So I have this nasty cold right now. I’m in kind of a grumpy mood, I’ll give you that.
But this morning I went out to our local CVS to simply get some Sudafed 12 hour. If you live in the US you probably know that there is some law now that if you buy anything with pseudoephedrine in it – there is now a complicated process for getting it. Apparently it can be made in a lab into methamphetamine and thus if someone were to buy it in large quantities they could be suspected of running one of these labs.
Which makes it difficult for the rest of us to get it. I mean look – I’m ok with a little inconvenience. But what should have taken me two extra minutes at the CVS today took an extra 10 painful minutes. It was more to blame on the idiot cashier, then the actual process itself, although the process definitely threw a wrench in the works of this cashier’s brain.
Maybe I’m just too curmudgeonly, getting old or whatever, but I cannot fathom how this simple process so stymied this guy. I walked up to the counter and handed him the little cardfor my medication, and my other items. He scanned he card, then looks down at it, scanned it again, and looked down at it, and then said “I think I need your driver’s license.”
I knew this and already had it out, and handed it to him. I don’t know if he was unfamiliar with this procedure – maybe he was new. He attempted to punch in my data four times. FOUR TIMES. All of those times he received some kind of a beep indicating an issue. He gets on the intercom and announces he needs assistance. I am still standing there. He didn’t say to me “I’m sorry sir, I need help ith this.” He just stood there. After 5 minutes someone finally came to help. She punched the info in – I signed the transaction pad, and swiped my card. Then I said “the medicine?” Oh right…the medicine is kept behind the counter…that’s why I had to BRING THIS CARD UP TO YOU and SIGN for it. He turns around, starts to look for it. Spends about 2 minutes, and by this time I’m becoming impatient. I feel like crap, I want my medicine and to get out of there. I can see it plain as day and I say “Bottom shelf, third from left.” He picks it out and goes to finish the transcation.
So I punch in my card # for debit – I realize I need cash and I punch in for $20. The transaction finishes he hands me my receipt, closes the cash drawer. I say “Where’s my $20”?
“Oh you got cash back….didn’t see that….hold on…” He opens his cash drawer – no paper money. NONE.
And again – without so much as a word to me – he gets on the intercom to call for help. Hangs it up. And we’re standing there. Finally I say – “Did you need to get help?” He says “Oh yeah a minute.”
At this point – I’m steaming – and it’s not about the process of getting the medication – but about this guy’s total and complete lack of customer service skills. Look, I know that it doesn’t take a LOT to be a cashier at CVS. But now I feel it’s my responsibility to teach him a little. I go off.
“Alright – look – a little communication with your customer is all this takes. ‘I’m sorry sir, I didn’t have the cash, I needed to call the manager.’ or ‘I’m sorry it’s taking so long sir, I’m new.’ Even ‘Sorry for the wait’ would have sufficed. It’s just some basic pleasant customer service – and it helps a LOT.”
Finally a manager arrives at the counter, and he stands there while she helps someone at the photo counter. He doesn’t flag her down and say “hey I need you for a sec.” He just stands there.
I say “Uh – can I get my $20.”
The manager then looks at him, and looks at me and the growing line behind me, shakes her head and says “he didn’t get his cash yet?” She opens another drawer and hands me my $20.
She says “Sorry sir – have a good day”. At least someone gets it.
I said “Thanks – a little customer service is all it takes – this boy needs some training in it” and I walked out.
Now – I’ll grant you – I’m cranky, I feel like crap – but every step of the way here I just don’t get how someone even at such a low level can be so clueless. I mean – these people so exist…and maybe the guy was just a high school kid. That’s not an excuse.
But it speaks to a bigger problem in retail these days – a lack of committment, and a lack of training. The days of mom and pops are long gone, but our committment to being nice and communicative to our customers- in even a CVS or a supermarkets – shouldn’t go with them.