The Pharmacy Chick

Flying the coup in retail

Vacation nightmare part IV A family reunion. the final installment…

Filed under: Uncategorized — pharmacychick at 9:47 pm on Sunday, August 23, 2015

Parts 1,2 and 3 chronicle getting the Chick family to Denver to attend a family reunion.  We started our ascent to the reunion site at Estes Park.  A lovely place indeed.  For some reason I thought Estes Park was…well….a “park” .  Its actually a resort town, cute and quaint.  We travelled up to the YMCA to check in.  Our host was handing out keys ( electronic of course) and room assignments.   “oh, Hi  Chick,  here are your keys, you are in Building B room 12 and your roommates are…..”  UH WHAAAAT?

Roommates?  me?  and my husband?   Now, I am not 18 years old.  Im nearly 52.  I get up 3 times a night to pee. I haven’t slept with another adult in the same room ( other than Mr Chick) since I was in college.

I had asked our host before hand about accommodations. I did my homework.  I still have the texts on my phone.  I asked if we had private rooms.  She said yes. We paid the equivalent of 150.00 a night for these accommodations which included only 1 meal in 2 days…a bbq. So to find out that I am sharing a room with husbands brother, his wife AND their 21 year old daughter who for some reason was not given a room despite paying for one…we were quite surprised to say the least.  which means that for 2 queen beds and a futon on the floor, the five of us paid 375.00 per night…. what a bargain…

There wasn’t anything we could do about it but bitch and that wasn’t the best plan of attack so we sucked it up and checked out the room.  THE KEYS DIDNT WORK.  sigh…another room key failure.. is there gonna be a mad sleeping guy in it like the previous night ( see part III)?   No, but we had to get into our car and drive to the admin building nearly a mile away to get new keys ( and hope they work). one did, the other didn’t…grrrr. 5 people in one room and 1 working room key?  Back to the admin building to get MORE keys.

Our “roommates” arrived a few hours later to the same surprise that we did ” guess what…we are roomies!”. We were at least grateful that we were of similar situation: we all were non snorers ( tho I had ear plugs) and I had some left over and very expired xanax from a trip abroad a few years ago.  It still worked….and we all were ok with getting up and needing to pee…since we all did!

The rest of the reunion experience was fine.  Trying to get 250 people together ( on time) for a picture was impossible..and a little frustrating but it the mission was accomplished.

In 48 hours it was time to say good bye and head to airport.  I was ready to go home and sleep in my own (private) bedroom. We turned in the car, headed to the airport, checked in , and got to the gate…all without incident. Could the drama be over? Could murphy’s law have been left at the park?

We went to hand in our tickets to be scanned and board the plane.  BEEP. ” Oh, 4D and 4E?  please step aside! Mr chick  could see the temp rising in his frazzled wife. WHAT.IS.THE.MATTER.WITH.OUR.SEAT?  I asked.  WHY.CANT.WE.GET.ON.THIS.PLANE?   I had had enough of this. I demanded an answer.  No more excuses. I was at my end.  The lady said ” they are fixing your seats.”  WTF?  they are airplane seats…they don’t recline anymore, they are bolted to the fuselage, they are designed to withstand a crash….and they don’t even have any moving parts anymore…what could POSSIBLY be broken?  Stolen?  Missing?

They dilly dallied around and finally let us on the plane.  We sat down to this girl next to us and we asked ” did you see anybody “fixing” these chairs?”  UH, no. she didn’t.

Well the seats made it home, they didn’t fly off the floor, nor did they come unscrewed from the floor.  But the final bow to this nightmare was when I started my period…on the plane…

I needed a vacation to get over this vacation… Can I go back to work?


Vacation nightmare III: the family reunion

Filed under: Uncategorized — pharmacychick at 8:09 am on Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Parts I and II got us to Denver and now the saga of getting our room.  We booked on, a single night at a Comfort suites hotel before heading up to the family reunion.  We checked in around 330 pm and a nice little Asian lady ( the owner as it was later determined) checked us in.  She apologized that the computers were down so if it was ok, she would put the receipt under the door a little later.  She handed us a key to room 320 and sent us on our way.

We got to the room, cleaned up a bit, used the rest room, put some of our papers on the dresser and then left for our family’s house ( we were late for dinner).  AT this point it is of note: we didn’t put our suitcases in the room, but we were clearly checked in.

We went to our family’s house, had a great dinner etc…and went back to the hotel about 10 pm and to our surprise our key didn’t work.  Mr Chick tried it a few times and then even MORE to our surprise a GUY opened the door pissed.  WHAT??  ” this is our room”, we said. we checked in several hours ago. and showed him our key. we had left the paper wrap with the room number IN the room with the used towel etc…

We went downstairs and some pimply faced 16 year old was working the night desk. ” uh, I dunno …we don’t have you checked in are assigned 311″  I said ” No, we were checked in by the owner at 330 today and given THIS key for 320 which happens to have a pretty pissed guy in it right now”  Mr Chick didn’t want to get into a discussion with this kid so we took the room and decided to pursue it with management the next am.

That next morning I was pleased to find the same Asian lady there.  ” Do you remember me? I checked in and you gave me 320 yesterday afternoon”  She said she remembered me yes..she paused for a bit…. she said ” the cleaning lady did a last check on room and said it was empty so we assigned it to someone else?”  I was pretty upset at that point.  “Once we check into a room Ma’am there is no need for your housekeeping to ever enter the room unless we ask for it..and once we check in to the room it shouldn’t matter if we ever come back, use the bed, nothing….its paid for, its OURS and  thats it.”  Why was she in that room in the first place????

Remember when I said the computers were down?  Well the owner never finished the check in and completely forgot about us and then gave our room away…and we remained in ” unchecked in”.  Lucky me that our personal belongings were not in there or somebody else would have had access to all that we had.

I asked for a refund for the room which was declined because we booked on but she gave us some points for a future rental…I detailed again, that what had happened was pretty important and she really dropped the ball.  It will be mentioned on a future review.

Errors errors errors…In my business an error is never acceptable.  And yet this trip has been fraught with them and nobody seemed to care…

Part 4 to come:

Vacation nightmare Part II : The family reunion

Filed under: Uncategorized — pharmacychick at 7:52 am on Wednesday, August 19, 2015

So part one covered the flight. Part 2 Saga begins with getting the car.  Now, the chick family isn’t the most frequent of fliers but we do belong to a loyalty program with Thrifty called their Bluechip program. Put simply, by enrolling in THEIR program, your experience renting a car is supposed to be simple and easy ( which is the same right?).  You rent the car online, arrive at the rental car place, find your name on the screen which has the car space next to it, go to the car, and leave.  THAT is precisely what the website claims and generally what happens when we rent. This time?  not so much.

We arrived at the rental car center and found our name on the screen.  But there was no car space next to it…or by ANYONES’s name for that matter.  So we got into the BlueChip line right behind this one couple.  There is also a “great unwashed” line for the non-loyalty club members.  the protocol is simple. if there is a line, the BlueChip goes first.  The couple ahead of us is taken first and they had already rented their car and wrecked it so all was a flutter about what to do next. My problem? no. There were at least 5-6 more reps standing in front of computers. What appeared to be my problem was I was apparently INVISIBLE.  I could see myself, and apparently so could Mr Chick because he would look directly at me but apparently the rest of the representatives at the counter couldn’t see either of us because they kept waving up the “great unwashed” instead of us. And, since I had been already frustrated by the previous several hours of dealing with Frontier, my patience was already at critical mass.

Finally, a lady came out from the back room and was typing away at the last computer terminal. she didn’t call anyone up but looked at me at least…once …and did a great job of ignoring me.  I walked up to her and asked ” do you SUPPOSE that I can get my car??” and she said “Ma’am, I just got here” to which I replied ” Great, but I have BEEN here, been  ignored while the rest of the people over there ( as I gestured to the other line) are getting served and I am a Blue Chip member. I shouldn’t even need to be IN this line.” ” why isn’t there a car next to our name on the screen?”

The guy next to her said ” well we have a shortage of cars so we aren’t assigning them”. I said ” that is pretty poor customer service when you know when Blue Chip members are arriving and expect a certain procedure that is promised to them (pointing to the huge poster 5 feet away detailing the advantages of BlueChip membership).  “.  To his credit he decided that arguing with me wasn’t the best way to continue this conversation so he picked up the pile of reservations and found mine ( which is EXACTLY WHAT he should have done 10 minutes ago) and said ” here is your reservation(it was ready as it was supposed to be), pick any car in aisle F”.  I said ” Thank you, that is ALL I wanted..”

Mr Chick who has been sitting in the corner waiting ( since he can’t stand for long periods of time after his back surgery) and I grab our things and find aisle F…we see a vast supply of empty parking spaces..and one single car.  ” Well, I guess that makes OUR choice easy”  we get a choice of one car.  Fine, whatever, as long as it runs I just don’t care.  The inside door handle nearly came off in my hand as I closed the door and it had nearly 60k miles on it ( more than my own car at home) but we had a car.

Upon leaving we were asked if we needed a “toll Pass”. we asked what it was for and the guy said ” its for the toll highway, 13 bucks a day. ”  We said we are only going to use the toll twice so we will pay as we go.  What he failed to mention was that you cannot pay as you go, something that may have been nice to mention to a newbie. Ultimately we ended up paying 60 bucks to drive 34 miles on a toll road in Denver because the rental car charges you a toll pass for every day of your rental + fees+taxes.  What a rip off. You cannot purchase a toll pass for just the days you plan on driving the toll road.  Therefore the lesson learned?  Don’t take the toll road and just suck it up and drive with the rest of the masses. Had we not paid the toll pass there was some kind of penalty that the city assess after the fact since we were “stealing the highway”.

Lovely.  Next:  on to the hotel.


Vacation nightmare: Part 1: a mile high family reunion

Filed under: Uncategorized — pharmacychick at 8:11 pm on Monday, August 17, 2015

Ever have a weekend where you keep looking for Allen Funt to jump out and say ” Smile!, you are on candid camera!” ? ( if you have no idea who Allen Funt is, google him).  This last weekend was such a weekend.  In fact, one might say that murphy’s law ruled all weekend..” if it can go wrong, it will”.

Usually Pharmacy Chick doesn’t name names but today she is.  Booking under Kayak  Tagline:( You’ll only THINK you are getting a cheap ticket) I booked 2 tix to Denver using Frontier (” we know you’ll hate us before you land”) Airlines.  Thinking I had scored a deal, I had to go to the Frontier website to complete the reservation (read: take MORE of your money to get your ticket).  I discovered that you get to pay more money to 1) have a carryon 2) pick a seat, and 3) even more money if you want a good seat ( read: something other than the back row)  I finally chose all my ” options” as if getting a seat is an option… and go to pay.  ” TENDER DECLINED”  invalid expiration date.  The screen said ” may 2016…my card said may 2016.. WTF?  I tried it again..same thing.  Beyond pissed I called Frontier and was on hold nearly an hour. I explain my situation and they say ” you submitted may 2015.”  NO, I DIDNT.  YOUR WEBSITE CHANGED THE DATE.  They manually processed it and it went thru. This was in March.

The day of check in , I needed to pay for a bag.  WE hadn’t planned on taking a checked bag but we ended up needing one.  4 months later I had forgotten about the payment nightmare until I attempted to pay for the bag. TENDER DECLINED:  I was seething by now.  Another 45 minute hold time brought me to a sorry representative who had to deal with me.  He told me the same line of crap that had happened in March. I told him I am no idiot. I had the right expiration date.  I finally printed my tickets but I was pretty pissed about wasting an hour of my time ” checking in” on line. Murphy’s law fully in force by now.

We get to the airport and had chosen premium seating but we discovered that it was a bulkhead seating which might have been fine but for the fact that the flight attendant took the one little carryon I had and put it 4 rows back. ” You can’t have it during take off “.  45 minutes after take off  we still haven’t been able to move from our seats because Mr Pilot ( I’m the boss and don’t you forget it) has apparently forgotten to take off the seatbelt sign.  The flight was as smooth as it was on the ground so there was no reason to be glued to our seats.

Nearly half way thru the flight he remembers to turn off the seatbelt sign. The passengers bolt like they have been sitting on a hot stove. Most need to pee.  I let several people go ahead before I get up and the flight attendant blocked me and said ” The flight crew needs to use the rest room” so I sat back down and she blocked the aisle with the beverage cart ( which by the way nothing but water is free) more “options” to purchase… The crew comes out, drinks coffee, yaks with the attendant, piddles around and nearly half hour later finally both have peed and I get to finally use the room.  One potty later I feel reasonably good.  Mr Chick had to pay $ 5.99 to use the little micro tv in front of him that kept losing connection. ” no refund due to connectivity issues”.  Golf was on TV so it made the remainder of the flight less boring as there was no in-flight snacks free, no in-flight magazine or SKY-MALL to read.   I at least had my kindle. Mr chick could have read the instructions on the barf bag I suppose…haha

Near the flight’s end, we were told to go to baggage claim 6.  Fast forward to baggage claim 6.  Hmm. we sure have been here a long time…It had been changed to baggage claim 4…and had been there a while. I sure was glad to finally see the bag.

Next time:  time to get our car….maybe.