Lum: A+ customer services |

Lum: A+ customer services

Su Lum

For the past decade or so, I’ve been having trouble with my eyes. First it was eyesight changes because I was taking steroids, and then it was seeing double or triple and needing prisms in the lenses.

“You aren’t going blind,” my eye doctor said. “You’re just cockeyed.”

Dwight, who managed the penultimate incarnation of the Optical Shop, let me bring in frames from my “old-glasses drawer” and gave me good deals on new lenses. When Dwight opened Barton Perreira (a name I cannot come close to remembering), I followed like a puppy, and the lens game continued.

In September, another eye exam revealed, as usual, the need for more lenses, so back I went to the glasses drawer. I don’t think these glasses go quite as far back as the 1970s, but I doubt if any of them were produced as recently as the 21st century.

A couple of days after I placed my new lens order with BP (now there’s a name I can remember!), I got a call from Francis Bourdage, who told me that the lens people had broken the frame I had provided and would, of course, replace it free if I would come down and pick one out.

I said it was hardly their fault if a 30-year-old frame fell apart in their hands, to which he replied something to effect that I should not look a gift horse in the mouth. I shudder to think what the frames would sell for, but I gratefully picked one, and my residual feelings of guilt rapidly eroded and fell away.

A few years ago, I scraped a pair of glasses under the seat of my car, and when I took them to BP for replacement, they told me there was a year guarantee against damage. I said it was my own fault, but fault was not a consideration — new free lenses it was.


A few weeks after this windfall, I was feeling under the weather, and after taking my temperature (normal) and blood pressure (pretty much normal), I thought I should check my blood sugar to rule out any diabetes involvement.

I hadn’t checked my blood for I-don’t-know-how-many months. It had consistently been within acceptable range when I had checked it in the past, and I had just forgotten all about it. Now I stabbed my finger, but the meter wasn’t interested in my blood.

After replacing the batteries to no avail, I then took the FreeStyle blood kit to Carl’s Pharmacy to find out if I needed a new kit. Stacy and Molly both got on their computers and then the phone, at which point I was summoned to take the call and found that I was talking to India.

Nothing against Indians (will this word be changed to Native Americans when it comes out in the paper?), but I truly despise talking to India because my hearing sucks and between the accent and soft voices I can never understand squat.

After a torturous exchange of information (When did I buy the kit originally? Maybe a decade ago? More?), Molly saved me by taking the phone, and the upshot was that the man from India was going to send me a new FreeStyle blood-testing kit.

This I definitely did not deserve, and when I got another phone call from India wanting yet more information, it turned out that my testing strips were a year past their expiration date. Here was even more reason to tell me to buzz off.

But my Indian representative would not take “No, it’s my fault” for an answer, and two days later a blood kit and a lifetime’s worth of strips arrived at my new home mailbox.

Thanks, everybody, but really, you shouldn’t have.

Su Lum is a longtime local who is grateful for small blessings. Her column appears every Wednesday in The Aspen Times. Reach her at


See more

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Aspen and Snowmass Village make the Aspen Times’ work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.