22 November 2011

Double Vision

Saturday night:  it seems I fell asleep with my glasses on & damaged the right temple. At least that's my guess. I was exhausted from cleaning the house, the ongoing lack of job opportunities, my cat's health etc. I had 7 loads of laundry to do, and had the last bit in the dryer when I came upstairs.

I had finished a hot shower and was in a robe and slippers when I went back to the bedroom to stretch out for a second  while my bedspread tumbled in the dryer. A few minutes quiet after my tomato soup with crumbled Gorgonzola cheese was all I needed.

Poof! Saturday at midnight was now Sunday 7AM. My glasses were on my nightstand but the right temple was now hanging at an odd angle.  I was furious at myself, yet not sure how they ended up on the stand.

Today's list included going over to the Lenscrafters I've used for years, and their deteriorated service had me prepared to a) pay some amount and b) not be surprised if the style was out of stock. Like my purchase of my iPhone 3GS ...not aware the 4S was hitting stores three days later (I'd have ponied up for the 4) This is my trend in buying anything anymore. 

I was not prepared for Lenscrafters 100% turnover in people --not a good sign--and when I showed the manager on duty my crumpled specs she immediately went on the defensive, raised her voice and stated 'they weren't responsible for my error'. Absolutely the worst response to a problem. It opens the door of confrontation with what might as well be a WWF bell at midget wrestling. Clearly this manager had not been trained in conflict. I could have gone from being prepared to pay, to adamantly refusing. And forget contacting another store for the frame. 'They won't even take my calls' she announced. Hmmm. I wonder why.

With amazing powers of restraint and negotiation: I remained calm and got my cost down to $125. They now have to check with Polo Ralph Lauren as the frame I bought 4 months ago is now discontinued ('Quality control on the temples slow the selling?' I quipped?) If no longer available, they'll replace them with a comparable at no charge. 

While the manager looked in every drawer for a replacement frame, apparently fearful I was going to explode, I wandered around, looking at all the 'branded' eyewear: Tiffany, Burberry, Prada, Brooks Brothers(Lenscrafters' owner is the father of the owner of Brooks Bros, a past beneficiary of my talents), Anne Klein and the like. I mean, what 'is' a Tiffany frame to the consumer? Silver? Stained glass? No, a blue box. What a stretch.

I thought of people who are blind, or with vision worse than mine, who couldn't ever afford the jacked up licensing fee-infused basic human need. 
** Sunglasses are an a different issue: a true accessory and I'd invest in that category. 

But spectacles? I thought how utterly ridiculous these overpriced frames were: a spectacle of waste. And a service ethic not at all in sync with the product. 

I'm not sure where my next pair of glasses will come from, but I am through with 'designer' eyeglasses. I've donated all my old pairs save one for the earthquake kit and a spare I have on now to the Braille Institute. The $125 I didn't plan to spend became lunch at Taco Bell on Riverside with a view of Warner Bros. water tower. Delicious alfresco dining.

I thought back to July and how Lenscrafters courted me to join them. I may be stubborn and I am indeed but I am through with these talk the talk but not walking the walk. Shame on us.

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