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The entire weight of the system cannot be borne by the little guy. That’s not fair to the little guy – or to Little Lisa.

Little Lisa is cranky, friends.

And I’ll tell you why.

I had scheduled my COVID booster for 5 o’clock, at a chain drugstore.

I went there, waited in line, and when I got to the front, I was told that they weren’t giving any more vaccines because they were too busy filling prescriptions.

I said that I had an appointment.

They said, “We’re busy with scripts.”

I said, “You’re not honoring the appointment?”

They said, “We can’t, we have to fill these scripts.”

I said, “What do I do now? Go home and make another appointment you don’t keep?”

And they said, “You have to complain to corporate.”

I should have asked for the needle and done it myself.

If I can check out self-service, can I vaccinate self-service?

I left the store, but when I got outside, I got angry. I wanted to talk to a manager, but I didn’t want to come off like a privileged, middle-aged woman.

On the other hand, I am.

And occasionally, we’re right.

So I went back inside the store and asked for the manager. Respectfully, I told her what happened, and she said that she has no control over what the pharmacist does. She also suggested that I call corporate.

So I left the store.

And I called corporate.

Here’s the first thing I learned:

My feedback is valuable to them.

I know because a recording told me so, then a woman answered, named Lisa.

How could I be angry at another Lisa?

Corporate Lisa had a nice, soft voice and said she was sorry.

I felt like I was talking to myself.

In fact, I would’ve talked to me exactly the way she did.

But when I hung up, I was still frustrated.

I ate a lot of carbs.

Then I thought: Little Lisa, try to turn this frown upside down!

So I went back online, scrolled to a different chain drugstore, and looked for COVID booster appointments. And amazingly, there was one for the same night, at 7:20 p.m.!

I booked it on the spot, and since the store was about 20 minutes away, I jumped in the car and drove over.

And guess what happened?

I went to the desk and they told me I wasn’t scheduled for that night.

I told them, “I am, I have an appointment.”

They said, “Let’s see the confirmation.”

Then I looked at the confirmation, which I hadn’t looked at when it came in, and the appointment was for two weeks away. I asked, how does that happen? I clicked the calendar for tonight.

Well, the clerk said, you may have read it wrong.

I didn’t.

Or, she said, sometimes our website automatically schedules you for the next available appointment.

I asked if they would give me the booster anyway, since they had the vaccine and I had the bloodstream. After all, the store was completely empty.

Not a single person was waiting for a vaccine.

Not a single person was waiting for a prescription.

No one was around, except for me and three pharmacists.

And what do you think they said?

They said no, they don’t take walk-ins, under the corporate rules they had to follow. They said that they had turned down 30 walk-ins that day.

I said, I’m not a walk-in. I have an appointment, and either because of my poor reading comprehension skills and/or your company’s horrible computer system, I’m here on the wrong night.

They said, “No, we have rules, and we can’t.”

So I left the store.

I didn’t call corporate again, because here’s what I realized:

I was wrong.

It’s not the fault of these drugstore employees.

I shouldn’t blame them at all.

They’re frontline workers, doing their best to vaccinate people during a lethal pandemic.

They work for a private company, but they have been asked to perform a governmental function, too.

Their job is to fill prescriptions that earn money for corporate, but government has passed the buck to them.

Public health should not be a private matter.

The entire weight of the system cannot be borne by the little guy.

That’s not fair to the little guy — or to Little Lisa.

And it won’t change until I’m President Lisa.

As in, never.

But there’s one chain drugstore left.

I’m going to bet my life on them.

Look for Lisa’s best-selling historical novel, “Eternal,” in stores now. Also look for Francesca’s critically acclaimed debut novel, “Ghosts of Harvard,” now in paperback.