Maxine Starling is a part-time dispensing optician at Specsavers Gorleston, on Lowestoft Road.
How long have you worked for Specsavers?
I have been with Specsavers Great Yarmouth for 23 years – and moved to the new Specsavers Gorleston when it opened a few weeks ago.
Were you excited to move to the new store?
Very much so. I only live about ten minutes away from the store, so it has really improved my commute.
And Gorleston is a really lovely place to work. It has a lovely high street with some great shops and cafes, and all the people are really friendly.
Did you always want to work in optics?
I studied Business Studies at college, and ended up being offered a job at Specsavers. So it was a bit of an accident, but a really happy one. I started out part-time as a bit of a jack of all trades, but after six months I was given the opportunity to train as a dispensing optician.
Three years later I qualified – that was 20 years ago this year. Over time I ended up managing the Great Yarmouth store, but went back to working part-time again once I had children. And a crazy dog, who also takes up a lot of my time.
What do you like best about your role?
Everything. You never know who or what is going to come through the door each day, and everyone has really different needs. I have customers who specifically ask for me, which is lovely.
When I started with Specsavers I never thought I would be working in the same place 23 years later, but I love it.
What has the reaction been to the new Gorleston store?
It has been great. We have lots of new customers, alongside some who have transferred from Great Yarmouth because the Gorleston store is more convenient for them.
They are happy to see familiar faces here as a lot of the team here have transferred too – and we are really happy to be in town.