The Pharmacy Chick

Flying the coup in retail

Don’t touch that jar!

Filed under: Uncategorized — pharmacychick at 8:49 am on Friday, August 22, 2008

Some days are more interesting than others. I am used to being brought all sorts of things to look at, usually things ON the body: rashes, sores, cuts and scrapes, blisters and bug bites. This trumped them all.

I was working the counter one day when this lady approached the counter.  I had been a pharmacist for less than a year.  She had a jar in her hand but it looked empty.  She lifted the jar onto the counter and I noted that it contained several strands of hair.

Obviously distressed, she almost spat out “is this HEAD LICE?”.  I picked up the jar and confirmed  that yes, it was head lice (and a pretty nice case of it by the looks of it).  Was she satisfied with my affirmation of her suspicion? Apparently not because she said “Are you SURE?” as she began to unscrew the jar….

There was nothing more than instinct at work here honestly.  Before you could say ‘boo’ I had slapped my hand over hers and fiercely said “DO NOT OPEN THAT JAR!” 

Sheesh, as far as I was concerned, she might as well have had small pox in that jar because the last thing I needed was my own case of lice.  At the time the only solution was Kwell.  It was long before the OTC treatments were available.   Whomever owned those strands of hair was either going to the doctor or was getting a major hair cut.

She tried to leave the jar with me.  I made her take it with her.


I was reminded of this story when last week a gentleman came to my counter and wanted “clean” shampoo.  I had never heard any brand name called “Clean” and I told him that any shampoo would get his hair clean.  English was not his first language. As we worked thru this conversation, he made his intent evident.  “Dere are leetle animals in my hair…”  Allrighty Then, lets step over to the lice shampoo. :

Problem solved. I am confident that his leetle animals are gone by now.



Comment by The Ole' Apothecary

August 22, 2008 @ 3:19 pm

This was a lousy story.


Comment by Carol

August 22, 2008 @ 8:21 pm

Just this week I had someone bring in a ziploc bag with the bugs he found on his daughter’s head…….


Comment by pharmacychick

August 22, 2008 @ 9:21 pm

Ole, your comment makes my skin crawl. You are messing with the pun master. I am itching to get started. Oh, never mind, just scratch that idea.

heh heh heh


Comment by The Ole' Apothecary

August 23, 2008 @ 11:54 am

My Dad has given me perhaps a part of the historical basis for people showing diseased body parts to pharmacists. When my Dad was growing up (1920s and 1930s), pharmacists were somehow skilled in removing foreign bodies from people’s eyes. My Dad remembers going to a pharmacist to have hair or sand or what-not removed from his eye. Imagine the outcry today if we started to do that again! Or, if it received legal sanction, I can see the CE program now, with a local ophthalmologist giving the lowdown on it. Just goes to show you, PC, that there is more to this than meets the eye.

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