Scott Robertson: Why I chose to be a Domiciliary Optical Assistant
We had the opportunity to chat to Scott Robertson, Domiciliary OA at Specsavers, about what he likes most about his role and why he wanted to work for Specsavers.
What’s your background in optics?
I started in optics when I was 26 – my dad had four stores and I initially started working in a lab in one of these in Scotland. He then sold his business, so I went and worked at another opticians for a few years. Then I came to work at Specsavers, where I’ve been a domiciliary OA for 4/5 years.
Do you enjoy it?
Oh yeah, I’ve enjoyed doing it so much more than I would if I was in a store doing optical work there, it’s totally different. When I was growing up, I was with my grandparents all the time and that’s one of the reasons why I like doing this because it reminds me of them a little. The people you go to see, are either living in their own homes or care homes and are unable to go out on their own. I like being able to help these people rather than working in the stores.
What would be your highlight since being in this role?
We visit people who may not be particularly well and who can’t get into a store, so they’re relying on you to help improve their quality of life really. Some people I visit are totally bed bound and the only thing they’ve got is watching the TV or reading a book – so to them the ability to see is everything. Someone’s vision could change pretty quickly or they could lose, or break, their glasses, but then you take their new glasses into them they’re just delighted. When you see just how much difference it makes to somebody to have an up to date prescription giving them the ability to watch the TV more clearly, you can see it in their faces that they’re so happy and it feels amazing.
“Giving them the ability to watch the TV more clearly, you can see it in their faces that they’re so happy and it feels amazing.”
How do you find it meeting different people every day?
I love building relationships and getting on with people. Often these customers don’t have many people to talk to, so when you go in, they’re delighted to see you. You meet all different types of characters; the majority are really happy to have somebody to chat to for a while so it’s really heart-warming to be able to offer that.
What advice would you give to someone looking at the domiciliary route?
For somebody that likes a bit of variety in their work I would say it’s a great line to go down because you kind of get a bit of everything. For example, tomorrow I’ve got a lovely scenic drive to deliver and fit 3 pairs of glasses. You see a bit of the country, you get a range of different things to do day-to-day, repairing broken glasses, fitting completed glasses, going out with the optometrist to do the eye test – no two days are the same which is great.
If you were looking for something that’s not a 9-5 job in a store it’s great, I really enjoy it, the time flies and you can really see how delighted the customers are being able to see again. It’s good to see how much you’re helping people. When you give somebody (that’s house bound) their glasses so they can read, it’s pretty cool.
How has being a domiciliary OA affected your day to day?
What I would say about the domiciliary job, I play semi-pro football so it’s quite good for me flexibility wise, I train at nights and play on Saturdays, I’ve got a bit more flexibility than being in a store which is a good thing, for somebody wanting to get into this you get more flexibility with the job along with everything else.
I had worked for a domiciliary company before coming to Specsavers. In my opinion Specsavers do it so much better than other companies. Out of all the companies I’ve worked with, Specsavers is the most professional in the way it’s run. It’s better structured than some other businesses, and as a company, the way they do the domiciliary side of things is excellent.
What three words would you use to describe your role?
Professional, rewarding and fast-paced.
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