NORWALK, CA – As the queue begins to overtake the seasonal aisle, people grow impatient waiting to buy their laxatives and ointments. “The pharmacist said someone should be up any minute,”says Jennifer, 31, taking her place back in line.
In an effort to keep prices competitive, CVS has instituted an employment policy of one cashier per every three retail locations. “It’s how we’re able to stay competitive in the market. Our overhead is just too high,” says regional manager Alex Reyes. “Half of our gross profits go right back into purchasing receipt paper,” he continues, referencing the 9 mile ribbon of coupons customers receive with every transaction. “After that, we’re pretty limited on how many people we can hire. Luckily, there’s a CVS location on every other block. Once our associate clears the queue at store number 317, he or she can shoot around the block to store number 323 and start chipping away at the line over there. And then the next store. And then- you get it. If there weren’t so many wonderful CVS locations for you to choose from, we might have to start closing stores.”
“It’s not that bad,” says Damon McDougal, the only CVS cashier for six miles. “The stores are pretty close. They pay for my gas. And it’s cool because, like, they don’t drug test here either.”
“We, unfortunately, do not have the flexibility to pay for our associates gas at the moment. But it’s a program we are looking into,” Reyes makes clear.
“Oh. They pay, for my gas,” corrects Damon, with a smile, as he pats his front pocket.
So far the the public has had mixed responses. Hector Avila, 41 of Santa Fe Springs says, “Do you work here?”
Norma Morales, 67, asks “Hello? Can I get some help?” She is here hoping to have some photos developed in time for a funeral and having a hard time getting the attention of a CVS cashier.