The Pharmacy Chick

Flying the coup in retail

An open letter to the whiner. (WHY,YES I am mad…)

Filed under: Uncategorized — pharmacychick at 7:56 pm on Saturday, January 8, 2011

This is an open letter to whomever whined all the way to corporate about having to wait in line longer than you wanted to:

So..I am just terribly sorry that you had to stand in line to wait for somebody to ring up your junk. I already know you didn’t have a prescription because your letter of complaint said you “finally” went up front…and that we basically SUCK. Let’s review a few of your details. You felt we were out of line because nobody helped you. Well unless there has been some cultural shift in the U.S., when you are in a line that usually implies 2 things…first ..there are people ahead or you… and second…you wait your frickin turn.That is just how we do things in this country. Pushing and shoving yourself to the front may be culturally ok in certain countries, but THIS is not one of them and… to date invisibility has not been achieved so I can only assume that you saw these people ahead of you.

Secondly, you said I was “visiting” with the customers at the counter.. based on some of your details I happen to know the exact moment in time that you were in the department and I can tell you that my “visiting” was a counsel on a brand new medication for a Parkinson’s disease patient. I took him out side of the pharmacy for my “visit” so I could 1) have some privacy and 2) free up the cash register for the next person to be waited on. I realize that you don’t give a rat’s whisker about that man but he cares enormously about his health and his medications and because I happen to WANT my license to remain on the wall I answered all of his questions to his satisfaction. I do this for all of my customers because that is my job.

You also said “She sat down to visit”.. That is a bald face lie. I never sat down..get your facts straight.

I do however GREET and Say HELLO to nearly everybody when they are ringing out because its POLITE….Just because we are busy doesn’t mean I cant be POLITE and say a greeting…sorry if that upsets you.. I also happen to have worked at this store for over 15 years so I actually KNOW most of these people as my friends also.

You just didn’t understand why I didn’t talk to you after I returned to the pharmacy while you were STILL in line. I might explain to you that is is rude for me to start speaking to the people in line while somebody is still addressing (and waiting on) the person at the counter. The person at the counter deserves 100% of our attention until he/she is done. Once that customer is done, then the next person will receive the same treatment. No body is to be rushed or hurried from my department, and that would have been you if you had stood around long enough, but since you didn’t..well whatever…

I dont particularily like long lines either. But as you could see, I have one cash register and I have no control over who comes to the counter when. If I did I wouldn’t have a long line at any time…but hey. If I had that kind of control I wouldn’t have to work for my money anyway.

We were extremely busy at that time and nobody was goofing off..I know…I was there..and at the time you were there YOU knew I was about to get off work and YET I was there for another hour helping out. ( you heard me tell somebody I was about to get off) Maybe I should have left and really given you something to bitch about…”she left while everybody was still busy…” Funny..I didn’t do that.

Lastly, your threat to take your business to Big Box is really ok with me because it was clear that you didn’t already DO your business at Chick pharmacy so I guess I really wasn’t missing out on anything anyway. Its too bad that you didn’t see the big picture. A busy pharmacy taking care of AND CARING FOR each person and treating each person like they were the most important person in the world…Because to THEM..they are.

Perhaps someday you will emerge from the cocoon that you live in and see that this planet doesn’t rotate just to serve YOU.


Comment by Emma

January 8, 2011 @ 9:27 pm

You’ve hit on my biggest peeve about people complaining about the line. I can understand being pissed about waiting if you see people joking around, not paying attention to customers, etc., but when every single person is obviously helping someone (even if it’s not you), and the phone is ringing off the hook, and there are lines at every counter – what on earth do you want us to do? Wave a magic wand and create fairies to help?my point exactly…her letter of complaint even stated that the staff was why pick on I some sort of personal concierge to the counter?

Comment by Dr. Grumpy

January 9, 2011 @ 3:35 am

When new patients complain about having to wait a day or 2 to see me, I always use the analogy of a restaurant- if you have one with a full parking lot and a line out the door, AND one across the street without a single customer…

There’s a damn good reason for the line. If you go into the 2nd place because you don’t want to wait, then you get what you deserve.

Comment by loveinmyjob

January 9, 2011 @ 11:38 am

You tell ’em Chick. I HATE people like this!!! And even worse than them are the corporate big-wigs who come down on you for it. They should never even have let you know about this letter. THEY should have defended you. Let me guess, they asked you to apologize to the ass-hole?the complaint didn’t come with a name in the form they sent to me. I kept trying to wrack my brains to remember who was in that line that day (and I remember some) but if the jerk went to the front (as they claimed) to ring out, then I would have never spoken to him/her face to face. It was an insane hour…pretty slow morning and early afternoon..then around 230 it became crazy..people dropping off 3-4 rxs…all wanting to wait…then the pick up window became the most popular place in the store…as I said, I was supposed to get off at 3 pm. Not only was the relief pharmacist 15 minutes late (stressing me out…**possible no show?**) but when he finally did arrive it was hectic and I couldn’t leave him like that..I stayed nearly an hour til it was sane again. Yea, the line was long…Yea it wasn’t moving too fast…but it never does.

Comment by The Redheaded Pharmacist

January 9, 2011 @ 12:56 pm

Yes, this is one of the biggest frustrations about working in any kind of retail job. I sure hope corporate backed you up when they received the complaint. As irritating as customers like this are that complain for no good reason it bothers me even more when my employer doesn’t back me up after receiving the complaint. They should know what I am dealing with behind the counter and take that into consideration no matter what happened!

Plus, never forget that customers will complain about ANYTHING! I once had someone stop me to complain about one of the technicians I worked with that day. What was their complaint? The technician was being “too nice” to them! What in the world does that mean? And sadly, that was a real complaint to corporate by the same person later that day. I’m sorry but I can’t even take complaints such as that one seriously!
Corporate rarely defends an employee when it comes to a customer complaint. They, like most corporate entities reward complaints with apologies and gift cards. I dont know what the deal was with this. it was on a form sent from corporate. No name included. I already spoke with my manager and I told him precisely what happened and how.

Comment by RxBoy

January 9, 2011 @ 9:12 pm

That’s one thing I love about our pharmacy. Our manager personally contacts every customer who registers a complaint either online or on one of the comment cards. However, if someone does not leave their contact info along with the complaint, it is thrown right in the garbage. Our manager feels that people with valid complaints will want to discuss them with him.

It’s funny some of the things people complain about. I once had a man barge right up to the counter while I was on the phone with a patient, totally ignoring our sign saying to wait until you are called. I politely asked him to step back until I was off the phone. He told my boss that I made him wait while I finished talking to my girlfriend on the phone.

My fellow techs and I like to play a game in the pharmacy when we have nasty customers. The meaner and ruder they get to us, the nicer we get to them. We’ve actually all been turned in several times for smiling and telling people to have a fantastic day. It’s fun.

Comment by Erin

January 10, 2011 @ 10:44 am

I have noticed the trend that the worse a customer behaves, the more special treatment they recieve. This is crazy to me! We are in a culture of rewarding bad behavior. We don’t get a whole lot of complaints at my pharmacy; we really have an excellent staff. But every once in a while, we will have a customer who acts like a jerk, complains, and then recieves a gift card for it. We have one man who is a “coupon jumper.” One time, he brought in a expired coupon which we declined to honor. He cussed the pharmacist out over it. He then complained all the way up to corporate, and they gave hime a gift card for double the value of the coupon. How do they not understand that this encourages bad behavior???
Other times, customers will tell bald-faced lies; such as that we closed early, and get a gift card for their trouble. We NEVER close early. But 9:00 pm closing does not mean 9:10, or even 9:02. Sometimes people call and expect us to stay late for them. If we are talking about a kid who just left the emergency room and needs their antibiotic, sure we will stay late. But if you were too stoned to come get your early refill for tramadol, that’s your fault.

Comment by Frantic Pharmacist

January 11, 2011 @ 2:54 pm

I hate that crap. And it is interesting you mention the tendency of certain ‘cultures’ to push and shove to the front — it is quite true, although politically incorrect to point out. We have these folks who will completely bypass the Drop Off window (and all the people lined up there) and wave at us from some side portion of the counter…. the rules don’t apply to me. ME FIRST. W.T.F…..

Comment by belovedparrot

January 13, 2011 @ 10:32 am

As a patient/customer I hate to wait in line for my scripts. Hate it, hate it, hate it.

I get annoyed standing in line, waiting, while three techs talk to other people, answer the phone, sort through bags, use the cash register, and ask questions of the pharmacist. I get annoyed watching the two pharmacists typing things or reading things from a computer, put drugs in bottles and jars, and answer questions from the techs. It is annoying to watch customers/patients talk to the techs and the pharmacists about their drugs or the weather or whatever and then realize at the very end of the discussion that they’ll need to actually pay for their stuff and suddenly connect it all up with reaching into their purse or wallet for cash, cards, or checks.

I want my stuff NOW, please.

But I don’t complain because I can see how busy everyone is and, as Pharmacy Chick pointed out, I do comprehend the concept of lines. In fact, it would never occur to me to complain about something like this. I rarely complain to “management” about anything — my sense is that everyone is doing the best they can. I do complain about bad products and on the extremely rare occasions I get really awful service for no discernible reason.

Otherwise, I try to act like an adult. I suspect it’s becoming a lost art. 😉yup its a lost art, but thank you for your patience because as much as you hate standing in lines…I hate having you stand in lines ! but as I said..if I could control it, I wouldn’t need to work! 🙂

Comment by Don

June 10, 2011 @ 6:31 pm

Are these people complaining to the same ‘corporate’ that took away half your staff?

Well, if people now have to wait longer, I imagine that it’s because you’re understaffed.

I’d just ask corporate what the hell they thought would happen with less staff. It’s their idea, let them take the blame for it.

Surely complaints about having to wait show what their policies have achieved.

It’s not your job to work yourself into an early grave by trying to run an understaffed pharmacy.

It’s a simple equation. Less staff = more waiting

I wouldn’t be taking any crap from your boss for their bad decisions.

New Zealand

Comment by rusty cage

January 7, 2012 @ 12:03 pm

I used to work for WAG in Tacoma, Wa … and the store manager would carry around a pile of $10 gift cards for customer complaints. His logic was, if they go to corporate, then corprate will do just the same, so he was skipping the middle man. IN no time at all, customer complaints went through the roof. All the local shoppers knew that if they complained about ANYTHING, they’d be able to spend 10 bucks at WAG. After I left, I heard the store manager left the company as stress leave. Serves him right.Reminds me of this story…100%true, no embelishments: A customer of mine told this story( paraphrased) ” I was in the meat dept and I was getting a turkey. the guy in the meat dept picked up the turkey and accidentally dropped it on my foot. He was all apologetic and called the mgr over who did the same, and wanted to know if there was anything he needed to do. My toe was sore so when I went to my doctor for a different reason, he told me it was not broken but I would probably lose the toenail. The store manager called me weekly to see if my foot was fine so I told him the Dr said I would probably lose my toenail. Later, somebody else from the COMPANY called me and asked if me $500 would be appropriate to cover my “expenses”. So I took the money. I wonder if they can drop another turkey on my foot this Xmas…” PC speaking now: Probably not what I would have done if the only thing wrong was my stupid toenail, but to each his own I guess.

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