Saturday, July 7, 2012


Its been a very hectic and busy couple weeks for me. I had recently sent off a lot of letters and made some enquiries about jobs, and got offered an optical assistant position at Boots Opticians in Edinburgh (where I stay) over the summer and was offered a start date of a day or two after the first call came through to me. So it was quite the jump from doing my own thing, relaxing and enjoying the summer from going straight into a full time job with 5 days a week. I started on Wednesday the 20th of June, and have been doing 3 days a week in one of the Flagship stores (Princes St, Edinburgh) and 2 days per week in a quieter store in an out of town retail park-type place called Fort Kinnaird in Edinburgh (or the Fort as its to referred to here...having stayed in Glasgow for too long, I was not aware of this fact...which in fact led to a lot of confusion on my part. I thought they had meant the Fort outside Glasgow when they first informed me about the job...)

So I'm still getting used to the routine now, after a busy week or two. At first, the pre-screening techniques seemed really intimidating and hard to control. The things we have to do are Tonometry (non-contact) for finding the pressures inside the eyes, rough Autorefractor measurements of the prescription, visual field screening on Henson 3000 or 6000 machines and Fundus photos when applicable. So things have been slightly different to what I've been used to at uni, but after doing a lot of shadowing and supervised training, I finally got the hang of things and got signed off by one of the optoms which means I can do pre-screening of patients on my own (unsupervised) now. They have to make sure the optical assistants know what they are doing, otherwise its their job on the line at the end of the day and they dont want inaccurate results or anything showing up.

On the admin side of things in the job, I've quickly had to get used to the filing systems, and the paperwork which needs done for each day's appointments. After a week and half or two weeks into the job, I was getting used to the computer system's programmes for booking appointments, putting orders through for patient's glasses or contact lenses etc, and the new upgrade went through, changing the look of the till's computer and the programs on the computers. So I had roughly a day to pick that up, and it was going quite well..,I was told that day (by the Fort branch manager) that the Princes St branch was closed due to flooding. Over the past week or so, the UK has had a ridiculous amount of rainfall, and a lot of it got into the basement and first floor of Boots in Princes St. That meant the branch was closed as the electric was knocked out, and something happened to the server connected to the Optician's computers. So after one day closed on Thursday 5th, we reopened on Friday to find there were no computers up and running. Apparantely its been quite a serious thing, and theyve had to get parts flown up from England, but everything wont be back to normal until sometime this week coming. D:
Very problematic when we are so dependent on the computers for so many aspects of the practice operation...There is a growing pile of stuff to be done when the computers come back on.

The rain has made a lot of other chaos as well. Bus routes have been diverted today, Bus tracker things looked like they had been damaged by the rain in places. And a lot of trains, houses and other businesses have been affected as well. I woke up this morning to a drip coming through the ceiling in my room, flooding in the garden and street, and a wall mounted light having somehow ripped its way out the wall. Perhaps this is down to the fact that my house is so damn old, I dunno.

Hopefully the rain goes away and things return to normal sometime soon...

/Long post of rambling-ness