Friday, June 16, 2017
Santa Barbara, California: 26th February is a date Tom Sandberg would find it difficult to forget. That was the day when he was gifted a special pair of spectacles by his twin nephews. These spectacles, result of years of research by Zenni Optical, help the color blind see the world as normal people do i.e. full of vibrant shades!
We had a chat with his nephews, John and Adam. They could not stop talking about how good their Uncle was.
"Growing up, we had just one uncle. However, we never really felt the need for another. Uncle Tom is really great. He could compensate for having 10 uncles!", says John, who is 17 years old and plans to study at New York University.
"Truly, he is the best", joins Adam, who would like to study at Brown.
Honestly, it has been a while since I have seen juniors so excited about their uncles. Most of them nowadays, dismiss them as people of a bygone era. But not these kids.
"He always had something to present to us, whenever he came over. Something or the other, always. Things he felt would be good for us. So, no chocolates but a lot of books, balls, sporting equipment", says John, a kind of fan of his uncle.
"Yeah! In fact, we used to joke that Uncle Tom never learned to go to someone's house without a present! Whatever he earned from his fast food joint, he spent lavishly on us", says Adam, referring to Eat Kababas, Tom's fast food venture.
You might feel that John is the more talkative to the two. But, Adam has his own way of inserting witty comments in the conversation. Really, they make a great pair.
So, what was reason for the gift? We were curious.
"Oh! Somewhere in June last year, Santa Barbara was ranked as one of the most beautiful cities in the United States. We were excited and went about showing it to just everyone." I have to agree with John here. The city is truly a charm.
"But Uncle Tom was not as amused. 'Don't you think the results are a bit bloated up, John?' was his reaction. I clearly remember it. Really, we were taken aback. It took us some time before we realized that Uncle was color blind", recalls John.
"We felt really bad. In fact, we kept discussing about it the entire night. Living without colors would make a dull and lack luster life. That day, we realized how tragic this was", remembers Adam.
Lovely souls that these kids are, they searched for a solution for their uncle online. There, they came across this new technology by Zenni Optical.
"The price was a bit high but we loved him way too much to let it pass," mentions John. For high school students this also meant some savings. So, the kids worked for a software developer in their vacations that December. "That is where the bulk of the money came from," says Adam, and goes on to describe the software they worked on.
Also a few dollars were earned by making websites for local shops. Besides that, they emailed zenni optical asking for a discount coupon. The company like the idea and responded with a promo code. With a 10% lower price due to the zenni coupon, the were able to gift it to him on his 39th birthday last month.
"I truly do not have words to describe that feeling. I was simply overwhelmed the first time I wore these glasses. From that moment on, I knew my life was going to take a different direction," says Tom, almost breaking down.
"As a child, I would always feel that there was something I could not sense. Something which every other kid could do easily. It always made me feel inferior and insecure. But now, no more!"
Tom seems to have put his new powers to good commercial use too. Previously, his food joint used to be dull place. "Now, we have changed all that. We have added a red colored exterior as red stimulates hunger! Also, we have painted that interiors yellow. Yellow is soothing as well as lively. A great color for interiors!", says an excited Tom.
Colors seem to have had a great impact on Tom in this past half year.
"I always used to see the sun setting and the leaves falling down in autumn. But this time, I saw their real beauty. Truly, these displays leave me spell bound. In fact, I plan to take painting as a hobby soon!"
Well, good luck to Tom for that!