|Blizzard conditions: Guess what, Walgreens was open.|
The boyfriend reports they had maybe a whole 10 customers all evening and easily spent more paying to staff the store than they took in through sales. Every other surrounding business closed by 8:00pm. NOT WALGREENS. Even in spite of the Governor issuing a statement for people to stay home unless it was a dire emergency (and the operations of a Walgreens do not constitute an emergency...you are not a hospital, nursing home, fire department, police department, or ambulance service)
When the store closed, we were experiencing probably some of the most brutal parts of the storm. The boyfriend decided to be nice and bring one of his coworkers home because even though she lives less than a quarter mile away, who wants to let someone walk home in shin-deep snow and nearly hurricane-force wind gusts? As per usual, the city of Torrington did a less than spectacular job plowing, and the road this girl lives on was unplowed (When I lived in Torrington, I lived on a dead-end road and we saw a plow once during any snow event...whether it be 2 inches or 2 feet, and we were always one of the last to be plowed) as they usually neglect to do to barely trafficked side-roads, and after he dropped her off, he got stuck. He called 911, and they came to help. They called AAA and the local tow company that would respond was closed due to the holiday. The next closest company that accepts AAA was 15 miles away in Watertown and they refused to come because of the distance and conditions. Newsflash: When AAA refuses to help, you're pretty much shit out of luck. The police offered to send a non-AAA tow truck, but he didn't have the money to pay them so he told them "Don't bother, I'll dig myself out", which he did, after having to knock on doors at nearly midnight to solicit a shovel.
When he finally got home, the boyfriend was cold, shivering and pissed off beyond words. He wanted to call the corporate compliance line, but I stole the phone out of his hand because the poor sap stuck staffing this thing was going to get an earful of profanities otherwise. I basically told the chick who answered that I was not complaining about the store in particular, but I wanted the complaint routed to whomever handles the decision of closing the store in lousy weather. I told her what happened and I told her that last night, the company demonstrated that they are more interested in the almighty freakin dollar than their employees' personal safety.
This morning with the roads still atrocious, our driveway still buried, and the boyfriend still absolutely pissed about last night's ordeal called his store this morning and told his boss that he was not going to be in this afternoon. His boss got angry and told him very condescendingly that "I drove 40 miles to get here, you have no excuse to not be here this afternoon" and how it's unacceptable he was trying to call out. Correct me if I'm wrong, but if you manage a store, wouldn't you appreciate an employee calling out with sufficient advance notice for you to locate a replacement if need be, rather than calling out a half-hour before he's supposed to be there? Not this jerk. Newsflash: Nobody cares if you were dumb enough to brave the poorly plowed roads and drive 40 miles. If your employee does not feel safe coming to work in crappy conditions, who the hell are you to tell him too bad? It's not even like the boyfriend routinely calls out. He calls out once in a blue moon, and even if he's legitimately sick, this asshole manager still gives him a hard time and tells him he has to come in, while other people can call out at least once a week for less than legitimate reasons and still keep their jobs.
After snowblowing and shoveling, the boyfriend went to work - after not being able to get out of our driveway for a good 10 minutes because the part where it meets the road is on a fairly steep incline. He walked into work and the district manager apologized to him because apparently calling yesterday night lit a fire under someone's ass and had the complaint directed to the appropriate person. His excuse for keeping the store open was that they provide healthcare services. WEAK. One, the pharmacy closes at 6:00pm on Sundays. They should have closed the entire store at that time. Two, the healthcare services they provide are not emergency care. They are not a hospital, they are not a nursing home, nor are they an ambulance service. Those sorts of things are the only healthcare facilities that have any business being open during a blizzard. I could see if they delivered drugs to patient homes, but they don't. I mean, I work at a pharmacy, but it's not a retail pharmacy. I'll tell you what...when the weather sucks, we have a protocol. They can't close because unlike Walgreens, we provide IV's and stuff like that, and we are the sole means of nursing home patients getting their drugs, but I'll tell you what...they don't operate at full capacity when the weather sucks. They cut down delivery runs and tell the nursing homes if you don't fax us your order by X time, it is not going to be on the one run going out at night, and if you miss the deadline, too bad, you're gonna have to wait until the next day.
The actions exhibited by the district management last night, and store management this morning paint them as a company who puts their bottom line over employee safety. Once the pharmacy closed, the entire store should have closed. People can deal without 1 hour photo until the next day in a friggin snowstorm.
Seriously, get it together. I'm glad that calling the loss prevention/compliance hotline actually got a timely response and an apology to a wronged employee, but the fact of the matter is, they need to reconsider their policies. Any lost revenue by closing early is worth less than an employee potentially dying because of their stupidity, not to mention then they'd have to find someone new to replace the person. They also need to give store managers a course on how not to be condescending jerks, because this manager has been complained about on several occasions for being a condescending prick to his employees. He changes for like a week, and then it's back to the same old behavior again.