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Thread: opticians today vs opticians in the past

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    opticians today vs opticians in the past

    Recently I had a conversation about optician skills, knowledge and overall skill level comparison from opticians 30 years ago. The optician 30 years ago had to be more conscience of the frame fit because the lenses and frames were much heavier. Ordering the proper bridge size, bridge style and temple length was more crucial to making a patient comfortable. Aphakic lenses and facet eyewear is a thing of the past which needed a highly knowledgeable Optician to fit and dispense. Repairs, like hidden hinges soldering and custom work was an art that very few opticians do or know about today. Lab work was much more time consuming and difficult, making sure lenses fit properly and was accurate was an art and showed a disparity between different levels of skill, which was clear in the final product. Making patterns, calculating measurements, custom tinting made making a pair of eye glasses take more time and skill then using the automized lab equipment that we generally use today. Tinting and UV coating lenses that was done 30 years ago has primarily been replace with transition and polarized lenses. Dispensing was also a speciality that patients recognized someone that could properly fit and adjusted a pair of eyeglasses. Today, because the styles are generally small and the material are very light are not as uncomfortable, even if not fit properly. Fitting for progressive lenses and digital technology is continually changing, staying updated is much more important for todays opticians. Fitting today, regardless if you are using a digital centration system or not is more important to be accurate than when selling flat tops, kryptoc and executive bifocals. Added measurements such as face form, vertex distance and panto angle are needed today when selling the most advanced personalized lenses, which were not needed before.

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    Master OptiBoarder MakeOptics's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Opticianjw View Post
    Recently I had a conversation about optician skills, knowledge and overall skill level comparison from opticians 30 years ago. The optician 30 years ago had to be more conscience of the frame fit because the lenses and frames were much heavier. Ordering the proper bridge size, bridge style and temple length was more crucial to making a patient comfortable. Aphakic lenses and facet eyewear is a thing of the past which needed a highly knowledgeable Optician to fit and dispense. Repairs, like hidden hinges soldering and custom work was an art that very few opticians do or know about today. Lab work was much more time consuming and difficult, making sure lenses fit properly and was accurate was an art and showed a disparity between different levels of skill, which was clear in the final product. Making patterns, calculating measurements, custom tinting made making a pair of eye glasses take more time and skill then using the automized lab equipment that we generally use today. Tinting and UV coating lenses that was done 30 years ago has primarily been replace with transition and polarized lenses. Dispensing was also a speciality that patients recognized someone that could properly fit and adjusted a pair of eyeglasses. Today, because the styles are generally small and the material are very light are not as uncomfortable, even if not fit properly. Fitting for progressive lenses and digital technology is continually changing, staying updated is much more important for todays opticians. Fitting today, regardless if you are using a digital centration system or not is more important to be accurate than when selling flat tops, kryptoc and executive bifocals. Added measurements such as face form, vertex distance and panto angle are needed today when selling the most advanced personalized lenses, which were not needed before.
    30 years ago they were just starting to offer a variety of materials and options, AR sucked, contacts were yearly replacement and an optician had time to focus on the simple things in life like spending 8 hours making one pair of glasses. We don't polish lenses by hand anymore at a buffing wheel we press a button on the machine. We don't spend our time on being labor we spend our time being professionals and discussing the plethora of options with the patient.

    I think we keep trying to create these super opticians today lie it existed int he past but I have not really meet these highly skilled opticians everyone speaks about. Most the time they are good opticians and if they were stuck in there ways and never decided to learn they are mediocre opticians with good optical history.

    It's like asking who would win in a fight a dinosaur or a marine with a m-16, you may want to say the dinosaur but they're extinct so they lost before the question was asked.

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    Master OptiBoarder OptiBoard Gold Supporter
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    Well, snap my wooden PD ruler, kiddies!

    Yup, all innovations that are currently are available to you, Phitrace, and optician jw, are new, yup, and your old, decrepit opticians like me, and Chip couldn't hold a candle, errr, halogen bulb, next to all them smart young whippersnappers, yup, yup!

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    Master OptiBoarder OptiBoard Silver Supporter Barry Santini's Avatar
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    The mass market brands today can't be fitted to the highest levels of the art. Period. Inquiries regarding Institutional memory about proper design and fit at frame companies returns a "huh?"

    Computerized edgers let skilled opticians do a far far better job today that they ever could in the past, regardless of degree of hand skill. Facets and drilling? No contest - I could never go back to the old ways. Tinting in the era of coated lenses is a joke. Maybe there'll soon be a Crizal "tint" that'll be more than my cable bill.

    Yeah, soldering and hinge repairs come in handy once in a while. Far more often, a disc'd frame and a quick recut is a far better option today.

    Today, persuading a whole new group of young, online saavy customers that you and your business has value is high art, as far as I'm concerned.

    B
    Last edited by Barry Santini; 03-04-2012 at 08:17 PM.

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    OptiWizard RIMLESS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barry Santini View Post
    Today, persuading a whoe new group of young, online saavy customers that you and your business has value is high art, as far as I'm concerned.B
    Very very true. That will be a key survival tool for everyone. I think right now we are all in a phase where we are going to witness the internet totally redefine the rules of business across the board. IMHO I predict that the www will eventually have to force retail rents to be lowered to allow Brick & Mortar entities to remain profitable and competitive with the cloud.

    Down the road the good old days for us will probably include remembering the pre-internet days, while the new generations of the three O's won't even know what they missed.
    90% of everything is crap...except for crap, because crap is 100% crap

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    Oy..................

    Quote Originally Posted by PhiTrace View Post
    30 years ago they were just starting to offer a variety of materials and options, AR sucked, contacts were yearly replacement and an optician had time to focus on the simple things in life like spending 8 hours making one pair of glasses. Wrong, and a very false statement. We don't polish lenses by hand anymore at a buffing wheel we press a button on the machine. Yes, punching a button is......very....skillful, until you need to do a partial polish, then what?. We don't spend our time on being labor we spend our time being professionals and discussing the plethora of options with the patient. Hate to burst your bubble, but you have less of a plethora, and more of a narrow choice of options than 30 years ago!

    I think we keep trying to create these super opticians today lie it existed int he past but I have not really meet these highly skilled opticians everyone speaks about. Most the time they are good opticians and if they were stuck in there ways and never decided to learn they are mediocre opticians with good optical history.

    It's like asking who would win in a fight a dinosaur or a marine with a m-16, you may want to say the dinosaur but they're extinct so they lost before the question was asked.
    ARs didn't suck..................the good ones lasted for years, and just weren't as scratch resistant, or easy to clean. Contacts were available in a bi-weekly mode, and made in at least 2 or 3 base curves, usually 2 diameters, if not more, and you could actually fit a human with them.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Opticianjw View Post
    Recently I had a conversation about optician skills, knowledge and overall skill level comparison from opticians 30 years ago. The optician 30 years ago had to be more conscience of the frame fit because the lenses and frames were much heavier.
    The opticians then were just more consciencious, and had the availablity of many lens sizes, bridge sizes, and temple lengths, and at least 4 to 6 colors to choose from in each frame. A frame made in one size only was a rarity, and considered substandard.

    Ordering the proper bridge size, bridge style and temple length was more crucial to making a patient comfortable.
    No....they were actually just fitting, not selling.
    Aphakic lenses and facet eyewear is a thing of the past which needed a highly knowledgeable Optician to fit and dispense.
    Aphakic fit took skill, but facets were for fun.
    Repairs, like hidden hinges soldering and custom work was an art that very few opticians do or know about today. I agree.
    Lab work was much more time consuming and difficult, making sure lenses fit properly and was accurate was an art and showed a disparity between different levels of skill, which was clear in the final product.
    Still is.....it's easy to spot a bad trace, even today.
    Making patterns, calculating measurements, custom tinting made making a pair of eye glasses take more time and skill then using the automized lab equipment that we generally use today.
    I find that some patternless edgers take longer to set up the lenses, and cut than before!
    Tinting and UV coating lenses that was done 30 years ago has primarily been replace with transition and polarized lenses.
    Say what! Not new stuff, especially polarized.

    Dispensing was also a speciality that patients recognized someone that could properly fit and adjusted a pair of eyeglasses.
    They still search for this, but honestly, eventually give up.

    Today, because the styles are generally small and the material are very light are not as uncomfortable, even if not fit properly.
    Yes excuses and I have seen some real rocks on people's faces.

    Fitting for progressive lenses and digital technology is continually changing, staying updated is much more important for todays opticians.
    If you can get any technical information from your company/maker, or even have a choice in what you use.
    Fitting today, regardless if you are using a digital centration system or not is more important to be accurate than when selling flat tops, kryptoc and executive bifocals.
    I call BS.
    Added measurements such as face form, vertex distance and panto angle are needed today when selling the most advanced personalized lenses, which were not needed before.

    More BS in your last bit of verbal diarrhea, and probably the funniest statement of this whole ramble.
    Faceform, vertex, panto, are very old concepts, but of course, everybody young thinks they have.....................

    invented the wheel.

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    I wouldn't trade the training I got 30 years ago and my "old school" skills come in handy all the time but I don't miss those days. Technology has made my work day easier and at my age that's not a bad thing.

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    Ophthalmic Optician OptiBoard Gold Supporter
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    Quote Originally Posted by RIMLESS View Post
    IMHO I predict that the www will eventually have to force retail rents to be lowered to allow Brick & Mortar entities to remain profitable and competitive with the cloud.
    .
    Like they lowered the rents for drug stores, video stores, and travel agents to compete? I don't think so...
    Ophthalmic Optician, Society to Advance Opticianry

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    OptiWizard RIMLESS's Avatar
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    Still way too early. Not enough pain and suffering yet.
    90% of everything is crap...except for crap, because crap is 100% crap

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    Quote Originally Posted by uncut View Post
    ARs didn't suck..................the good ones lasted for years, and just weren't as scratch resistant, or easy to clean. Contacts were available in a bi-weekly mode, and made in at least 2 or 3 base curves, usually 2 diameters, if not more, and you could actually fit a human with them.
    Someone ought to tell phi trace that in Europe and Japan, 30 years ago, the 85% of the spectacle wearing public was wearing AR lenses.They were as you describe. No one from the 2 largest lens producing areas in the world could figure out why. Actually, they're still trying to figure out why even though our usage has increased. I watched George Stefanopolis this AM and was surprised to see George Will and whomever his counterpart was on the show NOT in AR lenses. All you could see was the reflection of the studio lighting. Very distracting! We haven't learned much in 30 years....except some of us older opticians had that knowledge 30 years ago. I wouldn't be as fast as phi trace or opticianjw to put something down they know so little about.I qualify that statement with the following: I started running errands in my dad's shop at age 13 in 1953. My apprenticeship date was August 1959 . Licensure followed in Dec of 1964, Like my Friend Chip, and Uncut, I've been around a while.

    PS I am finally retired....except for family and friends.(Kicking and screaming however, a man needs a place to GO on Monday mornings!

    PPS Did someone mention Krypie's? That ought to send the whippersnappers back to the Optician's Job Coach! (whatever the heck that was) I vaguely recall it but my memory is about shot!
    Last edited by hcjilson; 03-05-2012 at 12:31 AM. Reason: ps added PPS added...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Opticianjw View Post

    Repairs, like hidden hinges soldering and custom work was an art that very few opticians do or know about today.

    TThe optician 30 years ago had to be more conscience of the frame fit because the lenses and frames were much heavier.

    .............................. Aphakic lenses and facet eyewear is a thing of the past which needed a highly knowledgeable Optician to fit and dispense.

    inting and UV coating lenses that was done 30 years ago has primarily been replace with transition and polarized lenses.

    Dispensing was also a speciality that patients recognized someone that could properly fit and adjusted a pair of eyeglasses.

    ..............................regardless if you are using a digital centration system or not is more important to be accurate than when selling flat tops, kryptoc and executive bifocals. Added measurements such as face form, vertex distance and panto angle are needed today when selling the most advanced personalized lenses, which were not needed before.

    What a sad comment or better said comments, a whole load of them......................................
    What an excuse for not having the knowdlege needed do be able to do just anout everything. The statements above I hope is are not a general consensus.

    It reflexes the opinions that you only sell the expensive items that have been made in somebody else's lab where you purchase it made and finished by some body else and then resell it at your usual margin, as if it was your product, which has triggered the birth of on line opticals and their ever mounting advance.

    The sale of AR made on Rs's is in the 30-40% range these days. In the old days we used to see better fitting glasses tha we do today, because opticians had to have proof of education and some expirience before they were allowed to serve consumers. Your fanciest equipment for measuring or finishing is just as good as the knowdledge of being able to do without them.

    In earlier days these products used to be made by people with expirence that knew their trade inside out and were justified to charge a good selling price for their know how................not any more so.
    Chris Ryser
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    Underemployed Genius Jacqui's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hcjilson View Post

    PPS Did someone mention Krypie's? That ought to send the whippersnappers back to the Optician's Job Coach! (whatever the heck that was) I vaguely recall it but my memory is about shot!
    I remember Krypies surfaced about 9 gazillion pairs of them. Some were from semi-finished blanks and some we made in-house either by gluing a button on the plus side or by fusing a segment on. Just used my copy of the Job Coach this morning

    P.S. Been at this 43+ years
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jacqui View Post
    I remember Krypies surfaced about 9 gazillion pairs of them. Some were from semi-finished blanks and some we made in-house either by gluing a button on the plus side or by fusing a segment on. Just used my copy of the Job Coach this morning

    P.S. Been at this 43+ years
    Yes, but Kryptoks were old technology even then; centex curves, for goodness sakes! No, the hot setup was the shiny new Tillyer "D". Not a flattop, as a D-seg is now, but a round seg on corrected curves.

    How old do you have to be to post in this thread?

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    Master OptiBoarder OptiBoard Silver Supporter Barry Santini's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by finefocus View Post
    Yes, but Kryptoks were old technology even then; centex curves, for goodness sakes! No, the hot setup was the shiny new Tillyer "D". Not a flattop, as a D-seg is now, but a round seg on corrected curves.

    How old do you have to be to post in this thread?
    Interesting. Back then, corrected curve was considered important...independant of Rx power. Today, who gives a ****?
    And people make fun of my pushin' of FFSV....

    Go figure.

    B

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    Agreed. Especially for lab technicians. It is a lost art. Thye advances with digital lens grinding is phenomenal. I am glad to be in the business long enough to appreciate the art and the technological advances.

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    Master OptiBoarder MakeOptics's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hcjilson View Post
    Someone ought to tell phi trace that in Europe and Japan, 30 years ago, the 85% of the spectacle wearing public was wearing AR lenses.They were as you describe. No one from the 2 largest lens producing areas in the world could figure out why. Actually, they're still trying to figure out why even though our usage has increased. I watched George Stefanopolis this AM and was surprised to see George Will and whomever his counterpart was on the show NOT in AR lenses. All you could see was the reflection of the studio lighting. Very distracting! We haven't learned much in 30 years....except some of us older opticians had that knowledge 30 years ago. I wouldn't be as fast as phi trace or opticianjw to put something down they know so little about.I qualify that statement with the following: I started running errands in my dad's shop at age 13 in 1953. My apprenticeship date was August 1959 . Licensure followed in Dec of 1964, Like my Friend Chip, and Uncut, I've been around a while.

    PS I am finally retired....except for family and friends.(Kicking and screaming however, a man needs a place to GO on Monday mornings!

    PPS Did someone mention Krypie's? That ought to send the whippersnappers back to the Optician's Job Coach! (whatever the heck that was) I vaguely recall it but my memory is about shot!
    Click image for larger version. 

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    The job coach reads more like an archie comic, the number of illustrations highlights the lack of education in the profession then as it does now, I own the original and the 45 revamp as seen in the image above.

    Anti-Reflective Coatings were not as popular in the US for two reasons is my belief (your comparison was to Europe and Japan):
    1. 30 years ago glass was still a large segment of those markets where the US was entrenched in plastics, the adherence of the AR stack to glass is a much more predictable than was 30 years ago to plastic. I remember peeling and flaking. I believe the assumption was made that I was a young buck, but I practiced in the 90's so I'm maybe a tweener.
    2. The disparity of knowledge between US and European opticians, there is no comparison. I use as an example a problem given in a course by Mo Jalie a popular European professor, author, and inventor in the ophthalmic optics field:
    Professors Puzzle #1 (Mo Jalie in Spring of 200)

    An equi-convex lens with zero edge thickness is made in glass of refractive index 1.60 and the diameter of the lens is equal to the radius of curvature of either surface. The distance between the two centers of curvature is the square root of 30,000mm. What is the back vertex power of the lens?

    Here's a hint the radius of curvature is almost staring at you, the square root of 3.

    "Old Timer" is not a title to be worn as a badge on the chest, given the lack of progression in this profession, It's more of a phrase to be chiseled onto the tombstone of optical past. After all, time in is more suited to talking about jail sentences than professionals careers.

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    Master OptiBoarder MakeOptics's Avatar
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    Other examples of today vs yesteryear:
    1. Marker, scissors, and plastic disc vs independent right and left tracings with over 800 radials points per lens to the hundreths of a mm according to OMA protocal.
    2. Hnd operated lathe (two axis's with elliptical error) vs digital generators that produce lenses on a poitn by point basis across the entire lens surface (sometimes even both lens surfaces).
    3. Hand polishing vs chemical and machine controlled.
    4. Drilling with a dremel and mask vs the on screen placement of drill points with drill holes being tangent to the lens surface curvature.
    5. Glass and CR-39 vs Glass, CR-39, Trivex, 1.55, Poly, 1.60, 1.67, 1.71, 1.74
    6. AR (single layer stack) and Mirror vs AR (multi band), Hydrophobic Coating, Oleophobic Coatings, Anti-Static layers, Mirrors, Gradient Mirrors, Double Gradient Mirrors, Colored Mirrors.
    7. Clip-Ons with posts that scratched lenses vs clip-ons with magnetically embeded mounting systems.
    8. Drilled Rimless mounted with screws vs drilled rimless mounted with plastic pegs flush mount for easier cleaning.
    That's just an example from what I remember selling last week. I could go on . . .

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Here is an example I hear a lot about prism segments. Everyone remembers when they did one back in the day. This is what we provided just in the last two weeks to one of our patients. You keep reminising about what was back then I will provide these patients what exists now, which includes all those things you talk about a whole lot more.

    I have a pair of lenses coming in now for family that works within a nursery that will allow them to glance in their nursery and visually see the health of their plants before the plants show signs of disease, lack of nutrients, etc. It's based on the photosynthesis in plants and their optimal absorbency of certain wavelengths of light, or what I like to call 4/5/6 lenses. If you old timers don't hold your customers tight I will take them.
    Last edited by MakeOptics; 03-05-2012 at 01:50 PM.

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    Master OptiBoarder MakeOptics's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Ryser View Post
    What a sad comment or better said comments, a whole load of them......................................
    What an excuse for not having the knowdlege needed do be able to do just anout everything. The statements above I hope is are not a general consensus.

    It reflexes the opinions that you only sell the expensive items that have been made in somebody else's lab where you purchase it made and finished by some body else and then resell it at your usual margin, as if it was your product, which has triggered the birth of on line opticals and their ever mounting advance.

    The sale of AR made on Rs's is in the 30-40% range these days. In the old days we used to see better fitting glasses tha we do today, because opticians had to have proof of education and some expirience before they were allowed to serve consumers. Your fanciest equipment for measuring or finishing is just as good as the knowdledge of being able to do without them.

    In earlier days these products used to be made by people with expirence that knew their trade inside out and were justified to charge a good selling price for their know how................not any more so.
    I sell very expensive products more expensive than the average optical shop and you will never hear an apology for that. The consumer of online optics does not have the palate for care that I would apreciate in my shop. I have started handing the PD out to them and inviting them back to compare the quality whenever they like. I fear onlien optics about as much as I fear the sky falling down. Your assumption that I pass off what I sell as my own is completely false. I let them know who designed their eyeglasses, ME. I put together a set of options form a number of different vendors that will provide the best solutions they could possibly need and I go to the best first.

    Solder a frame, NEVER. Was there a time I did yes, but I was young and naive then. I would rather sell my clients a new frame at cost and edge down their lenses a solution I can provide in the sae amount of time and at the same costs. So while they walk out of your place with a blob of metal on a tmeple and an old pair of frames that you told them might not be as sturdy where you soldered them. My client walks out in psuedo new eyewear, often tiems with an order for a new pair in my stacks. (Barry +1 for your edge down comment it really did fuel my posts).

    I have been talking with a fellow co-worker and we like to refere to our service as concierge optics. If I have to open an account with a new vendor to get you the best available I do. You want a new frame instead of the one from the boards, absolutely ma'am I don't like wearing others peoples face sweat either. You want it in a ridiculous time frame I'll order it from two of my best and fastest labs to make sure it comes on time if you're paying right. I laugh everytime I hear people arguing with their patients how common it is to use what's on the board. I'll order them in all the colors if you pay for that service. I don't care what the patient want's, whether I think it's reasonable or not, if they pay for the service I will provide it. I'm their optical *****.

    My clients will get everything they want from me "absolutely no exceptions", and they will pay me what I want "absolutely no exceptions". It's a great barter system called capitalism.

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    Cape Codger OptiBoard Gold Supporter hcjilson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhiTrace View Post
    "Old Timer" is not a title to be worn as a badge on the chest, given the lack of progression in this profession, It's more of a phrase to be chiseled onto the tombstone of optical past. After all, time in is more suited to talking about jail sentences than professionals careers.
    It is a shame to see such a cogent reply wrap up with such an ignorant comment. I put in the information to give you some background of my history, not to have it called a badge to be worn on the chest by a pompous *ss. The lack of progression of this profession has nothing to do with me who has spent the better part of a 53 year carreer trying to improve it, and a lot to do with you and your ilk who do nothing but complain ad infinitum. Can you hear me NOW??

    Should you decide to reply to this, please feel free to share what you have done personally to improve this profession. If you have nothing to share, don't bother to reply it will be falling on deaf ears.
    Last edited by hcjilson; 03-05-2012 at 09:54 PM. Reason: clean up
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    Everyone Inhale.............exhale
    90% of everything is crap...except for crap, because crap is 100% crap

  23. #23
    Cape Codger OptiBoard Gold Supporter hcjilson's Avatar
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    You are correct again.....I forgot the 90% rule which applies to my reply, or the 100% rule which applies to the post which caused it. I should follow my wife's sage advice when she says I don't have to attend every argument to which I am invited. Thanks for the reminder RIMLESS!
    "Always laugh when you can. It is a cheap medicine"
    Lord Byron

    Take a photo tour of Cape Cod and the Islands!
    www.capecodphotoalbum.com

  24. #24
    Ophthalmic Optician OptiBoard Gold Supporter
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    Quote Originally Posted by hcjilson View Post
    I should follow my wife's sage advice when she says I don't have to attend every argument to which I am invited. Thanks for the reminder RIMLESS!
    Just another reminder of how lucky we are to have the wives we do! (She sounds a lot like my wife)
    Ophthalmic Optician, Society to Advance Opticianry

  25. #25
    Manuf. Lens Surface Treatments OptiBoard Gold Supporter
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    Do you have a good stock on new chairs ????????????..........

    Quote Originally Posted by PhiTrace View Post

    I fear onlien optics about as much as I fear the sky falling down. Your assumption that I pass off what I sell as my own is completely false. I let them know who designed their eyeglasses, ME. I put together a set of options form a number of different vendors that will provide the best solutions they could possibly need and I go to the best first.

    So
    lder a frame, NEVER. Was there a time I did yes, but I was young and naive then.

    You want a new frame instead of the one from the boards, absolutely ma'am
    I don't like wearing others peoples face sweat either.

    I'm their optical *****.

    My clients will get everything they want from me "absolutely no exceptions", and
    they will pay me what I want "absolutely no exceptions". It's a great barter system called capitalism.


    5 am.....................and I am speechless..................

    Just one question: Do you have a good stock on new chairs ????????????..........so your customers do not have to sit on one somebody else's A$$$$ has sat on ?????????????????????? Yack


    Chris Ryser
    ________________________________________
    DLO. NA.IC.I.T.PO

    http://optochemicals.com............................. http://arcoatings.com

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