NICOLE!

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What attracted you to the optical industry?

     I accidentally fell into it. I answered an ad for a receptionist at an optometrist’s office, and by the end of the first week I was pre-testing patients, and then by the end of my first year I had started to work in the lab edging lenses for our patients. Even though I went to university for writing, I’ve always had a bit of a technical mind, so I thrived in the optical setting, and after about two years at the office I decided to pursue my optician’s licence. I’m now just finishing the opticianry program at Seneca, and I look forward to writing the national exams later this year.

What is your biggest challenge as a student optician?

    Balancing school, work and a personal life. I enjoy school a lot but I really like learning hands-on in an optical environment, so my main goal was to have as much time free to work at the store as possible. Right now I’m in school 4 days a week and I work 4 days a week, so managing my free time has been a bit of a juggling act.

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What do you find most rewarding about your job?

When I get a tricky prescription – significant prism, high astigmatism at an oblique axis, that kind of thing – seeing the lenses turn out beautifully within the frame always makes my day. It’s about choosing the right lens material and index and the right frame for the client, and seeing them marvel over the end product brings a smile to my face.

How have you changed since the start of your optical path?

     I’ve become way more of a people person! I used to be very shy, very quiet, and I used to worry contstantly that people wouldn’t like me unless I acted a certain way. Working in retail tends to force you to interact with people more than you’re used to, and now I find that I’m confident enough in who I am to not worry about meeting people and making connections.

Your most coveted frame?

It’s a toss up between my tortoise shell I Llegeri GG67 or my purple Masanauga #12 acetate frames. One is a fabulous shape, the other is purple.

Favourite Junction spots?

Cut the Cheese. Their cheese fries are my guilty pleasure; I alternate between getting bacon or popcorn chicken on top.

Favourite vinyl in the shop?

Either The Best of The Who or Queen Greatest Hits. Depends on the mood of the day.

Favourite brand that we carry?

    Germano Gambini, the shapes are great and fit a lot of people, and each frame comes in a number of other colours, both neutral and fun. Also it’s an Italian line, I’m an Italian girl, so I have to represent!

Favourite tool?

Phillips screws and screwdrivers. Flatheads like to slip, phillips were made to stay steady on the screwdriver. Makes a world of difference when dealing with really tiny screws!

Round or square?

Round.

Less or more?

More.

Would you rather fight one optician sized duck or one hundred duck sized opticians?

    I’d imagine that a giant duck might be aggressive like geese, but tiny opticians might swarm with their tiny PD rulers and cleaning cloths. At least I could throw a loaf of bread to distract the duck… Although maybe that would work on the opticians as well… Hrmmm…

I love your freckles.

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