Help! Wanted!

I very unwisely picked  The World’s Most Disorganized Pharmacy at which to get my daughter’s meds.

No matter when I call in my prescription, I always have to stand in line for 15 – 20 minutes while they go hunting for it behind the counter, tripping over unseen stuff on the floor, bumping into each other, getting all flustered because they can’t find anything in the jumble of prescription bags stacked up on every available surface.

They always seem to screw up and/or lose the prescriptions of 75% of the people in line ahead of me and then, at least half the time, screw up mine as well. It never fails to be a lengthy adventure.

I could conceivably put up with this once every couple of months if they didn’t also employ criminally insane cashiers.

One of them just is a little insane –a tad  scary in an over-caffeinated way. But at least tries to be friendly to some of us.

Unfortunately it’s an intrusive, long-winded friendly.  She always wants to draw you into a big discussion about your personal life while 15 people are waiting behind you.

“No, I don’t want your do-doubt very professional cashier’s advice on additional drugs I might want to consider for my daughter.” And, “You’re right, I haven’t told you exactly what she’s taking the drugs for.” And, “Sorry, I don’t have time to speculate on why your husband won’t go a little bit out of his way to pick you up on his way home from work.”

She’s nuts, but I can deal with her.

But then there’s the angry, rude, wild-eyed, agitated criminally insane cashier.

I’ve only had her twice, because, as she proclaims loudly each time, this isn’t her usual job. She’s back there behind the counter amongst all the drugs cursing a blue streak.

“Where the fruck did you guys put yesterday’s shit?” “Why can’t I make this friggin’ cash register go?” 

I had her last weekend. After waiting in line the requisite 20 minutes, it was finally my turn. When the pharmacist hurriedly threw my prescription bottle and official receipt into one of their little trays and handed it to her to ring up, the agitated criminally insane cashier gets all frantic and starts asking everyone behind and in front of the counter, loudly and with a really mean scowl: “What the hell is this? Why does she get a basket? What the hell does that mean? Does that mean anything? What am I supposed to do with this basket?”

One of the several seemingly normal people milling around behind the counter tried to calm her down and explain the situation, instructing her on what to do next. The criminally insane one glares at me, dumps the prescription and receipt on the counter and thrusts the tray/basket at me. (None of this was included in the instructions on what to do next.)

I put the tray aside and lay my other purchases on the counter for her to ring up along with the prescription. Then, feeling particularly stupid and fed up that day, I say, “You know, you have an odd customer service attitude.”

“I do?” she asks incredulously, angrily, twitchingly. “What the hell did I do?”

“That,” I say. “All this helling and fruckin’ and friggin’ stuff. All the shouting and complaining and throwing stuff around in front of the customers.”

“I don’t know what your problem is. I never did that.”

“Okaaaaaay,” I say.

“You know, if you don’t like your job, maybe you should look for something less stressful and less public.”

“Oh, I love my job.” She snaps. “It’s just some of the customers I hate.” She adds, glaring at me pointedly.

At this, the seemingly normal woman reaches over and punches the criminally insane one in the arm. Hard. So hard it makes the criminally insane one actually stumble sideways.

Very unexpected.

Everybody in line shuffles nervously and looks around. I’m thinking they, like me, are probably seeking escape routes.

The criminally insane one, suspiciously subdued now, hands me my bag and says, “Have a nice day.”

She makes it sound like, “Fuck off and die.”

I get home and find out she forgot to charge me for the most expensive item I’d bought. I thought about going back, but it was pretty cold out.

Then I was back in the store yesterday (far away from the pharmacy section) when the criminally insane one walks by.

She stops. Stares at me. And in a voice loud enough for everyone within 20 feet to hear, says, “Oh my god! Now I’m going to puke!”

I’m thinking of changing pharmacies.


31 responses to “Help! Wanted!

  1. I am just peeing myself laughing here…we have all had service like that but I have always been afraid to comment on it…now I know why.

  2. There must be another pharmacy within walking distance of home or work. I’d find it if I were you. I wonder if management knows how horrible that cashier is being to the customers.

  3. Well… It looks like it’s a good time to change pharmacies, before you get your drugs changed by something else!

    And as alison does, I also wonder about management… If there’s something that is a good constant in northamerica is how the cashiers and employees in general try to give a good customer experience.

    Good Luck XUP!

  4. Do you carry crazy magnets in your purse to draw all these sorts to you. I only find 1 or maybe 2 crazies per year?
    Come to think of it I wonder what all the normal people think of me after I leave a place. And why do some of them seem to avoid me?

  5. Changing pharmacies sounds like a good idea. I’d stay the hell away from there. She’s gonna go postal one of these days and you don’t want to be there when she does, cause you’re obviously at the top of her shit list.

  6. I’d change pharmacies.

    We use Walmart pharmacy because we can get prescriptions refilled easily when we’re traveling. The problem with them is they are almost always busy, but not crazy like what you’ve described.

  7. Deb – I’m scared of her. She looks like she’d be capable of hunting me down and killing me otherwise I would have complained to the manager by now.

    Alison – The whole place is nuts really. These two are just the highlights. First thing in the new year, I’m going pharmacy shopping for sure.

    Guiellermo – Really? You think we have good customer service? I’d hate to see what you’re used to then. Like I said to Deb, though I don’t want to aggravate this crazy person any more by going to her manager.

    Bandobras – Damn those crazy magnets. I knew I should have left them at home. I don’t think I attract that many crazies, do I? Not more than my fair share, anyway.

    Julia – I agree. It’s on my New Year’s to-do list.

    Jazz – Oh, no – they DO have a postal outlet there, too!!!

    Mike – I’ll see what options I have within walking distance. Because I really don’t want to go back there. Ever.

  8. this is why the universe created blogging.

    Your Rx experience could have caused you to….

    A) have the person fired

    B) see if the store had a sporting goods section and buy firearms

    C) misdirect your frustration on some poor unsuspecting person passing the evil on, or

    D) laughed/cried until you got to a computer where you could blog away the experience.

    glad you chose D)

  9. WHAT THE HELL????

    Nobody treats XUP that way!!! @#$#@#$!! Someone needs meds alright, and I think she needs to stand on the OTHER side of the counter and PICK SOME UP.

    (I hope your daughter is okay.)

    @#$@#$@! I thought this bore repeating.

  10. OMG I laughed so hard I threw my back out! Yes XUP, you need to change pharmacies!

    My pharmacy is nice in a befuddled sort of way.

    They employ a woman with a traumatic brain injury who alternated between seeming like an overly competent 5 year old in fuzzy slippers and jammies (last time I was there she was wearing a belt with flashing lights that spelled out PJS!!!! too, and angry because she can’t remember you on that day. Usually she’s very nice though.

    I frequently get prescriptions with, I swear to God, IOU’s attached! Like notes on the labels that say PD for 120 only 60 in jar WE OWE YOU 60 MORE.

    No one is insane though.

  11. Change Parms Nuthin doin!

    Maybe it’s just me, Maaaaaaybe I’m the hormonal one, but that bitch would be so EFFing fired before I had left the store after the Puke remark.

    I worked RETAIL for YEEEEAAAAARRRRRRRRZ and as much as I may LOATH the bejezuz out of a client I’d NEVER have pulled that crap.. (within sight or hearing distance at any rate)

    And or the record I run into the Keystone Kops routine EVERY month I pick up my meds… I’ve gotten used to that, but rudeness from the other side of the counter, no flipping way! So best o luck finding a swift and efficient Pharmacy…

  12. I think you need to treat crazy with crazy. Next time you are in there and she says anything to you just drop your basket on the floor and step up right into her face and yell:

    Okay Bitch you and me, right here, right now, we are going to throw down.

    Then weave and bob around all in front of her daring her to strike you….wait…that might now work for you…nevermind…change your drug source.

    You think the employees there get free samples?

  13. Suddenly all the not-so-great customer service people I’ve ever dealt with seem so much better than I’d thought they were. Man, that’s crazy. How does someone like that manage to keep their job? Are they afraid to fire her?

  14. are you SERIOUS! i was actually going to blog about the sad demise of customer service in the Ottawa area, but i think i will just link to your blog. wow. WOW! i would seriously contact the manager and get some free stuff/coupons for what you have just gone through. seriously, that is not okay.

  15. The White Cross pharmacy on Elgin and Somerset usually shovels the sidewalk outside their door, so they must be XUP-friendly!

    Don’t know about their pharmaceutical proficiency, though… 😛

    – RG>

  16. Yep, I’d say it’s time to change pharmacies and fast. You’re pretty darn high on her hit list.

    I had a similar problem at my pharmacy (Shoppers Drug Mart) where I had auto renewed a prescription and unbeknownst to me my insurer had refused it (there was a mix up between me renewing it by phone then through the website) so when I went to pick it up, the woman behind the counter very loudly asked me which one of the prescription was I renewing, when she knew very well which one it was, it’s the ONLY one I’m renewing every two friggin months! LOL I asked her why she didn’t use the microphone to ask me that question 🙂 she glared at me but let me tell you, I can outglare anyone so now she’s very nice to me hahahahaha

    I also hate it when they ask you if you have any questions about how to take it or the product. I’m like nooooo, I’ve been taking it for a few years now I think I know how to take it thank you very much…

  17. Reeky – They don’t sell guns in pharmacies in Canada. In fact, I’ve never seen a gun for sale in any store in Canada. I’ve seen a few rifles at Canadian tire, but they’re locked up. So it’s a good thing we have blogging to fall back on.

    Lesley – Yes, it’s pretty scary. Obviously she didn’t know who I was – har har har har. (like she’d care…. all the more reason to kill me)

    Mudmamma- sorry about your back. I wonder if it’s some sort of pharmaceutical practice to hire the mentally and psychologically unbalanced?

    Kitty – yes, I’m getting my drugs elsewhere from now on. I’m too frightened to report her though because I’m pretty sure she’d come after me

    Cedar – What a splendid idea… if I wasn’t interested in living too much longer. She was pretty big and freaky looking. I wouldn’t have a prayer. But thanks for thinking of me.

    Mary Lynn – I have to assume she’s someone’s crazy relative that someone has to keep an eye on. That’s the only explanation. On the other hand, even the relatively normal people at that place are strange

    Meanie – Totally serious. I’m really torn. I’d like to get her the hell out of there so I’ll have a handy, if slightly crazy and totally disorganized place to get my drugs, but I also don’t want to have to look over my shoulder for the rest of my life. Because while she’s working at least I know she’s occupied. If she got fired I totally know she’d hunt me down. I think I’ll just go to a less handy pharmacy from now on.

    Grouchy – Shoveled sidewalks IS a good sign. It’s kind of far from my place though. I’m sure I’ll find an alternative closer to home. It’s on my January to-do list.

    UA – What’s the matter with these people? At this pharmacy they have a “consult area” too which is a little slab of fibreboard suspended from the ceiling at one end of the counter where the pharmacist (who doesn’t speak English) tells people how to take their drugs. It’s always a very loud crazy thing that everyone can hear anyway. People lean over to translate for the poor customer and give advice. No one knows what the hell the pharmacist is talking about, so the customers who also take those drugs pitch in with their 2 cents. Gotta love the Canadian health care system

  18. Nah, don’t change pharmacies. Just think up interesting and creative ways to annoy insane cashier woman. If you are going to have to have that sort of stuff going on, at least enjoy the process!

  19. Sounds like it is time to get a new pharmacy AND write a pointed letter!

    I once went to the most disorganized pharmacy in St. Paul, I kept going for several reasons, but every time I went there was something going down with another customer or some mix up with my meds, or whatever. There was also a very cranky pharmacist who was RUDE to his staff.

    One time I was there and a customer was steamed up about something and “discussing it” with the cashier. From what I could tell, the guy was upset about a problem that was not the cashier’s fault, and the guy made it clear that he was aware if that fact even as he continued to be angry. finally the cranky pharm. came over to “handle” the situation.

    In front of everyone, the cranky pharm. apologized for his inept staff member and promised to improve the person’s skills. I think cranky pharm. was pretty proud of himself for that response.

    Well, the guy really blew up at cranky pharm., “How dare you blame this individual or any of your staff personally for the problems in YOUR pharmacy! It is YOUR responsibility to have this place running well and it is unprofessional and cowardly of you to blame the cashier for the problems.”


    Cranky pharm went back behind the high counter after that; I thought it was his just desserts.

  20. Well, the good thing about it being all disorganized and disheveled behind the counter is that the odds of them finding your address (to hunt you down and/or stalk you) are slim to none…right?

    Yeah, I think I’d be finding another pharmacy, too…

  21. Loth – Now you’re talking! What an excellent idea. I still get to go to the handy pharmacy AND I get the fun of tormenting a fellow human being until the completely snap. I like it. Diabolical, but fun

    Missy – Maybe it’s all pharmacies? Maybe they sample too many of their own products and it makes them cuckoo? Interesting thought. I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t read a letter, pointed or dulled.

    CP -Yes, that’s a good point. Although the criminally insane DO tend to have an odd animal cunning that helps them succeed where mere mortals would fail.

  22. This is so something I have done. “You know, it’s not my fault you hate your job.” This girl’s reaction was the same. (Why I don’t hate it?)

  23. i am so sorry xup but me and my family are fuckin’ well laughing our arses off. i cannot believe that this all happened. my question is where the hell do they get these people from!? the silly farm?

    I thought i was the only one that experienced these kind of things.

    infact you have given me a good idea for my next post. thanks.

    i am still so laughing….my ribs are sore. i needed that. thanks !!!

    i am seriously laughing hard.

  24. Of course there is the possibility of going to several pharmacies, double dipping on the drugs and making some money on the side selling them. Get yourself a nice strong sedative prescription and then you can give them to crazy when you use the home pharmacy. Remember it’s never too late to learn how the capitalist system works.

  25. You’re all missing the obvious: Criminally Insane Cashier owns the flippin’ joint! Hence, why she’s never been fired.

    Sheesh. Like shootin’ fish in a barrel, I tells ya.

    Sometimes I wish I was a ventriloquist, so when I’m confronted with a similar situation to yours, XUP, I could throw my voice, making it sound like someone else in line called her a loony bitch, then stand back and watch the fun that’s sure to ensue.

    Next time they ask if you need help figuring out how to take a pill, say loudly enough so that everyone in the store hears it, “I don’t understand your broken English. You must demonstrate how to take that suppository thing.”

    Actually, this all reminds me of my volunteer gig at the Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. One of the crankiest people there is one of the psychiatrists, who obviously has anger management issues. So who treats someone like that? It’s like the age-old questions about who cuts your barber’s hair and what do you send a sick florist.

    Oh, and XUP, for the love of God and your daughter, find a new pharmacy, will ya?

  26. Incredible! Not even believable really! Definitely change pharmacies – it’s one thing if you’re talking about clothes quite another when dealing with meds!!

  27. i love this, “if they didn’t also employ criminally insane cashiers.”

    that place sounds pretty insane, i think switching would serve you well. is that customary behavior in your corner of the world? actually, that is probably a dumb question.

  28. Nat – Strange. Especially when customers are 90% of the job

    Raino- I didn’t mean to hurt you. I hope your pain isn’t long-lasting enough for you to require meds.

    Bandobras – I don’t have the patience to be a drug dealing capitalist. That would require standing in pharmacy lines on a regular basis. Then I would need all the drugs I could get myself.

    Deb – Meh. Third place is like Miss Congeniality. I’m an all or nothing type. But thanks

    Robin – Like I said to Deb… and I feel really bad for letting you down. You had so much faith in me and I totally blew it. I hope we can still be friends.

    Bob – Nah – there’s no way she could be the owner. But the ventriloquist thing sounds excellent. I’d love to be able to do that, too. And yes, I will search for a new pharmacy.

    Ernesta – I know. It freaks me out every time and even more last time.

    DP – It’s totally insane. Customer service is pretty damn sketchy around here at the best of times. There are a few super wonderful shop owners and even shop assistants, but there are a lot more who are crazy to some extent — not usually to this extent.