAIL ME. She'll never know it's there."
Since the writer added a winky face ;), we knew it was a joke.
"I could develop a harmless little trojan virus that locks down her computer until she types ‘I Will Be Polite to My Writer' 100 times!"
Passing on viruses of any type to our clients is pretty much antithetical to our business model. But we like this idea for more personal use. How about one that makes you type, "I will not forget our anniversary ever again"?
"When he opens the file it will unleash a virus that automatically generates emails to everyone in his contact list saying he renounces his crazy political beliefs and is going to start campaigning for same-sex marriage. Oh, and that he's marrying the love of his life, a Jamaican woman."
This was revenge fantasy pure and simple-emphasis on fantasy. There was never any virus, but the writer was shaken up for good reason. Her job was to revise the student's essay. He had chosen to write about the necessity of separating the races, by violence if necessary; restricting elected office to Christians; and quarantining people with "homosexual tendencies." And this was for an ethics class...
Sadly we never found out what grade he received.