From my experience with Tesco and ASDA a number of years ago, they had a computer system which crashed frequently, and you end up losing everything that you had just typed – extremely frustrating!
The VDU screen is usually positioned way too high and after a few hours, you can feel your neck and back starting to hurt, followed by a huge headache.
Expect to be extremely busy with their factory conveyor belt type free sight tests. Pxs who have had eye test recently will just come in for another eye test – as it’s free.
In fact Tescos regularly give out clubcard points for having a free eye test – i.e give money to the pxs for wasting the optoms time!! How ridiculous is that?! – if I hadn’t seen it first hand, I never would believe such a thing can happen within a professional healthcare environment. Years of training, along with the huge responsibility of looking after a pxs eyes, constant fear of being sued etc etc and you get no recognition whatsoever!
Along with the 20 min eye tests, 10 min rechecks (you will get lots of these – no surprise there huh?!) and CL aftercares, you will also have to ensure that the px that was late for their appointment (as they had wondered off down an aisle to do some shopping), doesn’t head off home when you have instructed a visual field test at the end – to them – “it’s free, what do they know?”
Also on top the non-stop flow of examinations, you will have to check in all the kids/complex Rx specs from the factory (expect to find a lot of errors) and check fitting on collection etc as they usually don’t have D/Os (the check-out till staff are not allowed to carry out such tasks). You will have to oversee any contact lens teaches carried out by the staff. Any problems will have to be addressed by you, as you would be the only qualified person there.
If there is any breathing time i.e a cancellation – it won’t last long as the staff will be bellowing out their free sight test appointment availablity on their tannoys every few minutes. And if that doesn’t work then they will be shoving out free sight test vouchers to everybody that walks through the door!
Payment is nearly always late. On your first day they will give you a unique “MAN” number for invoicing and to simplify payment but it doesn’t work. On one occasion it took them nearly 8 months to pay me! I must have spoken to the store manager at least a dozen times!
The store managers have a budget which is then passed down to the optical manager. If the optical manager has had a lot of locums come in that week/month(i.e resident optom off on holiday/sickness) then they would not be able to pay you that month or possibly the following month or one after that…!