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Probably Should’ve Seen That Coming

, , , , , | Healthy Working | May 18, 2022

I work in an optometrist’s office.

Customer: “Hi. You do glasses repairs, right? The wire snapped. Can you repair it now?”

She takes off her glasses and hands them to me. She has half-frames that use something like a fishing wire to hold the lens inside the frame, and one side has snapped. Hot glue is holding the lens to the frame, but it’s clearly just a temporary fix.

Me: “Oh, yeah, this just needs a new wire fed through. It’s a fifteen-minute job.”

Customer: “Great.”

She then sits at one of the seats, apparently content in waiting

Me: “Uh. Ma’am, you can leave and come back? If you like, you can give me your phone number and I’ll call you when I’m done.”

Customer: “You have my glasses.”

Me: “Yep, I’m just fixing them now. But you don’t need to wait.”

Customer: “I can’t even see the doorway.”

Me: “Oh!”

It actually took twenty-five minutes. The customer waited patiently, paid properly, and then left through the door without any problems.

A Most Unreceptive Receptionist, Part 18

, , , | Working | March 28, 2022

It’s been a while since I’ve been to the optometrist and I’m starting to notice that my contact prescription doesn’t seem quite right. I’ve recently moved, so I make an appointment at a local place with a name with “vision” in the title.

Come the day of the appointment I get a ride to the strip center, see a giant sign that says, “Vision,” and walk in.

Me: “Hi, I have an appointment under the name [My Name].”

The receptionist types my name into the computer, clicks around for a minute, and then gets this look on their face like they just bit a lemon.

Receptionist: “No, you don’t. Get out.”

I’m a little taken aback but think there might be a mistake.

Me: “Are you sure? I have an email confirmation. Is there any way to double-check?”

Receptionist: “You do not have an appointment. Stop wasting our time and leave or I will call the police.”

Not feeling like dealing with the cops over this, I walk out of the building and start to call my ride to come get me. But as I am dialing, I look down the strip center and see another sign that says, “Vision”. Turns out that there are two optometrists in the same strip center that decided it was a good idea to have very generic and similar-looking “vision” signs.

While I am waiting for my actual appointment, I see a couple of people come in that have also gotten mixed up, but thankfully, this receptionist simply says:

Receptionist #2: “I think you might have an appointment with the other optometrist a few doors down.”

I get that I walked into the wrong place, but you would think you would have better signage when your clientele specifically has vision problems… or at least be a little more empathetic about a mix-up.

Related:
A Most Unreceptive Receptionist, Part 17
A Most Unreceptive Receptionist, Part 16
A Most Unreceptive Receptionist, Part 15
A Most Unreceptive Receptionist, Part 14
A Most Unreceptive Receptionist, Part 13

You Never Outgrow Scaring Your Mom

, , , , | Related | February 25, 2022

I go to my first solo optometrist appointment at age nineteen. I’m short with a baby face that causes most people to peg me as an old middle-schooler or a young high-schooler. My mother drops me off and looks at frames with me for a bit, but she has errands to run. Since I don’t have a car, she tells me that if I finish before a certain time, I’ll have to call my brother for a ride home, but if I finish after, she’ll come pick me up.

I manage to mix up these simple instructions and text my brother despite it being a little after the specified time, not before. When my brother texts me to say he’s outside, I finish looking at frames, say goodbye to the two front employees who have been helping me, and leave with my brother.

We’re halfway home before I get a phone call from my mom.

Mom: “Where are you?!”

Me: “On the way home? It was after [time], so I called [Brother].”

Mom: “Oh, thank the Lord!”

She gave me the full explanation when she got home. When she came to pick me up, she looked around the office and then asked the front employees if they’d seen me. Cue panic because, for all they knew, I’d gotten in a car with a stranger and driven off. According to my mother, the front desk employee was nearly in tears. All three of them were half-convinced that I’d been kidnapped.

Luckily, my phone was on vibrate, not silent, or they might’ve called the police if I hadn’t answered. Whenever I tell this story, I refer to it as “the time I gave three different people a heart attack at once.”

Making Your Eyes As Big As Dishes

, , , , | Healthy | February 7, 2022

I finally graduated as a licensed optician this year, and seeing as I have a love for storytelling, of course, I take every chance I get to ask my new coworkers about the weirdest or dumbest customers/patients they’ve encountered. So far, this story I heard from one of the sales assistants absolutely takes the cake, although I do have a close runner-up, as well.

A woman comes in, complaining over something regarding her contact lenses. My coworker asks some general troubleshooting questions: how often do you change your contacts, do you sleep with them, are you cleaning them properly? That last question is where it all goes south.

Patient: “Of course, I clean them, but that cleaner you sold me doesn’t work very well, so I just use dish soap, instead.”

Coworker: *Pauses* “You use what now?”

Patient: “Yeah, dish soap and water. See, the cleaner doesn’t get the contacts clear enough; I still see all blurry when I put them back in. The dish soap makes them much cleaner.”

Coworker: *Absolutely dumbfounded* “You can’t… do that. Your eyes could get really badly damaged from that. Please don’t. You need to use the cleaner that your optician recommended for you.”

Patient: “Well, I still think the dish soap works better.”

Lady, how have you, for your entire life, missed the glaring labels on every single dish soap ever telling you NOT to let it come in contact with your eyes?

Strange Visions Of This Working Out

, , , , | Healthy | December 24, 2021

I work as an optometrist. One of my coworkers snags me when I’m briefly leaving my room.

Coworker: “Hey, can you sign this prescription for me real quick?”

A signature is required in order for the prescription to be valid.

Me: “Yeah, sure thi— Wait. This says [date roughly ten years back].”

Coworker: “Wait, what?”

It’s an easy mistake if you only glance quickly before you print it. He takes back the paper, checks the date again, and heads back to the counter where a man is waiting.

Coworker: “It seems your last exam here was about ten years ago. This prescription is no longer valid. I’m sorry, but—”

Man: *Interrupting* “What do you mean? You can’t know what [the Swedish military] accepts! Just give me the prescription!”

He goes on a rant about how we can’t know, we should just sign it and let him try, etc. I smell a major nuisance, so I head over and get involved in order to spare my poor unprepared coworker.

Me: “I’m sorry, but it’s way out of date. Prescriptions are only valid for a year; there is absolutely no way they will accept this.”

Man: “Well, you don’t know that! They might accept it!”

Me: “Sorry, but no. Someone’s vision can change a lot even in just, say, two years, in terms of what correction they need and how they see with and without glasses. Ten years is way too much for me to sign—”

Man: “It hasn’t changed! You could at least let me try! You don’t know; they might accept it!”

Me: “I can guarantee they won’t. We could still book a new exam for you—”

Man: “But I just did an exam in another shop this summer. My vision hadn’t even changed!”

Okay, genius, then what in the entire world are you doing in OUR shop? Where you haven’t been for roughly ten years, mind you?

Me: “Which shop was that?”

Man: “Well, I don’t remember that! My vision hadn’t changed!”

Me: “Well, there’s no way for us to know that without a new exam. Maybe your best option is to figure out where your last exam was and ask them—”

Man: “Oh, come on. Seriously? Just give it to me! You don’t know if they accept it!”

Me: “I’m sorry, but this is no longer legally valid. I can’t sign it. They won’t accept it.”

And this is where the man finally swore under his breath, did a full 180, and stomped out of the shop muttering about how awful we were. I just exchanged incredulous looks of get-a-load-of-this-guy with my equally confused coworkers.

Dude. I may not know the exact rules of the military, but I can guarantee you that the first thing their guidelines say about prescriptions and vision certificates is, “Must be less than a year old.” We are merely saving you from a waste of time.

Also, I am quite proud of my incredible restraint in not pointing out that the last time he did an exam with us, I, now a fully licensed optometrist, was literally still in elementary school. I wonder if that would’ve given him some perspective.