Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Can You See Me Now?

I might have mentioned that I went to the optometrist a couple of weeks ago. Or so I thought. Turns out I really forked over triple figures to The House of Charlatans Optical Delusions Emporium and Professional Prevaricators Shoppe. Their famous customers include three mice who sport bobbed tails due to an industrial accident with a farmer's wife's carving knife. Mr. Magoo. And Mary Ingalls.

Of course I paid for the whole enchilada that day. The exam and two pairs of lenses. I had my distance lenses put in last week. I could see again, after a year of my old prescription never working, and them telling me that as I got older, my eyes didn't adjust quickly, and were probably just tired form working up close all day. Which didn't help me see to drive home with my new distance glasses. But now they are fine. My eyes must have rejuvenated over the year, huh? Or they've been working out, and don't get so tired at the end of the day.

Yesterday I went back to have my new bifocals put into my frames. When she called me to the counter, the lady said, "You're going to feel like a whole new person." I sure did. Helen Keller. Because I couldn't see, and nobody acknowledged what I was trying to communicate.

"I can't see!"


"I can't see with these."

"Oh, you'll have to get used to your new prescription."

"Well...if you think so."

"Here. Please sign that you've received your lenses."

"Where? I can't see that. This is not right. It's like I can't see out of my left eye." I leaned over the counter. Put my nose nearly on the form. "Where was I supposed to sign? I can't see it." The lady put her finger on a line. I thought I discerned a little squiggly mark that meant 'sign here.' So I did. I guess it looked like my signature.

"If you have any trouble with them, come back and we can adjust them."

"Well...I really can't see out of them. I don't think this is going to work."

"If you have problems, stop back by and we'll take a look."

What we had there was a failure to communicate. And a failure to differentiate black squiggly lines on white paper. I took them home. Couldn't see worth a lick. Tried to read a magazine. Had to hold it right in front of my face. At no point could I make out any letters with my left eye bifocal. Not at any distance. I stewed over it all night. Called this morning at 9:05. "Do you still have my old lenses? I was there yesterday at 4:00 and had new bifocals put in. This isn't going to work. I can't see out of them. I just want my old lenses put back in. I have to be able to see for my job. Right now I'm wearing a pair that's at least two years old. And I can see better than with the new ones."

The girl said they did not have my old lenses. Seriously? The trash man picked them up between 4:00 and 5:00? Or this morning between 8:30 and 9:05? She said I could come by and they'd take a look. That I probably needed an adjustment. Uh huh. I'm sure the glasses I've had for a year were just suddenly sitting too far down my proboscis.

Did I mention that yesterday, while waiting for the technician in the basement to put in my new bifocal lenses, that I overheard two different customers sitting at the frames-picking-out area explaining that they could not see out of their new glasses? Yeah. An old lady, who didn't know what to do, because they were new glasses. And she couldn't see with them. And a guy who had just picked up his new bifocals, who needed them for work, and couldn't see anything. So he wanted to scrap the bifocals and get a pair of glasses just for close up. Because he needed to see at work.

Today I walked in at 1:30, and had to wait twenty minutes'll never believe this...a man was already at the counter explaining that he could not see out of the left lens of his new glasses. The lady kept telling him that was very odd. That the prescription was the same as the right lens. It should work. She didn't know what could be the matter. She hemmed and hawed. Then said she could work him in to see the doctor in 30 minutes. Or 2.5 hours. He said his wife and daughter were waiting in the car. So he guessed he'd come back, because he really needed to be able to see out of his new glasses.

I heard them whispering about me. Like I was trying to scam them out of new lenses, because I had nothing better to do on this Wednesday before Thanksgiving, enjoying my early out from school by hanging out tormenting the employees of The House of Charlatans Optical Delusions Emporium and Professional Prevaricators Shoppe.

The lady came out and apologized for my wait, then started in about how maybe I didn't tell the doctor that I was planning to use those glasses to view my computer screen. No. I told him nothing. I figured my bifocals would work. Like my last bifocals. I did not expect that I would only be able to see directly in front of my face, 12 inches way. I measured it with a ruler at school this morning.

She carried on. That she didn't know why I couldn't see out of those bifocals. Tried to make me an appointment on DECEMBER 10, three weeks away! Good thing I have two-year-old glasses I can use to see until then. I asked WHY I was not able to see out of my brand-new bifocals. In my mind, it could only be one of three things:

*The doctor gave me the wrong prescription.

*The technician put the wrong prescription in the order.

*The lens lab received the proper prescription and ground out the wrong prescription.

That smoother-over with the job from Not-Heaven assured me that it was the right prescription and the right lenses. She checked it with a machine. Yet still, I couldn't see out of them. Huh. How can it be the right prescription? I asked for a printout of my old and new prescriptions. She went to the back. And brought out the youngest little doctor after ten minutes. He looked at both my old and new pairs of glasses. Had me put them on. Said they only needed to adjust the length on the lenses. appointment.

The technician kept my frames! And even worse, she said for me to keep my case. "Our technicians have a habit of destroying cases. Ha ha." Really? So you're taking my frames, and THEY will be safe from those smashing technicians, even though they're not protected by a case?

I wash my hands of them! Though I really feel like I want to gouge out my eyes.


  1. Last week put down almost $1000.00 for a pair of reading glasses, a pair of regular glasses for my astigmatism and the appointment. I am clearly in the wrong business. (pun intended)

  2. Val--
    I went to a well-known chain several years ago (I'll call them Blarkson Eyecare). I tried them out because of their persuasive radio commercials. They gave me contact lenses that I had trouble with from the very beginning. I kept calling them, telling them my eye hurt (I only wear a contact in one eye--so one eye is for distance and one eye is for close-up). I told them my eye was watering uncontrollably. They kept giving me the runaround--it might have gotten torn, I might have gotten a speck of dust in my eye, I needed to adjust to them, etc. I finally looked at the box, and the prescription was 4.5 and my prescription was supposed to be 1.5. Not an apology about the screw-up or the weeks of discomfort I endured. Not even a free box of contact lenses. Nothing.

    Never again will I go there.

    But hey, those dolts gave you something to write about...Have a great holiday and enjoy your much-deserved rest.

  3. I'm sorry I laughed, but I too have shopped there (also known as the place where Sioux got her lenses). They were my first pair, so I thought all glasses were supposed to make you somewhat more blind than when you started. Found out later from Costco that the prescription wasn't even close. I am thankful for your ability to laugh about it. Happy day.

  4. I just got new glasses also. They cost more than my first car.

  5. Birdie,
    Yeah, it's outrageous. Am I so wrong to expect to get what I paid for? I think not.

    The current tactic is to blame the customer for faulty merchandise. I'm not having it. I will hound The House of Charlatans Optical Delusions Emporium and Professional Prevaricators Shoppe until I can see, by cracky!

    The conspiring universe provides me many threads with which to weave my rich tapestry of bemused put-uponness.

    Which says to me that you either have really good glasses, or you had a crappy first car. Oh. Wait. I'm not accounting for inflation. That is highly believable.

  6. I am very fortunate. I go to Troy, Mo. Here's 2 Eyes. They have a wonderful doc and the owner is one of my campers. Barb Cashion is a miracle worker with frames and lens. She has repaired my mangled frames more times than I can count. I have never heard anything negative about her business. Her business cards are on my counter and I have had people from the St. Louis area and even as far away as Jefferson City tell me they go there for their glasses and that it is worth the drive, I get a lot of campers stopping in to look at my seasonal sites. Her prices are reasonable, too.

  7. Kathy,
    With service like that, I can see why people would come from far and wide. I think my office has grown complacent with its home-grown clientele. They used to be good. Now, not so much. The founder of the place retired, and turned it over to the second-in-command.