I'd like to propose that Publix offer a Fast Pass for their check-out lines (both regular registers and (especially) the pharmacy. In the past 36 hours, I've lost about 30 minutes of my life waiting in lines at Publix (two different stores), both for ridiculous reasons. On both occasions, I was sure that Alan Funt (or one of his relatives) were going to pop out at any moment.
It all started yesterday morning when I did my weekly shopping. I rarely go to the "little" Publix anymore, because I find that the Atlantic store offers a much larger variety, much friendlier staff and much better service. Out of convenience, I opted for the store closest to my house. My Online Deli order was waiting for me (a miracle in itself) and my shopping experience wasn't bad overall...until it came time to check out.
Only one regular lane (besides the Express Lane) was open. It was okay, because there was only one person ahead of me. I didn't notice (as I unpacked my entire cart) that the store manager, two cashiers and a packaging clerk were all at the register trying to help the customer ahead of me (who was wearing a shower cap and a fancy dress). From what I gathered, the customer was claiming that the cashier (who has worked at the store forever, but totally lacks enthusiasm) overcharged her. The manager had to go through her receipt and see what she bought. I believe that (after 10-15 minutes of arguing), the total was correct, but the woman didn't bring enough money with her, so they ended up taking a couple of items off her tab. She was in a hurry, because she was on her way to church. Interesting twist on an Easter bonnet, ma'am.
Today I had to pick up a prescription from the Atlantic Publix (which is a good thing, as I've vowed never to return to the "little" Publix ;)). As much as I love the Atlantic Publix, you seriously put your auto insurance to the test in the parking garage. I happened to wait for a space previously occupied by a car that was parked a good 9-12 inches over the line on one side and whose gas-brake-gas-brake-gas-brake maneuver to pull out of the spot reminded me of Farmer Ted driving Jake Ryan's Dad's Rolls. But, I got parked without a scratch (though my nerves were a little fried).
When I arrived at the Pharmacy, there were three people ahead of me. Not too bad, right? Except the guy at the front and the pharmacy tech seem to be doing some serious research on the computer. The older, very sweet foreign man (with very hairy ears) in front of me turned around after about 5-10 minutes and said "Blame Obamacare." I laughed and told him that I do. He replied, "Oh, you're in my camp?" We bonded.
After getting nowhere, the guy at the front of the line left and the cashier helped the next person in line. When she was done, instead of helping the guy in front of me, she stepped out from behind the counter to wipe off the counter (which didn't appear to be dirty), oblivious to the fact that there was more to the line and people had been waiting for 15 minutes. Another pharmacy tech asked if she could help my buddy. The stray cashier returned and proceeded to have him swipe his credit card five times before realizing that the system was rejecting the card because there was no charge for his prescriptions.
I was next, but they original guy in the front of the line ended up behind me with his prescription bottle for the drugs that the pharmacy tech told him had no refills. Of course, she had to look into that, so I got to chatting with him about dogs (I was buying dog biscuits). She told him that he had transferred his prescription to another pharmacy. He denied it. He said that he had called Target for a price and they told him they couldn't fill his prescription, (but they had apparently transferred it to their pharmacy). (Don't you just love the quality of service these days?).
So 25 minutes after entering Publix, I finally had my prescription (and some dog biscuits). I had made a couple of new friends too. Sometimes you just have to shake your head and laugh. But, I decided to take the whole experience as a sign that this is NOT the week to give up my evening glass of wine. Hey, look at that! It's nearly 5:00. ;)