Ecology to Opticianry [Alex Bennett]

Hello everybody! I’m so excited and honored to join Daily Optician! I’d like to start by introducing myself, and telling you a bit about me.

When I started working in optical, I had no expectations to stay in the field for very long. After graduating college in 2008, I was trying to find a position as an ecologist and contribute to western land management. I took a part-time position edging lenses, just until I could find the job I was hoping for. As the months went on, and the work didn’t come, the owner of the small practice had to let one of her opticians go and asked if I would like to be trained to fill the opening while continuing to run her lab. The rest, shall we say, is history!

Almost 7 years later, I continue to love my work as an optician! The entire process is exciting - from styling a patient in new frames, to choosing the perfect lenses to meet their visual needs, to edging the lenses and inserting them into the frames, inspecting the new eyewear and finally dispensing it to the patient, who is not only excited to see more clearly, but excited to rock their new glasses! And I do mean ROCK their new glasses!! We have a flair for the dramatic at Peepers Optical in Denver, and boring frames are simply not our bread and butter.

My roles have changed during my time in the industry, and I left the optical I began my career at for greener pastures. But I often sit and reminisce about my first love, working in the lab. I love nothing more than verifying lens blanks, prepping them to be edged (I used to hand block on an old Topcon), and finally mounting them into the frames. Holding those completed frames up and giving them a final inspection is still a thing of beauty to me, like seeing a brand new car off of the assembly line, or a fine Swiss watch after final assembly – shiny, new, and ready to be shown off to the world.

I am so excited to post about my passion, and read about all of yours as well. I look forward to engaging dialog, sharing new and creative ideas, as well as learning from such a diverse group of opticians from around the country. I would like to end with a question as a way of getting to know a few of you better: what about the job made you first fall in love with the work? For me, as I previously mentioned, it was working in the lab, and assembling the eyewear. Can’t wait to read your answers!!

Cheers for now.

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