Thursday, June 28, 2007

This Just In: Craggy Finger

From Bulldog re: a recent ride on the glorious NJT.

A little off-topic, but hilarious in that 'funny but gross and goddamn don't let me get like that' sort of way:

I'm in a 4-seater (2 facing 2) sitting x from quite possibly the cutest old couple ever. He's holding their bag, and he gets all nice and settled and she goes, "Ok, now I want my bagel please." He's so damn cute. He yelled at her to give me some more room when I sat down.

I loved them UNTIL she puts down her book and pulls out the weapon of death from her crocheted bag...a nail file circa 1973, the kind with the extreme metal file that never bends or wears thin, and a plastic blue top on it. And she just goes at it. In fact, she's still going. She's doing it on her book for stability, and when the book cover fills up with enough white powder/nail dust, she sweeps it straight off.....onto my bare legs (thank you capri pants- of all the days!!). Then when she's done w/ a nail, she rubs it a few times on her polyester tan pants to ensure there are no snags. Really? I'm 2 inches away trying to eat my rice cakes and pb in peace while reading Bright Lights, Big Ass (hilarious, by the way)!

Oh god- she just finished and said to him, "Well that ought to save me some anyway. You know when they're too long they snag on everything and they rip off at a terrible angle."


Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Only 3 Days Left for T-Shirt Submissions!

Awwwwww, sweat!

Keep those submissions coming, guys. Deadline for t-shirt ideas is June 30th.

WTF are we yapping about? Go back in time.

Why I Hate You: 9 year old Demon

It's late. It's 10:32 on a school night. I have a huge presentation tomorrow.

And I'm a lightweight and have had my one cider maximum.

Which is why I have no tolerance for the little 9 year old girl who's currently hopping back and forth and on and off the four seater of my train. Nor do I have tolerance for her parents, who instead of showing a spine, spend the next 25 minutes negotiating with her to come over and sit down properly.

Demon Child: "They know I'm with youuuuu, so I don't nneeeeed to sit with yoooouuuu-uh."

Loud Mom: but you have to bc we have your ticket!!!

DC: "Noooooo-uuuhhhh!!!"

LM to Dad: she's going to be like this for another hour. You talk to her.

Dad: cmon what mom says.

DC: "NOooooooOooooooooO-uhhhhhh!!!"

::Bounce up::
::Bounce on aisle seat::
::Bounce on window seat::
::Eat rat head::

But nothing prepared me for the final straw. Oh, no.

Dad's vinyl "Robin Leech Presents Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous" hat.

I'm tired. Which is why I hate you: little 9 year old girl.
...and your Dad's poor sense of modern-day headwear.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007're in trouuuuuubllllle!

Thanks SPF for sending this in -

According to ABC7, the American Medical Association wants an investigation into these new-fangled in-store clinics, which are all the rage these days.

Right, Duane?

American Medical Association officials say they want authorities to investigate whether quickie retail-based health clinics run by pharmacy chains pose conflicts of interest that put profits ahead of patient health. The nation's largest physicians' group on Monday adopted a resolution vowing to seek an investigation after several of their doctors complained that the clinics interfere with the traditional practice of medicine.

The AMA wants state and federal agencies to look into whether pharmacy chain-owned clinics located in the stores urge patients to get their prescriptions filled on site, which the AMA maintains would pose a conflict. It also said that insurance companies should be banned from waiving or lowering co-payments only for patients who get treatment at store-based clinics.

This should be fun.

Has anyone tried the DR Free Clinic?

Ok, better yet: Does anyone want to admit they've gone to the DR Free Clinic?

Monday, June 25, 2007

Cold Turkey: Day One

Damn you, Duane.

The weekend was easy-peasy. Since I'm a BnT girl, I don't have the DR temptation out in Jersey.

However, I woke up this morning thinking about my frappy and then realized "oh shit. I can't go there anymore."

No problem. I will go to Starbucks. They have the little canned frappies and they're catty-corner from my office.


Alright, it's Monday. I should've expected a long line. No problem, frappy's on the way.

They're out. They only have strawberry. And while I love the sensation of sweaters on my teeth, I think I'll pass. So, I get an iced-grande-soy-chai.

$4.77 later, my wallet limps.

This is going to be tougher than I thought.

Time added to commute: 10min

Substitute for the DR: Starbucks

Friday, June 22, 2007

Going Cold Turkey

As I've noted before: Although we blog about the horrors of Duane Reade, we're total hypocrites and shop there pretty regularly. We call it "research."

Considering the latest round of verbal fistfights I've found myself in, b/c of a lack of line coordination at the DR, I have to quit going there. This morning I told a woman to wipe her mouth with the toilet paper she was holding b/c there was so much shit coming out of it.

Seriously, this place brings out the worst in everyone.

So I have to leave you, Duane.

Not hard, right? Stop whining, Wrathos, this isn't a big deal.

I hear ya, but...

Typically, I go in there with my dollar rewards card and get myself a Zone Bar and a Starbucks Frappuccino thingy. Almost every day, in fact. So now I have to map out another place to get these two things.

And I'm lazy.

The DR is rightnextdoor to my office. Literally. It's like, sneeze and you're hitting Photo Guy.

So, in commuter terms, this is a big deal.

The closest non-DR pharmacy is a few blocks out of my normal commute. So, I'll have to head too far downtown and then go back uptown to work.

And I'm lazy.

As far as prescriptions go...this'll be tricky. I may have to enlist fellow IHDR help to pick up my meds already on file. You know how DR pharmacy is when it comes to transferring your scripts.

Did I mention I'm lazy. Really lazy.

Wanna take bets on how long I last? I say I can do it for 30 days. Cold Turkey.

Any takers?

Thursday, June 21, 2007

It's Summertime - Time to Get Smoove...DR Style!

There are many alarming things about this photo:

1. This product is a DR Brand No-Heat, All Natural Hair Removal System.

2. It's for sale on Ebay for a Buy It Now price of $5.75...shipping $5.50.

And 3. It's a 36 piece kit.

I'm Greek. My chin hair can give Robin Williams' arms a run for their money.

I'm just saying, it goes against the laws of nature to use a 36 piece kit to modify ANYTHING on your body.

Yeah, think I'll pass on trusting the ol' bikini line to the all-natural ingredients the DR has to offer. Maybe they'll offer a gift set with some Triple-Lanolin Mango Vera.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

The Mystery of Duane Reade

Been meaning to share this article with you guys for a while now from New York Magazine called "The Mystery of Duane Reade."

Before you run off to read it, keep in mind this quote:

The company understands two important things: New Yorkers are uniquely harried shoppers, and the whole ball game comes down to real estate. Duane Reade has used its skill at that quintessential New York blood sport to cut rents by shoehorning its stores into bizarre locations other chains wouldn’t touch. And it’s kept New Yorkers coming back by knowing us better than we’d like to think: For all our bluster about good design, organic foods, and attentive service, we’ll take our Band-Aids and trash bags where we can get them.

Damn. Nailed us.

PS: Enter our t-shirt contest, suckas.

Monday, June 18, 2007

SPOTTED: Scrub Marketing

Our dear friend AB just informed us that there is some major DR guerrilla marketing happening at the 86th / Lex subway stop.

Apparently, a man in scrubs was handing out fliers, encouraging folks to use Duane Reade's free medical services.

Alright IHDR-ers. I need a flyer STAT! Who's got one? Who's seen the out of work actor looking to make a buck?

Let us know!

Friday, June 15, 2007

IHDR T-Shirt Contest!

An overwhelming majority of (drumroll please) FIFTY-people would buy a shirt. Eight people don't wear clothes. Might I suggest a DR brand tube sock?


We could just put "" on a t-shirt, but that wouldn't be fun. So we're putting the call out for t-shirt design submissions and the winning shirt will be made and sold here for a pretty cheap price.

Here are the rules:

1. Send a jpeg, or something similar, of your design to us.

2. The design should incorporate the website name. Obv.

3. To avoid many lawsuits, please do not use the Duane Reade logo...though manipulating it somehow should be fine and frankly more fun.

4. Slogans are welcome, like "IHDR: Pissing off pharmaceutical monopolies since March 2007" or "Want me to ring you up? Hang on while I finish my Cheetos." or whatever you like.

5. You guys will all vote and pick a winner sometime within the next few weeks. In addition to the 'yay hooray' you'll get online, we'll send you a $25 gift certificate to CVS. I mean, it's not like you want a DR gift cert, right?

Ok that's it. Questions? Post it in comments and we'll answer them.

Go forth and dee-sign!

UPDATE: Sorry, forgot a deadline - let's say June 30.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Missed Connections: DR Gets Romantic

Duane Reade hottie in a suit, buying smokes - m4m

Reply to:
Date: 2007-06-13, 4:22PM EDT

Yeah, Oscar is misunderstood. Let's get a drink, you're adorable. Hit me back with which Duane Reade and what we were talking about.

from Craigslist...

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

This Just In: The Cooler

Ladies and Gentleman - Think we found our t-shirt slogan, courtesy of the DR on E. 51st.

"The cooler is out of service. Please don't touch it. "

Thanks, Eden for sending this over!

UPDATE: Yeah. I suck. It should read "Ladies and Gentlemen." Oh the irony!

Why I Hate You: Executive CU Next Tuesday

Hi Guys - I need to vent. Can I pull up a chair?

Scene: 8am at the DR. I need my coffee and these days it's in the form of a Starbucks Frappuccino. You know, this kind?

There's a line snaking down the cereal aisle, as usual, because there is only one register open.
In my defense I tried the 'buy it at the pharmacy' trick, but there was a long line there as well.

So I brave the line and set myself behind a squat, sunglass-indoors-wearing, business woman with a shopping carriage. Full carriage, not the hand-held kind.

I wonder immediately what's in there, because no one in a business suit buys their groceries at Duane Reade. Yell all you want, but you know I'm right.

I also think, briefly: Oh, she's probably got snacks for an office party or something. So I sneak a peek.

In her cart. There are. One bag of pretzels. And one single serving size of Special K.

Blood starts to simmer. Granted, she could have a shoulder injury or weak wrists or some shit, but at the point I start to rationalize why this woman would create the school play version of a clogged artery in my Duane Reade with her goddamn cart...she sighs that "I don't have time for this because I'm important" sigh.

Blood boil has hit 'rattle.' But I take a breath because this is just a small part of my day. If I remain calm, a cold frappuccino is waiting for me.

Oh but no. Now, we have what I call "the Y". "The Y" is the dual-pronged line that forms when folks in the main cash area don't realize that there's a line straight down the aisle and therefore form their own line off to the side.

Shopping Carriage heaves another sigh and loudly proclaims: "Excuse me, the line is back here!" Ok, the Y people mumble some apologies and head behind me. I try to smile in the "You know she's crazy, but let's just get through this" manner, but they're not reading me.

Hallelujah! A second line opens! Alright, people, let's make some decisions here!

Here's where it gets ugly. Shopping carriage continues straight to the 1st line, while no one is approaching the 2nd register, wayyyy over on the opposite side of the cashier area. It's pretty obvious her ass ain't moving any time soon.

So I ask her: "Ma'am? Would you mind if I go over to that other register and start a new line?"

Her response: "I don't care."

Me: "Well, I'm asking you."

She: "I don't make the rules."

Me, holding in my wrath: "Ok." And I shuffle off to the open register.

And I hear: "You're supposed to let the the next person in line go next!"


Me: "I just asked you if it was ok?!"

She: "Whatever."

Now I'm pissed. I reply: "Well, I'm really sorry. Looks like you've got a lot to carry there. How's it going, by the way? It must be tough for you...managing your cart filled with absolutely NOTHING?!"

::Blank Stare::

So I get to the register, all proud of myself, and here comes Shopping Cart! She's making her way to MY LINE, even though she's next to be rung up at her register. What in blue fuck is wrong with her?

Naturally, like any mature 32 year old, I take as long as humanely possible to complete my transaction. Oh, would I want to add a pack of gum to my total? Hmm....which flavor....Oh and I think I have exact change! Let me....take....a....look....Nope, you go ahead. Oh, I think I have my club card...let'ssssssss....seeeee.......

And after I hear a big sigh from Shopping Cart, I slowly turn around, shine my shiniest smile and wish her a wonderful Tuesday.

Damn hog.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Lay off my Parfum de Coeur, muthaf*er!!

Found this in the Daily News Police Blotter. In no way do we condone this type of behavior, but we're just wondering what kind of night this dude was prepping for:

* A thief was arrested for swiping several personal-hygiene products and threatening a worker with a sharp object in a Duane Reade drugstore in Union Square, authorities said yesterday.

A worker spotted Jamison Abramson, 27, removing the products, including lotions and body spray, from shelves inside the store on Third Avenue at East 14th Street at about noon on May 30, cops said.

When the employee confronted him, Abramson allegedly brandished the weapon and said, "I'll stab you," before fleeing.

The next day, cops tracked down Abramson, who was charged with robbery and criminal possession of stolen property, according to the Manhattan District Attorney's Office.

Friday, June 8, 2007

25 Bonus Points to Make Up for That Lost Prescription

Just got back from the DR.

Shut up, my CVS doesn't carry liquid B12, so I had to suck it up and visit Dr. Reade.

Anyway, I got my prescription and found a new game:

For those who can't see the text, it says (grammar errors and crappy marketing, theirs):

In a hurry?
Did we promise you a time for pickup today?
Did we keep our promise?


One Time, 25 bonus points awarded to your Dollar Rewards Account...

Just for taking a 1 minute customer satisfaction survey. It's easy it's fast and you reap the rewards!!

Call 1-800-680-5576

Don't wait! Call before time runs out!

Thank you, Jack Bauer.

So you know Attic Gloves and I had to make the call. No verbatim this time, but it went a little something like this:

Welcome to Doo-wayne Reade (and this annoys's Duane, not Doo-wayne...Jim on "The Office" does this with the name Dwight -"Doo-wight"- and although I heart him, I hate that he does it) blah blah blah welcomey survey stuff.

Please enter the code on your filled prescription sticker.

...which, sorry guys, is how they tag you so you don't repeat and get more free points.

Please answer the following questions using your touch tone phone.

When you dropped off your prescription, did you wait at the store (press 1) or left the store to pick up later (press 2)?

We press 2.

When you picked up your prescription, how long did you wait in line? For less than 5 minutes, press 1. For 6-10 minutes, press 2. For more than 10 minutes, press 3.

We press 3, and really did you expect anything less? Personally, I was hoping for the 'for more than 45 minutes with $50 worth of soyjoys in your hand, which you purchased out of boredom, press 22' option.

Are you likely to recommend this location to a friend [::snort::]? Press 1 for yes, 2 for no.

We press 2.

Then they go on to say how "there may have been a breakdown" (yes, "breakdown") in our prescription filling process, would you like to speak to someone in our pharmacy department? Press 1 for yes, 2 for no.

Yeah, we couldn't do it. It's 4p on a Friday. There's only enough strength left to go downtown for happy hour and cheese. Pressed 2.

Are you a Dollar Rewards member? Yes 1, No 2.


So then they ask us to put in the rewards number and we get 25 free points for pushing buttons and being disgruntled.

Considering I will have to purchase another $75 worth of merchandise to get my $5 coupon and that I had to put up with their usual BS (like the cashier looking under B for about 3 minutes until I reminded her that Wrathos starts with another letter), it didn't seem like a decent comp. But sure as shit, I took it.

The DR is sure making some changes around those parts - 25 points at a time! So, if you have a Rewards Club and a prescription handy, be dialin'! And let us know if anything fun happens...

Thursday, June 7, 2007

DR in the News

Morning, ya'll. Metro had a little article on the DR this morning.

Seems they've figured out a way to help manage the congestion issue. On the surface it sounds great, I'm just wondering how they envision a trucks-only lane in the city.

And 4.5 hours per delivery? Something tells me it's not just traffic - that's a crap load of time! Though it may explain why we trip over crates in the feminine hygiene aisle.

“Our trucks travel 450,000 miles a year with an average round trip of 14 miles,” said Duane Reade senior vice president and CFO John Henry. “The average delivery time per store is 4.5 hours per trip.”

Addressing a conference on freight traffic held here yesterday, Henry added: “I think the statistics speak for themselves. We have a substantial crisis on our hands.”

By 2030, the city’s population is expected to grow by 1 million, and the region is expected to have an additional 4 million residents, which means a lot more goods will be hitting the roads. According to the Federal Highway Administration, the volume of cargo coming and going from the metro region will increase by 99 percent between 2002 and 2035.

Because “commercial traffic meets with commuter traffic at a limited number of access points,” Henry believes, “we need to expand deliveries into and out the city all 24 hours a day.”

Henry said that would reduce delivery times, pollution and hazards that occur during rush hours. Though he wouldn’t comment on the Bloomberg administration’s congestion pricing plan, he said he supported incentives rather than penalties to reduce traffic. For example, a truck-only lane for off-peak hours could speed up deliveries.

For the whole article, go here.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

I Heart CVS

It's not perfect, but it's got a massage chair, honey!

No seriously. My local CVS has a massage chair built into the pharmacy waiting area. And it's gooooooooooood.

Can we get one of those at the DR? Please?!

If you do, then maybe, maaaybe I'll forgive you for the cashier hitting on the chick in line this morning, commenting that her perfume was so potent she made him want to quote: "get on her."

PS: Why is it called CVS? What do the initials stand for? Crunchy Value Snack? Citrus V8 SunnyD? Customer Very Stabbed?

Monday, June 4, 2007

This Just In: Aw, C'mon Photo Guy!

From the ol' mailbox, Anne writes:

Our HONEYMOON pictures (2 rolls) were left in to be developed at the 19th & 7th avenue location one sunny Saturday afternoon. One week later I go to collect them but no-go. So another week later and another week later I go, each time it’s like rocket science going through when I left in the film etc etc…like I would believe some employee sorts through & organizes the photos by drop-off date…NOPE, DR lost my photos.

Perhaps related - apparantly, they've stopped using Kodak's pick-up service and have opted for a presumable cheaper outsourced option which Kodak say they've had numerous issues with. Anyway, somewhere along the process of the bag getting picked up and being dropped of at the Kodak facility they've lost these precious pics…Do I have recourse I wonder ??

So I call the store looking for the name of the manager and NO-ONE can tell me !! I couldn't believe it. & I call their headquarters and the girl gives me the wrong address for their head-office/customer relations. Really interested to see what their response is like and how long it takes to get one!

Hey Anne - Wanna try 866-375-6925? That's the customer service number they've plastered all over their pledge campaign. Maybe this time it won't go to voicemail. Keep us posted, ok?

Remember, It's Called I Hate Duane Reade

Feel free to check out the comments section for some really passionate folks who are pissed off that we have a blog to vent our feelings.

Yikes. Seriously, folks. Yikes.

But let me take a second before I post today to answer a couple of questions:

1. Yes, we have lives. Barely, but they're there.

2. We each have full time jobs and some have worked out of some really crappy situations to get them.

3. Some of us still shop Duane Reade out of convenience. Hypocritical? Yep. Do we still despise going there? Yep. It's what the shrink calls 'an abusive relationship'.

4. We've each had really good experiences at Duane Reade. But what fun is it to blog about how helpful the clerk was when you can't find the starch spray?

5. Honestly, guys. It's just a blog. You don't have to read it. We won't shut off the comments, because just as we're entitled to our opinions, you're entitled to yours. It's the first amendment and it's pretty cool we have it.

There. Never to be addressed again. Thanks for the full Inbox of support, guys and on with the show!

- Wrathos

Friday, June 1, 2007

So sleepy...

I know I’ve been gone for ages, leaving Wrathos to pick up the slack, and I only have a moment to spare this morning. I’ll be back with more soon, though, including some international comparison shopping and more in the continuing series “Douchebags at the Movies.” For the moment, I’ve got this little gem:

Walked into DR this morning to pick up a fresh pair of stockings (Thanks for pointing out the run in the back helpful stranger on the N train! I really did appreciate you letting me know, but did you really not expect me to curse when I noticed it?). One of the cashiers was taking a nap. At her register. I mean her head was literally on the cash register. I’m guessing she wasn’t dead or injured, because her fellow employees were showing her just about as much concern as they show me when I ask where to find Q-Tips.

In all fairness, the other cashier was quick and courteous and got me in and out in record time. Of course on my way out, I had to walk past her colleague who was sleeping on her feet like a horse at a glue factory, which begs the question, why are there two cashiers on at 7:30 in the morning when nobody is in the place, and only one at 5:00 when there are no less than 600 people in line? I guess technically there was only one person working, but still. Why even bother to schedule someone to stand behind the counter?