Get Prescription for new glasses: check!
Get new glasses: on it!
In years past when I had to get glasses I mostly always went to this department store that sold clothes and shoes and sheets and blenders and also glasses. The main reason for using the Big, Fancy Department store (BFD) was because my vision benefits required that I pay for the glasses and get reimbursed, and I never seemed to have a spare $200 in my pocket any of those times. So I could use my BFD card, which is kind of like having the spare $200 in someone else’s pocket, like for instance the pocket of my good friends at BFD. But I’ll also say that in the 10+ years that I’ve been going there I’ve never had any complaints.
Let’s bask in the glow of the previous, non-complaint-filled time for a moment…
I get to BFD and meet New Guy (NG) and his “helpful” friend Not New Gal, From Another Store (NNGFAS). New Guy appears to be VERY new – still has New Employee smell (interesting mix of fear, anticipation and HR), still has his tags on him, still looks like he’s constantly trying to decide whether or not he should make a panicky break for it. Not New Gal, on the other hand, has glasses-picking experience dripping from her pores. She also has a tremendously thick (so much that it sounds almost fake) New York accent, a super-abrupt personal way about her and fingernails that have probably been registered with the local authorities as lethal weapons.
NG has no idea what kind of glasses I should wear, and NNGFAS thinks it’s cute, even funny, that I think I should have an opinion about what kind of glasses I should wear. I lie somewhere in between, where I'm not completely sure what glasses I should wear, but get the f*ck away from me with the pink leopard-print ones!! The process of finding my new glasses went kind of like this:
“How about these? Love the shape on you!”
“I’m not crazy about such round lenses, they look goofy on my face.”
“You’re totally right, that shape is not right on you at all. How about these? Great color!”
“Normally I’d try to steer clear of really dark glasses…”
“And these are too dark you think?”
“Well, they’re black. So yes. They’re kind of completely too dark.”
“how about these? These aren’t black. They’re not too dark at all, right?”
“No, they're not dark. But these are the round ones we tried on before. Like right before. Like 30 seconds ago.”
“...so that's a no?”
Sigh. Amazingly, though, we did find a pair that was the right color and size and shape and everything, with poor NG mostly just along for the ride. He’d mastered the art of the encouraging-but-lost emphatic nodding, which I think will come in very handy as long as NNGFAS is there. Once the right glasses were picked we then had to enter everything into the computer. (shudder…)
I would have to say that it’s a bad sign when you find yourself walking someone through the computer screens of their job. NNGFAS thought that the best way to get NG up and running on the computer system was to turn on the computer and then walk away with a “call me if you need any help.” over her shoulder. I’m not necessarily against the 'sink or swim' form of training, but the problem with this system was that if he didn’t swim he was taking me down with him! I could figure out what was required on each computer screen up until we got to the “enter the prescription magic numbers” section, at which point NG announced that he knew this part. Yet each time he’d enter the info he’d get a “warning” screen. Over and over. Warning, Warning, Warning... You could see the tiny sliver of confidence he got when we reached familiar computer ground evaporating as he kept doing the same thing over, over, over.
Finally NNGFAS came over to find out how things were going and he sadly displayed the warning screen he couldn’t seem to conquer. And guess what? It was my fault. Well not mine, per say, but the fault of my special/rare/bizarre eye condition. (Remember from before? Antimetropia? Remember?) Turns out if you enter a prescription that goes one way on one eye and the other way on the other eye the computer is going to ask you “hey, are you sure that’s right? Because those are some MESSED UP eyes!” And it will ask you this EVERY TIME you enter the numbers. Or pass by the numbers. Or look at the numbers. Or fondly reminisce about the numbers. These are disturbing numbers and the computer really wants you to know it. They want to make sure that you, at some point, took a good look at the mutant customer that you’re helping right there because dude, who knows when such a freak of nature will sit in your glasses-shopping chair again. You can tell your grandchildren about the time you helped someone who’s eyes are trying to get as far from each other as they can while still sharing the same face.
Finally, finally, FINALLY we were done. It had been over one hour. The shop was overdue to close. I was exhausted and not entirely sure anymore about the choices I’d made – what if I said yes to the special scratch coating thing just so that they’d let me leave? – and the strong New York accent of NNGFAS had developed into a hatred from me every time she spoke. And for my patience? She gave me some glasses cleaner. But not just a little bit of cleaner. This was a 6-gallon jug of cleaner! This was the largest container of glasses cleaner I’d seen since I’d toured the factory that makes the special glasses cleaner chemicals, which is a tour I’ve never taken, so it’s just THE largest container of glasses cleaner I’d seen ever!
And when would my glasses be ready for picking up, thereby finally giving my eyes the rest they’re dying for? 5-10 days. Oh joy. But hey, at least that gives me the triumphant third part of my story. Because yes indeed, TO BE EVEN MORE CONTINUED!!