The Linear Canvas
This journal is about the wrongs and rights of the world, as I see them.

The Linear Canvas

Optometrist Office Fun

February 16th, 2009 . by Alexander Fisher

I called and made an eye appointment today, late in the day.  I had been putting it off for a while. I had been going to a different eye doctor but I was less than impressed with their service. I looked up optometrists on my insurance providers web site and found one just a couple of miles down the street from my house. I called to make an appointment. The person on the phone said they had just had a cancellation and I could come in, in less than an hour. I asked my supervisor if I could leave early from work and he said yes. So I headed towards the optometrist office.

Not only was I surprised I got in so quickly, I was treated very well by all of the staff when I got there, except for the optometrist. He was an older man. Before I even met him, I had pegged him as an extrovert. He was talking to a woman about her child’s glasses, and being a bit overly dramatic. I just thought he had an odd manner about him, and he was certainly an overconfident type of guy.

After the testing that I received from the office staff, I waited for a short while and then was led back into an examination room. When the optometrist came in, he immediately asked me if my contacts were forty-four years old (?). I said no they were a few years old, but not forty-four. Twice when he was trying to explain to me the difference in my eyes because of my age, he got my age wrong. I tried to communicate with him, as best I could, but he wasn’t hearing anything I was saying. He would just say something that I never felt connected to what I was saying. During the examination he seemed confused and became very condescending after I said anything. I really can’t remember what it was he said that finally got to me, but in essence he was talking over me as I tried to explain my history and didn’t seem to believe me that I have never had bi-focal glasses or contacts. At the moment that I’d had enough, I went silent for about 2-3 seconds, then I asked him, “Do you want my business or not?”.

At that he flew into a rage and told me to get out of his office. Then he started talking loudly, so others could hear him, I suspect. He said that he didn’t tolerate swear words in his office. My curiosity got the better of me and I asked him what swear words I had said, two times. He did finally tell me I’d said d-a-n. (Dan?) I assume he meant damn, but I have no recollection of saying that in any form. He started telling me to get out or he was going to call the police on me. He was going to call the police on me for saying damn?

Unfortunately, I couldn’t leave yet. I had taken out my contacts when I got there for the initial testing. Basically I couldn’t see to drive. “I said I need my contacts”, meaning I needed to put my contacts in. He yelled at me “We don’t have any contacts for you, get out!” I said, “No I meant the ones in my sweater pocket.” I heard someone explaining to him that I had my contacts in when I came in. I immaturely called him a jerk at that point. He said “No you’re a jerk” in a much more immature way than I did. One of the other associates helped me get my contacts in. The optometrist said he was going to call the police on me again. I was moving as fast as I could to get out of there. I called him a jerk again. He again said “No you’re a jerk”. Even though I had called him a jerk first, I really couldn’t believe he had called me one in front of other customers. Somehow he should have been taking the high road even when I wasn’t. Believe me, in my mind, I was calling him much worse things than just a jerk.

I told the optometrist that I was going to report him to his main office. I asked for his name, and he at first refused to give it to me. He told me it was none of my business initially. Then I think he reconsidered that and told me his name was on his jacket. He came up real close to me and pointed aggressively at the name on his jacket pocket. He then indicated his card was on on the counter as well and for me to take one, almost daring me to try to get him in trouble. I reached for one and asked if this was the right one. He became agitated again, and would not answer me. By then the male associate wanted to give me the bum’s rush out the door. So I left. I can only assume he was the optometrist identified on the card that I took.

I looked up the web site for the main office of this company and I sent them a shorter version of this story. His name is listed second on the doctor list so he probably is an owner and nothing will happen to him. It is not his name on the business though. He at the very least needs some customer service training.

I am the consumer and I understand that I am paying someone trained for their advice in this kind of situation. But I won’t be talked down to by anyone, no matter, if they want mine or my insurance companies money. Lying to me, doubting my word, or talking to me in a condescending manner, will only get you fired by me. Regardless of what service you may try to provide me. I suspect he doesn’t run into many people that will stand up to that treatment.It is was as if he expected my business rather than he was trying to earn it.

What an experience.

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