CVS is only three blocks from our condo, so the entire trip should take only take five or ten minutes. That is, if one can get by the seemingly unending questions as one tries to check out of the store.
There I am, a bottle of Advil in one hand, cash in another.
“Do you have a CVS card?” she asks, having finally made her way to the register after I disturbed her from playing on the photo editing machine in another section of the store. Why is it that NO ONE knows how to use that machine?
“No, thank you,” I reply, lying about whether I have a CVS card, which entitles me to what I am not sure. I am obviously in a hurry and just do not want to dig into my wallet for my long-lost CVS card. Just ring me up!
The clerk scans the bar code. Normally, I would swipe my debit card, but this otherwise simple act is not as simple as it seems. It’s no longer about entering a pin. There are questions about ‘debit or credit’…about donating to some charity…about wanting ‘cash back.’
Just let me pay!
Instead I am asked, “Would you like a flu shot?”
“Would you like a flu shot?” is what the just-above-minimum-wage, just-out-0f-bed store clerk asks me. Do I want to put my health into the hands of someone who five minutes earlier was having trouble operating the photo editing machine?
At this point, I just want to run out of the CVS, but I know I will have to return here a half-dozen times in the next week. And the week after that. And the week after that. I will need milk. I will need shaving cream. I will need toilet paper. Therefore, I cannot burn my bridges with CVS.
But isn’t asking me about whether I want a flu shot just a little too much for the clerk-consumer relationship? What if I said yes? What if I said, f*ck it, I may be in a rush, but I’ll stop what I am doing and start the day with a flu shot. I don’t need Starbucks, I need a flu shot!
“No, thank you,” I say instead; the excitement of a morning flu shot will have to wait for another day.
The clerk then proceeded to put the one-inch by two-inch by one-inch box in a plastic the size of a small parachute, while handing me a receipt longer than a court filing.
“Have a nice day,” she says as the Patrick Bateman-esque thoughts flicker in my head.