Wednesday, November 14, 2007

River Rattina v.s. Dolan* the Evil Safeway Pharmacist

(*His real name has been changed)

Tune in for World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE)’s new, exciting entertainment extravaganza, premiering this week at a Safeway near you: It’s wild, it’s violent, it’s rated PG13 … it’s … Russian River Rattina vs. Dolan the EEEEE-Ville Safeway Pharmacist! Place your bets before they go to the mats!

But seriously … is it just me, or does anyone else have unnecessarily frustrating experiences with the Safeway Pharmacy in Guerneville? Barbi’s awesome, of course. She’s friendly, efficient, & caring. There’s also another nice lady with light-brown, shoulder-length hair, whose name I don’t recall because I don’t often come by during her shift. Alas, these women can’t possibly work every single shift. And the guys they have filling in … ugh!

First there was the young man with Asian features who worked on Saturday, November 10th. I attempted to get my prescriptions filled & wound up leaving empty-handed & so utterly frustrated because the man was so rude & utterly obtuse that my little rattikin stroked my hand & said, “Please don’t cry, mommy.” Apparently, several other customers found him to be rude & it doesn’t look like he’ll be coming back, thank gawd.

I came back on Tuesday the 13th hoping that Barbi would be there. She was, but alas, there were a lot of customers & I got stuck with Dolan the Evil Safeway Pharmacist. He’s the tall, thin guy with wavy, graying hair who glares at you resentfully when some issue with your prescription requires him to actually use his brain. As is usual for River Rattina & her Little Rattikin when Dolan is at the counter, we wind up asking when he’ll be finished so we can do the rest of our grocery shopping (mind you, this is for prescriptions I had dropped off three days ago & they should have called me if they couldn't fill them).

We return to the counter 30 minutes later & the prescriptions STILL aren’t ready & my little rattikin is tugging at my sleeve begging to go home because it’s dinner time & she’s “starving” (though I must admit that it isn’t Dolan the Evil Safeway Pharmacist’s fault that my daughter has a hollow leg & gobbles up what seems like three times her weight in food every day). Dolan the Evil Safeway Pharmacist holds up a piece of paper with my signature for the missing prescription, glowers at me accusingly, & demands, “Is this your signature?” “Yes,” I replied, then explained that the pharmacist didn’t actually have the medications ready & I had walked away empty-handed. “You shouldn’t have signed for it then,” comes the sneering reply. “Well, I didn’t know he didn’t actually have it ready.” I explained. He keeps demanding in menacing tones, “IS THIS YOUR SIGNATURE?” I tell him that this isn’t helping to solve the problem at hand, & that I can’t go any longer without my refills.

This goes back & forth for what seems like FOREVER & I’m getting more & more frustrated & upset. I mean, does this guy think I’m trying to scam him for extra refills of Flonase & Albuterol allergy/asthma medications so I can sell them out on the street for recreational use? I raise my voice (& my voice carries rather loudly to begin with) in supplication to Barbi, who’s a few feet away, & plead, “Why does stuff like this keep happening?” She asks me to be patient & that they’ve had some people filling in, & we’ll get things straightened out. Alas, my daughter’s losing it & I am too. I’m on the rag, feeling hungry, cranky & crampy (I can't think of names for the other four dwarves), have a cold & have spent WAY too much time on this.

Dolan the Evil Safeway Pharmacist then informs me that he isn’t going to help me any more, because he’s “FEELING THREATENED.”


If I weren’t feeling so danged ANGRY, I’d feel somewhat FLATTERED. After all, I’m a 5’6”-tall, middle-aged, overweight mom who teaches Sunday School at my church & he’s a tall, 30-ish male who towers over me, is behind a counter with sliding plexiglass doors, & who happens to be in possession of my asthma & antidepressant medications!!!! I'm a THREAT? Woo hoo! I’m so mad, I want to tell him, “Okay, let’s make a deal: You give me a break for being mentally unstable, I’ll give you a break for being mentally incompetent, & we’ll call it even!” But I don’t, because that wouldn’t be nice.

Thanks to the saintly Barbi, I finally walk away an hour later with my refills. She tries to calm me down, but I tell both her & Dolan the Evil Safeway Pharmacist, “I have every right to be angry, this shouldn't keep happening, & I don’t appreciate being treated in such a rude manner.” He loftily replies, “I do not have to put up with this,” & I sharply retort, “Yes, actually, you DO, because you work here & are supposed to act like a professional. I’m going to report you to your supervisor.” Though, of course, I probably won't ever get around to it, because I do not know who his supervisor IS & honestly, it isn't WORTH it.

Mind you, I’ve worked as a receptionist, waitress, & cashier & hence try to be extra-nice to folks who deal with the public all day, because I know it’s hard & also because I'm normally a doormat type of person who really wants people to like me. Also, most of the folks who work at Safeway & around town are my friends, acquaintances & neighbors who work hard, do a good job & are nice -- especially to my daughter & children in general. But I do get angry when I feel that someone is annoyed with me & deliberately refusing to be helpful when they’re SUPPOSED to be trying to help me because it’s their job. The fact is: Dolan the Evil Safeway Pharmacist just plain old doesn’t LIKE me for whatever reason & never has. Oh well, sometimes stuff like that happens.

From now on, I’m going to Lark’s Pharmacy so that Dolan the Evil Safeway Pharmacist won’t spike my next refills with pepper spray.

GRRRRR! 22 hours have elapsed & I’m STILL steaming mad! My reasons for feeling TOTALLY TICKED OFF are as follows:

  1. This sort of thing happens almost EVERY time I deal with anyone else but Barbi & the other lady;
  2. This keeps happening with prescriptions I’ve already dropped off – sometimes a day or two before;
  3. We’ve had the same doctors, health insurance & medications for well-over a year & refill these exact same prescriptions every 4-8 weeks. They should know the drill by now;
  4. I try to be nice & offer to come back in 30 minutes whenever there’s a problem (they’re out of the medication, the doctor needs to call in a refill, or the mysterious & Zen-like “it won’t go through”), but when I return, my prescriptions STILL aren't ready;
  5. There SHOULDN’T BE any problem because I dropped the danged things off TWO days ago & they could have called me or my doctor to fix the problem before I returned to pick them up; Actually, Barbi DID do that once last year & I was grateful; and
  6. Nobody should EVER talk that way to a customer, even if I WERE actually being rude. If Dolan the Evil Safeway Pharmacist had truly felt “threatened” by little ol' me (BWAH HA HA!) , then he should have called security.

WHEW! Now I feel MUCH better. So much for my scolding Mr. Guccione & others at RRROC meetings for not always being civil with one another. I guess I'm a total hypocrite. You can take the gal outta New Yawk, but ya can't take the New Yawk outta the gal. I totally forgot that anger is illegal in the State of California. Whoops.


Anonymous said...

It is a priveledge and a pleasure to be treated the same in the Russian River as any other small community forced to pay astronimcal prices for everyday needs. Safeway needs us spending as as much time shopping as possible. If you think Safeway can keep the doors open while the sick just waltz in and pick up their prescriptions without being asked to do some shopping "while we wait" then you are not sick (but crazy). It is very difficult to count out pre-made drugs and then put all those pills (and sometimes fluids) into very very very tiny bottles. Actually I'm not stupid, I know what the real hold up is and it's a secret that I will share with you... An entire semester of pharmacy college is devoted to typing and another semester is spent learning how to fit those awkward bottles into their typewriters. So spend spend spend, or else Guerneville Safeway will have to raise their prices in order to compete with all the other grocers in the area.

Your Devoted Reader,

Oliver Goodsense

mary robertson said...

Here's the perfect example of what is so chickenshit about your "anonymous" blog. You don't have the courage to criticize the guy in public using your own name and his. How about NAMES, DATES, maybe even PICTURES? I know exactly who you're writing about, and your criticism is apt, but you're too cowardly to come out and name names. You could learn something about reporting local news by reading, say, the Anderson Valley Advertiser, Bruce Anderson, ed and pub., and maybe even your own local newspapers. Yeah, right, Ms New York, so tuff. But can't use your own name.

Russian River Rattina said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Russian River Rattina said...

Thanks for your comments, Mary. I'll definitely give them some thought.