Making Contact

“So, I can’t find my contacts. I think I put them in the storage unit when we unloaded on Saturday. I thought I had backups stashed with my toiletries, but…”

I remember a contact-conversation we’d had when Sam had just begun his freshman year in college, over a decade ago. The phone rang on a Friday afternoon—”uh-oh” my initial reaction—so I picked up, steeling myself for something a mom five hours away couldn’t do much about. “Mom, I got my new prescription for my contacts. I can SEE!” His ebullience like the effervescence that escapes a soda can newly popped open, that fine spray of bubbles, filled the air. “It’s amazing!”

That joy stands in direct contrast to his resignation now. “Do you have your glasses?”

“That’s the thing. I left them in the hotel in Sonora. They’re sending them. Not here yet. I do have my recent prescription though, so if you guys have an eye doctor…”

My husband gives the name of his, and Sam calls. The receptionist/assistant is unhelpful, and vague. “It’s like she doesn’t want to help me. She’s actively going out of her way to frustrate me.”

“She’s like that. I’ve found her difficult, too. I always wonder why the doctor keeps her,” my husband agrees.

The next call is Fred Meyer. I have dealt with that kiosk, independent of the Kroeger enterprise. They have repaired missing screw arms and buffed lens scratches with a smile, a payment refusal, and a gentle bid, “We hope you’ll come back if you ever need anything.”

The voice on the other end is accommodating, urging him to email the script and come on over. When he returns, he’s got six pairs of sample contacts, a cleaning kit, and smiles. “They were awesome, mom, so helpful and, well, the opposite of the other place. I offered money but they said just to come back if I needed to get more supplies. And I will, or at least until I find someone closer to our new place.”

This is life in a small town, and probably everywhere: if at first, you don’t succeed, keep LOOKING!

8 thoughts on “Making Contact”

  1. So frustrating, when you have to deal with a receptionist that doesn’t want to be helpful. It really doesn’t make sense! I think we have all run into that situation. So glad you were able to solve this problem! Thank goodness for those who really want to make a difference, no matter their line of work!

    1. Exactly! It is so Zen what you say. No matter what work one does, one does it with heart. (We used to have a phenomenal custodian in our building who expounded on that one afternoon when I was lamenting the state of the hallways after the kids departed. HE KNEW!)

  2. I sometimes wonder how people with not “people skills” get and keep jobs where they have to deal with the public. Glad things worked out for your son.

    1. Me, too. It is mind-boggling. There must be a dearth of competent help, competent and FRIENDLY, too.

  3. A great testament to the power of a good client skills. When I taught at a poor school, we sometimes had parents who wanted a transfer to the more affluent/less diverse school in the next attendance area. Many came back because the secretary at the other school was not very friendly. Our secretary was wonderfully welcoming. It makes all the difference.

  4. That is such good advice and it’s amazing how one person can be so utterly different to another in their approach to a customer! I love the initial reaction of seeing when he first got them!

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