Cockups are inevitable. Garage colleges have volumes justifying why your bill is three times what you thought.

The very first thing appies learn at trade school is the whistle. Open the bonnet, shake the head slowly and emit a long low whistle. Doesn’t matter if there is nothing wrong – whistle anyway.


The inevitable cockup with web design is one that prompts a call/email from the client who’s usually been alerted by a visitor.

Usually, in my case, edits have been made to the site per the client’s request but I have forgotten to upload to the server.

Or, a whole page has been left out, or a series of typos left in the site. But, all is not lost.  Here are a few handy excuses – most of which you will have used yourself.

Excuse 1:

‘Have you refreshed your browser?’ ‘Have you pressed Ctrl F5 a few times to force a fresh page from the server?.

Almost certainly they won’t have.  This gives you time to upload the new files. But if they are quicker than you are:

Excuse 2:

‘Well, sometimes your ISP’s cache hangs on to the files.  You’ll have to wait until it refreshes – about a couple of hours’.

This gives you some more time to fix the ballsup.

Excuse 3:

What browser are you using? Of course it doesn’t matter which – it will have some terminal fault related to security and the rendering of web pages that is in the process of being updated.

Excuse 4

‘We’ve had an outage here. Everything’s gone down – don’t know how long it will be.’

Pretty good excuse that can give you hours to sort things out.

Excuse 5

‘My computer broke down – I’m waiting for the tecchie.’

Everyone understands this one. ‘Windows crashed’ used to be good but it is too stable for its own good these days.

Excuses 6, 7 . . .:

Need more time? Fix the cockup  and tell the client that there has been an internet problem (use the magic word ‘latency’)/ load shedding in your area/ computer problem (pesky new OS) / illness (or better yet, a death in the family) / er, sorry, didn’t get the mail / a tsunami coupled with a cholera outbreak.

If in doubt, use this handy guide from visual.ly.

The Ultimate Excuse Creator

by matts41From visual.ly infographics.

It’s pathetic I know but sometimes these things happen because you’ve been lazy or in a hurry. I’ve never ignored clients’ phone/email enquiries although it’s a common whinge from prospects. You’ve underquoted and the client’s a pain – face up to it, finish the job and resolve not to do it again (you will).

Want to be in IT?? Think again.


Why it sucks to be the IT guy

Explore more infographics like this one on the web’s largest information design community – Visually.