Dear Preston: My Client Is A Racist
September 30, 2015
At the moment, I am working with a client who holds very different beliefs than I do. Initially, she appeared to be very sweet but it seems that she is actually very condescending and a racist. I am really upset by her comments and behavior. Have you ever worked with a client you did not like? How did you handle it?
Let me start out by saying that it is not my job to like my clients. I am always thrilled when I work with a lovely client, but my job is to give my clients the best service I know how to give (regardless of how I feel about them personally). It is incredibly challenging to be in a place of non-judgment in this business. We work with so many different people who hold so many different beliefs and views that differ from our own. For example, one of my repeat clients is Donald Trump. The times I have worked with Mr. Trump has been nothing but charming and a true gentleman to myself and my staff. He’s very generous as well. That said, in his run for President, Mr. Trump has shared some strong views on immigration and immigrants. Being an immigrant myself, I can assure you that I do not share his beliefs. This is especially true when taking into account what he has said about our Mexican brothers and sisters.
Curious, we do have the right to work (or not work) with who we choose. Barring abuse towards myself or my staff, I work with all of my clients in the same way which is to give them my best work whether I like them or not. My one piece of advice to you is to know your boundaries and honor them. When you feel your client is being condescending or showcasing racist thoughts or behavior, you should call him or her out on it. You have a right to do so. You do not need to like your client, but you should always feel respected.
It’s time for a provocative question. Several of my friends have mentioned that Mr. Trump may win the presidency. They have asked me if I would “sell out” and design his inaugural ball if he asked me (in spite of disagreeing with his views). What would you do in that position?