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Article Date: 12/1/2013

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Lessons Learned
lessons learned

Didn't His Glasses Fit Him “Nice”?

If you have neither charm nor an optician, you need a “Goodperson.”

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JACK RUNNINGER, O. D.

When Dr. Goodperson graduated and first set up his optometric practice, he could not afford to employ an optician. Therefore, he had to do all the fitting and adjusting of glasses himself. And he was terrible at it. But such was his clinical skill, charm, and caring attitude, he was able to build a practice despite this. For example:

My glasses are great, but. . .

“My new glasses are great, Doc,” said one of his patients, “but they do need some adjusting.”

“What seems to be the problem?” asked Dr. Goodperson in his kindly way.

“Well, they're lopsided. The right lens is a lot higher than the left.”

So Dr. Goodperson got out his pliers and went to work on them. But when he put the glasses back on the patient, they were still just as lopsided.

“I don't seem to be able to fix that, but I'll tell you what you can do,” said the doc as he handed him a mirror. “If you'll cock your head way to the right, it'll make the lenses look level.”

“You're right!” exclaimed the patient as he looked in the mirror. “But I have another problem too. The left lens also sets out further from my face than the right one.”

I'll tell you what you can do

Again he went to work on the glasses, again with no success. So he again gave the patient the mirror, and said, “I'll tell you what you can do. Cock your head to the right to make the lenses look level, and then twist your neck way to the left so that the right lens looks on an even plane with the left.”

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ILLUSTRATION BY AMY WUMMER

“That works!” exclaimed the patient as he looked in the mirror. “Thanks! But I do have one more problem, they keep sliding down my nose.”

Back to the pliers, again with no success.

“I'll tell you what you can do. Cock your head to the right so the lenses look level, twist your neck to the left so they look on an even plane, and then throw your head back so the glasses won't slide down your nose.”

Problem solved?

Such was his caring concern and obvious eagerness to please, that the patient thanked him profusely for having solved his problem. As he walked out, he caught the eye of two older women sitting in the reception area. One turned to the other and whispered:

“Look at that poor man.”

“Yes,” replied the other. “But don't his glasses fit him nice.”

Didn't work for me

Evidently I wasn't as lovable as Dr. Goodperson when I was in practice. I couldn't satisfy my patients as easily as he did. For example (unfortunately a true story):

The first year I was in practice, Mr. Picky would come in my office about once a week and insist I be the one to adjust his glasses. Each time took about 30 minutes since he'd keep asking for further modifications. One day after I'd worked and worked on his specs, he kept shifting them around on his face and then said:

“They are almost right. I think they'll be okay if you'll adjust the right lens about the width of a cigarette paper to the left.”

I sure wish I could have referred him to the charming Dr. Goodperson. OM

JACK RUNNINGER, OUR CONSULTING EDITOR, LIVES IN ROME, GA. HE'S ALSO A PAST EDITOR OF OM. CONTACT HIM AT RUNNINGERJ@AOL.COM.



Optometric Management, Volume: 48 , Issue: December 2013, page(s): 66

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