Friday, June 14, 2013

At Medi-Wait, You're Not Always Next in Line

Val has a new bee in her bonnet. An energetic, adolescent, venom-stuffed stinger-wielder that is buzzing to get out.

There I was, minding my own business, my Ps and Qs, my manners, adorned by my lovely, lace-trimmed, pastel-hued, ultra-feminine bonnet, waiting for my turn at the pharmacy. You might recall how my pharmacy recently changed hands. How it went from not quite a mom & pop establishment, perhaps more of an extended family business, to one of ten bazillion links in the largest pharmacy chain ever to dole out drugs to the masses. I'll call it Medi-Wait Pharmacy.

The poor put-upon workers were allowed to keep their jobs, but required to toil for the overlord and toe the line to the nth degree. They had to reorganize the front of the shop, placing aisles as close together as a the walkway between the seats of a school bus. Aisles that separate customers as they enter, like pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters in a coin-sorter, to funnel them to the counter like cattle on the way to slaughter. The PICK UP sign hangs over the left side of the counter, and the DROP OFF sign hangs over the right. In between signs are a couple of registers used for additional pickups.

The PICK UP clerks were all taken. Two had customers with lengthy explanations and snafus. The third was picking up medicine as fast as it was plopped on the inner-sanctum counter by the pharmacists, and calling for customers who had been waiting in-store for their meds. I was at the front end of the aisle, next in line.

I browsed for last-minute purchases as they intended. On my left was a bevy of beauty products labeled as airline size. Not for me. I am flying nowhere, except possibly into a rage in the near future, though currently unbeknownst to myself. On my right, various toothpicks, flosses, and dental probes. No thank you. Not an impulse purchase item for moi.

A man came in and stood behind me. I was the line, you see. The line waiting to pick up medicine. A couple of women came in, saw the situation, and declared, "Uh, yeah. That's not happening." They whooshed right back out the self-opening sliding doors. The man remained, second in line, kept in place by my buttocks, which closed off the aisle like a cork in a champagne bottle. Thank goodness that heavy-sighing, toe-tapping, dagger-staring dude did not have a saber on his sash. Probably because he was bereft of a sash. And only because it was being dry-cleaned.

I waited, if not patiently, at least captively. There was nowhere else to go. I listened to one guy trying to pick up meds who wanted to have the $60 mouthwash taken out of his order, because the woman he was picking it up for has mouth sores. Believe me, that's not a picture I wanted in my head. I was not trying to eavesdrop. It's a tiny store. The other man being serviced was hacking and coughing about it being a new prescription, and he could leave and get it later if need be, as long as it would be good around the 25th, when he usually came in to get his other refills. The utility clerk had pawned drugs off on two store-waiters, and turned to see if any other bags had been placed for disbursement by the pharmacists. Seeing none, she turned to call the next customer. Who we all know was Val Thevictorian. Next in line.

That guy behind me turned tail and ran back up the aisle, dashed around the end cap by the door, and scurried up the next cattle chute to arrive in front of the utility clerk's register. Hacker had just turned to leave. His clerk saw my mouth drop open. She turned to look at Rude Dude and rolled her eyes. "Did you see that?" Of course I did. Even Utility Clerk was nodding her head at me and about to put Rude Dude in his place. However, the EyeRoller motioned me to her prime counter real estate. "I'll help you. That right there is something that almost started a fight in here yesterday."

Yeah. I was about to unbonnet my bee.

Rude Dude was obviously a long-time sufferer of Little Man Syndrome. He was an indignant, snappish, entitled-acting fellow. The type who views the world as his public servant. He must have been somewhere in the middle of his 30th decade of life. This is what happens when children are raised to think they're the center of the universe, and rewarded with ribbons and trophies and certificates simply for being.

And this is one curmudgeon who begrudges them the oxygen they waste later in life.


  1. "Excuse me sir, you probably didn't see me standing ahead of you, what with your head up your ass and all, so if you don't mind please step back or should I just follow you outside and key the fuck outta your car?"

  2. You should have snapped his head off.

  3. What Joeh said. I like the sentiment.

  4. How rude! Maybe he was so short he didn't notice you were ahead of him.

  5. Val--

    Little man, little "dumb stick."

  6. joeh,
    Obviously, you overestimate my politeness.

    I could have. Like Popeye squeezing open a can of spinach. I'm strong to the finish.

    Careful, JoeH is touchy about people stealing his words like an essay slipped under the professor's door after hours.

    He wasn't a Roloff. I'm thinking he was so self-centered he did not notice I was part of that world revolving around him.

    I choose not to investigate that allegation. I will trust your research, Madam.