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Tuesday, September 20, 2005

What’s with Walgreens?

I’m a drug store kinda girl. I used to go to one in college when I didn’t have a car and I had to do my grocery shopping there. Walgreens is my favorite. It just feels cleaner than Eckerd (which is now the dirtier CVS). I have a Walgreens down the street so I pop in there several times a week. In fact, I got my credit card bill the other day and it claimed I had been to Walgreens twice in one day—and each time spent $6 and change. Who knows what I bought? Cards, hair stuff, flaxseed vitamins? They’ve got everything. My father-in-law even bought luggage there.

But lately I’ve had some bad experiences at W. The first:

I’m at the check-out and I see one of those signs about donating to a cause. It’s juvenile diabetes. That’s nice. But then the check-out girl straight out asks me, “Would you like to donate to help the victims of juvenile diabetes?” How do I answer that? I liked the kids on the sign when it felt optional. But now they were staring at me like, “What? You and your healthy pancreas don’t want to help us?” I whispered, “Uh, no.” I felt awful. I think it’s how they phrase it: “Would you like?” And then my answer is basically, “Nah, I don’t feel like it.” Maybe I don’t have any money after paying $7 for toothpaste!

The second:

The next time I go the sign is pushed back and the kids aren’t really staring at me anymore. The check-out girl says, “Would you like to donate to the victims of Katrina?” What? What happened to the diabetes kids? Now, suddenly we don’t care about them anymore? Like their insulin problems have to take a back seat to the hurricane victims? And by the way, W, EVERYBODY is helping the hurricane victims! Maybe it would be more noble if you stuck to your original cause. Maybe I was even gonna donate this time (hey, I might have!) Plus, I’ve already contributed to that sneaky Red Cross. So again I have to say, “Uh, no.” This girl thinks I’m anti sick kids and displaced people. I’m evil!

The third strike against W (which lead me to take email action):

Frank and I go to W because I need to pick up a prescription. I totally fall for the end-cap scam and grab a tube of that Jergen’s lotion that’s supposed to make you tan. Does that work, by the way? I’m still ghostly. So the check-out girl in the make-up section (we’ll call her Barb) sees me grab the tube and says, “Hey, I have a $1 off coupon for that when you’re ready to check out.” I tell Barb, “Great. I have to pick up a prescription and then I’ll come back over here to pay.”

I pick up my prescription at the pharmacy and tell the tech (we’ll call her Tanya) that I’m going to pay at the make-up counter. Tanya says I can’t do that. Guess she thinks I’m going to steal my $8 prescription. So I go to Barb and say, “The pharmacy won’t let me check out over here so I need to just get that coupon and take it back there.”

Barb rolls her eyes, sighs and looks like she’s going to kill Tanya. It’s Walgreens War. As I’m walking away Barb says, “You know, you could buy everything here and then buy your prescription there.” Yeah, that sounds super easy. Talk about customer service. I say, “Does it really matter?” Barb says, “Yes, I get in trouble if I don’t ring up someone every 15 minutes.” Barb then proceeds to tell me about all the make-up items she makes commission on and how I should always check out there.

What?? Did anybody know this? I felt so uncomfortable—like I was being sucked into some sort of pyramid scheme. And I did it. I checked out with Barb and then with Tanya. Tanya rolled her eyes when I came back and told her what I’d done. And poor Frank. He’s just going back and forth with me between Barb and Tanya and he doesn’t know what’s going on. He’s just glad I got $1 off that expensive faux tanning lotion.

Walgreens, do you see what you’re doing? You’re making customers feel bad about themselves for not donating, you’re causing friction between employees and you’re contributing to the juvenile diabetes epidemic!

I’m sending them a note saying as much.

So forget you, Walgreens. Forget your extensive array of salon quality hair products. Forget your vast selection of cards of both humor and sentiment. Forget your quality luggage sets. I’m no longer white Walgreens woman. Soon I’ll be taking my newly tanned self to another drug store. That’s right. I’ll be a dirty CVS girl.


ReadBecca said...

I'm surprised Frank would let you shop there. Everything is so much more expensive!

Anonymous said...

I too am a frequent Walgreens shopper. Every week is a different charity. Drives me nuts. I always say no.

And I always wondered why the Makeup counter people were always the friendliest. Now I know...

Oh and by the way, I love the Jergens. Used it just last night!

Writinggal said...

Dis: Good insight. Frank does not like Walgreens. In fact, I wanted to buy more things when I was with him but I figured I was pushing it with the Jergens.

T: You are gonna be so much tanner than me in Mexico. But so will the rest of the world.

Anonymous said...

Jergens does work, but be careful around the feet, mine became a little orange.

That explains why the makeup counter lady is always trying to check people out. I am still going to go to Walgreens, because that carpet in the CVS stores is going to smell nasty after awhile!

ReadBecca said...

I've never experienced carpet in any drugstore. CVS recently saved my life by being the closest pharmacy to my apartment during a five-day migraine event. The lady pharmacist filled my prescription faster than lightning while I waited in the drive-through trying not to puke. Plus, they have that CVS card thing. I don't know what all it entitles me to, but it's red and shiny so I like it.

Anonymous said...

Most of the new construction CVS stores in Houston have carpet.

I agree with you if a place saved me from a migraine I would be loyal. Maybe that is why I stay with Walgreens, I got Imitrex there in the middle of the night extremely fast!

Writinggal said...

Ooh, I didn't know CVS had carpet either. That's so weird. It's like a grocery store having carpet. Or a bathroom. Oh, wait...I think that happened to me once...

And are these word verification things getting harder, or is it just me? This time mine is ihezxhww. Wooh!

Anonymous said...

I must say- this one was funny! My goodness, I can't believe those girls put you in the middle like that!

They changed a dirty Eckard's on Congress to CVS. I must say- it is so much better- carpet, wider aisles and just a more spacey feeling. Although it is still second to Walgreen's.

Jessi said...

Our CVS' are in competition with Wal-grens (not 2 e's, as my granny calls is). Oh and they don't ask us to donate either. Maybe cause they know we spend it at the gas station slot machines? (I don't!) But they don't ask. CVS for gatorade, Wal-Grens for everything else.

ReadBecca said...

Kristin W and I are now soul mates. Screw the rest of you bitches.

Oops, I hope Grandma Valerie isn't offended.

Writinggal said...

Mer: Aw, I miss living in our ghetto. That HEB, although scary and over-crowded, was so cheap.

Jes: I will use that in my email to Walgreens: But in Vegas they don't ask you to donate!

Dis: I'm glad my blog is helping people make friends.

Anonymous said...

Must add in- yes the "ghetto B" (instead of HEB) at Congress and Oltorf is still going strong! Plus they opend a Farm to Market grocery on Congress that is v expensive and v nicer to shop at- so I have been splurging recently.

The hood misses you!

Anonymous said...

Every Morning I am greeted by the not so pleasant glow of a HUGE CVS sign that some how seems to poke it's bright red noes through the $3.99 blinds provied in all Techsan Dorms. However it is an incredibly short distance on my bike and quite frequently find my self pedaling that way. I too would prefer a Walgreens but I have no reason to support why that is. I am not a fan of Walgreens putting movies and CDs behind the counter. Talk about impulse buyer!!! I am sure that half of my movie collection (which totals to 12) has been purchased in Walgreens.

Oh and I make an event of using Jergens every night. Walgreens always has the 30% more offer.