Wednesday, December 07, 2005

An Open Letter to the Clerk at My Neighborhood Bartell's Drugstore

This got rejected by McSweeneys. A pox on you Ed Page!

Dear Sir,

Notice that I start off addressing you appropriately, for, unlike you, I have learned to respect others.

Now then, my reason for writing to you is as follows: At least once a week, for years, I've been coming to your pharmacy--whether it's been to fill a prescription for myself, my mother, my husband, my son, or my dog. My loyalty primarily lies in the fact that the store is a convenient 5 minute walk from my house--with the next closest pharmacy two miles away. I feel you know this piece of information and therefore, use it to your advantage as justification to be a collossal asshole to me every time I come to the store.

I have no idea what it is about me you despise. I know it can't be my three year-old son, since you've often initiated conversation with him and have indicated to me before how much you adore children; nor is it a reaction to the way in which I treat you since, despite the fact you've earned zero respect from me, I still manage to force a smile while I give you my order. No, if I were to take an educated guess--it would be that you're a crabby old fart who's just sitting out the rest of your working days behind a pharmacy counter, doing nothing more than the two things you absolutely must do to keep your job: take prescriptions and, once filled by the pharamcist, ring it up.

Case in point: Last Thursday when my son and I arrived to place an order, you asked me if we were going to stay and wait to have it filled. I asked how long it would take and you replied, "Approximately five to ten minutes."

"Great," I said, "we'll wait."

"Shall I page you when it's ready?" you asked.

"Please do," I said, smiling.

Waiting for five to ten minutes for a prescription is doable with a toddler. Waiting 30 minutes is not. My three year-old is a busy child, with a busy mind, and hands that are equally as busy. No one expects a toddler to sit still for more than five minutes. And so, spending five minutes following him around the store--watching him play with the blood pressure machine, the scale, the chair massager, and then making a beeline to the toy aisle--and arguing with him for the remaining few minutes because he will not get a toy--is manageable.

However, doing all of the above-mentioned activities AND THEN follwing him to the candy aisle--arguing over the fact that there will be NO CANDY; and realizing that it's past his lunch hour so the child is set to detonate in T-minus five minutes; then, diverting him to the toothbrush aisle so he could replace his electric fire engine toothbrush, but realizing he intentionally made a left instead of a right to head back down the toy aisle; and prying his little hand from the strategically-placed toddler-level Matchbox cars and protecting my ears from the high-pitched shriek followed by a temper tantrum fueled by desire. And perhaps, Mr. Pharmacy Clerk, I might have remained composed if I HADN'T seen you from behind the counter WATCHING US WITH A SMIRK ON YOUR FACE as I placed my child in a time out for being such a little shit.

After several deep breaths and watching my son transform from a gelatinous mass back to his solid form, I approached the pharmacy counter and I calmly asked,

"How's that order coming along?"

To which you calmly replied, "Oh, it's ready."

And I stood horrified as I watched you walk to the back of the room--to where you hang the COMPLETED prescription orders and when you returned, I asked,

"Why wasn't I paged?"

"I don't know," you said as you shrugged your shoulders. "If I tell you that you'll be paged when an order is ready, it means that the pharmacist will page you. Not me."

And so, dear sir, my only wish for you is that when you're wallowing in your own filth in a nursing home bed, and you've pressed your call button for a nurse to change your linens, that the nurse who actually does come in, merely shuts off the call button and says,

"I only come in to shut off the call button, not to clean up your shit."

Sincerely yours,


princess kanomanom said...

Damnit anyway. Their taste has plummeted, clearly.

Mary said...

Absolutely this belongs there. So I stand by my first conclusion that they like posts from men better.
An aside, I can't believe I missed a post-I accidentally scrolled down and saw it! I mean ME miss a post!