Monday, November 20, 2017

This makes me sad

A coworker likes to tease me that my tombstone will read, "Change Is Bad." She has a point. Some things I won't change unless absolutely forced to. I've been going to the same dry cleaner for decades. Likewise my dermatologist, gynecologist and GP. Just as I don't like to throw serviceable things away, I don't like to switch from something that's still working. Hell, I still have an AOL email address!

Which, I guess, is why I was sad to see a "For Rent" sign in the window of my former eyeglass provider. I've been going there for 20 years. I impulsively went in one afternoon and asked the woman at the counter (who I would learn is Cindy) to replace the screw on my sunglasses. My $10 drugstore sunglasses. She did it at no charge but with a smile, saying she had a favorite pair of cheap sunglasses, too. Next time I needed a new contact lens prescription, I moved my business over there.

Three pair of glasses and countless boxes of contacts later, I was still happy. I came to know Cindy and Sharon, who ran this location efficiently for a woman they really liked -- the owner who spent all her time at the original store in a northern suburb. I participated in their holiday toy drive and dropped a pair of my old glasses in their recycled eyewear box. The optometrist on site was trustworthy and careful. I was happy. They were kind and friendly, so I was loyal.

Then, early in 2016, everything changed. When I called, I had to identify myself and say what I wanted. Usually, Cindy or Sharon would recognize the Caller ID and say, "Hi, Gal! Do you need more green contacts?" But now I had to spell my first and last name out for a new and very young girl.

When I went to pick up my lenses, I was met by Ray, the owner. His wife had died and he was running things now. He had a big personality, very chatty, all about the selling. While I was waiting for my order, I heard him tell another customer he had given Cindy and Sharon "early retirement."

Then he laughed.

What the fuck? Those two women ran this place and I liked them. They deserved more respect than that!

But I began to have eye trouble and I trusted the optometrist to shepherd me through it. I like my new frames, chosen during the summer of 2016, even though Ray pressured me to buy designer frames. So I stayed.

Until around Halloween. Yet another new counter girl answered the phone, "Hello." Not terribly professional. When I went over for a Saturday morning appointment with the optometrist, the office was locked tight. No one even bothered to called me to cancel.

I went around the corner to another eyeglass shop. They were more expensive, but they take insurance. They have a wider variety of frames in my price range. (As Sharon used to say, "Gal is all about the lenses" as she steered me to more affordable frames.)

So I've moved on. But still, I was sad to see that sign in the window of my former shop. I hope Cindy and Sharon have moved on, too. They were so good at their jobs I'm sure someone snapped them up. I just hope they still get to work together. I suspect my former optometrist just retired. He was only there three days a week anyway.

And even though he was a slimy jerk, I feel bad for Ray. I don't know what his story is, but his wife ran these two eyewear stores and she's gone. Now this location is shuttered. That's sad.

Although I wonder about the legality about just closing the doors. After all, they have my medical records ...

1 comment:

  1. I agree that change is bad. (most of the time)


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