Saturday, July 28, 2012

Integrity & the death of optical shoppes

This week one of the opticians (they sell and fit glasses), approached me asking if I'd be interested in doing free screenings for kids so they could drum up business. I said I'd have to do a minimum of testing because people mistake screenings for exams, and I don't want to send kids off who are in need of glasses because we were skidding through an eye check. She was visibly miffed. Frowning, she asked, "Can't we just have them read the eye chart?" I said I didn't think that was right. She walked away.

Later I heard she reported to the others what I'd said, saying about me, "She sucks." I guess integrity is in low esteem these days. And anything for money is in high regard.

I wondered, what makes these $15/hour employees so gung ho about selling glasses? They stand out front in their white coats, quoting hundreds of dollars for glasses which can be bought online for a fraction of the cost. (I recently paid $32 for glasses which were made fully correctly with three lens coatings.)

Am I witnessing the slow extinguishing of the optical shoppe? I wonder what they'll do once everyone orders their glasses online? I figure that my services will still be needed, after all there is always a health check and the autorefraction doesn't give accurate glasses for people.

In a larger sense, I wonder why people are so driven to sell? (I'm probably the opposite, money is such a low driver for me and selling things makes me physically ill.) How are people driven to trick people into buying more things so they generate more income for a store? Maybe there are kick-backs for sales. I don't know.

When I started this job, I was told not to tell my patients that their glasses hadn't changed, so the optical could sell them more glasses. I can't sleep at night knowing I have stolen $400 from an old lady on medicare just so the store generates more income. I don't know who can. Maybe people who do two minute eye chart checks and call it a screening.

1 comment:

Cindy Waters said...

Online opticals sell polycarb lenses . They have a low abbé value . You most probably have a very mild rx . If a person is a high plus or high minus , they need high quality lenses to get sharp , crisp vision . Polycarb scratches easily and there is distortion around the edges that can hinder a person who is legally blind without their glasses on . Optical centers are also extremely important with the higher rx . The bridge size is as important as a bra size . If it is the wrong size it is not only uncomfortable but will look ill fitting .