December 2018 Retail Strategies

Make Time for Staff Training

Whether you work for a large corporation or for a small business, answer the following questions. Is there enough time during the day to properly train your staff? Is there a formal training plan in place for new and current employees? If you answered yes, you are in better shape than many of your peers.
December 2018 Retail Strategies

The Optician of the Future

You’d have to have been hiding under a rock somewhere if you haven’t yet discovered that there are some companies offering glasses for your patients to purchase online. (And at prices that are hard to compete with.) So, it’s here, people. The apocalypse that has long been predicted. But, I don’t think it is as scary as the nay-sayers think. I actually think the advent of online creates opportunities for human opticians to become great. So, while the internet is trying to pass itself off as an optician, what can actual opticians do to distinguish themselves?
October 2018 Eyewear

Design with a Purpose: Form, Function and Philosophy

I have to admit, for a large chunk of my opticianry career, I did not devote enough attention to how ophthalmic eyeglass frames are designed, produced, their material make-up, or the company behind the product. My husband is an engineer by profession, and the way he would hold a frame and examine the hinges, the mechanics, the design, sparked an interest in me. To learn more, I took the CE Why You Should Know How Frames Are Made, where I discovered the complexity and artistry involved in making quality frames.
October 2018 Eyes/Optics

Eye Care Everywhere

‘Eye Care Everywhere’ is the theme for World Sight Day, Thursday, October 11. World Sight Day is an advocacy and communications call to action from the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) to promote universal access to vision health care. Based in London, the IAPB is the coordinating organization that leads international efforts in blindness prevention. More than 100 organizations dedicated to eye care make up their membership around the world.
September 2018 Fitting and Adjusting Frames

Adventures in Eavesdropping: The Adjustment Shuffle

Confession time: I can’t adjust my own glasses. That’s not to impugn my own abilities at fixing other people’s—I did just fine during many years of tinkering with temples and noodling nosepads. In all fairness, though, I never lived up to the Montgomery Scott-like abilities of my old colleague Dawn Gibbs at Texas State Optical in Magnolia, who could seemingly adjust a pair of frames that’d been run over by a semi and have them feeling even more comfortable than before the accident. When it comes to my own glasses, however, I’m rather like the master barber who can’t cut his own hair. They’re just too close, too personal, and I’m too finicky.
September 2018 Doing Good

Reaching Out

Over the years, I’ve run into patients who had eyewear issues I didn’t know how to resolve. I’ve been fortunate in always having known a colleague who had the answer, and gave it willingly. That kind of support has been invaluable to my patients and my own learning.
September 2018 Retail Strategies

Two Ears, One Mouth

My nephew called the other night. Mark is a 36-year-old bachelor in a demanding profession, so I don’t hear from him often, and understandably so. This time he had an “eye question.” He’d just been to the eye doctor and got a mild minus prescription for night driving. “I think the salesperson was trying to upsell me,” he said. “He told me I needed some kind of trifocal lens for the computer, but I don’t need the glasses for the computer. The salesperson sounded like he was reading from a script and told me about blue blockers. Do I need blue blockers at night? I don’t think he knew what he was doing.” Mark left without purchasing glasses.