Gather Round Children It's Story Time · Vent

Awful CVS Experience #496

Every freaking time I walk into CVS, I know I’m about to experience the absolute worst customer service the private sector has to offer.  You’re just ASKING to waste 20 minutes, and kill a good mood, and any interaction with an employee is like “Hello! Here is my soul and all that is dear to me, please place under a SLAP CHOP”

Today I once again fell prey to the lure of CVS convenience when I needed to print six (6) photos.  In their defense, they have this great online system where you can upload your crap, pay for it advance, and then- SO GOES THE THEORY- pick them up from your local store and be on your breezy way.  So I did my thang, paid my $2, got a confirmation email and then another email confirming they were processed and ready for pick up.

I walked out of my office building at 5:59 pm and went to the CVS two blocks away.  Inside was a line of probably 10-12 people with one person working a register.  This is pretty much CVS Axiom #1, so no surprise there.  A second employee was assisting one person off to the side of the counter, so I selected that as my target to break the enemy line.  Surprisingly, I was acknowledged within 60 seconds, and told to wait “a minute” for her to finish up with that person.  Well “a minute” turned into, like, ELEVEN as she proceeded to hand-copy a huge receipt worth of data onto another piece of paper.  Yea, I don’t know what the heck she was doing exactly, but I was fuming and close to shouting “PLEASE SWEET JESUS, just take four seconds to HAND me the envelope with my name on it!!!!! LOGICAL PRIORITIZATION OF TASKS!”

Finally she got to me and I got the standard rundown of questions, with additional long stretches of time thrown in between, as she was sifting through the piles of crap behind the counter.

“Last name?”


“First name?”


“What time you submit these?”


“Spell that last name again?”

Clocks melting…….. seasons changing……..  glaciers slowly eroding……….

“Can’t find it.” (Standard response to any question and therefore CVS Axiom #2)

Well after some head scratching I check to confirm the location, only to find out that I am on (N)th street and my photos are at the CVS on (N-1)th street.  I had just gone along with what the online system defaulted to because the CVS I was at was the only one I remembered ordering photos from.  Who knows why it had the (N-1) location saved.  Anyway.  MY BAD and I realize I sound obnoxious criticizing bad employees when I myself am obviously a huge moron.  HOWEVER, in my defense, I would have taken much more care if this was something work related and not just a personal errand.  Anyhoo.

Down I went one block to (N-1) to see what horrendous and stupefying scene awaited me at the sister CVS.  This time, I found no line, no one behind the counter, just one employee standing with her polo pulled over her head, with her hands on the outside rubbing her face.  Because I really want to be able to share this visual, here is a stock photo to help you out.  Just imagine the hands rubbing the face in an exasperated way.   

Yea, I don’t know.  Well at least she helped me immediately and we started from the top with the question rundown.  The “can’t find it” outcome was identical.  Except she said it in a tone that was kind of like, “Can’t find it.  Go away now?” but I was fired up and walking OUT with those photos, so I said “Well I got an email saying they were processed four hours ago… SOOO……yeaaaa…..”  This at least elicited a response from the manager and the two of them discovered my photos un-printed in the system, seemingly a casualty of the “machine being down earlier today.”  So, many more minutes went by as I stood there and watched them process and print them right in front of me.  Sigh.  Annoying AND kind of awkward because they were majorly goofy photos.    

It was 6:38 by the time I finally made it to the metro station.  Even subtracting for walking time, it was still over 30 minutes that I blew on this miserable task.  CVS, I smite thee!!!!  

The only redeeming thing from this whole ordeal was that as I was leaving, I saw a woman right inside the door getting directions from an employee.  Outside on the curb was (presumably her) SUV, sitting driver-less (!!!) on the STREET, with a large and angry metrobus closing in on it.  Two tween girls were dangling out the window, frantically waving and trying to get her attention inside the store, screaming “MOM!!!! MOM!!!!!!!“.  OMG.  I would have cracked up if CVS hadn’t temporarily disabled my ability to perceive humor/joy.


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