Saturday, May 28, 2005

Gloom, Despair and Agony on Me
I love my neighborhood Medicine Shoppe. It is but a few blocks away and I know the pharmacist/owner and her assistant by name. They know me, too. When I'm low on my prescriptions, I just give them a call and say, "Hey, this is Jan. I need some more XYZ." They say, "Okay, see you soon." Sometimes I'll ask for 90 instead of 60 and they always accomodate.

Visits to the store are pleasant, too. I never have to say who I am, they just pull my meds for me and ring me up. They always ask about the boys and they notice if I change my hairstyle. They show me pictures of grandchildren and we all walk away happy.

Today after I left work I called for a refill. They didn't answer. Walgreen's automated voice answered. I nearly dropped my phone. Somehow, I thought, the number I dialed entered some strange vortex and was accidentally routed to the dreaded Walgreen!

I drove by this afternoon to see what happened. Nothing but a sign on the door: "Prescriptions have been transferred to Walgreen's."
No phones, no lights, no motor cars, not a single luxury.

My vortex theory was closer to the truth than I realized. The behemoth retailer swirled around the neighborhood and swallowed up the small guys whole.

The trouble is fourfold: (1) Walgreen's does not carry one of my medicines. (2) Walgreen's never has and never will know me by name. (3) Walgreen's has an animatron woman answering the phone and expects me to type in the numbers of my prescriptions. (4) Walgreen's always makes me wait, even if the only thing they have to do for me is add water to the antibiotic powder and shake it up. (One time I had to wait an hour for this service.)

I'm devastated. The only other pharmacist that carries my meds that I have found is 20 miles from here. If you know a smaller pharmacy that would welcome my business and keep my drugs around for me, please tell me. I'm begging you.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love Walgreen's. However, I am probably a much more frequent customer than you will ever be. (We hope!)So, a lot of them do know my name. They never show me pictures - and it never will be as personal as your old place. However, you can refill scrips online - you can even set it up to do it automatically every month. Our Walgreen's is a 24 hour one - and my sweet husband has gone to get me or Elijah something in the wee hours more than once.

I like to refill by phone. You just need your scrip bottle to get the numbers. I have it all in the kitchen and it's no big deal. But, again,I'm a frequent customer.

The fact that they don't have your meds is a shame. I had that problem with a thyroid medicine - and it turned out that no-one had it - the maker was having a hard time keeping up with the demand. My doctor changed the medicine because I was tired of that problem. So, I haven't been in your situation.

Oh, and Walgreens is happy to print you a list of all your transactions for the year - sometimes we need that for our supplemental insurance. It's a very thick stack of paper!

And (can you tell I'm sold?) your scrips are in their big, international database. So, when you go out of town and you've forgotten to get a refill, you can get one anywhere there's a Walgreen's.

Anyway, the big guys have some perks as well. Maybe you have to be very drug dependent to appreciate them.


1:55 PM, June 01, 2005  
Blogger Jan said...

Thanks for the info. I didn't know that you could set up refills on-line. That is a good thing, actually. I might actually like Walgreens if that works. Also, if I pre-order, I suppose they could get my drug in for me. (By they way, it is a thyroid medicine.)

Actually, I was without that drug yesterday and I fell asleep at 8:00 last night and slept all the way until 7:00 this morning. It is, you see, the drug that keeps me awake. So I went in this morning to see if they had it, prepared to drive to Edmond but taking one last chance, and they DID have it!!! I was shocked!

We'll just chalk up this post to a drug withdrawal reaction coupled with the shock of losing my favorite druggists.

Happy talk, keep talking happy talk.

2:04 PM, June 01, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jan- I wanted to also put in my two cents about Walgreens. We really like it! Here's a few tips:

1) When you want to refill the scripts, call the number and when the automated lady comes on push 0. Then you get the assistant and they happily take your refill number and you can tell them when you want to pick it up.

2)Love the drive thru...but don't even try to use it from 5-7p.m. Too busy. Otherwise it is great!

3) My mom was visiting from out of state and forgot her anti-seizure meds. I called the pharmacist at Walgreens and told them the problem. They called my moms pharmacy and had the drug within 2 hours.

4) Once when my daughter was real sick I went through the drive thru in my pj's and hair pointing north instead of south. They were polite, did not snicker, acted as tho I was a fully sane woman, and even let me buy a much needed bottle of Diet Coke at the drive thru. See, sometimes it is nice when they don't say anything about your!


10:28 AM, June 02, 2005  

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