Archive | July, 2012

Spotlight: Anam Shah

31 Jul

July 31, 2012

Spotlight Week 2012 continues with Anam Shah. Anam writes the blog My perception and then yours, which you can find in the sidebar or just click the image below. Take a second, it is worth a look around. Among the things you’ll find there are some intriguing literary analysis and also some interesting personal insights. She has a very interesting point-of-view and sharp insights into the world. I hope you find her as engrossing as I do.

Anam has done something a little different for Spotlight Week. She’s homed in on one of her recent experiences and described for us one of life’s too-common annoyances.

Rite Aid should be called Band Aid

It’s laughable how easy it is to find a job in the sales industry and yet the lack of actual customer service is so daunting. I don’t know about you guys but I pride true customer service. I was part of that industry and I had always exhibited the best.  To find it and be shocked into speechlessness is how often I come across it. Besides the fact that the title rhymes; the horrific experiences that I’ve had at this Pharmacy chain is beyond belief. Now one “W” is very prominent. “Why do you go there?” I will answer that question in due time. So don’t slip in your puddle with your lack of patience or pee in your pants.

     It all started in the month of April and yet the confrontation is still fresh in my mind. It was unwarranted the harassment I faced just to buy bottles of shampoo and boxes of soda. Instead of being heralded as a great customer, loyal to the extreme that spent over 100 dollars at this store; I was treated worse than a shoplifter.

     The sale was to buy three boxes of soda of 12 oz cans for 11 dollars, which was a great deal, but the real reason I was there was to buy overpriced shampoo bottles that were on sale. Rite Aid was the only pharmacy that I found to have John Frieda on sale for “Buy one and Get one for 50% off” with a 5 dollar cash back option if you bought shampoo for more than fifteen dollars.

     Then the notch count against the common people began. First the soda cans that were on their shelves were expired. Then there was only one person on the floor who had a clue about the sale. Next, their sale stickers were all old and no one had bothered to put the new ones up. Then I went up to the counter and found out that the cashier had no clue which soda brands were on sale. He was asking me, the customer, if I knew. Worse, he went ahead and charged me for the soda that I didn’t want even though I repeated a zillion times that I didn’t want the product. Annoyed, I was a bit short with the guy and I told him this is his job to know the current prices in the store not mine.

     After the horrendous trial of just paying, I was catching up with my ex-roommate that I had happened to bump into while at Rite Aid. She had worked on Wall Street and had recently been laid off. We mentioned our various occupations, the economic downturn and lack of jobs. During this time the incompetent staff was privy to our conversation and I didn’t know that it would escalate into a situation where I would personally be under attack. I was about to leave the store and I mentioned to the security guard that I would need to take the shopping cart to my car since I had so many purchases that would make it hard for me to carry. He grunted and said as long as I bought the cart back to the store it was fine. I said farewell to my roomie and went to the car. When I turned back and wheeled the cart back into the store I found the guard outside and the first thing he said “You gave the cashier a very rough time.” I frowned in confusion and responded “Well he didn’t know what he was doing.” He agreed but then he prolonged the conversation and he tried to turn the tables and said “You should have been nice to him.”  Incredulous I was like “I am just returning the cart, unless you are the manager of this store why are we having this conversation?”  Then the personal attacks began; I was bitter ……. I had problems… Did I even have a man………he was just talking to me. Who cares if I just spent an easy 50 dollars on one transaction?  At this point I had enough. I gave him a really good backlash which included losing my temper and giving him a good dose of the true Brooklyn language. The manager was not there and the guard’s name tag was turned around. Very sarcastically I said “So that is why you make sure your name is so inconspicuous.” I laughed in his face and I said “You are a waste of my time. I will be making a few phone calls and filing an online complaint with Rite Aid.” During this time a crowd had gathered and one customer actually came and asked me what the whole scene was about. My response was I should have called the cops and pressed charges for such harassment of the verbal kind. Plus I should have just left the cart in the parking lot instead of being courteous and returning it to the store.

               I got home and filed an online complaint. The next business day, I called the company using their 1-800 number open to the public. That very afternoon I got phone calls from a 718 number. No voicemail, just hang-ups. This made me raise my eyebrows. Finally, I found that it was the Regional Manager of Rite Aid. Why didn’t he leave a voice message which would be the norm? He apologized for my experience. During this time I was not allowed to talk and mention my grievances. He blamed the easy target: the cashier. My complaint was with the security guard. Then he mentioned policies and procedures like I was a two year-old. Like come on, even if you worked at McDonald’s there are policies and procedures to follow. There was no talk of reprimanding the security guard.  The apology: a band aid. Useless when wet and came off easily.

            The next time I went to that Rite Aid………………… the cashier wasn’t present but I did see the security guard. Oh and by the way he was telling another female customer ahead of me, quite candidly, how stupid he thought she was. She responded with a smile. Did they know one another? I don’t know. Was it professional? No. As a customer I believe once you’re on the job your personal life should be out the door. He saw me looking at him and I believe he refrained from using perverse words of another nature.  I was highly irked with these new tidings and the outcome of my complaint which had been so easily disregarded. I sent the Regional Manager an email. It said the following:

Dear Richard:

Not that long ago I went to that location again. I was horrified to see that you still have that atrocious security guard working there. I see that the customers opinions are considered null and insignificant. His inappropriate remarks are generously rewarded. Considering that factor I was not surprised to overhear another inappropriate remark with his then present conversation with another customer.

I used to work for a Rite Aid as a teenager, but if  he had did what he verbally did with me at my current firm which  I work for, he would have been terminated for his lack of professionalism. I am surprised that you keep on such employees when he is from a third-party and probably a dime a dozen.

I will take my business elsewhere and trust me when I say that word of mouth is very powerful. I was willing to consider the Rite Aid employees being written up or given a verbal warning because I understand that procedures differ at each company. For you to keep on a security guard that intimidates customers is horrible. Your lucky that nobody has called 911 for his harassing behavior.

Since I am an Accountant and well versed in the business world I will tell you this. I will make sure everybody that I know in the immediate vicinity will not go to that Rite Aid or any other. I will even post my bad customer service experiences on my blog. I hope you will enjoy that since I can see how much you care about customer service. I will take all my prescriptions and my family members to CVS. I will also promote CVS and tell everybody I know or even briefly acquainted with why I don’t go to Rite Aid. Competition is lovely thing isn’t it? Especially in the private sector.

I hope this has given you food for thought. I am disgusted that I have to mention my background for you to take me seriously.


Anam Shah ……

The Regional Mangers response to my concerns about a security guard that harassed female customers?  There was none. Great Customer service! My only regret, I should have called the cops and filed a complaint against that bloke of a security guard when I had the chance!

Spotlight: Allan Keyes- Fun With the Internets: News from Comic Con

30 Jul

July 30. 2012

Spotlight Week is here! All week we’ll be reading a variety of guest posts from some generous and creative people, all of whom have generously donated their time and efforts. I appreciate them all.

Starting us off is no stranger to The Tepid Ride, Mr. Allan Keyes. Mr. Keyes is my real-life brother and I  am very glad he’s taken a regular Monday gig here. He needs no further introduction, so here we go!

Anyone here play video games?  I’ve been a video game addict since I was a kid. I was playing games back when Pac- Man was single.  My current favorite is the Gears of War series. How could it not be? Look at the featured weapon:


That’s right. It’s a high-powered assault rifle equipped with a chainsaw! Combine the killing power of a high-caliber weapon with the killing power of a buzzing chainsaw and this is what you get. How to describe the resulting instrument of gory, over-the-top violence? Royal diesel.  After all, who among us HASN’T wanted to create something like this?
 Thus affirming my belief that America is the greatest country in the world. We’re so well-armed that we can combine our weapons to maximize our destructive power in imaginative new ways. TAKE THAT CHINA!!!!

Anyway, I’ve been following the news from ComiCon, and there were several announcements of eagerly-awaited video game releases that I think are worth sharing with all you, even if you’re not quite as hardcore a gamer as me:


I think the title is a bit redundant though. I mean doesn’t mayhem usually follow naturally as a result of a rampage? I can attest that mayhem has indeed accompanied each of my rampages. Of course, my rampages have also been accompanied by getting tasered and then soiling myself in the ensuing convulsing, so let’s call it good.

Anyway, I like this game because it reminds me of an awful wrestler from back in the day – yes, he was a wrestling accountant:

This gentleman wrestled as Irwin R. Schyster.   Hey, IRS! Get it! GET IT!??! I’ll say this for Vince McMahon, he never made the mistake of being too subtle.  Of course, this is a perfect segue to the next high-profile release for Xbox:

4) WWF vs. WCW

 …..hey wait a minute. This isn’t new, it’s kind of old and busted. We’ve seen quite a few WWF vs. WCW releases over the years.  What’s the deal? Oh……………….not this WWF:



I gotta admit I like this one better. I think that panda can take the Hulkster (they both sport the same ‘stache and beard).  But this is a blatant rip-off of AWESOME FOX reality show Man vs. Beast: , a show that pitted men in feats of strength against champions of the animal kingdom.  Here is just one synopsis of the competitions held:

“A group of 44 dwarfs lost a race against an Asian elephant to see which could pull a commercial jet a certain distance first.”

And this is why you come to MR. BTR folks. There’s very few places on the net where you could ever hope to read about something like this. What drugs was the creator of that show on?? Who even thinks of having dwarfs challenge an elephant at anything!??!?!?  I’m drooling just reading those words. I MUST SEE IF THIS IS ON DVD ANYWHERE.  You don’t get quality TV like this anymore, though Hardcore Pawn comes close.


3)  Everything old is new again!

An old classic gets a facelift:


You all knew this was coming.  For classic game fans, this is also available as part of a GameStop-exclusive “Before and After” two-pack along with another updated classic:


2) Get Your Freak On!

Love the Kinect. It allows you to play your game by moving your body in the appropriate way. So I have to admit, this one is an absolute natural:


This game has several unique levels. You can master solo play, or get up for group mode, where you can play with up to 5 people. Sure to be an orgy of fun! (This game requires a special controller, which is sold separately in adult shops near you)

Did you know that this is not the first pornographic video game? Not by a longshot. I present to you Custer’s Revenge:


Good lord. Folks, this is real and was available for the Atari 2600! The video game industry was so new, Atari couldn’t keep 3rd-party pornsters from manufacturing for its system. Good times my friends, good times. Anyway, the “plot” of this game was pretty straightforward: Custer arose from the grave (in more ways than one) and got his “revenge” on those damned injuns by molesting a squaw while arrows rained around him. No, seriously:


How’d he get his pants off over his boots? I must say, this is the hottest use of pixels since I learned that I could use an upside-down calculator to spell the word boobs. Gameplay was easy: Custer earned points for each……thrust. Sometimes an arrow capped him and ended the level.  “Swedish Erotica” my a$$.  This is about as erotic as a pair of batwings:


 And the most exciting release announcement from Comic Con….(and maybe containing a few future spoilers):

1) Hitting Rock Bottom:



Nowhere to go but up, right?


UGH. Maybe not. Nevermind that loser with the cheeseburgers, I’m the one who suffers for his art.

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