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Thread: Why are you an Eye Care Professional?

  1. #1
    Rising Star McAnerin's Avatar
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    Why are you an Eye Care Professional?

    By the time you're on the board, browsing every day for news and engaging in conversations with your peers, you've become pretty invested in optical. But what brought you here? What got you invested? What got you to the point where you're on work related forums?


    To me, I joined the optical community as a result of parent pressure, because it was good money for not too much schooling. I ended up sticking with it because I fell in love with the science. I love talking about how light works, and how lenses work. I love educating my customers. It's only for that reason I've become addicted. This forum was the next step. And now I'm wondering what brought you guys here.
    -Poly is the best substrate for coatings.
    -Poly is extremely scratch resistant.
    -Poly is extremely impact resistant.
    -Poly is unparalleled in clarity.
    -Poly is much lighter than traditional crown glass.
    Like poly, you can trust me about 40% of the time.

  2. #2
    Compulsive Truthteller OptiBoard Gold Supporter Uncle Fester's Avatar
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    In the early 70's my dad marveled as the local optician in our affluent community (we lived on the other side of the tracks) took July & August off at his Lake Winnipesaukee summer home. Figured it was a pretty good way to make a living, selling something that cost a dollar and you could sell for ten.

    He heard about a new optician's school opening and suggested my 2 year older bestie go. He did, and was hired in a challenging job market right out of school. So a young and dumb 17 year old me followed and the rest is history.

    PS- Met my better half who is also an optician on a blind date (badoombah).
    Last edited by Uncle Fester; 04-27-2018 at 01:25 PM. Reason: Discretion is the better part of humor...

  3. #3
    OptiBoard Apprentice
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    I love this topic. In 1977 I was a waitress in a mall. The Pearle manager downstairs asked me if I wanted to work for him. Why not? I went to Pickens tech in 89-90 and was taught by Don Smaldone. He was one of the best I've seen at our craft. Because of him I have had terrific opportunities and used my skills in many facets of our business. I chose to go to school and have this be my career for many reasons one of which was riding the wave of boomers needing glasses might mean my job would ensure job security til I retired. I think it was a good choice although I feel like obsolete when most of the skills I learned or practiced are not needed in the dispensing optician world now. It's been a good run though and hope to keep going for 5-8 more years. I ran into my current husband thru work, left that job, saw him at the bank later that year, I had been dumped. He is an OD so I have my career to thank for my wonderful honey too.

  4. #4
    Master OptiBoarder
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    I totally got conned into this.
    But I love the smell of bpi neutralizer in the morning.

  5. #5
    Master OptiBoarder
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    In the summer before grad school I a answered an add. All it said was "College student? Need Job?" Turned out it was for a job in a wholesale lab. I had no idea what I was getting myself into! I also met my hubby though work. His mom was an optician at one of our accounts and she made him drop off an order.

  6. #6
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    I had zero direction in my life in my early 20s, I had joined up with Americorps for 2 years to at least not be a total waste of a person. Once finished I thought I would go back to school (for what, I had no idea). I needed to get a job, I thought with my experience I could get some kind of light managerial position at a store. I went to buy my first pair of glasses since I was 17 to replace the round CR39s I was wearing for the last 7 years.

    I was sold a drill mount frame that came out so thick and heavily polished I couldn't wear them, they looked like two thick jeweled marbles. Terrible. I returned them. I went to a Lenscrafters I had remembered going to when I was a kid. Somehow I mentioned I was looking for a job. They said I could learn to work in the lab. I fell in love with it, the lab, the dispensing and I was good at it. I'm pretty smart but profoundly bad attention span - the combination of using my mind, working with my hands and interacting with people was a perfect fit for me.

    I was trained by some of the best, but Luxottica had recently taken over and things were going south.

    One time during a store visit I heard the district manager talking about one of the Lab Techs (who was an Optician from the caribbean and could give any of the old time opticians on this board a run for their money) in a disparaging manner. I think I said, "You shouldn't talk about him like that, the stains on his underwear know more about optics than you do" or something to that effect. It didn't go very well.

    I left Luxottica and got my ABOC eventually was picked up by a small independent optical. 7 years later I was offered a chance to buy into the company and here I am. I love it and that probably makes me insane.

  7. #7
    Master OptiBoarder
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tallboy View Post
    I I love it and that probably makes me insane.
    You have to be a little crazy to be in this business!

  8. #8
    Master OptiBoarder
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    Just left the medical industry (cardiology)..was loafing a bit after getting married when a friend called and said they needed someone to take over the south side Wisconsin Vision and Hearing location in Milwaukee...I said..why not?! I wore glasses and contacts, had worked for an ophthalmologist for a few years and knew how to use a lensometer....no guts..no glory..charged in..had great teachers and here I am 35 years later...loving every minute of it. In time went the LensCrafters route(when it was still a great company (25 stores)...went high end boutique..ended up managing the optical for an OD where I have been for20 years...probably should retire one of these days but....why? lol

  9. #9
    Rising Star
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    I fell in to this line of work, just because I needed a job.
    Back in 2005, I was taking classes at a local community college, married, no job, and living with my parents.
    My sister worked for the lab at a local Lenscrafters. She found that the job wasn't for her and was planning to quit. They needed people as two employees were going out on maternity leave in the near future, and my sister knew I was looking for work. I took the job just expecting it to be a way to pay the bills.
    Been in the field for 13 years now, no longer working for Lenscrafters, ABO certified and enjoying helping people see better.

  10. #10
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    I Had a career in restaurant management, my chiropractor approached me about learning optical to manage his wife's optical side of the business, desperate for any new job, I said yes. I have never looked back, one of the top best decisions I have made in my life. This is not a bad industry to be in.

  11. #11
    One eye sees, the other feels. OptiBoard Gold Supporter
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    For me, it was somewhat like getting a tattoo; I got drunk and the next day I was an apprentice optician.
    Roberts Optical Ltd.
    Wauwatosa Wi.
    www.roberts-optical.com
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Science is a way of trying not to fool yourself. - Richard P. Feynman

  12. #12
    Rising Star McAnerin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Martellaro View Post
    For me, it was somewhat like getting a tattoo; I got drunk and the next day I was an apprentice optician.
    That is definitely how it feels when you look back!
    -Poly is the best substrate for coatings.
    -Poly is extremely scratch resistant.
    -Poly is extremely impact resistant.
    -Poly is unparalleled in clarity.
    -Poly is much lighter than traditional crown glass.
    Like poly, you can trust me about 40% of the time.

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