I’ve had the pleasure of dealing with the Walgreens Pharmacy for over two years now, on at least a monthly basis, but unfortunately it’s usually more. I have multiple, complex and annoying health problems, which makes me a slave to the rule-reciting minions at the pharmacy counter, who don’t know shit about shit. Don’t worry, I understand there are rules and strict guidelines that have to be followed. Afterall, it’s the idiots who abuse many medicines which have made it exceedingly difficult for the rest of us sickleys to get our DAMN PILLS.
The problem I have with them is the problem people have with the DMV and many other American chain institutions. I don’t like when people treat you as a policy, instead of a person. You’ll ask them a basic question and they respond with a script that someone else wrote, something memorized for the job. And sometimes, that’s what you have to do. But sometimes, it’s good to look people in the eye, listen to what they are saying, and, I dont know, possibly…help them?
Walgreens is genius because they hired a great advertising agency which created a bunch of commercials noting that we don’t live in a perfect world, so for everything else, there’s Walgreens. I threw my shoe at the TV last time I saw that commercial. We don’t live in a perfect world, true, and Walgreens is a first rate offender.
There’s a couple things Walgreens is wonderful for. Like shampoo. And all the shit people try to sell on infomercials that didn’t do well, because, well, they’re shit. There is an entire aisle dedicated to “As Seen On TV Products”, and that’s cool and everything, if you have twenty bucks you’d like to lose and are in desperate need of “pajama jeans.” They also have a great post seasonal aisle, which has a bunch of cheap chocolate and ugly decorations that are half the price, and could save you some dough for next year. But the buck stops there. Most people need Walgreens because they are suffering, and unfortunately, it’s the DMV of medication distribution.
Sadly I don’t see Walgreens going out of business any time soon. For one thing, THEY’RE EVERYWHERE. I’m currently in New York City, and I passed 6 in a 2 block radius yesterday. That could be an exaggeration, but they’re like starbucks, only the people handling your coffee are usually 10 times more intelligent than the people handling your pills. Does this strike anyone else as a problem? I feel like I’m on CRAZY PILLS!! Then again if I were, it’s not like I could get the refill when needed, in which case I’d be having a psychotic break right now. Sometimes I think that’s what’s going on with Charlie Sheen. I know everyone is sort of having a boner for him right now, which is cool and everything, because the guy is pretty funny and such a spectacle to watch. But I can’t help but wonder if he’s just been waiting for his schizophrenia medication to be re-filled this whole time, and Walgreens is to blame. (In that case, thanks Walgreens! love, everyone)
Anyway, I know deep in my soul, this blog isn’t gong to do much. All I am is a sick kid with a computer. I lack the strength, manpower, and money to go after Walgreen’s. You’d know who’d be great to get on my side? Charlie Sheen. I think some tigers blood could really help this issue. Then when the person behind the pharmacy counter tells me they can’t fill my prescription because, I dunno, it’s Wednesday and it’s raining, or something equally irrelevant, Charlie Sheen could just punch them in the face. We’d high five and walk out. WINNING! The problem is there is such little accountability for institutions like this, and such little oversight. I could complain to the manager, which I have before, but then I’m just that girl that complains to the manager, and everyone flips off when I walk out the door. I know how it works. They probably aren’t paid enough, they probably aren’t trained enough, and most importantly, they are not taught to treat people like people, they’re taught to read rules, and that’s where our system fails. We’ve lost our humanity.
The worst part is, I’m totally at their mercy. I need my pills. And every time I need a refill, I take a deep breath and begin the process. Tears, screams, and six thrown boxes later, I usually get it. But by that time the damage is done. I’ve probably eliminated years from my already sickly life. Being at the mercy of someone unintelligent and more importantly, non compassionate about your situation, is a very, scary thing. It’s terrible. Walgreens is like the douchey cop that threatens to bring you to jail for failure to use a blinker, and you have to turn on the charm, hard. I don’t know how to fix this problem. I don’t even know if it’s possible to fix it. I googled “Walgreens Sucks” and saw a lot of things flying around on the inter-web. I’m know I’m not alone, but I just don’t know if they’ll ever HAVE to change their ways.
I think the only thing I can do is switch pharmacies, I just don’t foresee it being much better, and frankly I shouldn’t have to. Although my mom recently switched to CVS and said it was a little better. So I’m going to try that. In the meantime, I just needed to put down in words, that Walgreens has failed me, and many others. Over. and over. and over. and over. and over. and over again. When I get better, I’m going to do a parody commercial for Walgreens. It’s going to play that same tinker-bell dingy sweet music in the background, but instead of a general tone of happiness, it will show what REALLY goes on at the pharmacy counter. (You know, cursing, freak-outs, general loss of humanity by genuinely nice people) Last week I watched a 40 year old man cry, because they would not administer the prescription for his child who was having an allergic reaction. They kept insisting that the childs policy ended on July 9, 2009. He kept saying back, “No, that’s her birthday. I’ve been filling prescriptions here for a year.” “Sorry sir, I just can’t.” And THAT shit, pisses me off. It is clearly a typo. ANYONE WITH A BRAIN, could see that it’s a typo. But there’s NO effort, they see what they see and say no way too easily. He freaked out, I shook my head. How long will this go on? I’m going to do some thinking on how to get things to change. I’m also going to call them again and see if my prescription that was called in 3 days ago, is ready. You can go ahead and guess how THAT conversation is going to go. Anyway, health and happiness.