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Wednesday, August 7, 2013

We're Not Really in Here/ You Can't See Me Yet...

Have you ever wandered around a mall before all the stores open? It's a little like visiting a prison; or a zoo. Employees milling about in little cages. All the stores have gates down, some are open about a foot so employees can crawl under, but they all seem to have turned on their lights. Knowing full well they do not open for some time, what is the appropriate way to behave in this environment?

a. keep walking around enjoying your coffee until the shops open?
b. bang the crap out of the gates until someone addresses your presence?
c. yell at the employees about how they should wait on you since they're already in there and all they have to do is let you in because you just need to return something and you're in a hurry because you have to get to work and the 30-day return policy ends today?
d. try to throw whatever you're dropping off through the gates so when the employees walk over they know you were here first and deserve to be prioritized as such?

My question is, What would these people do if employees were not there early? What if they were union members who arrived promptly five minutes late (but well within the negotiated window to not be truly late)? What then? Like the rest of the law-abiding, rule obeying public, they'd have to wait until the store actually opened before dropping off their prescriptions and berating us for not being open early. My name is CP and here is my story:

8:54 am (Gates open in 6 minutes) A woman has been shuffling papers for 3 minutes outside our gates where we are gathered, setting up the first refills for the morning, logging on our registers, and clearing voicemail.
In Her Own Little World: I'm just going to push these under your gate.
CP: No you're not.
IHOLW: They won't fit.
CP: I know, hence my answer of "no you're not".
IHOLW: Can I try to push them through the gate?
CP: I'm going to say no, but I know you will anyway.
IHOLW: <pushing them through the gate> There. <walks away>
CP: You do realize we are not yet open, right?
IHOLW: But you're in there.
CP: And? Had I not been here, would I have walked into a pile of 17 prescriptions you shoved through my gate before my arrival? Or would you have forced them into my hand as I walked past you in the aisle? Or would you have been that person who leaves them up front with the manager saying "give these to the pharmacy when they open?
You'd better wait because I need your information...
IHOLW: Everything is on there. <hurriedly skedaddles>
CP: <quietly, under breath in hushed whispering tones> date of birth? address? allergies? insurance? okay, and when would you like to come back for all of these? Tomorrow? Okay, we'll see you after noon tomorrow. Thanks for giving us plenty of time to fill these. We appreciate your business.

<Fast forward to 5pm>
IHOLW: I said I'd be back between 5 and 6 tonight.
CP: First, you did not give us a time because I am the pharmacist who witnessed your shenanigans earlier. Second, I specifically asked if tomorrow was okay and you agreed; albeit tacitly with your rapid departure.
<knowing there was nothing to be said, she quietly verified tomorrow's pickup time and walked away. CP win.>


  1. I have had the same thing happen to me. Working on a weekend at 8 am as the only tech until 10 am. Have three cars waiting at the drive through and three more customers standing at our front counter as the pharmacist and myself walk into the pharmacy at 7:58. We refused to open the gates for the next two minutes and pretended the people weren't even there and when we finally did open, let them know that since we were still going through the daily routine to get everything started, it would be hours before they could pick anything up. We proceeded to be yelled at since we can't just predict their prescriptions and have everything ready an hour before we arrived.

  2. The Authorities at my Goofmart Pharmacy have declared that we must arrive 15 minutes to turn on and log in to all the computers and registers so that we are "right ready to fill" when the gates open.

    After four days of this, that amounts to an hour of time that I'm not paid.

    Will someone slap me, please?