Undoubtedly, Mercury Drug is the biggest pharmacy chain in the country. However, I have been always peeved by their inconsistent queueing system.
There are 2 branches in Alabang that I know of. One in South Supermarket, one in Alabang Town Center. Both have a number queueing system. This one really works for me because I know there’s a system and I adjust my expectations accordingly.
Now, problems arise when there’s no number system, like in Mercury Drug Balibago Sta.Rosa. Take for instance my experience yesterday. I had dull headache and I decided to grab some paracetamol. I was at the counter about 4pm. I was entertained after 20 minutes. 20 MIINUTES for a paracetamol. By that time, my dull headache had turned to a throbbing headache and heading for full migraine. I thought I was just the one icked by this lack of system. But, another customer refused to use her Senior Citizen booklets (ergo skipping the discounts and all) when she was instructed to get a number specifically for the Senior Citizens (they have a number system for Seniors). Guess why? She said, “baka patay na yung lalagyan ko ng insulin pag pumila pa ko dyan” (the person who I am buying insulin for may be dead if I queue there). Noticeably, there were only 3 people behind the counter and, boy, were they slow. There wasn’t a sense of “urgency” or a weeny bit of spring in their steps. They were plodding like elephants. Maybe they were at it for hours. I dunno. Management should probably add more manpower.
Another thing that peeves me is their system of a pharmacy assistant (i think that’s what they call those taking orders) getting multiple orders. Say around from 3 to 5 people. I was just buying a frigging paracetamol and I had to wait a llllllooonnggg time because the pharmacy assistant had to finish getting all the meds of the other customers before she checks out my paracetamol at the cashier. Why can’t they just finish one transaction before going to the next? Getting multiple orders gets highly problematic when your order gets lumped with another big order (a string of meds that need special attention like mixing or something).
The only option you have with Mercury Durg branches without a proper queueing system is to box your way to the front of the counter. Otherwise, if you are timid, you will have to wait for a long long time.
Since the number system works why don’t Mercury Drug adopt it for the rest of its branches for consistency?
I was frustrated when I went out of Mercury Drug yesterday with my paracetamol and yes, I had to endure a migraine the rest of the night. I would have avoided that if I had gotten my dose quick enough.