This one really cracked me up.
The Office Manager at one client asked me to forward copies of ads created over the previous couple of years, so that they could decide whether one of those could be re-worked for a new ad. This is a fine idea, in that it would be more efficient than starting from scratch. So I went through my archives, found the various ads and forwarded as attachments. Now, mind you, she should have had all of those ads in her files as well, since she had received the final versions from me at the time they were created.
Two days after the original request, I received an email from another member of their staff. She wrote “Julia* said you sent her copies of our previous ads, could you please also forward them to me?” Sure, no problem. It just took a minute to find the email in my Sent folder, and to then forward it to her. But why couldn’t Julia forward it? She took the time to tell someone in her office that she had the previous ads, why not just send them herself, by forwarding my email?
If a client pulls this sort of thing repeatedly, I’ll start charging for the time. It’s only a few minutes here and there, but every email that requires answering is an interruption and detour from whatever I should be doing.
* not her real name