Optometric Management Tip # 509   -   Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Follow-up on "No Girls Day"

I hope you had a very happy No Girls Day.  It was this past Monday, as I'm sure you know.  Maybe Hallmark will develop a “No Girls Day” greeting card to send to stubborn offenders.  I received a very large response from readers to last week's tip calling for the term “girl” or “gal” to be abolished from eye care offices when referring to staff members.  As promised, here are some of the comments I received.

Overwhelming agreement
As expected, nearly every response I received was in agreement that the use of the “girl” term should be dropped.  Those who actually use the term were very quiet, I presume because there is really no way to defend it.  And that is my goal; not to catch people doing something wrong but to alert you to a common figure of speech that many people find offensive.  I'm glad the story caused you to analyze how you and your staff communicate with patients.  Words make a big difference.

How about the ladies?
A few readers said they do not use the term “girl”, but they do use “lady” or “ladies”, and they wondered what I thought of that.  Well, it is definitely more polite, but I still don't really like it. 

General comments

Thanks for all the great comments!

Best wishes for continued success,

Neil B. Gailmard, OD, MBA, FAAO
Chief Optometric Editor, Optometric Management