Author’s note: Many of you know that I work two days a week in a local pharmacy. At some point I hope to become too busy selling my books to continue at the pharmacy, but I am so incredibly grateful for the people I have met and the things I have learned during my time there. This is a story about something that happened yesterday while I was working. I am making no judgement…it is simply food for thought for us both.
Yesterday at the pharmacy, a customer came in about an hour before we closed. It was a couple minutes before 5:00 and he was there to pick up a compounded medication for a pet. He was dressed in a dress shirt and pants as if he were on his way home from work.
I didn’t find the medicine in our “will call” bin, so I checked with the compounding lab and they said they were just finishing the medication and that it would be ready in 10 minutes. I gave this information to the customer and asked politely if he had time to wait…telling him that it might be only five minutes as they were often quicker since they usually give worst case scenario times.
His face twisted into an ugly sneer and he said, “No, I don’t have time to wait! I was told the medication would be ready.” And then, he turned abruptly and walked out while I stood behind the counter dumbfounded.
When you work in a pharmacy, you are accustomed to dealing with sick people who don’t feel well and might sometimes be grumpy because of it. But we don’t often see rudeness from someone who is picking up medication for a pet. Most people are usually grateful that there is a compounding pharmacy in town that can make exactly the right medication to help their animal friends.
During the last year and nine months that I’ve been a part of this world, I’ve come to realize that pharmacy workers tend to be very kind and have a genuine desire to help people (and animals) feel better. The last thing a person needs if they are sick or if their family member is sick, is for the people in their local pharmacy to behave in a way that makes their day even worse.
The compounding pharmacist walked out with the medication right after the customer left. How I wished he had stayed. That last hour dragged for me. It’s amazing how we can talk with many people in a day, and one single interaction has the power to lift us or discourage us.
We never know what other people might be dealing with in their lives. Sometimes something as innocuous as a potential 10 minute wait might be the last straw for someone, like it appeared to be for my customer yesterday. I said a prayer for him on my drive home. Because sometimes, that’s all we can do.