Thursday, November 03, 2005

Human Capital

An open letter to the woman who was behind the desk at the pharmacy counter in the CVS tonight:

Dear Rita:

I don't know if your name is actually Rita, but I'll just call you that to give you a name for purposes of this letter.

I know you were haled to the pharmacy counter because the pharmacy was overwhelmed. It wasn't your fault there were two people working the entire pharmacy when you appeared. I realize there were five people standing there by the time you showed up, and that wasn't your fault. I know you walked into a pretty bad situation.

I was, unfortunately, waiting for my prescription to be filled for the better part of an hour, so I was able to observe you for quite a while, as I also observed the actual pharmacy staff trying to fill prescriptions, mine and others'.

Seriously, what the heck were you doing?

First, just because you're behind the pharmacy counter doesn't mean that people who don't actually have stuff to pick up at the pharmacy can't pay you for their stuff. Does the photo guy require you to pick up developed photos in addition to whatever else you want to buy? It's not that hard. When that guy walked up to you and asked if he could pay for a few of his items (including some OTC drugs, by the way), you asked him pointedly whether he needed to pick anything up. When he said no, you told him to go to the front registers. What were you doing that you couldn't check him out? Because from where I was standing, it really seriously just looked like you were standing around doing nothing. So what, precisely, was preventing you from just ringing that guy up?

Second, you need to learn to spell. You know, it's not that hard. When someone tries to tell you -- twice -- that his last name is Green, it's not that hard to go looking for his prescription. How many different ways are there to spell "Green"? It's not like he was some Eastern European dude and his name had 120 consecutive consonants in it. It was "Green." And yet you completely ignored the words coming from his mouth and instead insisted that he write down his name for you. In my humble opinion, you were just complicating things. "Green" consists of five letters, maybe six if there's a pesky silent "e" at the end. If you can't memorize a chain of five to six letters for the thirty seconds it takes to find a set of pills, man, I feel for you.

And finally, speaking of short attention spans, it wouldn't hurt you to remember stuff that people tell you so that you don't end up being, well, a burden to the people you're trying to help (both the customers AND the pharmacy staff). When that nice man wheeled up to you and asked for "ultra-fine insulin syringes, 1 cc," is that too much to keep in your head? When the pharmacist then said to you, "what did he ask for?", you no longer had any idea. Even though the request had hit you some 15 seconds before. It was six words (maybe seven, if you count each "c" separately), and it all just leaked out of your brain at the drop of a hat? I was reading something else, and still managed to retain that bit of information for long enough that I could have regurgitated it.

Clearly you didn't want to be there tonight. I wonder if you would have done any better at the front checkouts, where I presume you are usually stationed. Next time I purchase anything from that store, if you check me out I'm going to make sure you don't absent-mindedly ring up any of my items more than once.



Steve said...

This is why I don't go to CVS. Not that Walgreen's is a whole lot better. In situations like these, it should be okie-dokie to shoot people.

Neil Morse said...

Now, Steve, you know we shouldn't be shooting people. It's unnecessarily violent and just wrong.

I advocate forced bukkake instead.

Cranky Liberal said...


That was some funny Sh**

duane said...

"It's not like he was some Eastern European dude and his name had 120 consecutive consonants in it. It was "Green." "


Chef Dean said...

I humbly submit that the last name "Green" has only *four* letters in it: G, R, E, N. One of them repeats, mind you.. but still, only four letters.