at the local Walgreens. We don’t have any Circle K stores around here.
We have a Walgreens right on the outer edge of our neighborhood. Several no-tell motels and halfway houses are on the outer edge of our neighborhood, too. And the residents of our ‘hood and of the shadier establishments seem to only meet at the Walgreens, which means it’s always good people watching there. I can’t count how many times I’ve been there when a shoplifter has been busted or someone’s been stopped for buying beer for an under-aged kid pacing outside. I’ve seen cops in the parking lot there many, many times. And I’ve come across what I can only assume, based on attire and purchases, is a lady of the evening picking up some items with her prospective client. Which is the main reason I no longer go there after dark.
Even though there were no incidents involving police or hookers, this morning was plenty entertaining. I ran up there for a pack of swim diapers for Elizabeth, who was out, because I don’t want us banned from the local pool. I figured it would be a quick trip – run in, grab the diapers, pay, run out. Instead, it took me a good 15 minutes.
There only appeared to be two staff members on duty – John the assistant manager and Kevin, the assistant to the assistant manager. John was wandering around the store looking sweaty, while Kevin was managing the cash register looking red-faced and panicked at the length of the line forming.
The woman at the head of the line was trying to buy two packs of cigarettes with some sort of manufacturer’s coupon that didn’t have a bar code on it, so Kevin had no idea how to redeem it. After much consideration and complaining, the woman decided not to buy the cigarettes after all, so poor Kevin had to start from scratch with the rest of her purchases.
After her came a woman who looked to be buying a week’s worth of cup ‘noodles, diet Gatorade, and candy, all with coupons. Then she decided she wanted to pay for other things in her cart with another credit card, which meant a separate transaction. While Kevin was apologizing to her for the wait, she told him, and everyone else in line, that it was OK because she worked in a store too. I wanted to point out that if she worked in a store she should know better than to jam up the whole check-out process by using a zillion coupons and doing separate transactions.
While all of this was happening, the heavily pierced and tattooed and very smelly young guy behind me was pacing, sighing, shuffling his feet, and fidgeting nonstop. He and a friend had already bought two bags of stuff – his friend was waiting outside with them – but this guy apparently HAD to have the bag of generic funions. My guess is that he was either completely whacked out on meth or speed or was jonesing for one of them.
Finally John the assistant manager, after spending some time pacing outside on the sidewalk, looking for missing staff maybe, came in and opened a second register. Fortunately, everyone in line behind me, including the tweaker, was too out of it, and I beat them all to the punch in switching lines. In all fairness, I was next after the coupon lady.
John was so flustered that he managed to send my package of swimmy diapers flying across the counter, almost hitting the tweaker in the face. And I threw him for a loop when I told him I didn’t need a bad for my diapers and package of mints.
Walgreens should charge for admission. It’s the best show in town.