On Service and Eyelashes

On Saturday, as we left the Albert Optical, Lee turned to me and said, "Now that? That was good service."

Lee doesn't wear glasses. I've been wearing them since I was 10. I spent many years primarily wearing contacts but about five years ago I jumped on the glasses wagon. I spent too many hours a day starting at a computer screen for contacts.

When I first got glasses we went to a really nice optician. They had good quality glasses. Their glasses were also expensive which meant I was stuck with them for longer than I thought I would be. They were also not quite so talented at helping you pick out frames. When I moved into my teens I switch to one of those places where they promoted a BOGO type of sale and you could get two pairs of glasses for about the same price I could get for one at the opticians. Once I hit university it was all about whatever the heck I could afford and it wasn't much.

When I finally started making money after university I switched back to the higher end type of optician. I haven't regretted it. It costs me more money for each pair of glasses but you simply cannot beat the service.

When I walked into this place a couple of years ago, on the recommendation of a friend, the place was hopping. I had to wait awhile for service but that's fine. I wasn't in a hurry. When a salesperson became available looked at my face, tilted his head, then walked over the wall and grabbed a pair of glasses that he thought would be perfect. They were. I was surprised. I'm not easy to fit for glasses. I have a small and slightly crooked head.

We tried on more pair, many more pairs, but that first pair was the winner. I also looked at prescription sunglasses but my eyesight is terrible (truly terrible) and the lenses would have been to thick for the sunglasses I wanted. The person working with me was horribly disappointed on my behalf. We compromised by getting custom-made clip-ons for the glasses we had picked out. He wasn't thrilled by this, believing them to be a poor substitute for the awesome sunglasses we had picked out. I pointed out to him that can, and do, wear contacts as well so I can always buy more fashionable sunglasses to wear with those. He agreed, but was still disappointed for me.

I really liked my new glasses but found I have a tendency to knock them crooked. What can I say? I'm a klutz. The last time I knocked them out of whack it make them almost impossible to wear. Luckily I have a second pair of glasses, an older set of frames that I loved enough to have new lenses put in them and that I wear most of the time. I was getting kind of tired of just wearing one set and decided it was well past time to go in for an adjustment.

Again, the store was bustling with activity and I had to wait awhile for service. When I used to go into the BOGO type places for glasses adjustments they'd look at me with annoyance (adjustments are free) and whip me in and out as quick as possible. The woman I worked with on Saturday spent fifteen minutes readjusting my glasses, making sure that they fit just right.

But there was still a problem. Everything was still blurry. I had assumed that the blurriness was due to the fact that my glasses were off kilter. That was part of it but there was also something wrong with the lenses. On Saturday I discovered that your eyelashes can mess up your eyeglasses.

I have long eyelashes and they had a tendency to brush up against my lenses. I don't wear makeup often (I work from home, I can't be bothered) but I've often noticed that after I moisturize my face I get smudges on my glasses from my eyelashes. I never thought much about it. I'd just clean them off and go on about my day.

It turns out that it was causing some kind of funky chemical reaction with the coating on my glasses. It made everything all swirly and blurry

Before I could really absorb the fact that my eyelashes, of all things, had ruined the lenses of a rather expensive pair of glasses she was on the computer checking my account. My glasses are still under warranty, a warranty I didn't really know I had, and she ordered me up a new set of lenses. They'll be in a few weeks and I stop by whenever I'm free and I'll have a set of functional eyeglasses in an hour.

On my way out I asked if it would be possible to get a refill of glasses cleaner. My bottle was almost empty. She handed me the bottle, at no cost, and sent me off on my way.

I had spent close to 30 minutes in the shop. I had a lengthy adjustment. I had a problem resolved when I hadn't even known there was a problem. I got free product. None of this cost me a cent. The service is just part of what comes when you do business with them.

So often we focus on negative service. The waiter that doesn't fill the water glasses. The sales person that ignores us. It's nice to know that there are places where you can get truly fantastic service.