In my many years as a designer, I have had many clients. As a designer you get to meet the family members of your clients: moms, dads, kids, uncles, cousins, neices, and nephews. From time to time, a client will have their parent attend a meeting. I think you really get a good sense of the person when you see them interact with their parent.
Last week I had a consultation with a client who needed a bit of help with a brownstone renovation in Brooklyn. Claire was referred to me by my client Sari. She's very nice and in her last trimester of her pregnancy--just days away from the birth of her first child. At our second meeting, we decided to meet at a tile store back in Manhattan to go over tile options; her mother met us there. I was so touched by how sweet Claire was to her mother. When her mother had an idea or suggestion, she didn't roll her eyes or ask her to be quiet but rather listened to her idea and continued further with it. You may think that there is nothing extraordinary about this but I have to say that I have been in some of the most embarassing situations where clients literally scream and berate their parents in front of me. It is excruciatingly painful to watch--simply horrifying. I once, not so very long ago, had a meeting with a client who's elderly mother was staying with her. She screamed at her mother to go to her room and leave us alone. I wanted to leave. It was so awful.
I feel lucky that 99 percent of my clients are good people and don't behave this way but there are always the unfortunate stand outs. I'll stick to working with people like Claire.