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Not That Again! The Questions You Wish Patients Would Stop Asking

“Can I get a trial contact?”

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  • Can I get a trial contact? (Even writing it makes me combustible.)  — Rick Rickgauer, Vision Associates, Girard, PA
  • “No, really, I just need to ask the doctor a quick question. Can you get him/her on the phone right now?”  — Jen Heller, Pend Oreille Vision Care, Sandpoint, ID
  • Sadly, they ask if my breasts are real.  — Julie Uram, Optical Oasis, Jupiter, FL
  • How many pairs of glasses do you have? How much did they all cost?  — Jenna Gilbertson, McCulley Optix Gallery, Fargo, ND
  • I can buy these contacts anywhere, right?  — Shimul Shah, OD, Marysville Family Vision, Marysville, OH
  • Aren’t these scratch proof?  — Jade Kowalick, Rophie Eye Care, Dunedin, FL 
  • Which frames are covered by my insurance?  — Shane Clark, Infinity EyeCare, Rapid City, SD
  • Does my insurance cover that?  — Danielle Jackson, OD, Jackson Eye, Fairburn, GA
  • Why do I have to pay a contact lens evaluation fee? I’ve never had to pay it anywhere else.  — Tammy Hazelett, Wylie Vision Care, Garland, TX
  • Does this come with a warranty?  — Jason Stamper, Eye Care Pavilion, Davenport, IA
  • How do you compare to [discount optical] — Ron Catterson, Clear View Optix, The Villages, FL
  • Why do you cost more than Costco?  — Kathy Maren, Comb EyeCare & Eyewear, Western Springs, IL
  • Do you take my insurance?  — Mitchell Kaufman, Marine Park Family Vision, Brooklyn, NY
  • Do you really need to wear glasses or do you just do so because you work here?   — Christine Howard, Attleboro Vision Care, Attleboro, MA
  • Can you do better on the price?  — Dorothy Reynolds, Optical Alternatives, Milford, CT
  • You let them ask questions?!? Kidding… “Is xxxx normal?” … when it’s obviously not.  — T.S. Stephens, OD, Dr. Stephens and Associates, Vienna, WV
  • Why do you charge for a CL refitting ?     — Dave Schultz, OD, Urban Optics, San Luis Obispo, CA
  • “At your age, do you take Viagra?” Yes, but I take it so I won’t pee on my shoes.  — Texas L. Smith, OD, Dr. Texas L. Smith & Associates, Citrus Heights, CA
  • What is my insurance?  — Jeff Grosekemper, Casa De Oro Eyecare, Spring Valley, CA
  • Do I get that exact frame off the wall?  — Bob Schmittou, New Eyes Optical, Wyandotte, MI
  • Can this be billed to my insurance?  — Pauline Buck, OD, Behavioral and Developmental Optometrists, Miami, FL
  • Can I get more contacts and trials even thought my Rx is expired?  — Scott Felten, Fox Valley Family Eye Care, Little Chute, WI
  • How come these are so expensive, when I can get them online for $20?  — Frances Ann Layton, Eye Associates of South GA, Valdosta, GA
  • Can you write this frame down for me?  — Steve Nelson, Eye Candy Optical, Westlake, OH
  • Why are my glasses not free? I have insurance.  — Pablo E Mercado, Mount Vernon Eyecare, Dunwoody, GA
  • Do you carry Ray-Ban? (Or Oakley)  — Caitlin Bruno, Binyon Vision Center, Bellingham, WA
  • Are you open?  — Dave Goodrich, Goodrich Optical, Lansing, MI
  • Can you fix my Warby Parker’s, Zenni, or any other online glasses? I got them like this!  — Jill Sweig, OD, Oyster Bay Optics, Oyster Bay, NY
  • “That’s the soonest I can get in?” when we say, “Her first opening is XYZ.”  — Bridgett Fredrickson, Whelan Eye Care, Bemidji, MN
  • “Is the doctor available? I have a question….” As if he is not particularly busy, you know, seeing patients all day.  — Cassandra Nash, HD Optical Express, Lansing, MI
  • Why doesn’t my insurance cover that?  — Richard Kemerling, Margolis Vision, Lone Tree, CO
  • Aren’t all frames made by one company?  — Paula Hornbeck, Eye Candy, Delafield and Mequon, WI
  • Why do I have to pay for contact lens evaluation when I already wear contacts?  — Monika Marczak, OD, Eye Candy Optical Center, Pittsburgh, PA
  • Will you adjust the glasses I bought online?  — Kevin Bushouse, RxOptical, Kalamazoo, MI
  • What does Costco charge for this?  — Allen D. Hoek, OD, Ripon, CA
  • Why don’t you know what my insurance covers?  — James Masser, Rocky Mountain Eye Center, Pueblo, CO
  • Are your sunglasses prescription only?  — Edna Shelby, Macomb Vision Associates, Shelby Township, MI
  • Can I take my prescription elsewhere? UGH!  — Karen Santos McCloud, OD, Hamburg Vision Center, Lexington, KY
 

What’s the Brain Squad?

If you’re the owner or top manager of a U.S. eyecare business serving the public, you’re invited to join the INVISION Brain Squad. By taking one five-minute quiz a month, you can get a free t-shirt, be featured prominently in this magazine, and make your voice heard on key issues affecting eyecare professionals. Good deal, right? Sign up here.

Since launching in 2014, INVISION has won 23 international journalism awards for its publication and website. Contact INVISION's editors at editor@invisionmag.com.

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For Many of You, Your Best and Worst Habits are Exactly the Same!

For others… there seems to be a lot of very “hard workers” who “procrastinate!”

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  • Best habit: listening. Worst: saying yes when I should say no. — Deb Jaeger, Eye Center of the Dakotas, Bismarck, ND
  • Best: Getting up early and coming in to work in the quiet and alone time. Worst: Not getting the rest and exercise that I should. — Paula Hornbeck, Eye Candy & Eye Candy Kids, Delafield, WI
  • My worst habit is too much social media, i.e. Facebook. My best habit is opening for business every day, hoping to make a difference for someone’s vision. — Mitchell Kaufman, Marine Park Family Vision, Brooklyn, NY
  • My best habit is writing everything down. We all forget. My worst is not taking a lunch. — Michelle Wright, DePoe Eye Center, Stockbridge, GA
  • Best habit is my ‘Get done attitude.’ If it needs to be done, I’ll do it; straightening magazines, cleaning fingerprints, checking in inventory, and all the other menial tasks that get ignored. Worst habit is letting things pile up on my desk. I call them “projects,” but sometimes they are just works in progress. — Pam Housley, Texas State Optical of Nederland, Port Arthur, TX
  • My best habit is always having a to do list and coordinating this with reminders on my phone. My worst is too much coffee! — Doreen Erbe, Snyder Eye Group, Ship Bottom, NJ
  • Saying see you soon at the end of every call is one of my best habits. Even if they aren’t planning to come in. It just plants the seed of being welcome anytime. Worst habit is chewing my nails if I don’t keep them polished. — Nikki Griffin, EyeStyles Optical and Boutique, Oakdale, MN
  • Best: I’m a hard worker. I don’t stop while at work; sh*t gets done! Worst: My desk is a mess! — Haley Menge, Hi-Line Eye Care, Glasgow, MT
  • Best: Treating employees like family. Worst: Taking control over situations that don’t need my input. — Harris Decker, Eye Designs of Westchester, Scarsdale, NY
  • Best: Providing a great experience to all I am around. Worst: Never saying “No.” — Kenny Meyer, OBC Insurance Billing & Credentialing Specialists, Macomb, IL
  • Loyalty and loyalty. — Bob McBeath, Edina Eye, Edina, MN
  • Best: customer service; worst: clutter. — Jessica Brundidge, Clarity Vision, Clayton, NC
  • I’m really good at sleeping! Meeting my REM quota is never an issue. It’s my best habit; I’m always well-rested and never need coffee. It’s also my worst; 10 hours of sleep a night really pinches my free time! — Jen Heller, Pend Oreille Vision Care, Sandpoint, ID
  • Drinking beer. Drinking beer. — Dave Schultz, OD, Urban Optics, San Luis Obispo, CA
  • I would have to say my best is I will go above and beyond to help my customers. My worst is I go above and beyond for my customers. — Julie Uram, Optical Oasis, Jupiter, FL
  • Best: Hard working; worst: lenient on staff. — Amy Pelak, Proview Eyecare Optometry, Corona, CA
  • Best: I get up early and work late. Worst: I get distracted by the computer too much. — Bret Hunter, Sports Optical, Denver, CO
  • Best: Thinking things thru before responding. Worst: According to my kids “smacking.” Apparently, I’m a noisy eater! — Pam Peters, Midwest Eye, Downers Grove, IL
  • My best and worst habits come from having ADHD which many business leaders actually have. My best is my hyper-focus on continual learning and improvement. Most specifically, diligent monitoring and sharing of metrics within our practice so everyone has a strong pulse of how we are performing. My worst is that I am so often in the moment I can be forgetful. Thankfully, those that know me well know they sometimes need to give me a gentle nudge when they need something specific. — Deborah Bosner, Northwest EyeCare Professionals, Columbus, OH
  • Worst habit is procrastination… Hope I got this response in on time. — Michael Davis, OD, Opti-Care, Eldersburg, MD
  • Best: Always keeping my family first. It reminds me what’s important. Worst: I often obsess about my patient schedule when I know it’s the part of practice no doctor is ever 100% satisfied with. — Blake Hutto, OD, Family Vision Care, Alma, GA
  • Best habit is thinking out of the box. Worst habit forgetting to go back in the box once in a while. — Adam Ramsey, OD, Iconic Eye Care, Palm Beach Gardens, FL
  • I sometimes am really organized and plan things ahead but I can also be lazy and don’t do things like I should. — Martha Davenport, Safe Vision, Wheatfield, IN
  • Best habit is working out every morning. Worst, pretty much everything else I do throughout the day. — Frances Ann Layton, Eye Associates of South Georgia, Valdosta, GA
  • Verifying all jobs in the lab every Monday to see if they are on time, etc… Procrastinating on doing invoices as long as possible. — Kim Hilgers, Monson Eyecare Center, Owatonna, MN
  • Best habit is taking time for self-care everyday (working out, cooking, watching a movie, reading a book), even if it means waking up early or staying up late. Worst habit is taking on too many tasks at one time. — Chris Lopez, OD, Roberts Eyecare Associates, Vestal, NY
  • Best habit is my passion and drive for wanting to learn and know anything optics that I can. My worst habit is definitely sharing too much ‘nerdiness’/information with a patient thinking they care as much as I do. — Heather Harrington, Elevated Eyecare, Denver, CO
  • Best: Follow up, under promise and over deliver. Worst: Impatience with dumb people and know-it-alls. — BJ Chambers, Carrera Optical, McQueeney, TX
  • Best habit is to remind patients when dispensing glasses to come in anytime for adjustments and refills on their lens cleaner. — Carissa Dunphy, Monroe Vision Clinic, Monroe, WA
  • My best habit is thorough persistence. My worst habit is loving to eat. — Robert M Easton, Jr. OD, FAAO, Oakland Park, FL
  • I work hard till the job is done but I don’t take criticism well. — Bart Parker, Vision Source-Fox Optical, Lake Worth, FL
  • Best: I’m detail-oriented with a work ethic. Worst: I’m detail-oriented with a work ethic. — Dave Goodrich, Goodrich Optical, Lansing, MI
  • Best: I am upbeat and positive 99% of the time with patients and staff. Worst: I am the type of perfectionist that struggles to delegate or complete tasks. — Zachary Dirks, OD, St. Peter and Belle Plaine Eyecare Centers, Saint Peter, MN
  • Best habit is being nice to everyone. Worst is procrastination. — Jennifer Leuzzi, Mill Creek Optical, Dansville, NY
  • My best habit is discussing the importance of AR in the exam room because it leads to an easy discussion in the optical and over 85% AR capture rate. — Michael Martorana, OD, Falls City Eye Care, Louisville, KY
  • Best would be answering a phone as soon as it rings. I just hear it and grab it without even thinking. Worst is probably that I like to snack all day long which also means I have to go to the gym every day. — Caitlin Wicka, San Juan Eye Center, Montrose, CO
  • Best: I can usually make good decisions quickly. Worst: Trying to please everyone, so too trusting? — Kenneth D. Boltz, OD LLC, Dublin, OH
  • Currently, my best habit is running to the gym after work and my worst is changing at the office and getting caught in my shorts by patients. If I miss the start of the class, then I may have to wait an hour for the next one and still have a long drive home. — Marc Ullman, OD, Academy Vision, Pine Beach, NJ
  • Having the final word in the office and at home. That final word is “Yes Ma’am.” — Texas L. Smith, OD, Dr. Texas L. Smith & Associates, Citrus Heights, CA
  • Coming in early every day to prepare for the day ahead. Worst: not recommending lens treatment options to patients. — Mark Perry, OD, Vision Health Institute, Orlando, FL
  • My best habit is following up with every patient to make sure they are totally satisfied with their eyewear and contacts. — Annette Prevaux, The Visionary Inc, Allen Park, MI
  • Best habit is that I never stop learning. My worst is I tend to move on to new things before finishing and follow through on my new knowledge. — Selina McGee, OD, Precision Vision, Edmond, OK
  • Best: Drive and passion. Worst: Procrastination. But then again, Rome wasn’t built in a day … it was built the night before it was due! — Steve Nelson, Eye Candy Optical, Westlake, OH
  • Best: Hard worker; worst: the piles on my desk. — Kristina Swartz, The Eye Site, Mishawaka, IN
  • My best is arriving on time and making sales. My worst habit is snacking when its slow. — Pam Neagle, Austin Eyeworks, Austin, TX
  • Best habit: over organized. Worst: smoking. — Andrea Schall, Armstrong Eye Care, Kittanning, PA
  • My best habit is having a plan, writing it down in accomplishable steps. My worst is executing said plan. It’s not as bad at work, but in life I will find every excuse to put it off. — Erin D’Elia, 3 for 1 glasses, St. Catharines, ON
  • My best habit would be making the patient feel understood, comfortable and help them have fun picking out their new glasses. My worst is being too efficient! — Selena Jachens, Urban Eyecare & Eyewear, West Des Moines, IA
  • No matter what kind of day I am having, the moment I walk into the exam room, I am on stage and I am always friendly, smile and ask about their life. Worst habit is I need to eat a snack by 10AM. — Scott Keating, OD, Vision Trends, Dover, OH
  • Best habit I have is personally learning all my customers’ names. Worst is not always keeping up with paperwork. — Jocelyn Anderson, National Vision, Riverdale, GA
  • Keeping promises. Sleeping. I like sleeping. — Angel Miller, Cynthiana Vision Center, Cynthiana, KY
  • I think my best habit is to be as organized and deliberate as I can possibly be. As for my “worst” habit, I think I say exactly what I think without any filters — a habit picked up in the Army — even when I know that it may not go over well. — Pablo E. Mercado, LensCrafters, Alpharetta, GA
  • My best habit is “checking in” with people; staff, family, friends… I make sure even if I’m busy with other things to check in on people and make sure they are having a good week, etc. Worst habit? Somewhat disorganized and a little forgetful at times. I always buy a planner with the intent of using it but it usually ends up basically empty. — Cynthia Sayers, OD, EyeShop Optical Center, Lewis Center, OH
  • Worst would be my cluttered desk. I know where everything is but others not so much. Best would be that I try to always be positive with staff and patients, smile and greet them by name. I once heard that you should say someone’s name at least three times in conversation. It tends to have a positive effect on people and helps you remember their name. This often eases tension when I am asked to speak to an unhappy patient. More often than not, they are content by the end of our talk. — Dawn Christman Munoz, North Valley Eye Medical Group, Indian Hills, CA
  • Best: Staying informed on all things optical! Helps preserve our patients confidence. Overdoing my work load would have to be the worst thing I do on a daily. — William Chancellor, Eye Can See Eyewear, Hampton, GA
  • Best: I make home cooked meals at least five or more times a week. Worst: I tend to usually be late as much as I try to plan ahead. I blame Chicago traffic and weather. — Diana Canto Sims, OD, Buena Vista Optical, Chicago, IL
  • Worst is being a micromanager; best is great efficiency and speed at finishing tasks. — Larah Alami, OD, Hudson River Eye Care, Tarrytown and White Plains, NY
  • Best: patient rapport; worst: writing notes on files. — Rick Rickgauer, Vision Associates, Girard, PA
  • Multitasking and multitasking. — Bethany Cassar, Complete Eye Health, Holland, MI
  • Show up early. Show up early. — John LaShorne, Brown County Eye Care, Nashville, IN
  • I must have a clean desk — sometimes both the best and worst — it leads me to overwork sometimes just to get things off my desk! — Susie Phillips, Dr. Brendon Johnson, O.D., Pekin, IL
  • Best habit is answering emails as soon as I get them! I know how impatient I get when someone doesn’t instantly answer MY messages… so I like to stay ahead of the game. Worst habit is my “I’ll do that in the morning” pile, because it usually becomes the “Oh, crap… now I REALLY have to do that two days later” pile. — Renee Berry, Nappanee Family Eyecare, Nappanee, IN
  • Worst habit is letting things get piled up. — Bhumika Patel, OD, Redstone Family Vision, Indian Land, SC
  • Best: Staying on top of things. Worst: Impulse buying. — Erika Tydor, OD, Shoreline Eyecare, Shoreline, WA
  • Best habit? I try to lead a prayerful life. Worst habit? I cuss like a sailor and fall off ladders. — Dennis Iadarola, OD, Center For Vision Care, Monroe, CT
  • Work hard is my best, worst is taking it home. — Sabina Krasnov, I2Ioptique, Scottsdale, AZ
  • Habit or hobbit? — Richard H Frankel , OD, Atlantic Cape Eyecare, Wildwood, NJ

What’s the Brain Squad?

If you’re the owner or top manager of a U.S. eyecare business serving the public, you’re invited to join the INVISION Brain Squad. By taking one five-minute quiz a month, you can get a free t-shirt, be featured prominently in this magazine, and make your voice heard on key issues affecting eyecare professionals. Good deal, right? Sign up here.

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Buzz Session

Many of You Think You’d Be Sorted into Gryffindor with Harry Potter

‘Which Hogwarts House would you belong to and why?’

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THIS MONTH’S QUESTION: If becoming an ECP required lessons in wizardry (and yes, some argue it does), which Hogwarts House would you belong to and why? (Gryffindor: Daring but a little self-righteous; Slytherin: Cunning, aristocratic and power hungry; Hufflepuff: Modest, kind but lacking ambition; Ravenclaw: Intelligent, good looking, cliquey.)
  • Hufflepuff. — Tom Hicks, Oxford Opticians, Oxford, OH
  • It would totally be Gryffindor. Most people that know me will say I am not afraid to take risks. — Bhumika Patel, OD, Redstone Family Vision, Indian Land, SC
  • Gryffindor! — Larah Alami, OD, Hudson River Eye Care, Tarrytown and White Plains, NY
  • Gryffindor… go-getter! — Susie Phillips, Dr. Brendon Johnson, O.D., Pekin, IL
  • Ravenclaw. — Angie Patteson, OD, Sunset Eye Care, Johnson City, TN
  • Gryffindor, I am daring with my frame selections. I LOVE to take someone a little out of the comfort zone with a funky shape or even just a little more color than they are used to. — Maggie Ryan, Optical Arts, Toledo, OH
  • Slytherin: Cunning, aristocratic and power hungry. — Diana Canto-Sims, Buena Vista Optical, Chicago, IL
  • I haven’t seen the movies, but if I have to choose just by reading the descriptions, I would be a member of Hufflepuff or Ravenclaw. — Rigo Lopez, Gilman &Vorster Optometry, Indio, CA
  • Slytherin, always looking for ways to make more sales which requires some cunning and always power hungry. — Pam Neagle, Austin Eyeworks, Austin, TX
  • Hufflepuff … because that’s what Pottermore told me! — Erin D’Elia, 3 for 1 Glasses, St. Catharines, ON, Canada
  • Ravenclaw. — Amy Pelak, Proview Eyecare Optometry, Corona, CA
  • Gryffindor. In pursuing a new practice, we expect our staff to excel at customer service and exceed our patients’ expectations. Five years in, our reviews show we are doing what we set out to do, but we are always looking for ways to improve! — Pam Peters, Midwest Eye, Downers Grove, IL
  • Gryffindor. — Tabitha Fuller, Thomas Eye, Palmetto, GA
  • Ravenclaw. — Robert M Easton, Jr., OD, FAAO, Oakland Park, FL
  • Gryffindor, we like to try new things and can be a bit stubborn in our quests! — Selina McGee, OD, Precision Vision, Edmond, OK
  • Why pick one when a combination of them all would be ideal! A quality from each House will make for a well-rounded ECP! — William Chancellor, Eye Can See Eyewear, McDonough, GA
  • Merlin, Arthur and the Knight of the Round Table. — Dave Goodrich, Goodrich Optical, Lansing, MI
  • None. I’d go with Starfleet Academy! — Dennis Iadarola, OD, Center For Vision Care, Monroe, CT
  • Gryffindor: A kind leader. — Chris Mark, OptiMark, Des Moines, WA
  • Definitely Gryffindor, some of the best opti-wizards come from here! Defeating a troll or surviving a game of quidditch makes being an ECP look easy! Doreen Erbe, Snyder Eye Group, Ship Bottom, NJ
  • Gryffindor, huge Harry Potter fan, the only house to choose! — Deb Jaeger, Eye Center of the Dakotas, Bismarck, ND
  • Gryffindor. You have to be willing to take chances and believe in yourself. — Paula Hornbeck, Eye Candy & Eye Candy Kids, Delafield, WI
  • Ravenclaw. — Kate Giroux, MacPherson Opticians, Arlington, VA
  • I’m a perfect split: 50% Gryffindor/50% Slytherin. — Harris Decke, Eye Designs of Westchester, Scarsdale, NY
  • Hufflepuff but wishing I was cunning and power hungry like Slytherin. Oh well, I gotta be me, right? — Tom Brillante, OD, Decatur Eye Care, Decatur, GA
  • Gryffindor, can’t be a great OD without being daring and taking the occasional chance. — Kenneth D. Boltz, OD, LLC, Dublin, OH
  • I am sorted into Ravenclaw but have always felt I belong in Hufflepuff! — Stephanie Crowley, Sie Eyecare, Charlotte, NC
  • Gryffindor, you have to have balls to make it big in this profession. — Adam Ramsey, OD, Socialite Vision, Palm Beach Gardens, FL
  • I’m definitely a wizard. Everyone always tells me so. I’d have to say I’d be a member of Ravenclaw. I’m super educated in what I do, and I just happen to be very good looking!! — Jade Kowalick, Ryczek Eye, St Petersburg, FL
  • Ravenclaw. — Heather Harrington, Elevated Eyecare, Denver, CO
  • Gryffindor; daring: constantly looking to improve and change what we do and how we do it, and self-righteous: due to confidence from years of experience. — Pam Housley, Texas State Optical of Nederland, Port Arthur, TX
  • Ravenclaw. — Ron Hansen, Southwind Eyecare, Hutchinson, KS
  • Since I am a Ravenclaw in every “Which Hogwarts House do you belong in?” quiz I have ever taken, I will have to stick to being a Ravenclaw professionally too. Always creatively problem solving, selling beautiful frames, and treating patients like family! — Jenna Gilbertson, McCulley Optix Gallery, Fargo, ND
  • Gryffindor. — Kyle Kravick, Davis Duehr Dean, Portage, WI
  • Ravenclaw, but only because that’s the House I’m sorted into on Pottermore. There should be a House for Chameleons that become whatever’s needed! — Angel Miller, Cynthiana Vision Center, Cynthiana, KY
  • Ravenclaw! Great question! — Amy Kraemer, Optometric Eye Care Centers, Maplewood, MN
  • Honestly, I have never read Harry Potter so I don’t even get these references but based on descriptions I would say a mix of Gryffindor and Slytherin. — Josh Bladh, Dr. Bladh OD, Diamond Bar, CA
  • Gryffindor, I’m not afraid to step out of the box to solve problems and my stores reflect this as well. We are independent focused and offer brands and service that you can’t find anywhere nearby. — Travis LeFevre, Krystal Vision, Logan, UT
  • Gryffindor for sure. I know am a great optician and I will make sure you know it too. — Jason Stamper, Eye Care Pavilion, Davenport, IA
  • Personally, I would be in Ravenclaw. As an office, we would be in Hufflepuff! — Judy Scheuerell, Fox Valley Family Eye Care, Little Chute, WI
  • Gryffindor. — Christine Howard, Attleboro Vision Care, Attleboro, MA
  • Gryffindor, no question. Ever since I left the grind of corporate optical it’s been a welcome change to select my own frames and lab work. I’m not as daring as I’d like to be with frame selection but I have to cater to my small demographic. And, unfortunately, that goes double for my men’s frames. — Rick Rickgauer, Vision Associates, Girard, PA
  • Ravenclaw: We aspire to have our patients look intelligent in their new eyewear and look “elevator good” so people in an elevator will ask where they got their eyewear. — Texas L. Smith, OD, Dr. Texas L. Smith & Associates, Citrus Heights, CA
  • Gryffindor: I own an optical shop. I’ve worked really hard and have taken a lot of chances. When things were successful I was a little self-righteous. — Jennifer Leuzzi, Mill Creek Optical, Dansville, NY
  • I’m actually in Slytherin, but by those descriptions, most probably Gryffindor. I like to try new things and bring my sense of humor and flare to the optical. — Frances Ann Layton, Eye Associates of South Georgia, Valdosta, GA
  • Ravenclaw. — Betty Aretz, The Eyecare Boutique, Wexford, PA
  • Hufflepuff. — Annie Thompson, Lawrence Eye Care Optical, Lawrence, KS
  • Gryffindor: No guts, no glory. I like to do what others say can’t be done. — Annette Prevaux, The Visionary Inc, Allen Park, MI
  • I would have to start my own house. Intelligent, daring, ambitious but also modest. — Leisa Lauer, Dr. H Michael Shack, Newport Beach, FL
  • Slytherin. — Colleen Galanti, Pascarella Eye Care & Contact Lenses, Newtown, PA
  • Gryffindor all the way. — Scott Keating, OD, Vision Trends, Dover, OH
  • Gryffindor? But I know very little Potterverse … I’m more of a unicorn than a wizard, anyways. All my talents come naturally rather than through schooling! — Jen Heller, Pend Oreille Vision Care, Sandpoint, ID
  • Gryffindor. — Ron Catterson, Clear View Optix, The Villages, FL
  • Gryffindor. — Marc Ullman, OD, Academy Vision, Pine Beach, NJ
  • I’m a little of each I think…what does that make me? A Gryffindor? — Zachary Dirks, OD, St. Peter and Belle Plaine Eyecare Centers, Saint Peter, MN
  • A blend of Gryffindor and Hufflepuff depending on mood. — Bob McBeath, Edina Eye, Edina, MN
  • Hufflepuff right now! — Bridgett Fredrickson, Whelan Eye Care, Bemidji, MN
  • Gryffindor … Harry definitely would’ve wanted me on his team. — Andrew Romeril, OD, Torrey Highlands Optometry, San Diego, CA
  • Gryffindor. — Todd Lapointe, VIP EYES, Portland, ME
  • Ravenclaw. — Kelsey Ruminer, Kavanaugh Eye Care, Little Rock, AR
  • Gryffindor because it just fits me! — Scott Felten, Fox Valley Family Eye Care, Little Chute, WI

What’s the Brain Squad?

If you’re the owner or top manager of a U.S. eyecare business serving the public, you’re invited to join the INVISION Brain Squad. By taking one five-minute quiz a month, you can get a free t-shirt, be featured prominently in this magazine, and make your voice heard on key issues affecting eyecare professionals. Good deal, right? Sign up here.

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Buzz Session

ECPs Share the Hidden Talents That Help Them in Business

You’re a talented bunch! Some of you should go on the road.

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THIS MONTH’S QUESTION: What’s a hidden talent that unexpectedly helps you in your business?
  • I’m the office whistler. I’ve convinced myself I will go on tour one day with a band. Kind of like when a band adds a keyboardist later in their career? Well, I’ll be the whistler. Like Guns N’ Roses patience good. — Renee Berry, Nappanee Family Eyecare, Nappanee, IN
  • Photography. It helps in almost every facet of marketing! And I am a “celebrity dancer” in our local Chamber of Commerce Dancing with the Stars event. Our dance off is September 5! — Selina McGee, OD, Precision Vision, Edmond, OK
  • I fix my employees cars sometimes. It saves them some money and time. — Bret Hunter, Sports Optical, Denver, CO
  • Attention to detail and efficiency. — Larah Alami, OD, Hudson River Eye Care, Tarrytown and White Plains, NY
  • I have an insanely good memory. I can remember a patients name, their spouse, kids, dogs. Just last week I helped a patient find his plano sun lenses because when I dispensed them to him 2 years ago I remember him saying, “I know just the spot for these, I’ll put them in my office chest.” When I told him to look there and he found them, even I was surprised. — Jessika E. Arena, The Eye Center, Asheville, NC
  • The gift of gab. I have always assumed it was shared by all doctors until recently. I feel very fortunate to be able to talk with pretty much anyone about pretty much anything. It makes the experience extremely personal. — Blake Hutto, OD, Family Vision Care, Alma, GA
  • I sing to my pediatric patients when I am performing retinoscopy. I am not a brilliant singer, but the very small kids love it, and so do the parents. — Angie Patteson, OD, Sunset Eye Care, Johnson City, TN
  • Good memory for details. — Brendon Johnson, OD, Pekin, IL
  • Creativity and honesty. — Candy Crone, Wayne Optical, York, PA
  • Interior design. — Jocelyn Mylott, D’Ambrosio Eyecare,
  • Knack for following my gut. — Nicole Heyduk, Eye Centers of NWO
  • My superpower is dealing with difficult people. I usually can disarm them and get a reasonable resolution to a problem. — Annette Prevaux, The Visionary Inc., Allen Park, MI
  • Creativity. As a new business, we don’t have the funds that other businesses have so we have to be creative with our displays, ways to show our appreciation to patients, and how to run the office on limited funds. — Nytarsha Thomas, OD, Visionelle Eyecare, Zionsville, IN
  • Being able to smell the BS-ers or incompatible customers the moment they enter the office. If the moment a person walks into our office with a condescending attitude, unrealistic expectations or the following words come out of their mouth: “I just left another optical storming out with outrage” this is a big red flag. There are exceptions where the person was treated badly elsewhere and we become their hero, but 80% of the time, they are toxic and we kindly and respectfully tell them we are NOT what they are looking for, have incongruent expectations and thank them for stopping by. We have the habit of NOT talking bad about other opticals when people complain about them. It helps no one. — Diana Sims, Buena Vista Optical, Chicago, IL
  • Style! It helps with frame selection, office decor, in office music, hiring, window displays, etc.! — Dave Schultz, OD, Urban Optics, San Luis Obispo, CA
  • Selective hearing. Marc Ullman, OD, Academy Vision, Pine Beach, NJ
  • My Minnesota nice-ness. I am able to tell patient that frame is Not. For. Them. but nicely, where they don’t have hurt feelings and I get to put them in a better-looking frame! — Jenna Gilbertson, McCulley Optix Gallery, Fargo, ND
  • Humor!! — Mark Perry, OD, Vision Health Institute, Orlando, FL
  • My ability to smile even when I want to throat punch a patient. — Amy Pelak, Proview Eyecare Optometry, Corona, CA
  • The ability to find common ground with customers, and engage in easy conversation. — David Weber, The Eye Zone, Dallas, TX
  • I have a commercial art degree! Also, I am a nerd. Not sure they are very well hidden talents, though. — Angel Miller, Cynthiana Vision Center, Cynthiana, KY
  • Building relationships. — Adam Ramsey, OD, Iconic Eye Care, Palm Beach Gardens, FL
  • I’m often told a should be a stand-up comedian by my patients. So, a sense of humor helps more times than I can count. — Cynthia Sayers, OD, EyeShop Optical Center, Lewis Center, OH
  • Graphic design/marketing background. Native of the area and length of time with the practice, know and recognize many patients. — Deb Jaeger, Eye Center of the Dakotas, Bismarck, ND
  • I grew up never being taught how to use tools. I’ve been self-taught doing repairs and adjustments with little or no problems and I say Thank You Lord when everything turns out great. — Jeff Grosekemper, Casa De Oro Eyecare, Spring Valley, CA
  • My sense of humor. — Texas L. Smith, OD, Dr. Texas L. Smith & Associates, Citrus Heights, CA
  • Art! — Pam Peters, Midwest Eye, Downers Grove, IL
  • I enjoy hearing about what people do for a living … and coincidentally, people enjoy talking about themselves; so, it works out well. — Tom Brillante, OD, Decatur Eye Care, Decatur, GA
  • I wouldn’t say it’s a talent but as a man “I listen to my patients.” Maybe that’s more of a superpower. — William Chancellor, Eye Can See Eyewear, McDonough, GA
  • Being a mom gives me LOTS of patience with young kids. — Amina Ebrahim, OD, D Vision Eyecare, Allen, TX
  • It’s so well-hidden I’m still looking for it. — Andrew Romeril, Torrey Highlands Optometry, San Diego, CA
  • My hidden talent is having stage time as both a musician and a stand-up comedian. Neither of which I am very active in now. That said, I believe selling to be a performance. — Steve Nelson, Eye Candy Optical, Westlake, OH
  • Frame making. — Huge differentiation. Kevin Count, Prentice Lab, Glenview, IL
  • Having formerly worked at an Apple Store, people are always eager to share issues they’re having with their electronics. I’m always happy to do a little hard reset or reboot here and there. Definitely makes getting glasses a memorable experience. — Harris Decker, Eye Designs of Westchester, Scarsdale, NY
  • Customer service. — Paul Super, The Eyesite Optometric, Los Angeles, CA
  • Positive outlook. — Bethany Cassar, Complete Eye Health, Holland, MI
  • It’s not hidden, but humor is huge in my office. If people don’t leave with a smile, we feel like we’ve let them down. When people are laughing/smiling, everything runs smoother. — Frances Ann Layton, Eye Associates of South Georgia, Valdosta, GA
  • Remembering details about patients that I learned during previous visits and being able to resume the conversation. It makes them feel special that I remember things about them or their family. — Pauline Buck, OD, Behavioral and Developmental Optometrists, Miami, FL
  • I guess not so hidden — I have a pretty good sense of humor and often use it to put people at ease. — Paula Hornbeck, Eye Candy & Eye Candy Kids, Delafield, WI
  • Initiative! — Becki Martin, Harrington Vision Center II, Florence, SC
  • Well I think being an optician we find all kinds of ways to actually be magicians with people’s eyewear which is helpful you can amaze people by what you can do by fixing their glasses and helping them out. — Julie Uram, Optical Oasis, Jupiter, FL
  • Being genuine with patients. I think the majority of patients expect us to be a stereotypical doctors visit. I love to not only help the patient but ensure they leave in a better mindset than when they arrived, to feel good about their visit! — Carissa Dunphy, Lake Stevens Vision Clinic, Lake Stevens, WA
  • My strong medical background as a BSN RN PHN has proven to be a great cross over in an effort to provide the best quality of life for our patients. — Leisa Lauer, Dr. H Michael Shack, Newport Beach, FL
  • Listening to the customer. — Chris Cordes, Fischer Laser Eye Center, Marshall, MN
  • I’m an empath and fairly good at mirroring peoples’ behavior and body language. It’s good for sales, but also helpful for developing lasting customer relationships. — Katie Root, Latham Family Vision, Latham, NY
  • Finding the reason why. Be it a patient’s vision issue, frame repair, computer problem. I want to know why it’s happening and how to fix it. — Dave Goodrich, Goodrich Optical, Lansing, MI
  • I used to be a licensed health insurance agent. Understanding the industry from every point of view is helpful in articulating to patients why their vision plan isn’t insurance. — Nikki Griffin, EyeStyles Optical and Boutique, Oakdale, MN
  • I was an art major so it really helps with color in frame selection. — Rick Rickgauer, Vision Associates, Girard, PA
  • My knowledge of health care policy, Florida rules and regulations. — Robert Easton Jr, Robert M Easton Jr OD FAAO, Oakland Park, FL
  • I love people and their stories. People love to talk about themselves and it helps keep them coming back to know that I’m genuinely interested in them! — Jennifer Leuzzi, Mill Creek Optical, Dansville, NY
  • Storytelling! I was an English major, which doesn’t seem to correlate to optical, UNTIL you realize that every single person that walks in wants to be the main character in a vibrant, exciting story. It informs how I listen to people, how I present glasses options, and how I fit frames. My well-honed literary research skills have also produced some wickedly-good insurance appeals and billing letters. I’ve only lost one first-level insurance appeal in seven years! — Jen Heller, Pend Oreille Vision Care, Sandpoint, ID
  • Fairy Hair by KeKeVanB (originalfairyhair.com). Once a month nearly 40 ladies come in to our boutique. — Ron Catterson, Clear View Optix, The Villages, FL
  • Listening to the patient, gathering information about their lifestyle; how they use their eyes every day. — BJ Chambers, Carrera Optical, McQueeney, TX
  • If a young child is nervous for their exam, I can turn a bathroom towel into a turkey. — Scott Keating, OD, Vision Trends, Dover, OH
  • Knowing my inventory so well that I immediately know what frame will be perfect for their needs and style. — Dorothy Reynolds, Optical Alternatives, Milford, CT
  • I definitely think I am able to put people at ease, so they relax a bit and let themselves have fun in the selection process. — Siobhan Burns, The Eyeglass Lass, New London, CT
  • I can remember anyone’s name — patients can come back a year later and I know who they are and they seem quite impressed! — Stephanie Crowley, Sie Eyecare, Charlotte, NC

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If you’re the owner or top manager of a U.S. eyecare business serving the public, you’re invited to join the INVISION Brain Squad. By taking one five-minute quiz a month, you can get a free t-shirt, be featured prominently in this magazine, and make your voice heard on key issues affecting eyecare professionals. Good deal, right? Sign up here.

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