Actually, I Am All For Employing the Disabled

The world’s biggest comglomeration of dummies works at the Duane Reade near my office. Too bad I’m a hypochondriac and have to go over there 47 times a day to get my various medications, chill pills and vitamin supplements. (Seriously, doesn’t everyone have fully one-half of a medicine cabinent dedicated to this stuff? Because my sister looked at me like I was strange when she saw it.)

Anyway, they cannot understand my name, at Duane Reade, unless I write it down on a piece of paper, and they look at me blankly when I tell them which drugs I need, even though I called them in, like, six years ago and they’re pretty common medications. Also? They don’t have any common sense at all when it comes to the basics of retail. Here’s an excerpt from yesterday’s sojourn:

DUANE READE DUMMY: Here you go. (Passes world’s smallest bag over counter, with medication sticking right out.)

ME: Can I have a bigger bag?


ME: A bigger bag. Can I have one?

Oh. Sure. (Shrugs. Rebags the lot. Passes back over the counter.)

ME: (Helpfully.) Because I’m going back to my office and I’d rather not have everyone see my Monistat.

To be fair, she did laugh.

Published by Jen Hubley Luckwaldt

I'm a freelance writer and editor.

8 thoughts on “Actually, I Am All For Employing the Disabled

  1. giggle. i can completely relate thanks to the Duane Reade near my office! that’s why i try to stick with my hometown company, CVS, who has marginally better customer service, though they insist on brown-bagging tampon boxes and then putting them in the plastic bag. i asked once why this was so and the cashier actually said that some women prefer not to have the world know that they had to buy feminie products. discretion! who would’ve thunk!

  2. My encounter with their mental retardation yesterday: after dropping off my perscription and having the person-who-was-taking-perscriptions-but-was-not-a-pharmacist tell me that they would need a perscription card, not my health insurance card, but that they could call my insurance company to get the right number (on a side note, how retarded is that?), I left the store to come back at six…and find they hadn’t called my insurance company and were attempting to charge me $140. The same woman who took my perscription earlier was still there, remembered my situation but still looked surprised that I was asking her to call the insurance company.

  3. Please, please, please think twice before using the term “retard” or referring to a not-very-helpful clerk as mentally retarded. These terms are tossed around so lightly – but if you have ever sat with parents who have just been informed their daughter has Down Syndrome, or spent any time with someone who is truly struggling with a developmental disability, or volunteered even once at Special Olympics – I guarantee you would never use them in such a derogatory manner again. I love your blog, but this entry – and the responses from Eric and Dan – were disappointing.

  4. My aunt, who’s not the sharpest knife in the drawer, had a pair of twins that were, how you say?, developmentally disabled. So the retard went and had another set of twins, and they were retarded too. I’ll bet she gets more from SSI than Jenny gets with her fancy college education.

    So the moral of this story is that I have bad genes and will never procreate. Wait, that wasn’t it… it was definately that I’m an extremely insensitive individual who happens to think that words have no power unless you lend it to them.

    re·tard (rĭ-tärd’) v., -tard·ed, -tard·ing, -tards.

    To cause to move or proceed slowly; delay or impede.

  5. I hear what you’re saying, Anonymous, but let me explain: I’m from Boston. Our patron saint is Ben Affleck. Our official activity? Lighting SUVs on fire and shooting people after sporting events. We use “gay” and “lame” and “retard” in the pejorative, and we’re probably bad, bad people. But man, am I excited to go home this weekend. How gay is that?

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