The Pharmacy Chick

Flying the coup in retail

How NOT to attract attention:

Filed under: Uncategorized — pharmacychick at 6:44 pm on Sunday, October 12, 2008

Pharmacy Chick’s pharmacy has two windows: Intake and Pick-up.  They are about 20 feet apart.  Unless I am down a bay or in the back room, I can see the whole pharmacy.   99% of the time, customers who walk up to the counter are greeted before their feet have quit moving. 

 Occasionally however, circumstances are such that somebody is going to have to wait a moment before they are addressed.  I may be on the phone.  I may be in the bathroom or out on the sales floor with some ditz who cannot decide between between Benadryl Tablets and Capsules and wants my rapt attention to discuss the difference. Tech Extraordinare may be already helping somebody else. Regardless of the circumstance, we will get to the counter as soon as possible.   Unfortunately there seems to be an abundance of people who think they have to announce their presence.  Without exception, they are obnoxious.

1. The Tapper.  Do not tap your bottles on the counter.  My blood pressure rises at the thought.  My counter is not a drum and you aren’t auditioning for a band.

2. The Cougher- Please keep the contents of your lungs where they belong.  

3. The Jingler. Leave your keys and coins in your pockets, and do not give your keys to your toddler to play with. I swear, if he/she throws them into my pharmacy, I will keep them.

4. The Yeller.  Do not yell “is there anybody here?”  If the lights are off and the gates are closed, THERE IS NOBODY HERE, if those conditions aren’t met, we are here, cool your jets.

Unless you see my eyes closed and drooling over my counting tray,  trust me, I see you and will get to you as quickly as possible.  The phone you see attached to my ear is there for a reason.  Somebody is on the other end. They called me first.  Do not tell me I need a bell.  Pharmacy Chick’s pharmacy had a bell…for one day…it was in the trash by the end of that day…it will never be seen again.

If you want my attention try this.  “Hi PC, I’ll just drop this off and come back tomorrow.” 

That works.



Comment by sickofstupidpeople

October 13, 2008 @ 10:10 am

A bell? I’ve been told to get one, too. Many times. Every time, my response is the same “If I get a bell, I will be forced to kill someone, and I like the idea of staying out of jail, so no bell.” Then the advice-giver laughs uncomfortably, like they can’t figure out if I’m serious. It’s actually quite amusing…


Comment by The Ole' Apothecary

October 13, 2008 @ 3:18 pm

How about a button connected to a random-selection iPod? First selection should be, “..a nice day for a white wedding.”


Comment by Scargsoun

October 13, 2008 @ 4:06 pm

I get that now. My office is closest to the lobby and people assume they can bellow at me to let their advisor know they have arrived. Uh huh. Yeah I’ll tell him. If they are an asshat I don’t say a word.


Comment by Cathy Lane RPh

October 14, 2008 @ 9:26 am

The tap, tap, of those keys and the indrawn breath whistling through clenched teeth and pursed lips. I used to think that people didn’t know they had that little nervous habit, until I tried to tap my carkeys on a counter once and found it took some impertinent gumption to make such a racket. Look up a little further past the keys, at raised eyebrows and narrowed or flared nostrils. Something’s upsetting the patient and there’s no reason I should assume their anxiety burden…can’t let the hairs raised and muscles tighten on my shoulders when I hear that little tap, tap.

Buttons are for closed-off cul-de-sacs, when no one is sitting at the front desk to make eye-contact. I think my hearing is not as good as it used to be, but for security rationale if for no other reason, I’m pretty much aware of locking doors and believing in that so I can know where people are located in ‘my territory’.


Comment by Bill

October 23, 2008 @ 1:18 pm

You raise an interesting point. I think your examples of how impatient people can be highlights the fact that many people simply don’t understand your job and what goes on behind the counter. According to a recent survey by the American Pharmacists Association, when it comes to their pharmacist, consumers are definitely not “in the know.” In fact, most (67 percent) consumers don’t even know their pharmacist’s name!

I have some information about a program from the American Pharmacists Association that I’d like to share with you, but did not see a way to contact you directly through your blog. The program features a few educational and entertaining videos that portray a “day in the life” of a pharmacist. If you are interested, I can be reached at the email address I provided with my comment.

Best regards,
On behalf of McNeil Consumer Health Division

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