Sunday, August 16, 2009

Tales from Retail Eyeglass Shopping

This was written back in March, but I felt it was a good idea to warn you all of the dangers of leaving the well-being of your eyeballs in the hands of mall employees.


Because I have been having migraines and the fact that my eyeglass prescription is over two years old, I decided to stop by LensCrafters the other day. I’m an instant gratification type of gal, so the “ready in an hour” sales pitch appealed to me. My appointment was at 5:20 and I arrived a little early. Appointments never start on time so I wandered around browsing the selection in search of my new frames. There were only two cases to look through, and it was at least 20 minutes before I was seen, so I probably walked back and forth from each case a hundred times. I was already regretting making this appointment knowing that I’d have to settle for some shitty style, but for some reason I stuck it out.

Finally a sales guy helped me, and then it was too late to run. From the get go, he was acting all kinds of creepy and abrasive towards me. His opening line was “have you gotten a prescription recently because if you did I don’t want to waste my time.” I said no, it’s been a while. He didn’t believe me (because I often lie about my optical exams) so he checked the computer anyway, and of course I was right. He gave me all the forms to fill out and I didn’t check mark any of the “what diseases does your family have?” because I honestly didn’t know and for the most part we’re a healthy bunch. Again, he didn’t believe me so he interrogated me and insisted on going over every single question again to confirm my answer. Once he was convinced that I wasn’t trying to pull a fast one on him, hiding a family history of asthma, he moved on. But not to the preliminary eye tests like he should have.

Instead, he asked me if I was Filipino, and then spouted off all of the tagalog words for genitals that he could think of. He obviously knew what they meant, but wanted me to translate anyway because he is a sick fuck who would get off on me saying the words penis and vagina. He then said “sip sip ti ti mo” (loosely means “suck your dick”), and asked me to translate again. I refused again. He gathered copies of the paperwork I filled out and handed them to me, then said some strange comment like “I like to put those near my toilet so I can read them while I go to the bathroom.” I made a face at him, then he laughed at me and smacked me on the back- rather hard- like we were old mates. At that point I was too shocked to react properly and just wanted to finish the damn eye exam so I could get the hell out of there.

Finally, he fitted me with an eye patch and had me rest my chin on a jaw support to do that periphery test. You know, the one where you focus one eyeball on a dot and then press a button anytime you see any movement? Instead of letting me concentrate on my test in peace, he insisted on making conversation and socializing, expecting me to respond to his asinine questions while my jaw was held shut. The line of questioning was all personal stuff– am I married, do I have a boyfriend, do I live alone, do my parents help me pay my rent, do I make a lot of money… umm yeah. Clearly appropriate conversation with a customer that you just met 20 minutes ago.

After the tests were done I sat around some more while he basically just stared at me, waiting for the test results to print out. He then leaned in real close, clearly entering my personal space, and asked me if I wanted any special discounts, all dodgy-like. I asked him to clarify, and he thought it over for a moment, possibly debating internally whether or not to ask me to blow him under the eyeball air poof machine for a free polycarbonate lens upgrade. I might not be too far off because he ultimately decided against offering it, saying “Nahhh I’m too scared… I might get caught.” I didn’t bother to ask what he meant. At last, it was time to see the REAL eye doctor. An eye doctor who apparently hates his life because he was the most miserable man I had ever met. While I was reading off letters projected onto the wall, another employee came in to get some things out of a cabinet, and was completely blocking my view. It was a good 30 seconds before the doctor even said anything to the employee. Strange, strange, strange.

The exam was all done and it was time to dilate my pupils. He dropped the solution in my eyes causing my retinas to burn like a mother bitch. I was supposed to see the doctor again after paying for my glasses and all that, but that never happened, so I was finally cleared to leave. I had tossed my contacts and didn’t have my eyeglasses on me, so walking out into the dark parking lot was quite difficult. First off, I couldn’t even find my car. Then I realized I had exited the opposite side of the building. Even in the correct lot, it was still impossible to find my car. Once I found it, I had the daunting task of actually driving home… in the dark… in traffic… with my eyes burning and blurry… barely even able to keep them open. Thank god I only lived a couple miles from the place. Definitely never doing that again.

That was Monday, it is now Thursday, and I still haven’t gone back to see the doc again or even pick up my “ready in an hour” eyeglasses. I am putting it off for as long as I possibly can; that’s how bad I DON’T want to go back. I wish they could just pop them in the mail. I just really don’t want to see that dude again. Maybe I’ll go Saturday morning and hope he’s not working. All I know is I am never, ever going back to that place again for my future optical needs.


August 16, 2009 update: I never did go back to get my glasses. They also never bothered to call to see if I was still alive.

1 comment:

Exick said...

That story is hilarious and unconscionable.