The Pharmacy Chick

Flying the coup in retail

Mary Mary, quite contrary

Filed under: Uncategorized — pharmacychick at 6:56 pm on Thursday, May 29, 2008

Mary is one of my longtime customers. She is nice enough, in an obnoxious sort of way. She buys a few things here and there ( I think she uses mail order for most), but because of a particularily annoying habit, Pharmacy Chick doesn’t like it when she asks for help. You see, Mary disses every piece of advice she asks for. She not only did it again yesterday, but I told her she was going to do it in advance. And, of course, Pharmacy Chick was right..

Mary has a cold…or allergies…its hard to tell because Mary has already dissed the advice of her doctor who suggested she had allergies…but Mary said she NEVER has allergies. Either way, she was complaining of nasal congestion, a runny nose, headache and a cough. She came to me yesterday for advice.

Now every pharmacist knows that in their cough/cold section, they have probably 30 linear feet of merchandise that has maybe 10 drug ingredients in it. They are just mixed up and market-shared to death.

I said to Mary in a playful tone: “I seem to remember we had this conversation in November and everything I suggested, you said didn’t work, are we going to try it again?” She laughed, but I was telling the truth.

“Don’t make me drowsy” she said. Ok, I suggested DayQuil for the day, and Claritin for the “possible” allergies. Claritin is not my personal favorite because I find it rather weak, but she didn’t want to be drowsy so that excluded Benadryl and even Zyrtec. “I’ve tried Claritin, it doesn’t work, and I have the Dayquil Capsules at home, they dont work either”, she replied.

I couldn’t resist. ” See, Mary? Everything I suggest, you say doesn’t work…what do you want me to do?” “I’d rather you try Zyrtec, I think its stronger, but it may make you drowsy, and there isn’t anything in all these other products (she was holding a box of Tylenol Allergy/sinus whatever)that are any better than whats in DayQuil, so if they don’t work, nothing will and you are just gonna have to suffer”. People are just to accustomed to thinking that life should be like the TV ads, and their symptoms will vanish once they take a pill. It doesn’t work that way. “OK, OK” She said, tossing the Zyrtec in the cart. She still had Dayquil at home. “I’ll try it”

“Give it more than 1 day ok?” I asked her.

2 hours later her Doctor called in Hycodan Cough syrup

Whoo Hoo! Dissed again.



Comment by Nicole

May 29, 2008 @ 10:14 pm

You gotta love the ones that never take what you suggest to them because it doesnt work but yet they love to waster your precious time!!


Comment by CPhT

May 30, 2008 @ 12:42 pm

Pharmacy Chick,

I was reminded of your entry about ‘Dan’, and your pharmacy’s rule of not discussing sex, politics, religion, etc, and I realized you’d be the perfect one for advice on this subject.

Our new PIC is a born-again Christian, and spends a lot of his time studying theology. As a result, a lot of discussion about what his employees believe in being ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ in his eyes is occuring. He has tried to convert a few of us who do not believe in his particular branch of Christianity to his church. I don’t want to be rude and come right out and say none of us appreciate this religious discussion and subsequent attack, so what would you say if one of your employees started a discussion and attack such as this? We are experiencing it nearly daily now and we are fed up with this!

Sorry this wasn’t on topic to your post, but I knew you’d somewhat discussed this subject before.
Thanks in advance!


Comment by pharmacychick

May 30, 2008 @ 4:12 pm

I’ll answer you via email, very soon.


Comment by bulldog

May 31, 2008 @ 7:31 am

I own a small town pharmacy with a soda fountain and so I have always had one of those “coffee crowds” sitting in a booth at the back of the store near the rx dept. I have enjoyed over the years one of those “similar but different” types of people. There is this nice but nosey lady (coffee drinker) that would eavesdrop on my advice when helping someone out front with otc questions. Then she would leave her seat and come over and enter the consult and interject with her advice, often over riding my guidance. If allowed it could infuriate, but I would just give the customer a look that said “sorry, she does this” and let her talk and then return to whatever I was saying. Understand, it is a small town, and and most knew this lady and understood this was how she was. If they actually listened to her or seemed to be taking her advice, I would exit the discussion and tell them that since they were so receptive to random advice I would like to guide them on their next hairstyle change or bathroom remodel.


Comment by Shalom (R.Ph.)

June 3, 2008 @ 10:18 am

@bulldog: “guide them on their next hairstyle change or bathroom remodel.”

And they’d probably listen to you over their hairstylist or plumber. Because that’s the way people are. James Herriot once remarked that the same people who would take the mailman’s or their buddy from the coal face’s advice over his when it came to their livestock, would take his advice over their doctors’ when it came to their own health.

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