bad consumer treatment episode 4,545,243,324

by sam on 09/9/2006

I know that I can sometimes be a touchy and/or demanding customer, so I (may) at times bring bad treatment upon myself, but today must have been just one of those days, where I felt like I walked into the store and I must have had an invisible sign saying “kick me”.

Scene: CVS pharmacy on the corner of 86th and Amsterdam. I usually like walking up to this store, rather than patronizing any of the closer Duane Reade’s, because I generally find the Duane Reades near my apartment to be both poorly staffed and poorly stocked. Plus, I figured it would be good to take a walk on such a nice day to pick up the multitude of things I want to ship to myself before I leave on Friday.

So, among other things, items on my shopping list include more hair conditioner and saline solution for my contact lenses (I wear disposables, but if I don’t get them in on the first try, I generally need to rinse them in saline before I try again), soap, cotton balls, etc…

Shampoo aisle. There is, seriously, no conditioner of the brand that I use remaining in the store. Not just the particular type I prefer, but just rows of shampoo with empty rows sitting in between where the conditioner should be. I actually thought there was some sort of recall because it was just so…odd. But, whatever, I can try to find some more during the week.

Manage to pick up lip gloss, cotton balls, mascara, soap all without a problem.

Then I go looking for the saline solution. Aisle 12 is marked “eye care”. OK, I’ll go there.

Spend 10 minutes wandering up and down aisle 12 (which is not particularly long), wondering why I can only find granola bars and foot baths.

Go to the pharmacist at the back of the store, and ask were the saline solution is. She says “aisle 11”. I then say (and this is important), “aisle 11, really? even though aisle 12 is labeled ‘eye care’?”

So, I go to aisle 11.

Spend 10 minutes wandering up and down aisle 11, wondering why I can only find advil and band-aids. Begin to think I’m losing my mind.

Go back to the pharmacist. Point out that she sent me to an aisle that was completely wrong. She says “what did you want again?” I say “saline solution, you know, for my contact lenses?”

Her response? Oh, that’s over here at the other end of the store. I thought you wanted nasal saline solution.

OK. why the f*ck would I point out that friggin “eye care” was mislabeled if I wanted something that goes up my nose?

I then point out that maybe people wouldn’t have this problem if they labeled the aisles correctly. She says (seriously), “I just work here”. Not realizing of course, that that’s precisely my point.

So. Drama done, I get my saline solution, and go stand on line.

Finally get to the front of the line. Guy behind the counter rings up my purchases. puts them in bag behind counter out of my reach. I pay with debit card. He walks away.

Without handing me my purchases.

I’m just standing there, and look at the guy standing behind me in line, and he’s got the same expression that I’m pretty sure I’ve got on my face, which is pretty much “what the f*ck?”

As the counter guy is walking away, I kind of shout out “hey, do you mind finishing ringing me up here?”

He keeps walking away. Apparently nothing stops this guy from going on break, even when he’s literally in the middle of a transaction.

So, someone else finally comes over. Looks at the register, looks at the bag full of stuff, and says “he didn’t ring any of this up”. And proceeds to start scanning my stuff again.

At which point I have to stop her and point out that I’ve already paid! My receipt is sitting in the friggin’ register.

Do you ever get the feeling like you’re living in some sort of hidden camera universe where people are trying to figure out just how far they can push you by surrounding you with incompetence (and incompetents) before you snap?

Yeah. It was one of those days.

This was of course after I discovered that my toilet and my bathtub were both refusing to drain water. After getting woken up by the construction workers literally outside my window repairing the building facade (the shed they’ve erected makes for a very nice balcony) Which was just a lovely way to start the day. By the way, they’re clearly attempting to comply with the new building regulations, which is ultimately a good thing. Everything’s fixed now (thanks assistant super!!), but what a way to start the day.

But, some friends are coming over tonight for a little farewell thing (I was attempting to have a real party, but almost everyone I know is out of town this weekend) and dinner, so I’ve got to go make myself look less like I got run over by a city bus and more like someone who is about to start living la dolce vita.

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