I told her to find someone else, for I didn't want the headaches that go along with it.
There are certain clients (and even full time employers) that sometimes... you just have to learn when to walk away; they will cost you more in the long run -- not just in stress, but also in the wallet as they will bleed you dry with last minute changes and unreasonable requests.
This is more true as a freelancer -- where unless you are crazy you are also billing the time between clients since that time is spent looking for clients. (It's the same reason plumbers are expensive; you're also paying for the time they don't have work). Some people out there just have unreasonable time schedules (can you have this in three days?), unreasonable expectations of paying you (you can do this 48 man-hour project for $50 right?), and worse, unreasonable and outright deluded ideas of what a website is.
Which gets laughable when they hired you because they really don't know anything about websites, then start trying to micro-manage something they know nothing about. Again, take my last full time employer. Local IT support and supply company with around 40 employees (doing the job of what should have been a staff of eight). I was hired as "director of web marketing" -- but much like when I was a Vice President of IT for the Boston area "128 belt" offices of a major national insurer, they handed out titles like Director and VP to the point half the staff were "director of _______" -- too many chiefs syndrome.
But as a "director" of one of the branches of the company, I'd seen the numbers. My claims of financial doom were met with skepticism at best, ridicule at worst... I knew the company was doomed, and everyone just wanted to stuff their heads in the sand over it. At it's existing sales figures they had a year, and then the creditors come a knockin'.
But then the owner started wanting to do all those things I usually rail against -- making the page so he could edit it in laugh frontpage, switching to a fixed width and using design concepts that were only viable with fixed size fonts, making colors like the company logo that were illegible -- It finally reached the point that I had my most glorious "screw you, I quit" of all time... I boxed up everything that was mine, took it to the car, came back in, walked into the boss' office, and I quote:
You hired me because you know nothing about web development or having a website when it's more than two-thirds your sales figures. If you aren't going to listen to a single thing I'm telling you and are going to make changes to the site that's going to result in a loss of sales and customers, WHAT THE *** DID YOU HIRE ME FOR!?! Consider that my exit interview.
- yelled loud enough for the entire staff to hear it. I got an ovation on exiting the building.
A quarter the rest of the staff walked that week. They went out of business three months later.
Was an interesting study in /FAIL/ of web design/development though -- the changes made by an SEO-tard firm they brought in after me (one of my former underlings kept sending me stats) did roughly multiply by 40x the sites traffic in visits... They also went from ~76% visit to sales ratio to under 1%... Do some math, it's good for a laugh. Let's say they started out with 1000 visits a week, but had 760 sales a week. (which is about what they had) -- suddenly it was 50000 visits a week, but most of the visitors gave a flying **** and were misdirected there by the sleazy SEO-tard bull, and the changes to the interface was useless to visitors, so in the first two weeks after those changes it had dropped to less than 500 sales a week... and it plummeted from there.
The real laugh being the owner showed up at my doorstep nine weeks later hat-in-hand begging for me to come back and fix it. I was not kind.
Of course, I probably wasn't kind because I'd made more freelancing that two months than I had working for him in three times that. $1500 to $4K a site from a string of people who actually had real business plans and realistic expectations paid off... As did a couple government contracts.
But now I see the exact same "I can haz intarnets?" idiocy becoming the industry standard approach -- then people wonder why the economy is in the tank. This whole "lets sleaze our content into a stock template" garbage is that same asshattery -- more so when pretty much every stock template seems to be made by people who know absolutely nothing about HTML, CSS, emissive colourspace, accessibility, or limitations of the medium; meaning they, much like their PSD jockey partners in crime, aren't qualified to be designing but two things; and Jack left town.
But it all plays into the "pay more later for something we can't afford now" mentality that's trashing the economy at every level. Take the sleazy shortcut now, get it out as quickly as possible without even a rational business model or proper expectations of what it's going to take to be successful, and then blindly hope it works... An approach with about as much legitimacy as 3AM informercials for "Make money fast in Real Estate".
Though honestly, it seems that most people treat making websites as get rich quick schemes, then wonder why there's a line in the sand between serious developers like myself, and the sleazeball scam artists preying on the ignorance of the average person.