September 2012

I have my prescriptions and other necessities filled at a CVS not far from my work. Prescriptions are more common than other things, so I don’t have to go up front much. However, when I do, there are annoyed people in long lines at the self-checkout machines. There is one employee effectively manning the machines, because without fail something goes wrong; and one employee actually checking people out in human form. This annoys me to no end. One, I hate how automated our lives have become. I want a person to scan my items and smile and be done. Two, the machines often break or require help because obviously you can’t fix whatever is wrong yourself. Most recently, I bought a few things that I was going to simply place in my own bag. I was under the impression that I could push the button that said “Use My Own Bag” and then it would do all its little calculations and weights and whatever, and I could start. Error! The employee came over, said this machine could not do that, and asked me to take my bag off. I asked him if I would still get $0.05 off for using my own bag. He basically repeated what he’d said earlier. So I took my bag off, scanned my items, and carefully placed them on the awkward tray next to it. I almost reached for the “Use My Own Bag” button but decided against bothering with it. I might not even get the $0.05 off, since it’s not groceries? I don’t know.

But it really bothered me. In a tough economy, CVS is not only taking away jobs, they are making everyone else irritated. I can see it in the other customer’s eyes and body language. Shared rolled eyes. So I decided to write a complaint to CVS. This is what it said:

I often go to this CVS since it is near my office and is convenient for running errands and picking up prescriptions. I am continually frustrated by the self-checkout kiosks, as they result in longer lines, increased time, and annoyance when, frequently, they malfunction and a service rep has to come over and fix it anyway. On top of that, which shows poor customer service day-to-day, you have replaced people who need jobs with machines and frustration. The machines do not speed anything up – they often slow it down – and in a tough economy, people simply cannot be replaced like this. It’s absurd. Please reconsider having these self-checkouts in your stores, and bring back (faster) humans. Thank you.

I submitted this on September 5 and awaited a response, since I requested someone follow up with me. I got one today, September 10. While a decent effort – it’s clearly not entirely automated – they can’t exactly ensure it won’t happen again, since the whole point is that they are pretty much the only way to check out. Now, I get having half and half for the people who are fast by themselves, but not a near-total replacement.

Thank you for your e-mail. I am eager to respond. I am very sorry to hear about your experience with the self check out machine malfunctioning and causing long lines. Your comments have been recorded here and I have notified our front store operations team as well as the district and regional managers. We will take the appropriate action with the store to ensure there is no recurrence. Thank you again for sharing your comments with us. We value our customer’s constructive feedback. If you would like to discuss this matter further please contact us at 1-800-746-7287. We are available Monday through Friday 8:30 am – 7 pm ET.

Well. There is a link to reply to this email but I don’t know what else to say.

Do you like the self-checkout? If not, maybe you could also complain your local CVS, if they do this. Hmmm.


Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. And sometimes, that beholder is YOU! I am hardly a beauty-obsessed woman. My daily routine involves a shower, putting on clothes, brushing hair and teeth, and running out the door, with sneakers that may or may not be tied yet. But, sometimes, there are those little things that make all the difference. After months of putting it off, forgetting, or contemplating letting my hair grow out to brunette again, I finally went and got it re-dyed yesterday. I am back to being a red-head and loving it. red hair

See, beauty and looks aren’t everything. I value myself (most days) for being smart and caring and relatively strong (er…mentally). How I perceive myself physically can make or break a day for me. My hair color has become a minor part of who I am. My confidence level and general outlook on my kind-of-crazy life right now, shifted dramatically after I was back to being a red-head. It’ll take a couple of days for it to tone down and match my skin color more, but I really love it. Actually, I’d planned on shifting more: I bought more makeup and makeup remover, and was all set to actually start wearing makeup – just a little – again. But there was wine to taste and TV episodes to watch…so I was up late and snoozed late. Today was a crazy-fast run-out-the-door morning. Maybe tomorrow 😉

No, changing my hair color doesn’t change who I am or what kinds of things I desire or value. But that extra kick in my step today? All Red.

Boyfriend is not moving to North Carolina. Stupid North Carolina did not like his certification. After all this. When he first told me, I was so angry. They’d offered. He’d accepted. How are teachers supposed to be able to move, switch around, find a job if there is no certificate reciprocity? He is an incredible teacher. Their loss.

The past few days have been intensely up and down. I don’t actually feel like writing about it all now. I need to process for a little. But wanted to give an update to all those amazing people who reached out to me lately. After some drama and poorly-picked words, we’re still together. A little tentative, I think, but happy.

I was the one who’d said maybe this isn’t working, maybe we need to see other people. And then we talked, and I don’t think either of us could let go. But that is, possibly, a post for another day. I’m tired. I actually have a day off. I might stay in my PJs and watch movies all day. I might get my hair re-dyed. I don’t know.