I went to CVS today. I am trying to be frugal. I used to save tons with coupons at the grocery store. It was kind of a challenge. But then we had Ann, and Ann was born with an anaphylactic allergy to all dairy. So I don’t do the coupon thing anymore. I can’t buy the item because I have a coupon; I have to buy the brand that has no dairy. So to say we spend a lot on groceries would be like calling the sun a little ol’ star.
But the CVS thing I think I might be able to do. See it’s on household stuff, not food. I think there is some food involved here and there, but mostly it’s TP, dish wash soap, make up, stuff like that.
So, here I am today at the CVS. Now I know I am every person’s worst nightmare. I am a homeschooling mom in a 12 passenger van, carrying a binder filled with the store add, coupons, Extra Bucks (CVS money) and receipts. I know how very annoying I am. I try to be organized and quick. I specifically went to CVS at a time during the day where they would be the least busy.
I am in line and I did not get the right amount of something so I had to run back and get another one. Then I had to give her my coupons which would not scan right (computer problem NOT my problem), then I gave her my Extra Bucks, then my real money. The whole ordeal was taking quite some time. Quite a line had formed behind me, and there seemed to be not another person who could work a cash register in the store.
The lady behind me was quite literally breathing down my neck. She was standing uncomfortably close to me and sighing throughout the whole process. When I pulled out my coupons she said “you’ve got to be kidding me” then when I pulled out my Extra Bucks she actually cursed. Seriously. I was cursed at by the well dressed, not a hair out of place, career lady behind me.
I was very tempted to turn around and explain to her that I have 4 children; two of whom eat like teens and the other two actually ARE teens and we are a one income family. Money is in short supply, but if she’d like to donate $50 to the cause I’ll happily get out of her way so she can buy her diet drink and magazine. But because I am a non confrontational person I only thought those things.
The clerk handed me my receipt and did not smile at me or say “come back soon”. I got to my car and started to put away my receipt and all the Extra Bucks I had earned. Except, wait, where are all my Extra Bucks? I should have earned $42 Extra Bucks and I only had $15. For those of you who are not math minded that is $27 they shorted me.
So I wanted until I saw all 10 of those people behind me leave the store and I went back in. I asked the clerk who was decidedly NOT happy to see me, what happened. She obviously was not interested in helping me and said “Look, I am the only one here and I can’t help you, you’ll have to come back later when the manager is here” Nice customer service huh?
I did come back later, and I brought Sir D with me, because he has a mean scowl.
I brought back every last item I bought, still in the bags. We went in and found the manager and explained the situation. I had all my receipts and documentation. (The binder, it is handy) After I explained the situation several times, and showed her over and over, and did the math for her (when did we start letting 12 year olds manage stores?) she finally got it, then she called the manager of another store. (I think there is a ‘how many CVS managers does it take to change a light bulb?' joke here somewhere)
I believe she may have overheard Sir D saying to me that we just needed to get our money back for everything and be on our way, as this was waste of time. The two managers suddenly and magnanimously decided to award me a gift card for $18.
Are you wondering why $18? I am too. I have no idea what is the significance of $18, but I took it.
This CVS savings game is starting to become too costly to me. I will give it one more chance, then I’m done. In the immortal words of Mr. Darcy. ‘My good opinion, once lost, is lost forever’. So tread lightly CVS, you're on thin ice with me.
And just as a general public service announcement. If you are behind the binder carrying, coupon using mom, cut her some slack. She’s just trying to save a buck. If you would like to curse at someone, why not the store manager, or her superior if she’s only 12, for not having enough personnel to run the place?
I’m just saying…