Walgreens Thanks Nurse For Rescuing Comatose Diabetic By Sending Her Glucometer Bill

A woman went into a potentially fatal diabetic coma while in line at a New York-area Walgreens. Two nurses and an off duty sheriff’s officer happened to be in line. They grab a carton of OJ, some sugar, and a glucometer and manage to raise her blood sugar a little bit. According to their reports, after the paramedics took the patient away, the Walgreens manager came out to demand that the merchandise be paid for, otherwise it’s shoplifting. Good thing they were there, otherwise he might have tried to fine the diabetic for blocking the checkout line.

Shame, Shame, Shame: Incident at Walgreens [FOX] (Thanks to Robert!)


Edit Your Comment

  1. BerdineCabelin says:

    Comment on Walgreens Thanks Nurse For Rescuing Comatose Diabetic By Sending Her Glucometer Bill A lot of problems in this world can be solved by a little common sense
    and humanity.

  2. HIV 2 Elway says:

    If it wasn’t for the Blue Blockers, I’d never shop there again.

  3. LeopardSeal says:

    Wow, just wow. How do these people get management jobs?

  4. induscreed says:

    A lot of problems can be solved if everyone exercised a little common sense, and courtesy.

    Although we dont know, maybe the manager would have had to go through a lot of red tape come book keeping time,to prove that it wasnt shop lifting but a freebie to help a medical emergency.

    I guess we will never know.

  5. DoctorVenkman says:

    There is only one solution for Walgreen’s:

    Nuke it from orbit. It’s the only way to be sure.

  6. homerjay says:

    We spend a lot of time saying things like “Wallgreens did this bad thing” and “Best Buy did that bad thing” but really, this isn’t about Walgreens. This is about some complete asshat PERSON trying to make himself feel important.

    PEOPLE really suck sometimes. They really really do.

  7. weakdome says:

    There’s a war in my town. Walgreens and CVS are fighting to see who can have the most buildings in the least amount of square mileage. I hope at some point they both reach critical mass and we don’t have to deal with either one.

  8. HIV 2 Elway says:

    @homerjay: Ture, although it becomes Wallgreen’s issue if they don’t take corrective action.

  9. fluiddruid says:

    @homerjay: Sure, it could just be a person. But it’s up to Walgreens to deal with the manager who thinks it’s acceptable to act this way.

    In addition, would you say it’s just the manager’s fault if Walgreens has a very strict policy on missing items? What if the employee was forced to pay for these items himself or be fired?

    We don’t know enough but I do think that Walgreens should be responsible for stepping forward and dealing with how this was handled. Their representative acted this way – now they can deal with it.

  10. She should at least get her meal comped at Wag’s.

    What? Walgreens doesn’t operate a restaurant anymore?

  11. The Porkchop Express says:

    @homerjay: ’tis true.
    Kudos to the people for helping.

    The manager is an ass. Also, I just hate them because all the employees (half of them much older than the manager) have to call these manager bastards Mr. or Mrs. Asshat.

  12. @homerjay: This is along the same line as when Starbucks charged for water for rescue workers during 9/11. It was someone stupid stance, and the company had to deal with all the blowback.

  13. Truvill says:

    Incidentally, how would this be resolved if the rescuers didn’t have to pay at all? (with regards to inventory and bookkeeping).

  14. Phexerian says:

    Walgreen’s is known for being very anal in it’s policies. I don’t shop at CVS or Walgreens because of stuff like this.

  15. pigeonpenelope says:

    and the humanitarian award goes to…

  16. MaelstromRider says:

    @Truvill: The items would be considered damaged and processed as such. That sort of thing happens all the time.

  17. Murph1908 says:

    Option 1:

    Demand payment for items used to save the life of a customer and look like a greedy tool.

    Option 2:

    Take an $18 dollar hit to your bottom line, give the woman a free low-end glucometer, and act like a real human being.

    I’ll take the option 1, please, with a side of public shame and humiliation. I’ll pass on the option 2, which comes with free advertisements for my store and 4 loyal customers, one who needs expensive diabetic supplies.

    Oh, and that news story is the exact reason I hate video news. Over dramatic, overbearing, and it took me 5 minutes to find out how much the store stood to lose from the event.

    I also like the nurse’s phrase, ‘a rapid amount of time.’

    But bravo to the people who worked well together in an emergency.

  18. pigeonpenelope says:

    @Phexerian: i typically like walgreens however thinking that they’d rather a customer die than pitch in a bit of juice and cheap supplies to save the person makes me think perhaps i should find a different pharmacy.

  19. DrGirlfriend says:

    Lack of intelligence and fear of “getting in trouble” are a powerful combination. Unfortunately, it’s one that’s rampant in the workplace, especially retail, and *especially* in management. My first thought was that if this guy had done the right thing, we might still be hearing about this story because his own boss might have penalized him.

  20. pigeonpenelope says:

    sorry phexerian.. that really wasn’t aimed at you…

  21. WingZero987 says:

    Fox News (albeit a local station) is the voice of reason here? Wow, good job Walgreens.

  22. chrisjames says:

    @homerjay: Walgreens is responsible for how its stores are operated, and I believe that even their attempted carte blanche to lay it all on the managers’ shoulders is just a cop out. That’s just a corporate ploy to take responsibility for profits but not failures. Either way, the jerk should get canned, but an apology from Walgreens would do wonders for them right now.

  23. Joafu says:

    Haha! Who did the manager think was going to arrest her? The deputy officer that was there? Ass hat…

  24. mac-phisto says:

    no good deed goes unpunished.

  25. thenotwho says:

    No good deed goes un-billed?

    Seriously, though, I’m not surprised. Though this may be a lone, rogue store manager – there sure seem to be a lot of them working at Walgreens stores across the country (I can vouch personally for four states)

  26. @fluiddruid: OK, I must say I should take back my comment. I didn’t realize the cop threw the glucometer into the ladies bag and she left with it. I can see the managers point b/c now he can’t even return the meter w/the packaging for credit. It shouldn’t have been given to the lady, it should have stayed in a store. The consumables can be written off much easier w/ just the packaging, unlike the meter. The nurse said she didn’t know what happened to it, so for all the manager knew, she DID take it, as it was no longer in the store.

    I think the manager did the right thing in letting the two nurses and cop handle the situation, especially if had no medical training. What was he supposed to do better than a cop and two trained nurses?

    This could have been handled better after the fact, but I think the news story tends to tell the story in the “victims” favor. OK, flame away.

  27. bohemian says:

    Walgreens keeps the glucose meters out on the open shelves. They keep expensive things like test strips behind glass.
    They should just write this off as damaged merchandise. But no. Too many people are so busy trying to CYA, enforce unwritten rules or rally around someone else’s stupidity to actually stop and think.

  28. mizmoose says:

    The #1 rule of diabetes is: High blood sugar kills slowly, low blood sugar kills in minutes.

    (OK, high blood sugar can kill you in hours but only in extreme circumstances. Let’s not nitpick.)

    These people saved that woman’s life. Walgreen’s had a chance to be public about a good deed and instead have a giant black mark. How incredibly stupid.

  29. megan9039 says:

    I wonder if the manager would have felt the same way if it was his elderly diabetic grandparent that got saved??!!

    The !@##@ of the year award goes to him!

  30. JollyJumjuck says:

    : It was of course the diabetic’s fault for going into the coma in the first place. Had she monitored her blood sugar, food intake and insulin properly, this whole mess could have been avoided. The diabetic woman should be charged for the supplies, and banned from the store for stressing out the manager.

  31. mizmoose says:

    Oh — one more thing — Companies that make Glucometers give them away for FREE. Call any of them up, say you’re a diabetic and you “lost your meter,” or, hell, you want to “switch brands,” and they’ll ship you a new one, and the kit to use it – everything but the strips.

    Any store that charges you money for a glucometer is likely ripping you off. Most of the companies also offer 100% rebates on all their models if you buy one in the store.

    The strips are how they make money. They run about $1 a piece. An insulin-dependant diabetic may test himself from 2-5 times a day.

  32. @mizmoose: So that’s why Wilfred is always pushing you to test. And test often.

  33. SpdRacer says:

    @Truvill: It’s called breakage.

  34. tmed says:

    As ever, I assume TV murder mysteries have the answer:

    The diabetic was the mistress of the manager. The Manager’s wife (Ms Asshat) had recently found out about the affair and insisted that Mr. Asshat end it or she would divorce him and take 1/2 of his fortune. she did not want to insist on a divorce because she didn’t want to lose the prestige that come with marrying into Walgreen’s management.

    When told of Asshat’s intention to end their relationship, Ms. Diabeitc revealed that she had proof of tongue-depressor kickbacks that Asshat had been pocketing for years and that the affair would continue (Asshat is surprisingly well-endowed).

    Mr Asshat set in a plan that involved hiring incompetent staff forcing long queues at the counter then adding extra sugar to Diabetic’s coffee.

    Everything was going perfectly when she collapsed into a soon-to-be-fatal diabetic coma. Then, out of nowhere, three good samaritans save her life.

    In a fit of vengeful pique, Mr. Asshat insists on charging for the glaucometer. An act so outrageous, that both women leave him.

  35. flamincheney says:

    I don’t often email companies on issues that don’t affect me, however, on this I had to let Walgreens know they lost a family of customers forever. Their PR gaffe in regards to $25 in product will cost them far more. Their response to the issue was as appalling as the issue itself.

  36. flamincheney says:

    It could be written as breakage, shrinkage, or one of many other ways to reconcile store books.

  37. MikeB says:

    @homerjay: I was actually thinking that myself. The title should be, a Manager at Walgreens thanks nurse…..

  38. gemio says:


    watch the video – walgreens is just as much to blame as the idiot manager. what scum.

  39. Anonymous says:

    FYI, calling Bayonne, New Jersey “NY Area” is insulting to New Yorkers. If we could widen the Hudson, we would.

  40. jamesdenver says:


    I’m a type 1 db and test at least 5-10 times a day – in addition to using a constant glucose monitor which relays my blood sugar to me every five minutes.

    I use Walgreens for my supply because they’re close and I like the pharmacists there. But going THROUGH the store is another story.

    Front Door guy: You have to leave your bag with me:

    Me: Nope. I’m going to the pharmacy and I’m not leaving my personal stuff unattended. Come walk with me if you like to make sure I don’t steal any shitty hair clips or Planter’s cashews.

    upon leaving:


    Front Door guy chasing me out: Stop I need to check your stuff or something.

    Me: (Already out the door and walking/biking away): No – these are paid for. Go check with the pharmacy.

  41. MeOhMy says:

    + Watch video

    I can see where Walgreens is coming from. They simply cannot allow the materially adverse deluge of people faking diabetic shock so they can get free OJ and candy bars and, yes, glucometers.

  42. jamesdenver says:

    p.s. cheers to the nurses and police.

    To the diabetic: Get a constant glucose monitor already. You can watch your blood sugar meander down and do something before it hits rock bottom.

  43. ElizabethD says:

    I don’t know how anyone can stand shopping in Walgreen’s, unless the Rx prices are radically lower than other pharmacies. (I’m a CVS loyalist.) I’ve had to go into Walgreen’s a few times for something I needed on the fly, and I can’t believe the poor selection, cheesy layout, and the CRAP they sell. One day I needed ginger ale for my daughter who had a stomach bug, and they didn’t carry it, even though they had every other Coca-Cola product. ***FAIL***

  44. flamincheney says:

    @Troy F.:

    No shit I was just thinking about going up to 7-11 and faking it to see if I could score a free slurpee.

  45. unklegwar says:

    Well, then WHO SHOULD incur the cost?

    Why shouldn’t the rescuers incur the cost. They made the decision to use the products. Why should it be Walgreen’s responsibility.

    Or perhaps the woman in the coma should be billed. After all, she’s the one who benefited. If she had managed her diabetes better, there wouldn’t have been a problem in the first place.

    In reality, Walgreen’s only involvement here happens to be that it was in their store, which doesn’t make them responsible for the woman’s health issues. Of everyone involved, they should be the last to bear the expense.

  46. unklegwar says:

    @ElizabethD: Everyone once in a while, they have crazy sales on LUCKY CHARMS!

    That’s why!

  47. Buran says:

    @ElizabethD: Walgreens is not a grocery store. Try a real grocery store that will have a far wider selection.

    I hate CVS because they don’t properly deal with FSA accounts and Walgreens does. You don’t have to turn in your receipt to your FSA management company with them because they tag it at point of sale. (if you do get a random audit, they mark eligible items on the receipt).

    CVS, which isn’t here (THANK GOD) is all over where my now-ex-bf lives. It’s unbelievable how they managed to flub that so badly.

  48. warf0x0r says:

    @DoctorVenkman: lmao, nice.

  49. jojo319 says:

    @unklegwar: I happen to agree. Should someone who’s starving to death be able to walk into any store they want and start chowing down? Yes, it sounds crappy. It probably could have been handled better. But Walgreens is in the business of selling life-saving items. It’s what they do.

  50. matt1978 says:


  51. xanax25mg says:

    what made no sense to me was why the woman refused walgreens reimbursing her. Now THAT is just stupid.

  52. seamer says:

    @jamesdenver: Isn’t it a condition of entry that you present your bags for inspection when leaving? If so they can theoretically ban you from using the store, and legally be able to.

    That’s the way it works in Australia at least, haven’t tried to shoplift in America yet.

  53. jamesdenver says:


    Sooo – what’s wrong with “taking a loss” here and there.

    Another biker had a flat tire. I “took a loss” and gave them my spare tube.

    I wasn’t paying attention and McDonald’s at O’hare billed me/gave me TWO coffees. My plane was leaving so rather than deal with an 80 cent refund I “took a loss” and gave me extra coffee to someone in line.

    If I can take a “personal loss” of a few dollars now and then throughout life to be a kind and generous person than Walgreen’s can do the same to be a good corporate citizen.

    Not everything has to zero out at the end of the day. Just f-ing suck it up and write it off.

  54. jamesdenver says:


    It can be a condition of entry. But I simply decline and keep walking.

    When they escalate it I’ll find another phamacy.

    I find when you keep walking and going about your business rather than to stop and chat about stupid policies then they don’t really know what to do and leave you alone. At least in my case.

  55. The Porkchop Express says:

    @Truvill: they trash stuff everyday that has been returned or damaged in shipments. There is a way to handle the items in this case too. Plus the OJ didn’t cost Walgreens crap versus having somebody die or become seriously ill….in a pharmacy where people go to get the stuff to make them better.

  56. marsneedsrabbits says:


    Love the graphics and the music.
    Hate Walgreens.
    They overcharge by a factor of several on prescriptions Target or Wal*Mart have for $4.00.
    They screw up prescriptions a lot. [blogs.abcnews.com]
    And now this?

    Has Walgreens had it’s shot at Worst Company Ever voting yet?

  57. ludwigk says:

    @homerjay: Walgreens hires and trains that manager to be run the store according to policy, and to know when to make exceptions if policy doesn’t handle a particular situation well. His actions represent the company.

    Walgreen’s corporate made the goof of backing up their manager. Normally, I believe that this is the right thing to do, except that in this case their manager happened to have lied to corporate in his incident report.

    This was a terrible call. After a store full of witnesses, including a cop, saw you save a dying elderly woman, quibbling over an $18 glucometer is idiotic. I mean, retail policies exist to cover all regular operations, and the manager’s judgment is really needed to resolve unusual situations, like this. If he can’t be trusted to handle them well, he really shouldn’t have his job.

    Overall, a PR nightmare. Walgreens risk management would probably much prefer that the woman had just died on the floor with no-one qualified to help her, thus minimizing their liability.

  58. Gokuhouse says:

    There’s not as much blame the victim here as I would have thought…Chances are good that this was preventable and should have been monitored more closely. The nurses and cop did a great job and Walgreens and the victim sucked it up very badly!

  59. flamincheney says:

    Maybe every now and then it is worth ignoring the bottom line, especially for less than $30 and taking into consideration the circumstances. I know that such drastic actions would require actual humanity, but it could be done.

    If I would have been the nurse I would have held out my hands and asked to be cuffed.

    Maybe the manager should have followed the ambulance with his hand out, or simply taken a credit card from the woman in the coma to cover costs.

  60. jamesdenver says:


    Go ahead and live with hypoglycemic unawareness your entire life and you might rethink your statement.

    As a type 1 diabetic I’m thankful I can sense low blood sugar before it reaches extreme levels. But not every type 1 DB can. ich is why she needs this little gadget:


    Oh but only $7,000 without insurance? Good times.

  61. mizmoose says:

    @jamesdenver Constant measuring glucometers are still too new for companies to give away (no profit there) and for insurance companies to cover. Plus they’re (minimally) invasive, like insulin pumps, which I cannot use due to cellulitis risks.

    You have no way of knowing her health status or whether she can afford such a luxury item. I’d love to have and be able to use such a tool, but it’s not going to happen.

    (and, really, I hope the people who are blaming the victim for not having good diabetes control are just being sarcastic. The “fun” of diabetes is that things can suddenly change your blood sugars (up or down) with no warning. This is why the constant monitors are nice, but, geez. Get the facts, kids!)

  62. The Porkchop Express says:

    @unklegwar: I’d normally be with you on this, but they get the stuff for nothing. The 24 dollar hit they took was probably more like a 10 dollar hit.

    They could eat that and milk the publicity.

  63. John Whorfin says:

    @DoctorVenkman: Walgreens’ managers mostly comes out at night, mostly.

  64. samurailynn says:

    @unklegwar: Unfortunately in this country if you’re licensed to give first aid, you can be liable for not helping someone who is in need of medical attention. This means that if the nurses did nothing, they could have been sued – it does not matter that they were off duty. If we want to treat our health care professionals with the possible risk of lawsuit, I do not think we should charge them for some OJ when they do step up to help someone.

  65. jamesdenver says:


    I agree 100%. (see my above comment)

    Those saying “manage your diabetes better” are completely ignorant.

  66. howie_in_az says:

    Due to The Consumerist I have so many jihads against corporations that it’s becoming difficult to track.

  67. Techno Viking says:

    Wow, that manager sure is a damn retard. This is like free publicity but hell instead of realizing that, he went ahead and demanded a payment for a Chinese made I assume glucometer. Does not matter where the glucometer was made but what’s important is that if the manager did use his god giving common sense and realized that this is what could have giving him more sales because people tend to praise big corporations for things like that. If you remember the case with whole foods where registers went down and people could not pay for their groceries. The manager there did the unthinkable but it paid off in the long run. He or she calculated how much was taken from the people who were ready to check out, wrote that down and let them go. Now that is free publicity for the store. So what they lost maybe about 1000 bucks, they got more in the long run. Some people should not be able to reproduce, and breed or live for that matter. Besides, that Walgreen’s managers kind of looked a bit dumb anyway. For shame indeed.

  68. CoffeeLove says:

    Oh my God o__o.
    I used to work for Walgreens and then I quit because they weren’t treating me equally compared to the other employees. I think it was becaused I revealed my faith and origin.

    Walgreens is a horrible company. They force managers to work overtime and they don’t pay them overtime. They also don’t give 15min breaks when they are supposed to offer it.

    A life was saved here, screw the merchandise that is off the shelf.

    My father is a Diabetic and has some really weird symptoms.

    Just thought I’d like to give the royal middle finger to Walgreens.

  69. HaloZero says:

    A company is in charge of its management, it should ensure that the asshat shouldn’t get there in the first place. When the media gets a hold of situations then it becomes problematic.

  70. dragonfire81 says:

    I don’t what’s worse, the asshole manager, or the Walgreens PR hacks that actually bought his story.

  71. CoffeeLove says:

    @Techno Viking: HELL YES!

    A LOT of the merchandise at Walgreens is Made in China. Which made me fear buying anything at the “Dollar Shop” section in the store.

    The materials used to make some of this stuff is dirt cheap, yet it’s still pricey.

  72. Lambasted says:

    I was at a grocery store near someone who accidentally dropped and broke a jar of sauce. A clerk came over but didn’t say, “That will be $2.59. Did you want to pay by cash, check or credit card?” She told them not to worry; someone would clean it up.

    Is there an Accountant in the house, because clearly Walgreens doesn’t understand the concept of an expense write off.

  73. kathyl says:

    @unklegwar: There’s *should*, and then there’s “hey, look at this amazing PR opportunity, worth much more to us in advertising dollars than the tiny amount of money the materials used to help the woman in question cost.

    I mean, you can argue shoulds forever and ever, but even from a business perspective, you could argue that Walgreens was LUCKY to have this happen in their store (assuming it had to happen at all, which it’s too bad that it did) because it opened up an opportunity for them to get a bunch of essentially free PR.

    I mean, send out a press release to the paper/local TV news and I’m sure they would have been happier to send a reporter to cover a feel-good, “Yay Walgreens” story than to put on the “wow, can you believe this?” story.

  74. girly says:

    Why not bill the PR dept if you have to bill somebody, Mr. Manager?

  75. girly says:

    kathyl you read my mind!

  76. girly says:


  77. Bye says:

    @ElizabethD: For future reference, the ginger ale that CVS sells has the exact same ingredients in it as Sprite. There’s no ginger in it – just lots of water, HFCS, and natural flavors. But no ginger.

  78. Buran says:

    @dragonfire81: Wait, what? Due to lack of this thing called a transcript, I can’t view the story. Anyone got a text version that explains that?

  79. IrisMR says:

    …I don’T think the world can get any more insensitive.

  80. mavrick67 says:

    The only way this manager is justified is if that glucometer costs over a thousand bucks.

  81. azntg says:

    @WingZero987: Arnold Diaz used to work for WCBS-TV before jumping to WNYW and ran similar stories back in the early 90’s.

    Walgreen and his manager got busted making a lie, in camera too for one thing. So far, I refused to shop at CVS only. Walgreens, I’d like to welcome you to the list! You just lost a customer.

  82. IrisMR says:

    @mavrick67: 18 bucks says the receipt the nurse had.

  83. DeafChick says:

    Hard economic times folks!

  84. EDogII says:

    Yup, that’s the Walgreens where I shop. Technically, it is the NY area…Staten Island is right next to Bayonne, and NYC is minutes from this god awful place.

  85. awolcfh5150 says:

    They should tell the manager to stick the items up his rude a$$ go ahead and call the cops for them shop lifting. This is the type of thing that causes people to turn violent towards store managers. I personally hope the manager is taken out back and flogged repeatedly!

  86. pigeonpenelope says:

    @matt1978: just ignore the moronic responses. they do it to get a rise.

  87. jamesdenver says:


    Agree. Tell them that — Or just do nothing.

    People underestimate the power of just ignoring someone or just saying no. You don’t have to oblige every request and stop to chat when someone asks you to.

    If I had been the nurse I would have just said “No, I’m not paying.” and go about my business. Let them call the cops – (or the one who is already there.)

    I walk out the door every time the Walgreens door alarm goes off and the store staff don’t get past the handicapped parking space before they turn around and go back in. And I’ve never had a cop stop me a block later.

  88. homerjay says:

    I don’t know. I don’t think that Wallgreens the company should be the recipient of a whole lot of flack for this douche.

    Based on what I saw in the video, he clearly lied to corporate about what happened. All they had was what he said until Fox stepped in. If the were guilty of ass-holishness, its in ignoring the womans calls and the result of doing so.

    My guess is that this happened fairly recently so its probably still being played out.

    My educated guess tells me that this guy took the rule that says “If merchandise leaves this store and is unpaid then that is theft” and ignored the gray area that says “But what if a plane crashed outside and you were the only source of band-aids??”

    He’s a clown with no ability to interpret policies to fit a particular situation.

  89. RandomHookup says:

    The nurses should send Walgreens an itemized bill, including a hefty markup for the OJ.

  90. pigeonpenelope says:

    @kathyl: i agree with you quite a lot here. this was a chance for walgreens to have an amazing pr story which would have built customer loyalty and encouraged more customers to switch to their pharmacy. that is the best advertisement a company can get. instead they failed. sure, the patient in this story should have been more on top of her diabetes but we are all human and there are circumstances that can’t always be prevented.

    i’m not sure if new york has a Good Samaritan law and how it works if so but the nurses had a responsibility to take care of this person and they did. i just don’t feel it is right for walgreens to force the nurses to pay for some cheap items.

    can you imagine the lawsuit if no one tried to save this patient?

  91. ElizabethD says:


    I only buy Canada Dry ginger ale – a Coca Cola-owned product. Everything else is crap!

  92. strangeffect says:

    Hey, businesses have rights too. How would you like it if someone broke open your cabinets, and used the contents to save someone’s life in your hallway?!

    /compassionate conservative

  93. jamesdenver says:


    oh please you are joking right?

    A home and public retail business are completely different arenas.

    And yes – if a person with low blood sugar stumbled into my yard banging on the door I’d happily start squeezing the maple syrup and give her a few glucogon injections.

  94. LUV2CattleCall says:

    Virgin America is no better;

    After the “If there is are any medical personnel onboard, hit the chime that we ignore in all other circumstances” announcement, a family member of mine(the MD) diagnosed the anorexic girl as having hypoglycemia…the bad part was that they made her (family member) swipe her card in the seatback LCD/food ordering system in order to get a cookie for the girl, “for inventory purposes”…except they never reimbursed us! It’s only $2 but it really says a lot about the company…

  95. DeafLEGO says:

    I would pay him… oh yeah… I would tape the money at the end of a ten ft pole and SHOVE UP HIS FUCKING ASS! What a asshole he is!

    They could have just stood there and let the person die and the family sue the shit out of Walgreen.

  96. gemio says:


    -sprint (charged me roaming fees in nyc on 9.11)
    -walmart (obvious reasons)
    -the gap
    -cvs-the store at 58th and 9th ave. ’nuff said
    -bank of america – jacked my apr to 23% for no reason
    -capital one
    -metallica – lars is a douche
    -sears – for anything other than tools
    now walgreens…..
    who’s next?

  97. spinachdip says:

    @jamesdenver: I think the “/compassionate conservative” line indicates that it’s a joke.

    Plus, no rational person has used the “compassionate conservative” phrase uncritically and/or with a straight face since November 2000.

  98. luckybob343 says:

    These stores operate with a shrinkage estimate factored into every store’s budget. I’m pretty sure the manager, if he didn’t want to be a gigantic DB, could have chalked the supplies up as shrinkage and we’d never hear about this.

  99. trujunglist says:


    That’s what I was thinking. I’m starting to hate just about every company, so where will I shop?
    Terrible times for consumers these days.

  100. u1itn0w2day says:

    Even if the merchandise is written off as a charitable contribution I don’t think they would even have to write that off as shrink.Or I can’t believe they don’t have an account for goodwill,pr,sponsorship,store use etc.I would just let the corporate accountants know what happend and see how they could be written off.

  101. trujunglist says:

    This really is an example of an incredible amount of stupidity by both the manager and Walgreens corporate. Obviously Walgreens believes that the cost of a human life is 18 fucking dollars.

  102. chartrule says:

    it was an emergency situation

    if the manager doesn’t like how the trained professionals dealed with it


    emergencies trump managers and store policies

  103. donkeyjote says:

    @samurailynn: That’s not true. They can only be sued if the start giving first aid but stop half way through.

  104. XianZomby says:

    I’m thinking that the juice, the sugar and the glucometer would have come to about 22 dollars.

    If I’d been the manager, I’d have payed for the stuff myself, out of my own pocket. Then, instead of Walgreens footing the bill, it would have been me, and I could feel — at least a little bit — like one of the heros.

    Of course, this guy could make like $25,000 a year. And his store could be reporting losses due to theft in the neighborhood. And his job might already be on the line if he doesn’t get store losses under control.

    In that situation, I might be under a lot off stress and act ridiculous just like he did.

  105. jaydeflix says:

    @bohemian: Actually, the way my Costco explained it to me, test strips are stored behind the counter because they are blood related.

    I don’t believe that, but, hey, that’s what they said after making me wait in line to just buy my strips before buying everything else. =)

  106. Greasy Thumb Guzik says:

    I very surprised by this as during Hurricane Katrina, the news people reported that Walgreen’s told the paramedics to break into one of their flooded stores & even gave them the combination to the safe for the restricted drugs.

  107. tedyc03 says:

    There’s an old story about a guy who breaks into a pharmacy to steal medicine his wife desperately needs. A life is saved, a window is broken. Which is more important?

    This was just handled terribly. I only wish the sheriff’s deputy had shown more balls and challenged the manager…and then when his friends showed up from the Sheriff’s department…

  108. scoosdad says:

    FYI Ben:

    A woman went into a potentially fatal diabetic coma

    People get this wrong all the time. A diabetic with very low blood sugar (as treated with sugar or OJ in this case) is said to be experiencing a diabetic reaction or diabetic shock, as some people call it. It’s caused by too much insulin in the body, and/or not enough carbohydrates, and/or excessive exercise. And as some posters have already pointed out, sometimes it comes on without any prior warning.

    However a coma is a slow-onset thing that’s brought on by blood sugar being too high over a long period of time, and the fix for that is usually more insulin and less carbohydrates. “Coma” is never a medically correct term for low blood sugar in a diabetic, and it’s really hard for a coma to occur without the victim being aware that it’s happening.

    I’m sorry, this comment should have come earlier in the program….

  109. forgottenpassword says:


    I agree with you there.

    Myself…If I was the manager… I’d probably pay for the mechandise myself than deal with the hassle of trying to explain the situation to the higher ups. A lot of the higher ups just dont care about anything but the bottom line or protecting their own ass (especially board of director types…. of which I have witnessed some seriously messed up things going through the meetings minutes).

  110. in2insight says:

    Stores have this nifty thing called computers that track inventory. Need to mark something out of stock? Yes, a manager (and most supervisors) can do that, are are given a menu of choices as for a reason.
    All this AH had to do was just that.

    The fact that the company then stood by the manager only shows where he learned his manners from.

    Adding Walgreen’s to the list of stores to avoid.
    I vote with my wallet.

  111. in2insight says:

    BTW, bit%%ing here does little good other than to make us feel good.

    Want to make a difference? CAll the corporate offices and tell them, nicely, what you think and why they are loosing you as a customer.
    They care about one thing only, your money.

  112. breezes says:

    I had an emergency in Sally’s Beauty supply once. I was several months post surgery and was having occ. episodes where I would lose bowel control. Obviously this is horribly embarrassing. I asked the lady at the counter if I could use the bathroom- imagine my surprise when she refused : Employees only. I begged her- no dice. I went next door to Pay- Less Shoes and bypassed the clerks and just ran for the bathroom.
    I got home and the next day called Sally’s to let them know. They apologized and gave me $50 in a gift card.
    I know there has to be rules but a mananger is supposed to have common sense. Common sense trumps rules. You can’t teach common sense unfortunately.

  113. thelushie says:

    @jamesdenver: Absolutely. That is what I was thinking. Not everyone can sense low blood sugar immediately. I had a friend in college whose best friend had a key to her apartment just in case. There was one “just in case”. Her life was saved.

    Next time, I hope she goes into a coma in Whole Foods. I don’t think there would have been an issue.

    And to all the nurses out there who act selflessly and with humanity: HAPPY NURSE APPRECIATION WEEK. (My mom is an RN…and a diabetic).

  114. akede2001 says:

    @jamesdenver: So you bring your bags into the store.. and you don’t set off the alarm. As you’re leaving with your bags, you set off the alarm.

    If that’s your whole story, then I have to side with the Walgreens guy thinking you stole something.

  115. vastrightwing says:

    No good deed goes unpunished.

  116. LouisKPerry says:

    I hear a lot of Christians talk about their faith and values, and I hear a lot of self-described atheists talking about how they have moral values without having a belief in a superior being.

    So what about doing a thing because it’s right, before you think about any other possible payoff of good PR? Seems like that would nearly be a way of life, don’t ya think?

  117. TruPhan says:

    I’d just like to pile on here and call that manager a douchebag. Hopefully the local FOX affiliate follows up on this until said manager – NOT Walgreens, the ACTUAL MANAGER – caves and apologizes.

  118. catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

    i test my blood sugar about 15 times a day. but i will still plan to leave the house while i wait for the insurance nightmare that is the approval process for my continuous glucose monitor.

    it would have been easier if the woman had kept her glucose monitor where the emergency personnel could get to it but apparently you have to leave your bag [with your potential life saving supplies like glucose tablets] at the front of the store? oh hell no!

    at least the stores in my area don’t do that. and if they did i would call the manager to come out of the store and go pick up my prescription for me. i have some weird complications and have to injct about ten times a day [while waiting on the insurance approval for my insulin pump!] and the last time i had to wait at the all night cvs pharmacy for my prescription i was there so long i had to take my insulin while i was waiting.

    i bet the company that makes the glucometer would be willing to step up and reimburse walgreens for a little good PR of their own.

  119. Tom Servo says:

    I have two prescriptions with Walgreens and they’re up for refills in about 12 days. Looks like I have an email to write to Walgreens and a prescription to switch to Target in that time.

  120. VikingP77 says:

    When I had a seizure last year I was in the middle of trying on shoes in a store. I literally had one shoe on and and my own flip flop. I was rushed out of the store by a team of paramedics my sister told me on the way out the store manager had hassled her about the shoe I had on and whether or not I would be buying it. The shoes cost? $5.99

  121. mstevens says:

    People, before we go on calling this manager a douche bag, please remember…

    Actual douche bags do serve a useful purpose in life.

  122. nygenxer says:

    This is systemic of current “management” stylings by large corporations.

    General managers are no longer each a captain of his/her own ship (store), but are there to merely enforce company policies, and are strictly forbidden from using common sense or innovation.

    Companies like Wal-Mart even use an “Orion” test to psychologically profile the kind of unquestioning automaton they want to hire, screening out any independent thinkers. It’s quite criminal because it’s been a combination of both standardization and individual innovation that made this country great. Standardization without the ability to innovate is a slow death. While it’s important to remember and honor traditions (and learn from past mistakes), a society that is not willing to change with the times is doomed.

    I have witnessed this deterioration firsthand in the restaurant business; this disease of anti-adult, anti-common sense, anti-innovation has spread to other industries. Remember that fabric store manager who wouldn’t let a woman with diarhea use the bathroom because it was against company policy? Consumerist is chock full of these stories (is anyone here at consumerist.com interested in publishing a collection of these stories?)

    Here was an opportunity for Walgreen’s to get some awesome free press – right when CVS is reeling from scandal – and they f*cken blew it.


  123. gomakemeasandwich says:

    “Wow, just wow. How do these people get management jobs?”

    He’s a manager of Walgreens. It’s not like he’s commanding the space shuttle. Anyone on this website could probably become a manager at Walgreens.

    Anyway, this story has more to do with a douchebag manager than Walgreens itself. This isn’t a reason not to shop at Walgreens. I mean, I did encounter a douchebag pharmacist from a Walgreens once, but I just stopped shopping at that store.

    BTW, that manager needs punched in the face.

  124. gomakemeasandwich says:


    CVS has a scandal?

  125. gomakemeasandwich says:

    Also, at least the person was ok in the end (I assume, I didn’t see the whole story).

  126. YlimE08 says:

    Fucking retarded. I used to work for Walgreens. All they would have to do is delete it from inventory as damaged. A lot of stuff gets damaged en route to the stores and they get credit for it.

  127. crazyspaceman says:

    Alright at 120+ comments I expect this to get very few reads. But as a current Walgreen’s employee who has to live under some of their more ridiculous rules I felt I would share a bit. This is definitely the manager being an ass, each store has between 4-8 managers depending on size and there are over 6000 stores. See if you can come up with 36000 people you know and not get 1 massive asshole.

    Also depending on the current shrink in the store he could be feeling a lot of pressure from loss prevention, they honestly don’t care why you lost money they just know you lost it. I’ve seen employees fired for taking out of date coupons.

    Don’t let this taint you towards all Walgreen’s however, had this happened in my store I am positive my manager would have not cared about the cost of the items and just made sure the woman was okay.

  128. photoartist says:

    What a fucking narrow minded penny pinching little asshole.

    The ufnortunate part of this story is that little pinhead will be fastracked up the corporate ladder and probably became a VP of Walgreens by next year.

    And next month, Walgreens will produce a spiffy high profile TV ad showcasing the compassionate professionalism of their managers, complete with phony testimonials and bad re-inactments.

    The only thing worse than Walgreens are their competitors. They all suck.

  129. jennieblue22 says:

    Walgreens is often rude to its customers, with few notable exceptions. I applaud those who saved the customer, and am not too happy with WG for their actions. This was an emergency, and they should be awarded for saving a life.

    WG and CVS are at a constant battle here. Just a few miles away from school, and I could stop by three different pairs of stores (one of each) side-by-side. CVS is the kinder one, but I really don’t like either.

  130. jennieblue22 says:

    @XianZomby: dito – that’s the right thing to do.

  131. jennieblue22 says:

    @scoosdad: the result is the same – the customer’s life was saved, albeit from shock and not a coma

  132. use2b2t2 says:

    this is just what I sent to walgreens site. I am truly going tomarrow after work and see what our local store manager has to say.

    I just saw the video about the store manager Chris Morgan on Consumerist.com. I am surprised that the manager did not know what was going on in the store, and then after found out, wanted money???!!! A store Manager that does not know what is going on in his own store should be delegated to a different role. It is not like there are no means of communication in the store. Even tho the video does not announce it, I hope and pray the employees would at least contact your Pharmisist on duty at least to say what is going on. I use Walgreen to fill all my precription needs, and even buy those silly as seen on TV from time to time. I think tomarrow I will go and ask the store manager what is the policy for this situation (I am not in same state). Depending on the answer I receive, I will either go to CVS or walmart, or HEB for all my medical needs. Shame on the manager, but I think I need to say Shame on you corp office for not stating and having the manager know this is the policy. Shoot, in a drug store I would think this is the VERY FIRST thing you teach your managers

  133. ClankBoomSteam says:

    Wow, Walgreens — you guys are dicks, apparently. Maybe I shouldn’t ever shop in your stores again.

    Yep, that’s the plan.

    Adios, Walgreens!

  134. Bruce_A says:

    @weakdome: In my parents’ town (a town of at MOST 15,000) there exist both a CVS and a Walgreens. On opposite corners of one intersection. Both stores are horrible, completely out-of-character for the town and constantly lit up at night so it’s like the noonday sun. And in a rural farming community they’re open 24/7. Yeesh. You’re rivals. We GET it already. Now would you PLEASE turn off the huge flashing marquees? Thanks.

  135. nygenxer says:

    Yeah – cheating the government’s Medicaid program. It was a $36.7M settlement for intentional overbilling…


  136. The manager should be the one to pay the out of pocket expense. If they don’t pay up they should be fired and sent to jail.

  137. stuny says:

    1. Find the fanciest steak house in your neighborhood.

    2. Fake a diabetic coma.

    3. Have a friend scream out “My God! He needs a medium rare filet mignon and a baked potato in a rapid amount of time or he will die.”

    4. Gasp out “…and a nice chianti!” with your last breath.

    5. Ask for everything to go and leave without paying.

    6. Repeat when you are hungry again.

  138. Derp says:

    Walgreen’s managers mostly come at night. Mostly.

  139. mike says:

    @offrampoffmap: That’s easy. Because they are hard-asses and get people to pay for things.


  140. gomakemeasandwich says:


    Really? I think their pharmacy staff at least is awesome. As for the cashiers, it’s a mixed bag, but I don’t think they’re any worse than any other store.

    Although, there is actually this one bitch at my local Walgreens who will not speak to me at all. I have no idea why, she is just really miserable and it’s actually kind of depressing.

  141. gomakemeasandwich says:


    Yeah I read. Apparently CVS is in to all kinds of shit. You would think with all of that money they were scamming they could build better stores. The one near me was a dump until Walgreens moved in across the street.

  142. Mike_Hawk says:

    By the way, they didn’t even need the meter. If you suspect hypoglycemia, it’s better to just treat with some sugar than it is to wait for a reading. Even though a hyperglycemia episode may present very similarly, the little bit of sugar added to someone already at 500 or more isn’t going to make it any worse, but someone bottomed out at 20 needs sugar asap.

    The manager is still an idiot.this person just failed at being a human and should probably just be put on a boat and sent off to sea.

  143. artgarciasc says:


    It’s not just your town. Every town i go to in south carolina seems to have the same war going on. Every time cvs, rite-aid, walgreens or eckerds builds a pharmacy, you can be sure within months a competitor will build one right across the street. Do we really need that many damn pharmacies?

  144. Rectilinear Propagation says:

    @DrGirlfriend: Good point. If that’s the case that does make it Walgreens’ fault for creating a workplace environment where people feel like they will be punished for doing right/logical/humane thing if it costs them money.

  145. tator says:

    I just got a three month supply of glucose test strips from Walgreens mail order. They are for a discontinued meter and won’t work in my current model. They have been adamant they did no wrong and will not replace them. I can’t go out and buy a cheap meter to use the strips…it’s discontinued. I have reported them to the fraud department of my insurance carrier.

  146. chalpin says:

    Not to mention it’s National Nurses Week this week.

  147. Bruce_A says:

    @artgarciasc: “Do we really need that many damn pharmacies?”

    Apparently. They’re not really just pharmacies anymore though. They’re like mini-Targets without the decent prices.

  148. Norskman says:

    @HIV 2 Elway: And yet it wasn’t Walgreens employees who potentially saved this woman’s life rather customers of the store.

    Perhaps the store could be reasonable and pick up the tab for the used merchandise in this heroic act of which the personnel didn’t participate.


    I use to work for Walgreens in the 80’s I did it for 6 years, I fianlly left because I couldn’t take the upper mgmt people. My store mgr was cool but District & Regional Mgrs were hardcore assholes. I also worked w/other store managers that had god complexes and thought they were all that and a bag of chips. The manager did not handle this correctly at all, it should have been written off to loss and detail the report as to what happened. If upper wanted someone to pay they will 1. DEDUCT it from the Mgrs check or 2. Just eat it under the circumstances..most would just eat it. Walgreens DOES NOT trust their employee’s at all. The camera’s that are in the ceiling of the stores for shoplifting are aimed more at the employee’s than customers. Thye want you to work your ass off for lil pay and then treat u like crap. But again that depends on who is on the power trip as the manager of the store. Uppers are no better. They can make anyone stress for their jobs for little or no reason, since they were treated like crap as a manager, when the uppers get into that position over a manager they turn around and crap all over him and threaten their job pretty much on a daily basis. I quit going into Walgreens years ago. Most of the clerks are rude, stupid and don’t have a clue on how to even give change. Their prices are just totally out of line and not worth the hassle. Walgreens overall is a joke and have been for years…This manager was an idiot. If it would have been the manager that I worked for, he would have never handled it this way and would have taken the loss of goods over the loss of life.

  150. CaptainRoin says:

    @howie_in_az: hah. so true.

  151. Wow talk about…. SHAME SHAME SHAME, what a catchy tune.

  152. jamesdenver says:


    Yes. I carry my stuff in a messenger bag, just like women carry stuff in their purse. I won’t allow it to be taken from me or searched.

    My pharmacy stuff constantly sets off the door alarm – and I’m not stopping to share my pharmacy purchase with them. They can review the camera and if they suspect I’ve done anything other than make a beeline to the pharmacy desk and back I’m sure they can track me down eventually.

  153. jamesdenver says:

    Also I’ve always wondered if the pharmacy staff, who are educated, well paid, and provide me great service hang out with the regular Walgreens employees. Do they take smoke breaks together? What do they talk about? If the Walgreens staff starts lamenting their horrible hourly wages does the pharmacy staff just nod and commiserate? You think the Walgreens folks ever ask the pharmacy folks for a couple pills on the side since they can’t afford any health care with their shitty wages? Kind of an odd class difference inside a single store.

    Obviously I think highly of the pharmacy gang at my Walgreens – but as others said too not so much the Walgreens staff itself.

  154. tlpintpe says:

    That Walgreens manager says it this way: “I don’t CARE about your health. I only care about my bottom line.” That’s a great thing for a pharmacy chain to put forth.

    Of course, if this had been a simple matter of shoplifting they would have allowed the thief to walk out of the store unmolested–after all, you don’t want to endanger employees by stopping thieves.

  155. lumpit says:

    Just because he’s a Manager does NOT mean he’s a good at being a Manager. Money talks!!! What if this person had died at this store!!!! Would the Manager be charged with murder? and the cop & nurse charged with theft
    I wonder if this was his mother, wife daughter, would he do the same thing?!!??!?!?!

  156. Taed says:

    @Ash78: Walgreens doesn’t operate a restaurant anymore?

    I don’t think they ever did (in my experience). I suspect you’re thinking of Woolworth’s.

  157. evilmregg says:


    The same war is being fought on my home turf as well. A new hospital went up down the street, at which point a CVS went up right across the street from it. Walgreen’s couldn’t have that, though, and built a store literally right next to the CVS store. This baffled me, because there is another Walgreen’s about a mile away. They’ve got to be cannibalizing their own business by doing this; it really just seems like they did it out of spite.

  158. julieannie says:

    Store managers get a lot of discretion at their jobs, as if they are managing a separate store as opposed to being a servant to a huge company. Yes, there is corporate oversight but in a situation like this, managers are trained to do the right thing and comp the customer. I went through the management program but ultimately chose a different career path but I can say that from the corporate policy I personally experienced, every management employee from store training to regional manager would never have treated this manager’s behavior as acceptable.

  159. Foleymann says:

    I say the nurse sends a ” bill ” to the store manager at her hourly rate, say $40.00 for the services rendered, to treat the woman in his store. So after we deduct the amount for the meter ( and even the OJ , et al)-the store manager OWES HER … if only …
    What an incredibly bad PR move at the corporate level, and as for the manager- he will need a LONG time to recover form the wrath of the neighborhood ( if anyone there is paying attention). Sheesh

  160. the_wiggle says:

    @DrGirlfriend: also rampant in call centers at everything under Exec level.

  161. jrh215 says:

    I used to work at Walgreens as a manager. This guy is a self-important jackass. I left the company about a year ago, and around that time, our CEO pretty much called us all out on our customer service skills–criticized those of us who “hid behind policy.” Ok, fair enough, but it really got to the point of being totally ridiculous. One time a woman lost her keys in our store, then complained to corporate because none of the employees would leave the store to give her a ride home. What did she get? Any item of her choice in the store for free and additional $20 gift card for her “trouble.”

    As offended as I was by that particular idiot and what she managed to mooch off our moronic district staff, there is no excuse for what happened in this store. My point is that it had pretty much become company policy to appease idiots and freeloaders in the name of customer service, so even if it cost $100 to save this woman’s life, so what? I can’t even tell you how many of those glucose monitors or other items of merchandise I threw away after somebody bought it then decided they didn’t want it anymore.

    And even if Walgreens was extremely strict in its return and loss control policies, this situation was unique and no one would have ever questioned what happened at a corporate level. In fact, no one would have even known about it to be honest. We had to call the paramedics for a woman one time in our store who was having trouble breathing. Our pharmacist asked her what prescriptions she was on and when he realized that some of the medication she said she took would have actually helped her through what she was experiencing, he actually gave her the proper dosage from our stock–no prescriptions or refill info on file. Technically, it was the wrong thing to do, but professionally and sensibly he did the right thing and no one questioned him on it.

  162. JerseyJarhead says:

    Walgreen’s is evidently the WAL-MART of drugstores. A pox on their house.

  163. thelushie says:

    @jamesdenver: Pharmacy techs are not well educated. Alot have a high school diploma, if that. Pharmacists are well educated but they can’t do everything.

    BTW, switching to Target’s pharmacy was one of the best things I have done.

  164. rmdouglas27 says:

    I used to be a Walgreen’s manager and YES he could have written this off. Do a 1506 and it is all good. But this is typical CRW management, 98% of store managers get there by favoritism. Most of these f***ups are ASM’s for two years before getting promoted. So you are 24/25 years old and a store manager. Only last thing, Walgreen’s is a PHARMACY, the pharmacist should have been out there.

  165. Fist-o™ says:

    I have an idea for a company.

    1. Do the exact same thing that one of these poor companies (Walgreen’s, Best Buy, United, BOA, HP, whatever).

    2. Pay my CEOs 1% less, and use those millions to hire staff that scour teh Internets (Read: Consumerist.com) for complaints.

    3. Address the problems and fix them.

    4. $$$PROFIT$$$.

    Who’s in?

  166. vancedecker says:

    This is extremely stupid, ESPECIALLY from a corporate bottom-line perspective. How much money is spent on marketing to acquire each customer?

    I have 5 national-chain pharmacies within walking distance: Walgreens, CVS, Long’s, Rite-Aid, and Target’s Pharmacy … all with the same prices and products.

    In my mind, I now only have 4…

  167. inna0787 says:

    I work at Walgreens and this is definitely the managers fault. When we have immunizations at the pharmacy the store manager stands there giving away cups of orange juice and crackers that he writes off as items used for the store. the machine could have easily been sent back as damaged, and if the box was already gone, it just gets written off as shrink when inventory is done. I don’t love my job, but the gripes I have are about dealing with lazy pharmacists or the ignorant customers I have to deal with. But whoever said we don’t get paid overtime is a moron. That’s not even legal. Overtime is not encouraged, but even if I get 40 hours and 30 minutes in a week I get my 30 minutes of overtime.

  168. Stupidisstupiddoes says:

    While I agree that this whole situation is ridiculous, there is something that is just as silly. Those dim-witted nurses using orange juice and sugar to treat a severe low bloog glucose. Hello, this is not 1960. We now know that orange juice is not even close to being efficient to treat low blood sugar. Hence the addition of sugar. Why even bother to do that, it makes zero sense. If they would have grabbed a regular Coke or a glucose tube, that would have been more intelligent, and the woman may not have even needed further treatment. Dim wits.