Article Date: 3/1/2010

You Can't Win Them All
lessons learned

You Can't Win Them All

And at those times, it's important to learn how to lose with a smile.

JACK RUNNINGER, O.D.

They say a born loser is someone who:

► Burns a hole in the coat of his new suit that came with two pairs of pants.
► Rips his $50 pair of slacks leaning over to pick up a quarter.
► Gets a kidney transplant from a bed wetter.

Continuing last month's theme of life not always being fair, I sometimes feel like the Born Loser in the comic strip of the same name, and you probably do too.

In my favorite episode, in the first panel he is walking down the street whistling. In the second panel, a bird on a tree branch above the sidewalk “splatters” him on the top of his head. In the last panel, he is looking up at the bird, and lamenting, “For everyone else, you sing.”

“New glasses no good”

“The last glasses I got from you four months ago aren't any good,” an elderly gentleman told me one morning at church back when I was still in practice. “I've gone back to my old ones, and I can see a lot better with them than I can with the new ones.” This, of course, effectively destroyed whatever religion I had absorbed that particular Sunday.

However, I thought I recognized the frame he was wearing. So I checked our files the next day. Sure enough, the “old glasses” he was wearing comfortably were actually his new glasses with his new prescription. I phoned him to explain his mistake. But by that time there's no telling how many people he had told about the lousy glasses he got from Runninger.

That ain't all

It reminded me of other “can't win” episodes I had when I was still practicing:

► The gentleman who phoned to say he had a scratch on one lens. He was sure he had not done anything to cause it and felt we should replace the lens without charge. When we looked up his record, we discovered he had been wearing the glasses for 18 months.
► The lady who wanted us to re make her glasses to a weaker prescription, because they made her see all her wrinkles when she looked in the mirror. Of course, she wanted to still have clear vision for everything else.
► The kook who one morning followed me from room to room and patient to patient to tell me his glasses still hurt his nose. And he wanted me to stop what I was doing to fix it, rather than let our optician do it.


ILLUSTRATION BY AMY WUMMER

The deer hunters

Even away from the office you can often have “born loser syndrome.” Like those losing situations in your office, you need to learn to accept them with a sense of humor. I have a couple of deer hunter friends who learned this lesson.

One of them went deer hunting for two days without ever seeing a single deer. After he returned home, the very next morning he discovered four of them in his back yard.

The other one drove three hours and spent two days hunting, and also never saw a single deer. On the way home he hit a deer that was crossing the highway, and completely demolished the front end of his car. Then he also had to endure his wife retrieving the broken headlight, having it mounted as a trophy, and then hanging it in their den. OM


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

Optometric Management, Issue: March 2010