Yay for the good clerk
Thursday September 14th 2023, 9:52 pm
Filed under: Life

CVS last night. They recently changed their hours. I was standing in line when a woman came in and the clerk told her she was too late to be served that day.

It’s 5:54, I said, holding out my phone, and you close at 6:00.

She smirked and said the system shuts down at 6:00 and too late. They were only going to ring up two more people.

It’s 5:56. You have time to take care of her. Take care of her.

And then she stood there doing–nothing, as the other clerk was going as fast as she could. Nothing. Just standing there watching more people coming in trying to get there in time, joining the line. Sucks to be them.

The woman was horrified, then pleading, and finally her face crumpled into unwanted tears. She had called everybody and only this store had it and she had to have it tonight.

The clerk looked very pleased with herself as she reiterated, “The system closes down.” There was an undertone of sheer hostility.

I was with the other clerk, saying, Let’s do this fast! She was right there with me.

I should have thought to simply let the woman in more need than me immediately take my spot at the counter, but I didn’t know that I would have time to go back today before seeing my mom and I didn’t think through it fast enough and I very much am not proud of that, but the lovely clerk I was with ran through her screens as fast as she could. I’ve only seen her there in the last month, and she was as horrified as I was at what was going on.

I wanted X?

No, the new Y that was just sent in this afternoon.

Looks like we haven’t filled it yet. Do you want me to–

Thanksnopointwastingthetime. I turned to the next person with Okay your turn!, expecting to see the woman in tears–but no. It was the woman who’d been behind me before all this started, and she stepped forward fast in the same hopes of helping the next person not get shut down on. The one I’d stood up for was standing next to me at the other register. I hoped fiercely that I was right to be relieved, that she really had gotten taken care of after all.

I went back in this morning and thankfully found myself being waited on by the lovely woman. Whose name, I recently told her, matches my grandmother, my mom, my cousin, and my great-niece.

It’s not a terribly common name and she was quite pleased at how much my family likes it.

And it wasn’t till I was writing this just now that I realized that the difficult woman’s name tag is never in view.

So. My med.

They didn’t have it in stock. I thought, that’s okay, I woke up with my eye feeling better all on my own today, but at least it gave me a chance to ask the burning question: had that woman gotten her med last night? The one who needed it so much?

Family Name Clerk did a quick glance to the side to where the other woman was over among the stocking shelves and said softly, “Yes she did.” Nodding her head slightly in that direction, the new employee said of the woman who may well have been her boss, “I made her.”

Good for you!!! I was so grateful.

As I drove home, I wondered of the other clerk: who treated you like that in your life that you treat your customers the way you do? You left where you grew up–your speech conveys that. Why do you not know that you’re safe here, that it doesn’t have to be that way, that you don’t have to be that way?

And then suddenly the thought, is she? What is her life like here, who is she with, and the burning question, are you a safe person for her? Do you create an environment where she can change for the better?

I wrestled with that awhile.

The honest answer is, she frustrates the bejeebers out of me at that pharmacy but I have tried for some time now, and as a deliberate choice for her sake, to always be doing my best at peacemaking. To be patient.

But that’s over her treatment of me.

You don’t power trip over creating suffering in someone else that you could do something about while refusing to ring them up in order to run out the clock on them. And I’m very sorry to say, that is what I saw, and in keeping with previous experiences.

I will call her out on her behavior next time, too, and she knows that now.

5 Comments so far
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Please do call her out on that type of behaviour. Might also be worth a letter to whoever is her superior – not to be nasty to her, but to be kind to other customers. That is actually her job and she doesn’t always seem to be doing it. (Stepping off soapbox now, sorry about that)

Comment by Chris+S+in+Canada 09.15.23 @ 4:22 am

Oh my! Some people. I can appreciate your consideration of her home life (Is someone demanding she be home ASAP?) but to be hostile and do nothing doesn’t solve anything. May the powers that be hear your concerns. And I hope your eye is doing much better. Wishing you a wonderful visit!

Comment by DebbieR 09.15.23 @ 7:06 am

I could understand someone being too literal about closing time, but how awful to take so much pleasure in it! That’s very sad. I’m glad the other clerk helped balance her out.

Comment by ccr in MA 09.15.23 @ 12:23 pm

Wow. What a problem employee on a power trip. I read this last night, and thought about it, re-read it, thought some more.

Yes, this ugly woman may have suffered personal difficulties, have a difficult home or situation, and that is too bad. But. Some people aren’t a result of what happened to them, but some innate lack or deficiency or whatever those words are. It’s not what happened that made them who or how they are, but their essence is at the core of such meanness and cruelty. Not having the option to change the policy doesn’t mean you get to enjoy that kind of cruelty. I hope someone in power takes notice and addresses the problem. She doesn’t need to be dealing with people.

Comment by Lisa 09.16.23 @ 7:10 pm

Please, the next time you are at the pharmacy, ask to speak to the supervisor and report this employee. If she is the supervisor, ask for her boss. This is unacceptable. Pharmacies/drug stores are necessary to public health and this person is withholding care for people who need it. When a person cruelly withdraws help, that is not the time to think about what their life is like. That is the time to get the meds/school supplies/home care needs, milk, etc to the person who needs it before closing. Don’t hesitate to report this person and ask that they be taking off a register at closing time.

Comment by Joanne 09.19.23 @ 7:41 am

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