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5 questions à Luc «Scout» St-Germain

Luc St-Germain du Bonhomme à lunettes

Get to know the people behind the glasses. Employee of the day: an experienced scout!

Name : Luc St-Germain

Nickname : Scout

Years of experience : 44 (!) including 35 as an optician

Territory : Mile End

Our colleague Luc St-Germain wasn't too keen on answering our questions. Yet, with over 40 years' experience, he would have a lot to say! Like his colleagues Gino, Bernard and Luc Sauvageau, he's a big contributor to the 500 years of accumulated experience of our opticians. And like his illustrious colleagues, his experience is a valuable asset for customers and younger opticians alike. Get to know our scout, who's always prepared... to lend a hand:

How did you become an optician?

To make a long story short: I had to work. I had already passed several courses in Applied Sciences and was looking for a program that would get me into the job market quickly. It was the late '70s, the visual orthotics program had just started and it seemed like a pragmatic solution.

How did you end up working at Bonhomme à lunettes?

Believe it or not, it's thanks to Reader's Digest! I was in my chiro's waiting room and came across an article about Philippe and Bonhomme à lunettes. It was at a time when I felt I needed to experience something different professionally. We were talking about the spring of 2012, with students in the streets and the question of social justice at the heart of the discussions. What's more, I had an uncle who was Franciscan, an order of the Catholic Church dedicated to serving the poor. So let's just say I was already sensitive to the notion of helping one's neighbor.

Is there an interesting story behind your nickname ?

No idea. Maybe cause I'm a little too straight. You should ask Philippe. We did. Here's his answer: " Because Luc is a dependable, trustwhorthy, short-pants-and-knee-higfh-socks kind of guy. When I named him that, his wife, who also worked here, quickly approved. What's more, he later became Vice President of Nicknames.." If ever there was a prestigious title at Bonhomme à lunettes, this is it!

What do you like most about your job?

Aider les gens. Dans les premières années du Bonhomme à lunettes, un gros pourcentage de nos clients était sur l’aide sociale. C’est beaucoup moins le cas aujourd’hui alors qu’on a des clients avec différents budgets mais à ce moment-là, c’était le cas. De pouvoir aider de cette façon, ça me donne un sentiment du devoir accompli. Quand j’ai commencé, c’était assez courant de tomber sur des gens qui avaient passé 3-4 ans sans lunettes parce que c’était tout simplement trop cher pour eux. Tout ça pour dire que je me sens beaucoup plus utile ici que dans mes emplois précédents.

Got any stories for us where you made a difference in a client's life?

I remember a mother who was going through a tough time, she came to us for glasses for her son. We set up shop and I started putting out frames. When the little guy found out that all our frames were the same price, he was so very happy. Because for the first time, he could choose the frame he wanted without having to limit himself to the "on special" section. I'll always remember him...