So Many Optometrists But They Can’t See What’s Happening

, , , , | Healthy | February 17, 2019

(My family and I have been going to the same optometrist, a family friend who grew up with my father, for as long as I can remember. He finally retires after around 50 years and sells his business to a local chain optometry company. I get one final exam in with my regular optometrist, about five months before he retires, and I run out of contact lenses around two months after he retires. I call up his old office, now owned and operated by the chain and of whom I am now a patient, to order more.)

Me: “Hi. This is [My Name]; I was a patient of [Optometrist]. I’d like to order more contacts.”

Receptionist: “Of course. But before we can order more contacts for you, we’ll need you to come in for an exam.”

Me: “Uh… I’m sorry, why?”

Receptionist: “Your prescription is out of date.”

Me: “I just had my last exam seven or eight months ago. Why do I need another one?”

Receptionist: “Because you are a new patient; the optometrist has to see you before he can order your contacts.”

Me: “Okay… How much is an exam?”

Receptionist: “It will be [amount].”

(My old optometrist charged a little more than half the price that was quoted to me. My vision insurance only covers one exam every twelve months, regardless of who gives the exam, and at the price they quoted me I cannot afford a second exam in less than a year. I explain as much to the receptionist.)

Me: “There’s really no way for the optometrist to order me enough contacts to get me through the last four months before my insurance covers another exam?”

Receptionist: “Let me speak with the optometrist; we might be able to work something out. I’ll have to put you on hold.”

Me: “That’s fine.”

(I am on hold for about 20 minutes, and finally, the line cuts to ringing. A completely different person answers.)

Receptionist #2: “Thank you for calling [Chain Optometrist].”

Me: “Oh… I was on hold, waiting for a different receptionist to ask the optometrist a question.”

Receptionist #2: “Oh! What was the question, do you know? I might be able to answer it.”

Me: “Whether the optometrist could order me more contacts before I have another exam. I just had one about eight months ago.”

Receptionist #2: “That shouldn’t be a problem. I don’t know why the other receptionist needed to ask the optometrist that. May I have your name, please?”

Me: “Sure, I’m [My Name].”

Receptionist #2: *typing audibly* “Okay… Hm, that’s weird.”

Me: “What’s wrong?”

Receptionist #2: “I don’t have you in my system.”

Me: “That is weird; I thought all my information transferred over fine.”

Receptionist #2: “Transferred? Which doctor did you see?”

Me: “[Optometrist].”

Receptionist #2: “I’m sorry, I’m not familiar with that doctor.”

Me: “But you guys just bought his company?”

Receptionist #2: “Oh… Oh! Oh, you mean in [Town]?”

Me: “Yeah, that’s the one.”

Receptionist #2: “You called the [City] location; we can’t order you contacts, but the [Town] location where you’re registered as a patient can.”

([City] is a large city about 60 miles away; [Town] is a small town that is about a five-minute drive from my apartment.)

Me: “That’s what I did; I called [Town], then I was put on hold when I asked to order contacts..”

Receptionist #2: “Ah, I understand. Our home office is in [City], so all hold calls eventually transfer back to us after a certain amount of time.”

Me: “That’s… strange. Could you please transfer me back?”

Receptionist #2: “Of course. Hold on just a minute, please.”

(I am placed on hold again, again for around twenty minutes. Finally, a third receptionist picks up.)

Receptionist #3: “Thank you for calling [Chain Optometrist].”

Me: “Hi. this is [My Name]. I was a patient of [Optometrist]. I called earlier to order more contacts.”

Receptionist #3: “Of course. Let me look up your prescription. Oh… You haven’t seen the optometrist yet.”

Me: *sighs* “No, but I just saw my old optometrist about eight months ago.”

Receptionist #3: “Well, we can’t order you more contacts until you see the optometrist.”

Me: “Yes, I was told this by the first person I spoke to. She put me on hold to ask the optometrist.”

Receptionist #3: *snorts* “Don’t know why she would do that. She should know we won’t give you any without an exam by our doctor.”

(I have worked customer service for almost ten years, and as such, I don’t want to cause a scene but I am frustrated and this particular receptionist, being so curt with me after the other two were trying to be helpful, irritates me. At this point, including the hold time, I have been on the phone for almost an hour now for what should have been a three-minute call.)

Me: *forcing my voice to be as even as I can* “I’m sorry, let me stop you there. I apologize if I come off as frustrated, but it’s because I am. I have been transferred three times and been on the phone for nearly an hour, and you are the third person I have spoken to. I literally need maybe one full box of contact lenses to get me through four months, as my insurance won’t cover another exam so soon and I can’t afford your exam rate without insurance. Is there really no way for me to get just one box of contacts without seeing your optometrist?”

(There is silence on the line, and I think at first that she hung up. Then, she speaks, very icily and sharply.)

Receptionist #3: “That is how we do things here. You know, there are four other optometrists within ten miles of us.”

Me: “I see. I’ll take my prescription information now, thank you. I’ll order my contacts from [Mail Order Contacts Service].”

(The receptionist proceeded to read off my prescription to me rapidly and, again, rather sharply. I managed to write it down, and as soon as she finished speaking she hung up on me. I got some recommendations from family and friends, and four months later I very happily saw a different optometrist, whose employees were sympathetic but not surprised when I told them about my experience with the chain. They told me they already had sixteen former patients of [Optometrist] switch over to them after the chain took over! Not a good look for the chain.)

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They Are First-Class Jerks

, , , , | Right | February 15, 2019

(I am required to travel from the US to one of my company’s offices in London the week before Christmas, in order to train people on a new system we were going to implement after New Years. I am annoyed with having to leave my wife alone with our two young children and that I am having to travel so close to the holidays. At least my managers understand that someone in my position would be frustrated, so they arrange for me to fly first class on both the flight to London and the returning one. I am one of the last people to board my flight to London, and I am greeted by a man sitting in my seat, kissing the female passenger next to him. They realize I am standing there and start talking.)

Guy: “Is this your seat? We have been waiting for you.”

Me: *with a confused look* “Excuse me?”

Guy: “Well, me and my wife here are going on our honeymoon, and we got an upgrade to first class, but we are not sitting together. We were wondering if you would be willing to switch seats with me so I can sit next to her?”

Me: “Where is your seat?”

Guy: “It’s [seat that is not only in economy, but is also a middle seat]. Thanks so much for this buddy. Really appreciate it.” *immediately goes back to talking to his wife*

Me: *as I start putting my bags in the overhead bin* “Sir, I’m sorry, but I did not say I would switch with you; I was asking where your seat was to see if I would switch. Can you please move from my seat?”

Guy: “You just said you would switch with me, and now you’re taking it back. Are you really going to be like this?”

Me: “As I said, I was asking where your seat was before I agreed to change seats. No offense, but while it is your honeymoon, I am not comfortable trading my first class seat for one in economy.”

Guy: “Come on, man. I really want to sit with my wife. We could only get one upgrade from the lady at the desk because first class is full. I really would like to sit with her.”

Me: *trying to be nice, but not caving in to his idea to switch* “Again, I understand that, but I would like to sit in my seat. Maybe someone else here is willing to switch, but it is not me. Or maybe you could ask one of the people sitting next to you in economy if they will switch so you and your wife can sit together back there.”

Guy: *with a look like I just pissed in his coffee* “Listen to me. I want to sit with my wife, here in first class. Just stop making this difficult. It is our honeymoon. Maybe have some kindness.”

Me: “Sir, you are asking a complete stranger to take a downgraded seat and give you their better seat for free. I am kind of shocked that you thought anyone would take that agreement. I did not pay for you to sit in my seat, so please move.”

(I notice the wife has pressed her button for the flight attendant and she shows up soon.)

Attendant: “Is everything okay here?”

(I try to talk but the wife immediately starts speaking.)

Woman: “This man has been harassing my husband and me since he boarded. He keeps claiming I am sitting in his seat, but this seat is mine.” *shows her ticket* “Can you please move him away from us?”

(The attendant is about to speak with me when the passenger sitting behind the man and woman speaks up.)

Passenger: “This woman is lying through her teeth. The husband is sitting in that man’s seat and he refused to move, and pretty much threatened him to switch seats and go to economy.”

(The flight attendant asks to see my ticket and then the husband’s. She then asks me to come with her to the front of the plane and have me wait while she talks to the captain. I can see how she is getting frustrated, since the plane is about ready to take off and this whole mishap is causing a delay. After she is done talking, she goes back with me to my seat and talks to the couple.)

Attendant: “So, I have spoken with the pilot about this issue. We have called the desk agents and determined this man has paid for his ticket while you—“ *pointing at the wife* “—were given a free upgrade. Now that the two of you treated a passenger terribly and then lied, we have two options for you. A: both of you get up and sit in economy, since there are still plenty of seats back there, or B: you two leave this plane, either by your free will or by security.”

Woman: *suddenly looking a bit panicked* “Oh, don’t worry. My husband will move back to his seat, and I promise I will be on my best behavior up here.”

Attendant: “Sorry, miss, but that is no longer an option, because you used an opportunity to sit in first class to harass another passenger. I have told you what your two options are, and I will need your decision immediately. In all honesty, I wouldn’t have even given you two the option to go back to economy if the pilot didn’t feel bad it was your honeymoon.”

(The husband and wife then got up, while glaring at me, and moved back to economy. I was feeling good after that, because I not only had room in first class, but an empty seat next to me, as well. The flight attendant also talked to me and said that she was sorry for how that couple had treated me, and that the pilot requested a flag be put on the couple’s names so that they would not receive any other upgrades when flying with the airline.)


This story is part of our Terrible Airline Passengers roundup!

Read the next Terrible Airline Passengers roundup story!

Read the Terrible Airline Passengers roundup!

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I Won’t Stutter When I Tell You To Get Out

, , , , , | Right | February 14, 2019

(I work at a big box store, and one of my coworkers has a pretty severe stutter.)

Customer: “Excuse me. Can you tell me if you carry [Item]?”

Me: “I’m not sure, sorry… Let me ask.” *calls out over the walkie*

Coworker: “They’re, l-l-located along the w-w-wall.”

Customer: *in a suddenly nasty tone* “Well, I already looked along the wall. Is the wuh-wuh-wall something different?”

(I was shocked, but the only thing I could do was tell her, “Then we’re sold out.” Our managers won’t let us refuse service.)

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This Will Make Sense In The End

, , , , , , | Related | February 14, 2019

(I live in Georgia and work in a “New York Style” pizzeria. I’ve been there for years and have come across many customers that insist our pizza is the greatest thing since sliced bread, and some that, well, don’t. I’m working a double this particular day and it’s after the lunch rush when we’re pretty slow. A middle-aged woman with blonde hair comes in, places an order to go, and takes it back out to her car, but she doesn’t leave. About ten minutes pass and she comes storming back into the store.)

Woman: “What is this s***?!”

Me: *startled* “I’m sorry? What can I help you with?”

Woman: “This! This s***! I am from New York and I can tell you this is some primo-grade horse s***!”

Me: “Um, I’m sorry to hear that you don’t like it. Is it the pizza itself? Was it under- or over-cooked?”

Woman: “I just got off a plane with my husband and wanted something decent to eat. I can’t believe you call this—“ *mockingly* “—NEW YORK STYLE!”

Me: “I’m sorry to hear that it wasn’t up to your standards, and I’d like to make this right. If you tell me what I can do to help you, we can work from there.”

Woman: *bellowing* “I WILL HAVE YOUR JOB! GET ME YOUR F****** MANAGER NOW!”

(My manager, [Manager #1], is in his office and I pull him to the front, then I go hide in the back kitchen until the angry woman leaves. When [Manager #1] returns, he tells me that he ended up just refunding her food, and my job was safe from “entitled crazies.” About an hour later, there’s a shift change, and [Manager #2] comes in. I inform him that I’m covering a couple of shifts later that week, and today is a double-shift. He tells me that if the evening shift is slow, he will plan to send me home early since I’m getting close to overtime; I happily agree. About 7:30 rolls around.)

Manager #2: “[My Name]! Want to go home now? I don’t think it’s busy enough that we’ll need you.”

(Excitedly, I gather my things and clock out. It just so happens that my dad has recently found out that his father — my grandfather — is not biologically related to him, and my dad, using one of those DNA tests from an online ancestry network, managed to track down his half-brother! My uncle is coming to Georgia to meet us and I managed to get off of work early enough to stop by my parents’ house to meet them! Now, don’t beat me to the punch.)

Me: *walking into my parents’ house, calling out* “Hey! I managed to get out early!”

(I walked into the living room and saw a man that looked creepily similar to my father, and a familiar blonde woman. The woman’s jaw dropped, and as I imagined, so did mine. The woman was fairly quiet for the rest of the evening. While I was in the kitchen doing dishes, the angry-customer-that-was-actually-my-aunt sneaked in and embarrassedly apologized to me. My aunt and I never did develop a close relationship, though my uncle comes to visit once or twice a year from their home in New Jersey. I eventually opted not to mention to my dad my previous encounter with his sister-in-law. Also, it turns out my uncle thought the pizza was great!)

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Going The Extra (S)Mile To Be Annoying

, , , , | Working | February 14, 2019

(I am having one of those mornings where everything goes wrong: almost no sleep, car trouble, spilled juice on my clothes, burned myself in the kitchen, dog chewed a hole in the rug, etc. I’m tired and I’m on my last nerve. I’m running errands and the pet store is my last stop before taking a break for lunch. I put a large bag of dog food on the counter — I’m a small woman so I have to carry it with both arms — and start digging in my purse for my credit card. I go to pay but notice that the cashier hasn’t rung up my purchase.)

Me: “Is there a problem?”

(The cashier is grinning at me.)

Cashier: “I’m not ringing this up until you smile for me.”

(I stare at him. I assume he’s joking and stand there, waiting for him to ring up the dog food. He keeps grinning and nods at me.)

Cashier: *in a cutesy voice* “Come on, now. Smile for me.”

(And that’s the moment when I’ve had enough. I flip him off with both hands, leave the dog food on the counter, and walk to the door.)

Cashier: *sounds shocked* “Hey, wait! It’s just a smile!”

(I flipped him off again over my shoulder and kept walking. I had to make an extra stop at a different pet store, but I don’t regret it.)

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