Monday, July 05, 2010

Pharmacy Tech Fail!

Image courtesy of Google Maps.
After a run along the Hudson today I popped into the Duane Reade at 42nd Street to grab some odds and ends... in particular I was in need of Claritin-D as it has been over a week and I can feel the spring air swarming my sinuses in the same was I imagine Sherman stormed Atlanta.  The pollen on the front lines marches on while the ragweed hangs back, high on its smog horse.  Somewhere a trumpet blares and CHARGE!

I digress... so I stop into Duane Reade and head downstairs to the pharmacy.  The pharmacist is busy filling someone's prescription so I wait a few minutes until a small lady in her official "DR" polo wanders over.  "You need something?" she asks.

"Yes, Claritin-D, 12 hour in the 20 pack box."  Unlike regular Claritin, you have to ask the pharmacy tech for Claritin-D because they need to decide for themselves whether you'll turn it into meth or crack or whatever idiotic thing drug addicts decide to do with it.

The tech looks behind her, directly facing the Claritin collection, and then just as I think she's spied the box (which I can clearly see from an additional 8 feet away) she slides past it and wanders into the Sudafed section (also a "we need to see your face" product).

"This?" she says, pointing at the Sudafed.

"No no, the Claritin-D, right there," I reply, pointing at the blue box with the tranquil field (see below).

"This?" She says, pointing to the 24-hour version.

"No, please, the 12-hour." Note that my finger has not veered from pointing directly at the box I need.

"Oh this," she says, grabbing the right package.  Finally!  "You need to sign for this?"  I confirm for her that, yes, I do need to sign her book to verify that I am who I am but even still, she wanders over to the pharmacist who is busy counting Viagra pills.  "He signs?"  The doctor confirms what I've already told her.  She comes back, grabs the wrong signature book.  "Not that one.  That one's for prescriptions.  Other one!"  He is only half watching her while he counts out the little blue pills for some other male client.

After a few minutes of this game of get-the-right-box-get-the-right-book she finally comes back and starts to scan.  BEEP!  The register rings in $22 and change.  BEEP!  Another $22+??  WHAT??

"Ma'am," I stop her, "you rang that up twice."

"Oh.... oh no.  I cannot void."  Hold up... what??

"Sorry," I'm baffled.  It's like I've been secreted into a Beckett play and will now suffer in Duane Reade Limbo for all eternity.

"I cannot void.  You buy two?" She's obviously pleading.  Maybe this is her first day.  Maybe she's been yelled at for repeat offenses.  Maybe I don't care because I'm hot, tired and ready to go home.

"No.  I only need one box," besides I'm pretty sure it would red flag me in their system if I asked for two boxes.  

"Ok, please wait," she says as she picks up the phone, "Manager to pharmacy please."  Click.  "Just one minute please.  Manager will come help."  

Ok, let me save you the angst of the 15 minute wait that I went through while she awkwardly talked to herself about how she should have rung up one box and "oh no, they will be angry".  Here I was, trapped in the Duane Reade pharmacy with Gollum worried about what the Hobbittses will think of her failure as a pharmacy tech.  "Oh no, my precious has keyed in wrong SKU and now has angered the Hobbittses."  HURRY UP LADY!

Finally someone in a white, short sleeve button-up shirt (that's how you know he's in charge) comes along, doesn't question her, turns a key on the register and voids out one box of Claritin.   He walks away, "Ok, now is better.  You run card."

I scan my debit card, pay for my meds and wait for the receipt to print.  "You want bag?"  

"No no, I will put them in my backpack."

"Ok, here is bag."  HELLO?  What is wrong with this woman?!

I take the bag, feeling like I've made my one attempt to save Mother Earth today only to be thwarted by the Sméagol of Duane Reade.

Whatever happened to service with a smile... hell, whatever happened to service?!?

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