If anyone wonders why we should patronize our local merchants, I offer this story of personal attention from one fabulous local merchant, Dawn of Dawn Opticians in South Orange.
Last week I was on vacation with my family in Hawaii. Since I am so near-sighted that I cannot see anything further than two feet in front of my nose, I wear my glasses everywhere I go, including the South Orange Pool to swim laps. So, I wore my glasses while swimming in the ocean at Waimanolo Bay, Oahu. But the surf stole them off my face. Forty-five minutes of frantic searches yielded nothing but pieces of coral.
Enter Dawn, aka Dawn of Dawn Opticians on 2nd Street in South Orange, aka Ministering Angel. Despite her own vacation, she answered our "urgent" message on her business phone, called us in Hawaii, then called my optometrist to ask the office to handle this as an emergency. She persuaded them to immediately fax my prescription to a Lenscrafters in Kailua Beach.
This was complicated further by the time difference. Lenscrafters stores open at 10:00 AM. But 10:00 AM in Hawaii is 4:00 in NJ. As my optometrists' office closes at 5:00 PM, there was just one hour to organize and fax my prescription during their already-busy day. After two attempted faxes, which Dawn coordinated from her cell phone, the Hawaiian Lenscrafters was able to make me a new pair of basic distance glasses in one hour. I was able to enjoy the remainder of my vacation seeing palm fronds and waterfalls in the mountains, navigating steps and roots underfoot, and finally fly home safely because I could read the airport screens listing departure times and gates.
While I was glad that Lenscrafters was able to help me, I don't think any of their employees could or would have handled this situation, or come up with Dawn's calming and reassuring comments, one of which was, "And if you want me to re-order your graduated tri-focals, I still have one pair of those purple frames in stock so I can get started on them before you get home."