I normally like pharmacies. I have fond memories of Ben Franklin’s and Kresge’s in Connecticut during my Elementary School Years. In my hometown of Cincinnati, there was a small one named Obert’s where I bought cigars (thanks Greg). As you get older though, you find yourself going more often to pick up a prescription than anything else. I go so often now, I just want to get in and out as fast as I can, a sort of Entebbe Raid if you know what I mean. Being in “God’s waiting room” down here in Florida, there’s a pharmacy on just about every street corner. The big guns down here are CVS, Walmart, even Publix Supermarkets, but the one I reluctantly frequent the most in Walgreens.
The store is located near my house, making it convenient. I say “reluctantly” because the store has certain foibles that drive me crazy. Recently, I was summoned by one of their robo-phone calls to pick up some prescriptions. I was originally called this past Labor Day and dutifully I drove to the store only to find it locked up tighter than Fort Knox. After a few expletives, I drove home and returned the next day. Before going though, I asked my wife if there was anything else I could get for her. Lately, she has had a craving for jellybeans, so I told her I would be happy to pick up a couple of bags.
When I arrived at the store, I discovered all of the Halloween regalia and candy was already on display. I think they put this stuff up months ago, just after Independence Day. Their Thanksgiving material will probably be out any minute, maybe even fireworks for the next Fourth of July to boot.
I dutifully went down the Halloween candy aisle laden with three tons of sugary goodness. Only one problem, I couldn’t locate any jellybeans. I searched high and low, but couldn’t find them. There were other smaller displays with candy, but no such luck. Finally, in desperation, I asked a store clerk where they were. She took me down another aisle, near the greeting cards and lo and behold, on the bottom shelf, tucked away in the back, we discovered the jelly beans, and I quickly snapped up the two remaining bags.
Afterward, it occurred to me this was a common occurrence. Every time I go there, it seems whatever I am looking for is hidden from plain view and always stashed on the bottom shelf somewhere. I guess the rest of their products on display are for show only and a clever ruse to make me spend more time in the store in the hopes I might buy some products I really don’t need. I also believe there is a law preventing them from stocking merchandise in alphabetical order.
I normally go inside to pick up a prescription, even though they have a drive-thru for such purposes. I learned a long time ago to avoid the drive-thru as you have to wait an hour for the clerk to process the orders of the customers in front of you. When you finally make it to the window, you have to wait thirty minutes for someone to greet you. You are then interrogated as to your name, rank and serial number, and asked to show your drivers ID, even though they have seen you many times before. They then slowly check the order before saying, “I’ll be right back.” Three days later they return only to tell you your doctor hasn’t approved the prescription yet.
“Try back in an hour or so,” they will tell you. Right. Translation: “Go away, and wait for your next fallacious robo-call.” This is why I go inside to pick up prescriptions instead, not that they are much better, but I can at least look the clerk in the face.
It’s interesting, most of the regular store staff is helpful and accommodating, they even have a cheerful personality. However, the pharmacy itself marches to the beat of their own drummer, with deadpan looks. Normally, I would go to another drug store, but this one is very convenient and I recognize the others are really not much better.
Maybe this is just a phenomenon affecting me only. I sure hope not. Now, does anyone need some Easter candy?
Keep the Faith!
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Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at [email protected]
For Tim’s columns, see: timbryce.com
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Copyright © 2019 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.