independent

Saturday 20 September 2014

Taking the time to listen and care at Mcpartlan Opticians

CLIONA MCPARTLAN OPTOMETRIST/OWNER OF MCPARTLAN OPTICIANS

Published 25/09/2012 | 15:56

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WE opened our business on September 29, 2001, nearly 11 years ago to the day. I can't believe how much we have achieved and how hard we have worked since then and it has been no easy task. It is a small business and we have five employees all working to their full potential. Over this time, I have learned a lot about being in business, and , as a mother of three young children, I have had to learn how to compromise. It can be certainly be challenging and hard to switch off at times , as you are constantly thinking about work and what needs to be done. Sometimes I wish I could split myself in two. Time has become so precious to me.

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Having your own business means long hours, extra commitment, working through lunch, few days off, evening work and plenty of sleepless nights. It is an unusual business, because as optometrists , we are primarily health professionals, interested in eye health , but yet we also need to sell spectacles. This makes us a retail business, and that means our shops need to be open 9am until 6pm six days a week. We could stay open until 9 o'clock every night and customers would come in for eyetests but we have to make time for our family. There are simply not enough hours in a day. Life is incredibly busy, and I love it that way.

I am a definitely a people person and I love the intimacy of the eyetest room. Customers reveal so much about themselves, they share with you their life stories, happy and sad. Some people will have me laughing out loud and others will move me to tears. Dealing with the public can be so challenging at times and you need patience in abundance however it is very rewarding career and every day brings variety.

Of course, these are very tough times, for us, and for many small businesses in Sligo and hopefully we will still be here at the end of this gloomy period but I try to think positively and I know that we give good service and honest advice to our customers, we take time, we listen and we care.

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