Mercury Drug vs Rose Pharmacy Queueing System (in layman’s terms: Pilahan System)

How many times have you gone to Mercury Drug to buy medicines only to find a counter thick with scrambling customers, each muscling his or her way to the front and vying for the pharmacists’ attention?

Me? Too many to count. Some Mercury branches have adopted a numbering system where you get a number the moment you get to the store and wait for your turn. It kinda solves the “scrambling” problem. It actually makes customers more civilized, in a way.

But, I am disappointed. Mercury is M.E.R.C.U.R.Y. It is a large drugstore. No other drugstore comes close in terms of stocks and in terms of number of branches. Let alone, the locations of these branches. And all they got are numbers on cardboard sometimes on fiber glass? Common. They can do better than that.

Rose Pharmacy, in my opinion, was able to solve the queueing problem more professionally. As if, they have “scrambling” customers than Mercury, right?  It is actually funny really. But Rose is commendable where Mercury has been wanting. A proper and professional queuing system.

First step:  Select transaction (read: What kind of customer are you?  The KSM Card is their Mercury Suki Card equivalent. I have one and, for the love of all Pokemons, I couldn’t remember how I got one.). Press Regular Lane on the touch screen monitor.

Comment:  I suggest they put this monitor, with accompanying glaring instructions, in a more conspicuous place. Sometimes, I see people get confused how to use it, that is, if they first figure out where to find it.  Why not put a large card with GET YOUR NUMBER HERE?  Maybe people ignore monitors especially with the likes of this one where half of the screen is occupied by an advertisement.


Second step. Get your number from this machine, located near the monitor where you pressed Regular Lane.


Third step. Wait for until your number appears on another monitor, a bigger one and imposing atop the counter. It directs you which counter to go to for assistance.

Note:  Pharmacists and/or pharmacist assistants are such sticklers for prescriptions.  Even for simple antibiotics. Be prepared.


Fourth step.  Wait for your medicines at the Claiming Section. Okay, I breezed through all the steps except for this step. As you can see, these were bored people waiting for their loots.


Overall, the experience is pleasant. Much pleasant than scrambling for attention. Nakaka stress ‘yun.



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