31 May: My ever-wonderful father decides to treat my stepmum and I to a new pair of glasses each. We’d seen various Hakim Optical shops opening up around Winnipeg, and they had an amazing deal of 2 pairs for $199. Too good to miss, we went straight for the nearest one, and after convincing them both pairs were for me (bizarrely we share an identical prescription), placed our order for some fancy new frames, being promised they’d be ready within the week.
Issue One: An hour after leaving the store, they call and tell me they can’t use a prescription from another store based only on a phone call; they needed a copy on paper. Every time I’ve bought glasses before, the optometrist called the last place I had my eyes tested, jotted down the prescription, and made the glasses no problem. But not Hakim – I’d have to go back during the week, pay them my $80 and have my eyes tested again, despite the fact I had them tested less than a year ago somewhere else.
I decided to just go back to said somewhere else, ask for a reprint of my prescription, and go back to Hakim. No problem! They took the prescription and said they’d be ready by the weekend.
Issue Two: A couple of days later I receive a phone call telling me their lens cutting machine wasn’t working properly and had cocked up one of the lenses, meaning they’d have to re-order them, but assured me they’d call me when they were ready.
Issue Three: A week goes by with no word. I call, and a manager informs me one of the two pairs are ready. They end up being Nicole’s. Once again I am assured I will be phoned when mine come in.
Issue Four: It’s now the 18th of June, and still no word. I call and the manager tells me they will be in tomorrow, I can come after work and pick them up and she’d give me a free bottle of lens cleaner, which would definitely make this whole sodding process worthwhile. So I show up the following day after work, and the same manager tells me it’s been really busy that day, she hasn’t had time to go and pick them up from the downtown store, and they were still on Portage.
I work downtown. If she’d called me, I could’ve walked the two minutes and picked them up myself. So I take a bus back to where I’d been half an hour ago, and finally pick up my new glasses. Huzzah!
ISSUE FIVE. The lens falls out two days later. No, I didn’t sit on them or drop them – they’re just shit. I return to Hakim where several other customers are complaining about it “being a bit of a long time”, and an arm falling off… and I’m told this particular style of frame “doesn’t tend to hold weaker prescriptions very well, which is why the stronger lens didn’t fall out….” and that I’d have to talk to the manager on Monday. Doesn’t hold lenses very well? Then why is it still on the bloody shelf?! I decided to pick another frame, and have her ask the manager to just re-frame me with those ones. Which weren’t as nice.
I went in on Tuesday, not able to decide between two alternate pairs, and called the lovely Kyla to come to my rescue. We picked a little pair, at which point the manager tried explaining why I couldn’t have the original ones I’d chosen – the lens had been cut incorrectly, and if she took it to St. Vital they could cut it properly… and lo and behold they were ready the very next day, lenses solidly in frames and all.
$100 glasses are a steal, but I’m not quite sure the 3 week circus extravaganza was entirely worth it…