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Osco Pharmacy Drive-Through

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

McHenry County, Illinois

Osco Pharmacy Drive-Through

Gus Philpott
Woodstock Advocate
February 6, 2008

Have you had delays at the Woodstock Osco Pharmacy drive-through lane? You know, when you get stuck behind a customer whose order or questions are taking 5-10 minutes (or more)?

Monday night I went to Osco to pick up prescriptions and pulled up behind a woman in a minivan. OK, so I’m not picking on women and I’m not picking on minivans. Mid-evening is not exactly rush-hour at the pharmacy, but I could tell that the vehicle had not just pulled up.

After 2-3 minutes I heard the Osco pharmacy employee tell the driver that she (the employee) would have to call the doctor to clarify the dosage of the prescription. Bad news! How long will that take?

Fortunately, I could back out of the drive-through lane, and then I parked in the parking lot, walked into the store, walked back to the pharmacy and purchased the prescriptions. Before I left, I suggested to the employees on duty that they should tell customers with long delays to pull forward, park and come into the store. An employee told me that they had tried that but customers got mad. I said, “Well, I’m mad.” So they still have a mad customer, one way or the other.

I returned to my car and drove to where I could see the drive-through lane. Guess what? That same car was still there!

Tuesday morning I called Jewel-Osco headquarters and registered a complaint with the customer service rep. I suggested this is probably a global problem with all Osco drive-throughs and that an officer of the company should consider a policy to be followed by all pharmacies.

Then I called the Woodstock Osco Pharmacy and spoke with the pharmacy manager. When I explained my experience, she immediately agreed and said their employees are supposed to tell customers with delays to pull forward, so that other customers can be waited on!

Gee, imagine that! Osco already has that policy! Maybe there will be an improvement. What do I suggest? When you are unnecessarily delayed at the Osco pharmacy, tell the Manager about it. If the Manager doesn’t know, she can’t do anything about it.

Sometimes the Manager can’t do anything about it, even when he or she knows about it. Previously I have complained (for years) about the way in which pharmacy employees ignore waiting customers. They do a great job of keeping their heads down and not looking up to see how long the line of waiting customers is.

Banks train tellers to a “heads-up” policy; i.e., tellers are to look up and acknowledge waiting customers. Don’t ignore them. Work quickly to serve the customer in front of you, and then move that customer on. Don’t waste time chit-chatting or making plans for Sunday’s dinner with that customer.

I’m willing to wait patiently if the employees are working quickly to serve customers. What often happens? Another employee comes to help when there is a problem, and then there are TWO employees tied up with one customer. At that point, the first employee should move to a different window and begin helping other customers. There is no need for two employees to wait on one customer, when there are 2-3-4-5 customers waiting in line.

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