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Editor's Note

Not My Finest Moment: How a Flash of Low-Key Snark Bit Me in the Ass

My apologies to that man for my unkind thoughts. And apologies to you for any time our word usage struck the wrong chord.

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I AM GOING TO be really honest. It can be hard to get unsolicited “suggestions” from readers. Don’t get me wrong, I love hearing from you but when the comments are critical it can be tough.

Not too long ago, I got an email from a reader after one of our Real Deal emails went out letting me know our use of the words “shop,” “industry” and “customers” was inappropriate and he provided better alternatives (office or clinic, profession, and patients, if you’re wondering). I kindly thanked him for reaching out and explained that we try to use broad language to speak to as many readers as possible, from optical boutiques to private practice optometry, and wished him a good week … But … he doubled down and responded that our words were a turnoff to many. Now, I’ve been an optical trade journalist for two decades. I have used these terms the entirety of my career and that is the first time someone took time out of what I’m sure is their busy day to tell me that I was offending wide swaths of the profession. It felt very mansplainy. I was not pleased.

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So, in a moment of rage masked as professional pleasantry, and righteous in my conviction he was the only pedantic tightwad unnecessarily bothered by this, I shot off an email telling him it was a great question for my readers — convinced the data would support me — and “thanked” him again for reaching out.

Y’all, can I tell you how much the fool I felt when the numbers said nearly half of you — half — agreed? My apologies to that man for my unkind thoughts.

And apologies to you for any time our word usage struck the wrong chord. While more than half didn’t agree, and even many who did say talking to patients requires different language than talking amongst ourselves, I was still wrong and not genuinely receptive to his feedback and that is a failure on my part.

Ironically, that question — a Do You or Don’t You? on page 53— appears alongside a Buzz Session (page 52) asking for ways to unite the profession. The top answers? Communication, collaboration and respect. Lesson learned.

Best wishes for your business,

Power Yogaing My Way to Metamorphosis

Power Yogaing My Way to Metamorphosis

Power Yogaing My Way to Metamorphosis

Five Smart Tips From This Issue

  1. An important tip for all seasons! … Even if the language is a little ribald. (Manager’s To-Do, page 18)
  2. I love a cheeky double entendre so we had a lot of fun with our trend pages this issue! (Eyeglasses, page 22)
  3. We’re headed into a seriously busy season, make sure you get — and keep — your head right. (Big Story, page 32)
  4. Who doesn’t love a happy ending … especially, when that ending has applicable business strategies others can implement?!? (Best of the Best, page 44)
  5. Dreading the many PTO requests from your staff this holiday season? Check out reader responses to our latest “ripped from the headlines” scenario. (Real Deal, page 54)

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