Be a d*ck to your freelancer? I'll have your job.
(warning: long story)
This happened about 3 years ago. I was still in college for digital marketing (like advertising and graphic design). Since I had no time to work even a part time job, I would do some freelance graphic design in the little time I had. Mainly in the later hours of the night, I would still answer emails during the day though. It was good money, a couple hundred here and there, but it wasn’t enough. The company that ran the cafeteria in my school went through bankruptcy and I was taken off our 21-meals-a-week plan. I had to resort to putting (very) small ads in the newspaper and started looking for more jobs online rather than posting a listing on Craigslist as I previously had. I got a few good jobs, everything seemed great at this point.
Then the fatal night happened. I received an email at about 10:45 at night. It was mid-week so it was a bit odd for someone to be emailing me this late, especially since I had school the next day and they probably had work. Right off the bat I had a sketchy feeling about this, as the subject was “I need an ad made” and the message was “Ok?”. As per usual, I respond right away asking for more details. He said he had ran a custom shower company and he wants me to Photoshop a picture, add text and then format it for billboard printing.
He sends me the image and it’s a “custom” shower with two shower heads that are on. He wants me to remove one of the heads. I tell him that it will be difficult due to the fact the streams are crossing. He replies with “So? Just f*cking do it.” I finish the ad for him and I’m about to watermark it so I can send him a final copy then request payment. Then I realize that it’s already f*cking watermarked, faintly in the corner by another shower company, and it doesn’t match his. This douchebag motherf*cker stole a picture from another local company.
I tell him that I won’t do the ad because he’s using a copyrighted picture, and that I can replace it and keep the text. He “rages” and claims that he took the photo with his phone earlier that week. At this point I have better things to be doing, so I block his emails, as they were getting to be harassment.
Fast forward two weeks.
I get a call from an unknown number saying that I f*cked up and that he just paid another designer “big bucks” for the same job. These calls continue over the next week and I just start ignoring them.
Here’s where something magical happens. He starts texting me, but it’s with his actual f*cking number. I think he tried to *67 me, but it doesn’t work through texting. This will come back to bite him in the ass when we get to the revenge part.
Here’s where the revenge comes in:
After the semester ends, I decide to drive around 2 hours to visit my parents for the week I have between the semesters. While I’m driving on the freeway I see something familiar. It’s the photo the guy wanted me to make into an ad for him on a billboard. Then I realize that the ad on the billboard is for HIS F*CKING COMPANY, although he clearly didn’t hire another designer. It looks as if he made it in MSPaint. I get off at the next exit so I can get a few pictures and write down the location.
When I get back from my parents’ house, I immediately start up my computer and try to get into contact with the company who owns the photo. I send them the pictures and location along with his emails. They thank me and I happily go to bed.
Fast forward a month.
I get a call on a Saturday morning saying that the company who owns the photo needed me to come in to their offices to discuss a few things. Turns out that they ended up filing a lawsuit over the copyright issue as he still claimed it to be his photo.
The judge told me while I was in court (as a witness) that I would be able to file for harassment and get a restraining order. Normally I wouldn’t care, but the harassment would go on his record.
Because of all the legal fees, his company went under. I later found out that he tried to start up another company of similar sorts but he would have to tell his employees of his harassment charge. That company went under as well because he couldn’t find anyone to work for him.