I don’t think I would want to work at a pharmacy. No one goes to fill prescriptions thinking, “Hooray! Yet another reminder that I am not well, and I get to pay money to be reminded! THANKS, PHARMACIST!” Plus, it’s always a little embarrassing to pick up pills because now some random human is privy to my secrets. Maybe they don’t know what my medicine is for, but maybe they DO. I mostly try not to look at the pharmacist. It’s like a drug deal.
Except, wait, it literally IS a drug deal.
If I could, I would always walk up to the pharmacy counter with a large floppy hat and sunglasses, wearing a black trench coat, and I would be staring mostly at the ground. Are those new floor tiles? They’re fascinating! Inevitably, though, I’m always already at the store to pick up milk or something, and then I suddenly remember I need to pick up pills. I do a quick 360 degree scan to make sure no students are in sight (not kidding), and I rush to the pharmacy counter to pick up the drugs as quickly as possible. “Quick – hand over the goods. Here’s my credit card.”
I don’t really say that.
Most of the time.
Okay, fine. I never say that. It turns out that I could, though, because last week I found out a horrifying fact: I am such a regular at my pharmacy that my pharmacist knows me.
It started innocently enough. I did my regular scanning turnaround, and no students were in sight. I walked up to the counter and said I had to pick up pills for Hazel Hillboro. The pharmacist asked for my birthday, looked me up, and then went to go get the pills for me. When he brought them back, I handed him my credit card. He said, “Can I see your ID? Actually, wait, never mind. I know you. You’re here all the time,” and he didn’t even look at my ID.
I wanted to protest. “No, sir. I am not here ALL THE TIME. It’s not like I hang out here on the daily. Also, this is totally unfair. I don’t know your name, pharmacist. I can’t access your birthday. Hey, are you on any medications? I feel like you should tell me all the things you’re on, since you already know all about mine. It’s only fair. Everyone knows drug deals should be a two-way street.”
Wait a second, are drug deals a two-way street? I’m not sure. Do people send their drug dealers Christmas cards? Invitations to baby showers? I don’t know too much about the illegal drug scene. I’m on too many legal drugs as it is. I won’t add any more drugs voluntarily, thank you very much.
I think this was a significant moment in my medical history. MY PHARMACIST KNOWS ME. Not only that, he classified me a being there “all the time.” Those were his literal words: All. The. Time.
Yes, I’m on a lot of medications. I’m on one in particular that is ridiculously expensive. That one’s for my brain tumor. Any time there’s a new pharmacist, they raise their eyebrows at the total and say, “Ummm…are you aware of how much this drug costs?”
Yes, I am. Your shock never makes me feel better about handing over that much money. I could have gone all-inclusive to Europe on how much I’ve spent on that drug. Trust me, I’m not excited about it. I never want to talk about it, though, so I keep studying those oh-so-interesting floor tiles and say, “Yeah, I know. I’ve been on it forever.” And then the floor tiles get a little blurry and I start wondering when they’ll give me back my credit card so I can get the heck out of there.
I tried to justify the pharmacist’s recognition of me by thinking that maybe I’m the one customer who’s on crazy expensive pills. Maybe he thinks I’m pretty, and that’s why he recognized me. Right – that must be it. I’m fabulously beautiful enough to leave an impression on this random pharmacist.
(Excuse me a moment.)
(Okay, I’m back).
The hard truth of the matter is that I’m at the pharmacy quite a bit.
Of all the places to be a “regular,” I never would have picked my neighborhood pharmacy. Why can’t I be a regular at Tiffany and Co. or a swanky wine loft or something? I’m a regular at a pharmacy. COOL. My family would be so proud. In the event that I ever do anything warranting an acceptance speech, I’ll be sure to say, “…and thank you to my pharmacist, who was always there for me, since I was at the pharmacy *ahem* ALL THE TIME. He knew all about my secrets, but I didn’t even know his name. What a tragic story.”
Starting tonight, I’m going to find somewhere really amazing to go. Then I’m going to go there every single day until I’m a regular, and I won’t feel so losery about being a regular at a pharmacy.