Optician-Optical Nerd-Glasses Whisperer, Amy Workman of Look + See in Minneapolis, MN is the ultimate eyecare multi-hyphenate. “My title is optician, but I’ve held almost every position at Look + See and love helping out in all areas. ‘Optical Nerd’ is a self-proclaimed title. However, I’ve been given ‘Glasses Whisperer’ by a patient, which is my new favorite,” she says. “I find myself saying, ‘This is my favorite part of my job!’ about a dozen different things.”
This article originally appeared in the June 2016 edition of INVISION.
- I have been at Look + See Eye Care since April 2010. I have been in optical for nine years and ABO certified for eight. My previous experience is in retail management and restaurant service, which helped prepare me for the sales aspect and highpaced environment of optical. I received my initial training with LensCrafters and while I appreciated the practice I was able to get from the steady stream of adjustments, repairs and troubleshoots, I really expanded my optical and eye health knowledge at Look + See.
- I am very honest and empathetic with my patients, so it builds a lot of trust. When they trust me, I’m able to find frames for them they never would have thought they can wear, but end up exceeding all their expectations. I love when a sale starts with the patient saying “I can’t wear ...” or “I’ve never been able to ...” I know they are about to get really excited, at least I am.
- A patient told me that he’s never seen well and that he had just accepted that. His prescription was over +4.00 diopters and he had been wearing glasses for over 40 years. I asked him to give me a chance; an optician had never really delved into his eyewear. Pinpointing the exact lenses he needed, taking meticulous measurements, and some slight adjustments later, and he felt like things were “actually clear” for the first time. Moments like that are when I know I’m where I am supposed to be.
- Our trunk shows are way more fun than any day at work should be. We have food trucks, beer and wine, gifts with custom Look + See favors and local products like caramels and hand soaps, raffles with amazing giveaways, and I get to play with the entire collection of our favorite frame designers. I don’t know any other trunk show who has had a professional polka band.
- I also really look forward to our office events. Our owner, Sarah Jerome, OD (aka Dr. J), is really creative and spoils us. We’ve brewed our own beer, escaped a “bomb crisis,” taken riverboat cruises, run 5K races for charity, gone to baseball and basketball games, just to name a few, and we often get treated to fantastic meals at local restaurants.
- Every week I seem to have a new favorite sale. The more challenging, the better. A loyal patient I’ve helped for years has forced me multiple times to choose his newest frame by handing him the first and only option. He doesn’t look in the mirror, he just tries it on to make sure I approve, and then we start taking measurements.
- I love recruiting great people into the optical industry. I feel like optical is the best kept secret in retail and health, there are so many openings for opticians. When I meet someone who gives great service in any field but they are under-appreciated, unchallenged or unfulfilled, I highly suggest they look into optical. Our fantastic optometric technician, C.J., I recruited from the pet store I frequented. How much he loves his job and how it’s impacted his life has been one of my favorite success stories.