posted Sat, 23 Apr 2005
When I was in Walgreen’s yesterday picking up my controlled substance, there was an old man in front of me. He must have been close to 90. He was bent over and slow, examining each package carefully – as one would be right to do with almost $200 worth of drugs and a limited income.
There was only one other person in line. Neither he nor I exhibited the least sign of impatience. I wasn’t impatient. I was in no rush to return to work to finish packing up my office and even if I were, well, the old man was there first and he needed to check his drugs. It was his turn. I could wait.
The clerk didn’t see it the same way. She stood scowling with her arms crossed. When the old man asked her a question, she answered, then rolled her eyes. I don’t think he saw her do it, but I did.
It really bothered me. He was not being unreasonable or rude. He asked her a perfectly legitimate question. She had no justification to react that way.
I debated what to do. Would it be gratuitous tattling and interference to tell the manager?
No, I decided. If I were the person in charge, I would want to know, because I would not want anyone to treat customers that way. That’s a good way for the competition to get new business.
Not surprisingly, the manager told me he’d had similar complaints about this clerk before. “It’s really hard to get good people to work back in pharmacy,” he sighed. “We’ve been trying to work with her, but I’m just holding out until the summer when we get the summer interns from the pharmacy school.”
Well. That’s actually a good thing, I guess. The economy must be getting better if it’s getting harder to find good people to work. But sheesh, how mean do you have to be to be rude to a little old man?