Robotic Tendencies
The personal blog of Robert McQueen

April 12, 2005

Pathological incompetence

<rant rage=”incandescent”>I’d rashly assumed that the optician service at Boots would be competent, being as it is a large nationwide corporation who are likely to only hire appropriately qualified staff. This is, I think, true in the case of the actual opticians, who I have seen two of, and have been impressed and had no cause for complaint. However, the woman whose job it was to teach me how to insert, remove, clean, etc my new contact lenses is clearly *not* qualified to do so, and deserves to 🤬 after 🤬 in some kind of 🤬.

Today was my 5th day of wearing contact lenses, and thus far I’d been finding it very difficult to put the lenses in correctly, have them stay in place and not fall out, sometimes experienced blurred vision, etc. It’s now exceedingly obvious why this is, but I’d been putting it down to lens n00bishness – not being used to them, or being inexperienced at putting them in. When putting the lens in today I noticed it had numbers on, which actually say 123, but I thought they said 125 and indicated the prescription of the lens. This surprised me given my prescription is -1.75… aha I thought… wrong lenses? Looking at the box, I saw they were correct, but that the numbers were there to correctly orient the lens. The diagram quickly revealed the reason for my discomfort and persistent problems – the woman at Boots clearly, explicitly and repeatedly explained to me the COMPLETELY INCORRECT AND UPSIDE-DOWN orientation of the lens, with the edges forming a convex shape rather than the obviously correct concave shape (much like that of the cornea, no?).

If they think I’m going to sign up to their “vision care plan” and give them a penny more after the humiliating torture of having the woman sit and watch me try for an hour to put a lens in when it was upside-down, followed by these 5 days of absolutely inexplicable frustration, they can go and 🤬 themselves with a 🤬. I’m going to go and 🤬 them tomorrow. 🤬!</rant>

Update: Went to see them today… spoke to a “Team Manager”. She apologised and said she’d talk to the person involved, and gave me 1 months’ free lenses. Not sure that quite makes up for the level of incompetence and the discomfort I faced. I may still write to them, complain next week at my aftercare appointment, or just change optician.

posted by ramcq @ 11:42 pm
Comments (7) .:. Trackback .:. Permalink

7 responses to “Pathological incompetence”

  1. Julian says:


  2. What kind of lenses do you have that have an “up” and a “down” side? Hard/soft/bi-focal?

    You’re sure you didn’t have them on inside-out instead of upside down? I’ve done that before and it’s a pain.

  3. JD says:

    Upside down or inside out? Do these fix a stigmatism?

  4. robot101 says:

    They’re 14-day soft lenses, no astigmatism. Inside-out is probably a less confusing description of the problem than upside-down, but I was considering the lens as a dome that pointed up rather than forwards. I’m going to see them this afternoon to get some kind of apology/refund… and a copy of my eye prescription so I can change optician.

  5. noname says:

    I have an astigmatism and i wear contacts. Many people i’ve talked to with such a “123” on thier lenses also have an astigmatism. I’m not sure if this depends on the brand, but some of the lenses are weighted(or at least my doctor lead me to believe mine are). After you put them in, you have a few moments of blurriness while they sort themselves out, but other than that, they’re great

  6. Robert Adams says:

    Here’s a nifty trick that makes it much easier: get the lens on your fingertip so that it’s right-side-out. The, put a drop of saline solution (or if you use a one-solution system, some of that) in the lens.

    Stare at the mirror as you put in the lens. If you have trouble with the lens falling out the first time you blink, grab your eyelashes and lift up your eyelid, pull it down, then let go.

    You’ll find it much more comfortable to insert the lenses.

  7. I’ve taken to putting them in on the side of the eyeball, instead of the bottom, as the the office recommendend. After you make sure they’re not inside-out, stare at your eye in the mirror, and turn your head in the direction of the eye you’re working with, so you’re staring past the ridge of your nose. This lets you look at your eyeball, while freeing up lots of space on the side of the eye opposite the nose to get the lens in the right spot, and even push down a bit to squeeze out any air that’s between the eye and the lens. Robert Adams’ putting-a-drop-on-the-lens-before-insertion can also make this more comfortable, but i’ve found that I don’t need it much now that I’m used to them.

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