Ever hear the joke about the girl who walks into a bar? She orders a martini, notices a rather dapper gentleman wearing a pair of incredible glasses, and decides to ask him where he purchased them. I ordered them online.
Girl then proceeds to call her cousin: Can you measure my face? I’d like to order some glasses online.
Here’s the punchline: I’m the cousin. Funny,right? NOT!
I was dispensing a pair of glasses to a patient I hadn’t seen for the initial fit. As I leaned in to place the glasses on his face he said, “Now, don’t get scared.” In the split second between that statement and his next, I hesitated and wondered what was going to happen. It’s amazing what you can think of in a very short period of time! Would he bite? Have a seizure? Faint? It was a combination of relief and compassion when the patient told me he had a prosthetic nose. His nose had been removed due to cancer and replaced by a latex form. I had to look closely at his bridge to see the very fine line of the prosthesis.
Last year, I briefly profiled the glasses of US President Dwight Eisenhower, comparing and contrasting his frames, fashion, and sensibilities towards eyewear to LBJ, whose unexpectedly extensive frame collection I took a look at in the November issue of 20/20. I’m happy to say that, to my surprise, just a few days after the first article went to print, I received a phone call from Michael R. Florer, the curator at the Eisenhower National Historic Site in Gettysburg, PA.
Technology-driven change has been impacting the optical field for years. From smartphone auto refractors to Optos imaging, it's "out with the old and in with the new!" But despite the onward march of new tech, the ins and outs of choosing and fitting frames has hardly been impacted at all. Sure, virtual try on (VTO) frame technology popped up...but it also popped back. It seemed safe to say that the gold standard of in-person try on, consultation and frame fitting would never be surpassed.
The kids are back in school now, and they’re learning new things every day. In that spirit, I’d like to ask the question - When was the last time you learned something new? Or better yet, when was the last time you taught someone something new?
Look! Over there? What's that on his face? It's a square! It's a circle! It's whatever he wants it to be! All right, maybe that's a little sensational (and maybe unwelcome in the wake of a certain loathed Spring blockbuster), but when it comes to rimless glasses, eyewear selection and image making really can be that exciting.
I recently came across a quote on The Disney Institute’s website. The Disney Institute, a business solutions division of the Walt Disney Company, focuses on improving customer satisfaction and experience. Their content is developed primarily for Disney companies and theme parks, but the institute offers training and development for other businesses. Many of their teachings can be applied to service based industries, including optical.
"You didn't even pay attention to the movie. All you saw were a pair of talking browlines." That was my wife's assessment of my response to Sweet Smell of Success, the classic 1957 film starring Burt Lancaster and Tony Curtis.
Haven't you heard? Norm's the word. I've advocated in the past for keeping an ear to the ground and a sharp eye trained when it comes to up-and-coming cultural trends, in an attempt to stay ahead of the competition when it comes to stocking your dispensary with the sort of frames particular demographics are going to be looking for.