That’s Too Close For Comfort

| Toronto, ON, Canada | Related | April 17, 2017

(My mom is trying on glasses.)

Optometrist: “How’s the comfort feel?”

Mom: *looking at all the glasses* “Which one is that?”

China White

| CA, USA | Right | October 24, 2016

(I work at an optometry near the division of the primarily Indian and Chinese areas of the city. Everyone in the office is able to at least speak Mandarin Chinese. An older Chinese patient enters.)

Me: “Hello, nihao.”

Patient: *in Mandarin* “Do you speak Mandarin?”

Me: *in Mandarin* “I speak it, yes. Do you have any problems that I can help you with?”

Patient: *in Mandarin* “Do you understand? You understand Chinese?”

Me: *in Mandarin* “I understand it. Do you have anything I can help with?”

Patient: *takes out a broken pair of glasses, points at the hinge and gives it to me*

Me: *in Mandarin* “Give me three minutes.”

(Later, after I fix the hinge and give it back to the patient, her daughter comes in and as they’re about to leave.)

Patient: *to daughter in Mandarin* “Why did they hire a white boy? He doesn’t understand Chinese.”

No Glasses Required But Needs A Hearing Aid

| San Diego, CA, USA | Working | May 10, 2016

(I do not use glasses or contacts, but my doctor recommends that I get a yearly eye checkup anyway. I make an appointment with a local well-known optometrist chain which offers eye health exams. The whole sequence of events goes like this:)

Me: “Hi, I’m checking in for an eye exam. Just to be on the same page, I don’t need any glasses; I just need the health checkup. Is that okay?”

Clerk: “Yes, that’s no problem. We do those, too. You don’t have to buy any glasses. Just fill out this paperwork.”

(I fill out the paperwork and check the “do not wear glasses” and “do not wear contacts” boxes. I hand in the paperwork and wait. An assistant technician comes out to do my pre-screening exam.)

Technician: “Wow, your vision is great. You don’t need glasses at all!”

Me: “I know. I’m just here for the eye health exam.”

(After the pre-screening, I go in to see the actual eye doctor, and more tests are done.)

Doctor: “These vision results are fine. Are you quite sure you need glasses?”

Me: “I’m quite sure I do not!”

Will Be Seen At The Disappointed Time

| New Zealand | Working | April 11, 2016

(We’re a very busy optometrist, often booking several days in advance so when we tell you to be there at a time, we expect you to be there at that time. A patient walks in 20 minutes late for her appointment and can’t understand why we can’t see her.)

Me: “So, you’re twenty minutes late, but we have an opening due to a recent cancellation this afternoon. I can rebook you for that time then.”

Patient: “But I can’t understand why you can’t see me now.”

Me: “You’re twenty minutes late for your appointment. The optometrist won’t see you now, but we can rebook you.”

Patient: “So, you’re saying you can’t do anything now.”

Me: “Not right now, no. But I can reschedule you for this afternoon.”

Patient: “I want to be seen now.”

(I just stare at her in complete silence, wondering how long it will take her to click that she won’t be seen because she is late.)

Patient: “I want your name. I’m going to complain that you won’t see me now.”

Me: “That’s fine. Now the next available appointment is two days away. While you were talking with me, this afternoon’s free appointment has gone.”

Don’t Ever Call Him Daddy

| Dover, DE, USA | Working | May 29, 2015

(I’m 23, and I meet up with my father to have our eye doctor’s appointments on the same day because money’s tight for me and I’m still under his insurance even though I’ve moved out. When we meet up inside the waiting room at the sign-in desk, we chat for a bit and I say “hey dad” upon seeing him walk in. This happens once I’m taken back to an exam room and am waiting for the doctor.)

Assistant: *opens up the door and leans in* “Your husband’s getting his pupils dilated, but the doctor will see you soon.”

Me: “My dad, but thanks.”

Assistant: “Oh, my God, I’m sorry! I just saw you two together chatting and was thinking ‘She’s awful young for him’, but I wasn’t going to say anything.”

(I assure her that it’s okay, but after my appointment ends I’m waiting for him since he’s offered to take care of my copay and I wanted to chat with him more because I don’t see him that often.)

Receptionist: “Is your husband taking care of the copay Mrs. [Last Name].”

Me: “My FATHER is taking care of it, yes.”

(Now I don’t know if my dad looks good for being in his mid 50s, or if I look bad for being in my early 20s…)

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