The word “client” always seemed to have a cold and distant touch to it but, on the other hand, it felt like a fair and respectful word to use. Better than “patient,” in many instances, right?
Well, so I thought. I mean, for a long time it didn’t sit totally comfortably with me but I got used to it over time. Until someone just brought it up with me.
I was talking about the elderly people with whom I work and I kept calling them “the clients.” My friend pointed out there is something not so nice about the word and suddenly I realized, it’s like saying to “the client”: “If you weren’t paying me, I wouldn’t be here.”
If you’re a lawyer it’s OK to say that. If you’re working with elderly people who you care about and have some kind of a bond with, it’s really not that nice, is it?
Also, if it isn’t nice, what word can be used instead?
Do you think the word is OK? What word might be better?