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Saturday, March 29, 2008

All in a muddle...
is what we are. I am surprised at how little we learn day to day, at least about how to work and live more efficiently. We complain about having no time, yet we waste it like a drunk's profanity.

Case in point: How many times will a customer come to my register at the pharmacy, plop down a dozen or two items and then wait impatiently while I go through the motions of ringing them out. Some tap their toes, some their fingers. You can almost hear the most impatient of them say under their breath, come on, come on, I gots to be somewhere!

But do they bother to take the hangers off the soft lines (that's department store-ese for clothing) or put the UPC bars where I can scan them? Uh, that would be a no. Do they put the items where I can reach them? No again.

I might tell them that that might speed things up but I might as well be talking to my big toe, as one of my tech's likes to say.

Another, particularly vexing example: After waiting for fifteen, twenty minutes for their prescription--after having all their personal data loaded into the profile ("Any insurance? No?")--after waiting in line to pay, the following dialogue is customarily heard:
Customer: How much my prescription?
Pharmacist/Tech: That'll be $65.98.
Customer: Whoa! Ouch. Good thing I got insurance.
Pharmacist: What?
Customer: I said it's a good thing I got insurance.
Pharmacist: Oh, you mean an HSA? [Health Savings Accounts: you pay for these with a debit or check on an existing account meant for medical expenses]
Customer: Huh?
Pharmacist: Never mind. That'll be $65.98.
Customer: No--I got insurance. Should be 20 bucks.
Pharmacist: Do you have a card?
Customer: Sure. [proceeds to give us a card which could have saved us--and him--twenty minutes of aggravation] I wanted to see how much it was without. Wow.
Pharmacist: Wow. And thank you for the card. Thank you so very much. It's very helpful to have the card. Makes everything so much easier. For everyone. Now take a seat and we'll be with you in...twenty more minutes. Or so.
Customer: Twenty minutes? I've already waited twenty minutes. What takes so long? Don't you just run the card through and slap a label on it? [expletive deleted]
Ahh, people. We love you. Yes. Really. We do.

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