The Genealogy research is dealing with places, people, property, relations, science, money, culture, ethics …and human emotions. In all the variables mentioned above emotions are involved. All kind of emotions: tension, hope, curiosity, disappointment, fear, shame, greediness, sorrow and joy.
When you sign a contract with a client to do a genealogy research your ethics and standards, you take upon yourself an obligation to act according to the principles of the GPS to do the best job you can, but you cannot promise success, joy, money etc. You cannot predict the client reactions.
Sometimes even the client himself is surprise himself with the emotions it erase.
One of the reasons to surprises is that the client comes to the research aside with overt expectations, also inverted expectations, scenarios, that he himself is not ewer of. He can come to you with an exact research question like this " I want your help in finding my lost
sister " and when you finally find as a genealogist she choose to disappear it evoke a lot of anger.
How can you appraise such a reason for her disappearance? And from the client point of view, how can you expect having paid for such a message.
The research can revile old kept secrets, scars, crime activity. All that and even more have to be presented to the client.it is part of the risks the client have to take in account . When you are dealing with past and people, you expose yourself to all kind of surprises.
1. Two brothers sign a contract to do genealogy research and when it comes to pay they cannot agree who will pay and how much.
2. You ask a genealogist to do a research on your grandmother, and in the research it turnout that she is not really your grandmother.how can you tell a client such a bad news.
can you aide such information from a client?
3. The client's father was killed in combat before she was born and the only photo she had was just before he was killed. He was a handsome man, with a cigarette between his lips (James Din style).His daughter liked this picture very much. One of the outcomes of the genealogical research was a lot of picture his friends supplied from their adolescence mutual experience. The client's reaction to those picture was " He is not my father-please stop immediately the research".
4. The client has all her life the feeling that her mother die in the hospital during her birth.
The research revealed the fact that her mother died a short time after she gave birth, but the cause was not giving birth but Cancer .The conclusion enable her for the first time to visit her mother's grave.
Why should the client's feelings be our concern? I think it is almost the same question as "Why should We be concerned with an unsatisfied client?" You can do an excellent genealogical research and if you do not prepare the client to all possible outcomes, he might
reject your findings from the wrong reasons. In some extreme emotional reactions, he can even break the agreement.
Written by Dani Inbar in 2016