By Johnna Dukes, ABOC

It’s been a wild ride these past few years. I feel like we’ve had moments of hope, mixed with moments of exhaustion, mixed with times where it’s been hard to feel much at all. It’s been high and low, good and bad, and absolutely everything in between. So in these times, in order to keep my own sanity, I find myself searching for things to inspire my mindset. This little nugget of inspiration was found where virtually no wisdom ever originates, in a meme I found online. “If you’re going to do something anyway, you might as well have some fun while you’re at it.”

I took this quote to heart recently; I was having a bit of a down day and was about to work with a new client. I thought to myself, “why not have some fun?” So, in our time working together to select frames and lenses, I found myself asking more questions than I normally would, “What do you do for fun?” I asked. And this simple question took my client off guard, and I know he didn’t immediately know how to answer me, but eventually he said “I enjoy playing guitar.” This simple question opened an entire dialogue with this client about his life and musical inspirations. And before I knew it, we had not only picked out some really amazing frames and lenses, but we had created a connection. This conversation changed a transactional interaction into a personal one, where the client saw that I was a person, and I also saw the client as more than a pair of eyes that needed correction. As I wrapped up our time together, I thanked my client for coming in to see us and mentioned that I had enjoyed our conversation. My client responded that he felt very comfortable in our office and that he was glad he came to see us.

As the day wore on, I found myself working with a longtime client. I made a silly eye pun joke and cracked myself up with it. She giggled at me too, and we really had fun with frame selection. This kicked off a rather enjoyable interaction that ended with me saying the frame she chose looked like a party for her face, which cracked us both up. Cut to the dispense when she told me our office was her favorite place in the world to shop! When I dispensed her glasses, I thanked her for making my frames look good! She responded that she tells everyone who asks about her amazing glasses to come and see me.

Later on this particular day, I had a client who was having some trouble adapting to a new Rx. Often these interactions can be a bit tense as the client doesn’t always have a lot of patience when they’re having problems. Once I assured them that I was there to help and that I wanted to make sure they were happy, the client relaxed and let me make the necessary adjustments that eventually solved the problem. I thanked the client for letting me resolve the issue, and they thanked me for having the ability to take care of it, and sheepishly, thanked me for putting up with their shortness as they were making me aware of their problems. I left this interaction feeling satisfied that I was able to solve a problem and the client left it aware that they could’ve handled their delivery a bit more gently. Hopefully it will make someone else’s day better later down the road.

What I learned from adopting this nugget of inspiration was that things happen, and people will behave as people will behave (sometimes less graciously than we hope) but if you take the initiative to have a little fun regardless, you can change your own mindset, and you can influence the mindset of those around you. After all, if you’re going to go to work anyway, you might as well have some fun while you’re at it!

Learn how to use engagement and connectivity to guide the patient and deliver the best optical retail experience with our CE, The Art of Dispensing, at This course is free, supported by an educational grant from DE RIGO REM and POLICE.