Can I Not Help You?

Does anyone find this story, in today's Metropolitan Diary, incredibly hard to believe?
Dear Diary:

My husband lost his cane at La Guardia Airport, and we went desperately to Duane Reade at 42nd Street and Lexington for a much-needed replacement. They didn't have one, but the manager and the assistants volunteered, with much empathy, to get him one from another one of their stores more than 30 blocks away. They were so caring and eager to help us. In less than an hour, three canes were delivered to our hotel across the street and my husband was given his choice, with no extra charge for the door-to-door service.

New York, New York. It's still a wonderful town!

Sylvia Holstein
This old woman must be delusional. Have you ever known a Duane Reade employee to be helpful to you? EVER?

It wasn't long after I first moved to New York City that I noticed that Duane Reade's employees were moody, unfriendly, and never went out of their way to help customers. For the first six months, I was too petrified to ask a cashier for a Dollar Rewards card application, out of fear that I would meet certain demise from the wrath of an angry Duane Reade employee.

I was so frustrated with their unhelpful and unhappy customer service that about two years ago, I made a declaration: if the cashier did not smile while I was checking out, I would vow to never shop there again.

I collected my items, and walked up to the cashier. "Hi! How are you," I greeted her.

I got no response. Not even a grumble as an acknowledgment.

I have not shopped at a Duane Reade since that day. The CVS near my apartment is bigger anyway, and it's open 24 hours. And sometimes, the cashier even says something other than "next on line, step down."

16 Moments of Idiocy:

Blogger Mjones said...

I think Duane Reade is where people go to work after they get fired from the DMV or the Post Office.

Right now, on 57th and Broadway, there are 2 Duane Reade's right next door to each other, both open for business. It's the apex of disgruntled enmployees.

3:03 PM  
Anonymous ryan said...

I agree with you. This story sounds like a giant LOAD. My experience with Duane Reade employees has been similar. They seem like DMV rejects.

And what's this nonsense about needing to go 30 blocks to another Duane Reade? It seemed like there were more Duane Reade's in Manhatten than Starbucks in Seattle. And if not a Duane Reade, a CVS.

This sounds more like a story coming out of New York's Tourism Office.

4:20 PM  
Anonymous Amish said...

That is the most ridiculous story I've ever heard. 42nd and Lex? Yeah right!

And I live right by the intersection mjones is taking about. I have a hard time deciding which shitty store to visit.

5:49 PM  
Blogger Jane said...

sounds like a lying old lady to me.

2:13 PM  
Anonymous lauren said...

I was always terrified to get a dollar rewards card too! i finally got a rare opportunity when someone actually offered me one (she was training, therefore she had a valid excuse to be nice).

8:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Duane Reade is the worst. The one at 34th/5th is absolutely terrible and overpriced! They have no concept of efficient line movement and make everyone form 4 separate lines rather than 1 big line where the person moves to the first available cashier. Don't even get me started on their pharmacy dept. where prescriptions are NEVER ready.

11:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A precious spring flower you must be that everyone will unconditionally smile upon you. If they don’t they are just horrible human beings.

2:17 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

Hey, I'm cheerful to them, I deserve a cheerful reply. When I worked in customer service, that's the way it was supposed to work. They never got that memo at Duane Reade.

4:14 PM  
Blogger Rachel said...

The other day I encountered my first nice Duane Reade cashier. It was about 2AM, on the one on 14th/3rd Ave. The cashier offered me a Dollar Rewards card (already had) and even commented that I bought a good toothbrush. He must have been new. I was tempted to compliment him, but I pussied out.

Speaking of Duane Reade, here is a great article on them:

1:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I constantly steal from Duane Reade. They don;t get my money for so many reasons, #1 being that all their emplyees are rude cocksuckers.

1:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's obviious they find their employees from either "work-release" programs, "mental institutions", or "deaf, dumb, and blind schools". You couldn't find more than a half dozen brain cells from in their staff - COLLECTIVELY !

11:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

They're often unhelpful, yes, but in the city I've always found Rite Aid and CVS to have much longer lines than Duane Reade. And the clerks at all of the Duane Reades in my neighborhood have actually been surprisingly nice lately.

1:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, i am so surprised by the hatred so many pple have over duane reade employees that there is a actually a blog about them!! I am a duane reade employee, lol so in OUR defense, its not right making a generalization just because you met some rude and bitchy people . I've worked with some of those people so I know exactly the types of people you are complaining about and I dont like them either, but I also worked with really freindly ones, and I would consider myself one too except when I'm treated with disrespect. What you guys forget to add is that Sometimes its the CUSTOMERS WHO ARE RUDE. i had some throw money at me, and say " Count it", wtf do I look like, but I still managed to be nicee and count it for them, and then they have the nerve to say I'm lying, and stealing extra money, then wtf dont tell me to count it, count ur OWN money. Another lost her wallet and accused me of stalking her and stealing it then called the cops. We get nonsense from a few stupid ass customers, and they could really ruin or make your day. If you want us to be happy, and nice, treat us with respect. But I must say majority of the time, its not the cashiers, stock pple, or the customers who have the problem, it's the managers who think they have so much power they can talk shit. Well i dunno about other duane reades, but in mine, the asst managers are unbelievably bossy and disrespectful to the employees and rude to the customers, I get disgusted working for them. I seen my manager call a customer a bitch, and to hurry up and get out because store is closed and she wants to leave. Today, my asst manager said "GET THE FUK OUT ALREADY" to all the employees. The stupid thing is we take it from them. I have took this disrespect for so long jus cuz i need the cash but I know the disrespect and treatment I get is definitely not worth it and I can get tons of better jobs. My friends tell me to quit on her when the store is really busy and she needs me, so she can suffer ALONE...she makes me work like dog, doing the work of 3 people, while she just watches with her big fat lazy ass. Maybe that is why the workers seem unhappy. We get treated like crap...and it has to stop. So I am planning to quit and let her work like a dog for once, she definitely needs the exercise! And another thing, STOP GETTING MAD AT THE CAHSIERS BECAUSE OF THE RPICES, OR THE LACK OF BAGS...its not US...ITS THE MANAGER YOU HAVE TO BLAME. WE JUST WORK WITH WHAT WE ARE GIVEN.

8:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


9:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yesterday, while my friend payed a visit to get some Life Savers, we saw some bubble mailers that would come in handy for my ebay business. We took several of the mailers up to an open register (there was no line) and asked the man if he could do a price check on these mailers. He said 79 cents. I knew he was not correct, because it was advertised as 79 cents and it had been on sale. I said, ''oh, I think they are on sale, could you do a price check?" He replied "79 cents," with an arrogant attitude. I said "ok," and went back to get about 12 more. When I came back to the register, he rang them up, they were 22 cents each. I said "oh, they are on sale. That's why I asked for the price check my man." He replied "Yoo mann it's whatever, I'm not perfect." Meanwhile, my friend is paying for his Life Savers at the next register, glancing over at my cashier after he made that comment. The cashier says "Yooo dude stop starin at me like that, f'n white people mann." Unfortunately, he did not say "f'n," he said the real word. My friend gets extremely angry, and starts dissing this guy, using some racial slurs here and there. The cashier is getting angry, pounding on the counter. I could see he was very angry because the credit card machine was bouncing up and down off of the surface. My friend walks out, and the cashier is bagging my mailers. I say, "don't worry about him, he gets like that sometimes." He ignors me and continues to talk to him self saying things like "I can't let it go man, I can't let that sh*t go." I walk out, my friend waiting outside. We walk and about 10 feet from the Duane Reade door, we see the guy storm out of the Duane Reade, untuck his Duane Reade uniform, and proceeds to grab my friend by his jacket, yelling "Just because I'm in this uniform right now, doesn't mean i can whip your @$$ right now." He throws my friend down. He then continues to yell "don't you ever disrespect me, my heritage or my job ever again." He storms right back into the duane reade. An onlooker calls 911, and several units arrive shortly. We explained what happened, then the officers go and talk to the cashier inside. They come out about 5 minutes later and say, "Well gentlemen, you both made wrong moves, and he made a wrong move. You are not injured, everything looks fine so, on your way." No action was taken.

The part of this incident that continues to get me very upset, is that the officers refused to take any action. Keep in mind, that the 26 year old Duane Reade cashier not only used racial slurs and comments FIRST, but he stormed out of the Duane Reade and and assaulted my friend. Also keep in mind, that my friend is 14 years old and was assaulted by a 26 year old Duane Reade employee while on-duty. For a 26 year old to assault a 14 year old, visible injury or not, is absolutely insane, and should not be tolerated under any circumstances. Why the cashier did not just say "young, stupid kids. they will grow up some day," I don't know. The victim, my friend, has contacted Duane Reade and any action on behalf of the company is pending.

1:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Petty as fuk

11:21 AM  

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