The Pharmacy Chick

Flying the coup in retail

The Long Goodbye

Filed under: Uncategorized — pharmacychick at 6:42 pm on Monday, November 3, 2014

Ive been trying to write more in recent days.  The Joy is just not there….the desire, urge, whatever…to put the proverbial pen to paper ( which of course few people do anymore) but in this case, fingers to key board… has been gone.  No will whatsoever to really write my thoughts and place out for the world to see.  I no longer find it interesting to write about my job.

It’s been a good ride and with all rides…eventually they come to an end. This will be that end. I just have run out of interesting things to say and re working or hashing out the same old things seems silly. Obviously I am not alone. The heyday of pharmacy blogging has ebbed tho there are but a few interesting posts that occasionally shows up. I miss Angry and Angriest as only they could weave profanity into poetry. I miss Ole apothecary for his wisdom from the ages. I don’t care about politics very much and because the boards of pharmacy don’t care about pharmacists, doing battle with them is usually fruitless.

When I started to write, I was inspired to write for an audience that I assumed would be fellow pharmacists…those who could relate to what I wrote about…the day to day life of a retail pharmacist.  I was surprised to see that more of my readers came from the non pharmacy variety.. patients, nurses, a few doctors..etc..based on the comments I received.

I’ve written on just about every subject I could think of. I’ve had comments from people who could relate and some from people who totally missed the point and released venom only a rattlesnake could appreciate.  I still get comments filled with hatred about my posts on the oxycontin error made at a different store. The comments descended into a war of words on narcotics use and abuse when that wasn’t the topic. Yet I am trashed to this very day. I also get comments on the post about the Norco rx I got where the person wanted it 14 days early and was mad when I said NO because he felt that paying cash meant he could fill it at will. Clearly any post about a narcotic or controlled substance hits a nerve.  Any other drug in the same situation gets merely a yawn.

Ive been called judgmental and mean by people who think my job is to fill any prescription handed to me, no matter the circumstance. And of course that isn’t the case, legally or ethically.  We have a corresponding responsibility to only fill prescriptions for a legitimate medical use and I could face suspension for failing to do that.

I have been vilified for having an opinion. Apparently pharmacist cannot have an opinion.  we are to be robotic in our demeanor and actions.

Ive been carved a new orifice for not feeling sorry for every train wreck  that comes to my pharmacy.  Apparently being able to say no to an unreasonable request makes me an insensitive a$$hole.

Ive been shocked at the unkindness of strangers who read blogs for the sole purpose of spewing hate anonymously.  After a while I had no more tolerance for their crap and would either not allow their comments or would dish it right back.

Ive also cried with customers who have lost their loved ones after valiant battles with cancer.  Ive sat at the end of a death bed hearing stories about ballroom dancing with a woman whose feet will never touch the floor again. Ive sat in a dark pharmacy long after closing waiting for people also working late so they can pick up their own prescriptions.  Ive had mothers lose their children to cancer and children lose their mothers to the same.  I found Melanoma on the back of one customer who thanks me every year when he gets his flu shot, and called 911 with one hand while a customer on the phone believed he was having a heart attack ( and called ME for some reason…)

Ive made errors…I have caught errors. Ive written about my errors, and written about the errors of others.  Most recently I caught an error where a Dr prescribed Serophene 50mg for a pregnant woman.  Nothing made sense about this prescription and it took a great deal of effort to make the office research it. It was supposed to be Seroquel.  I asked the nurse. “Do you realize the gravity of this error that your nurse practitioner signed off on??”  She only said they picked the wrong drug on a drop down menu. I said ” We have procedures in place for when something like this happens in a pharmacy.  I hope that your office has the same because this could have been a tragedy.”

Ive written about the things I care deeply about and then later wondered about my lack of caring after all these years. I think my lack of caring has made it easier to quit writing because I walk away from work each day not fretting about stuff.  I give 100% of my efforts to doing the right thing in every circumstance even if its not popular. I’ve come to understand that what I do isn’t a popularity contest and doing what is right and legal isn’t always going to make me a star in the eyes of a patient.  Sometimes doing the right thing means somebody has to wait longer so I get an answer from a dr office about a drug interaction, a drug selection, or verifying the legitimacy.

Ive shared my private life with readers. Ive shared the loss of my mother, the death of my pets, my faith challenges, the thrill of the victories and the agonies of my failures. Every day I struggle with my inadequacies, so reading hurtful comments made that worse.

I wrote for my own personal enjoyment and after a while it became more work than fun as I struggled to come up with interesting ideas to write about. I attribute this to being not emotionally attached to my job anymore. Don’t get me wrong…  I care about doing a quality job. I care about doing the best job I can, in fact. I devote a great deal of effort to making sure that my employer gets his money’s worth. What I no longer do is derive emotional support FROM or get emotionally INVOLVED with the activities of the store or its customers.  I am friendly and funny, and happy and all that, because that is precisely what is expected of me. but I am no longer emotionally invested.   I don’t miss it when I am not there, and I don’t feel any special loyalty to the company.  Part of this emptiness can be blamed on emotional exhaustion.  Retail pharmacy can suck the life right out of you, just like the Dementors in Harry Potter… but part of the blame goes to the company itself who has demonstrated over and over that I am merely an expense, a person of no value, to be controlled, manipulated, and monitored.  I am weary. My work is for the Lord. It is only for his Glory that I expend the effort.  I have never wanted applause or accolades, awards or recognition.  Im a total introvert, those things STRESS not impress me. At the end of the day all I want is to have happy customers, accurate work and a clean pharmacy for the next day.  That is it.

And so, after trying ONE more time to post interesting thoughts and being not only disappointed in the quality of the material but the fact I doubt too many people even read me anymore because of the infrequency of the posting, Ive decided to sail off into the virtual universe.

So THANK YOU, for having taken this ride with me.

Blessings to you all.

PC

 

 

32 Comments »

Comment by lit

November 3, 2014 @ 8:42 pm

You were one of the first pharmacist bloggers I started to follow, and it was heaven sent. My wife and I are both pharmacist, so we understand each other trials and tribulations, but when I started to read your blog it was a revelation, it was an I AM NOT the only pharmacist who feels this way moment. You were able to express what we felt inside, the good and the bad. Having practice for 35 years, I know the changes that have occurred. Once upon a time, working at a chain was not a bad thing. I started with Payless drug store and it was a time when people at the main office knew who you were and thanked you for a job well done. After subsequent takeovers, the appreciations went from less frequent to nonexistent.

Your blog brought humor back into my job, not in a cynical nor mean spirited way, but one with compassion and love for the profession.

You will be missed!!!! Thank you for a job well done.Thank you also for your kind words. We all are in the same boat if we work in retail. We suffer and we triumph sometimes in the same day. I will certainly miss some things but it was time 🙂

Comment by Beth

November 3, 2014 @ 8:49 pm

Say it isn’t so. And to get this news on the 3rd of the month!!!

From one introverted RPh to another I have thoroughly enjoyed reading and identifying with almost every one of your posts all these years. Please say you will leave the blog up so I can go back and re-read some of my favorite posts after a crazy day in the box.

I wish you a happy “retirement” from blog writing and send best wishes for the day when real retirement is a reality.

Thanks for all the laughs, and all the rants, and for regularly reading my mind and writing the same thoughts and emotions that so many of us behind the counter experience day to day.

May God bless you and Mr. Chick all the days of your lives!
Thank you For you kind words. These really make my day. I will leave the blog up, and will continue to moderate any comments that might come in. and if I decide to write another blog on different subject, I will post a link 🙂

Comment by ti

November 3, 2014 @ 9:32 pm

I will miss your wisdom and wit, and your straightforward compassion for your patients. Don’t let those haters get you down… they are wrong. Thank you for writing. May the wind be always at your back. Thank you so much!!

Comment by PharmacyJim

November 3, 2014 @ 10:34 pm

I am saddened by this, but totally understand. I have loved reading your life here, and have gained much joy and peace seeing that someone else knows my pharmacy life. I have worked retail, all chain, since graduating in 1980. I am trying now to divest more and more of my emotions from my “job.” So, thank you PC for letting us enjoy the ride. Please know you have been a blessing in many peoples’ lives, including mine. God bless!Thank you Jim, I am a little surprised at the reaction and humbled that so many people liked the blog. Its good to know we all shared this little boat!

Comment by mibero

November 4, 2014 @ 5:03 am

Thanks for sharing your gift with us for as long as you did. I really enjoyed reading your blog. Selfishly, I’m a little sad though 🙂

Best wishes to you in all your endeavors. No doubt will your warmth, wit, and heart carry you through all that you encounter.Thank you, I am also a little sad. Its like saying goodbye to a friend and my blog was kind of a friend. but its time.

Comment by A-M

November 4, 2014 @ 7:38 am

Despite the infrequent postings of late, I’m sorry to see you go, and especially sorry to hear you’ve lost the emotional attachment to your job. It is a story I’m hearing far too often from those in the medical field.

I can’t put into words the amount of insight you’ve given me into the pharmacy world. I manage a small medical office, and reading your stories made me more defensive of the PEOPLE who work in the pharmacy. More than once I revisited our own office policies to find ways to make everyone’s jobs a little easier. So your words (hopefully) made life better/easier/smoother for the pharmacists we work with.

As for the haters, forget them. They don’t know you, they don’t care about you, they would never go out of their way to help you, so they aren’t worth your time or energy. Not one tiny bit of it. Just remember for every loudmouth hater, there are many more quiet, thoughtful people who appreciate the work you do and the life you live. I hope more of them remember to tell you so, and I hope it’s at those times when you most need to hear it.

Thank you for the window into part of your life. Wishing you all the best, in life and work (and golf).Thank you for your kind words and encouragement. Yes, the haters are tough to endure and they drain me emotionally when I read them. They feed on venom I suppose. I hope to write again, maybe someday soon, but I’d prefer to write about a variety of subjects and not just about the business of pharmacy which I feel I have covered pretty well. I dabbled in that with my posting about Darn Tough socks. haha. Id like to write about my dogs, golf, music, life in general and about my walk with God. ( and maybe share a recipe or so)

Comment by Eileen Harrison

November 4, 2014 @ 7:42 am

So sorry to hear you are stopping blogging. Since I first found your blog I have enjoyed hearing about your life in pharmacy in the US as well as the other things you wrote about. I live in Europe where pharmacists are still respected healthcare professionals – I’m flabbergasted at what you and your colleagues have to put up with and even more amazed you stay.

May I wish you a happy(happier?)future – and all the very best.Thank you ! 🙂

Comment by pharm

November 4, 2014 @ 10:30 am

Thank you for sharing your blog, pharmacy is changing and it is a scary time. I’ve enjoyed reading your writings.Thanks! and you are right, Pharmacy is changing and its a really scary time. I am not sure I would want to be ENTERING pharmacy right now as a new pharmacist. Its an entire different world.

Comment by murgatr

November 5, 2014 @ 8:23 am

Sad to see you go but totally understand your reasons why. I will miss your blog that tells it like it REALLY is in the pharmacy. Best wishes to you & Mr. Chick in your future endeavours.

murgatr
Pharm. Tech. RDC’06Thank you so much, you’ve been a reader and commenter for such a long time!

Comment by Blanche

November 5, 2014 @ 6:32 pm

Lurker here who appreciates the behind-the-scenes look at a very different profession from mine that you and other pharmacy bloggers have provided.

Pretty sure that reading of your experiences has made me a better pharmacy customer. Thank you!Thank you so much for coming out of your lurker state to comment. Ive always been surprised how many non pharmacists/techs have liked to read blogs about pharmacy 🙂

Comment by S K

November 6, 2014 @ 6:54 am

I’m sorry to see you go, but as long as your blog stays operational, it will have a place in my RSS reader in case you feel like writing again.Thank you! I will write again, I love to write, but I am moving away from pharmacy and want to feel free to write about things I love perhaps instead of things that frustrate me daily LOL

Comment by Kevin

November 7, 2014 @ 6:47 pm

Outstanding blog. You will be missed. One pharmacy veteran to another.

Hopefully after some time you will feel the fire to write again. Some event will compel you to pick up the keyboard and get your thoughts out there.I am sure there will be something I want to write about, I just think I have nailed all the pharmacy stuff out there. But I suppose about the time I say that, something out of the blue will happen! I just want to expand my opportunities to write about things other than what I am doing in a white coat!

Comment by Goose

November 8, 2014 @ 4:12 pm

Chick,
I will miss your writing but wish only the best for you.
I always felt when I was reading like we had a lot in common.
You will be missed but it’s hard to keep writing.
God BlessThank you, it means a lot to me that I “reached” the heart of people!

Comment by SciFi Pharmacist Guy

November 9, 2014 @ 10:50 pm

Pharmacy Chick,
I’m sorry to see you go. Although I only recently discovered your blog, I felt I took a lot away from it. You laid your thoughts and emotions out there for the world to see and I have to give you major credit for that. As a pharmacist I can relate to how you feel and understand your frustrations. At some point in time we became the target for people’s frustrations and the forgotten recipients of appreciation.
Your posts are so well written, hopefully you’ll decide to return to writing in some capacity. Good luck and I wish you all the best.Thank you so much, if you recently discovered my blog you have about 6 years of posts to read LOL. Mr Chick was surprised I retired the blog about pharmacy but Ill write again, redesign the site and write about stuff that makes me happy or intrigued or wonder about. I just think I have exhausted whatever is interesting about pharmacy without rehashing all the same old stories with different characters 🙂

Comment by Jon

November 11, 2014 @ 11:50 am

I have been following you for several years and have learned a few things. So thanks for your stories, opinions, and thoughts on all the things you have written about. It is always fun to see what goes on in different worlds, the things we have in common and the things we don’t. Have a good life, whatever you do!Thank you so much, Ive enjoyed the ride!

Comment by DB

November 12, 2014 @ 11:19 pm

I’m so sorry to see you go, I’ve been following your blog for several years as I went through pharmacy school and as a recent pharmacy grad. Many times what you wrote were inspiring and scary at the same time. Thank you for the stories, the ups, the downs, the frustration, and the joys of pharmacy. It has been an awesome adventure and best wishes to you.Thank you for your comment and CONGRATS on getting thru pharmacy school..heres an idea..start a blog about being a newbie! LOL

Comment by Kris

November 14, 2014 @ 5:04 pm

PC,
I discovered your blog via Dr. Grumpy’s site, and when I did, I think I stayed up half the night reading the archives – that’s how entertained I was, but I also understand and relate to the scenarios and the types of people you’ve talked about.

Been a reader of your blog for quite a while – another “lurker,” if you will. I’m bummed at myself for never having commented prior to now – only after reading you’re ending your blog. It’s sad that now days people with negative comments are the most vocal and the rest of us tend to enjoy silently. For my part in that, I’m sorry, but please know that I’ve enjoyed reading your blog. Your mix of witty, ironic, fun, informative, and entertaining stories has made (cumulatively) many hours of my life more enjoyable as I read while de-stressing from my own chaotic work life, which lends itself to similar scenarios of the ridiculous, those who feel entitled, those who misunderstand the point, etc., being in an allied medical field in which dollars talk and people and integrity are just commodities, even when patient safety is at stake.

I’m sure I’m not the only one whose been able to read your blog and see the truly caring, moral, and respectful person who is Pharmacy Chick.

I look forward to reading your next blog, as I also enjoy dogs (I have two), my walk with God, and music; and learning about really awesome things I’ve never heard of like Darn Tough socks! I wish you the best.Thank you for taking the time to write, Ive had my heart warmed by all these wonderful wishes. I feel “freed” if you will to be able to write now about things that arent limited to the pharmacy and will do so. Re-hashing old work stuff seems redundant and the haters were hard to deal with. I wouldn’t approve the inappropriate ones. I sure hope you try Darn Tough socks! they are pretty awesome. If you want any specific suggestions, let me know!

Comment by Karen

November 15, 2014 @ 10:46 pm

Lurker here. I wish I had commented more so you would have had another voice to let you know how much your writing has been appreciated. My lurking had nothing to do with you, but that’s just me – the quiet one over there in the back row.

Your writing has been interesting and educational. I have learned how to be a better pharmacy customer, for one thing. I was never a bad customer, but I became much better as a result of your blog.

I have laughed with you at the funny things, and I have cried with you over your losses, especially the most recent loss of your dear dog about this time last year. I have been there too many times myself so I know how deep the grief is.

I have not ordered any wool socks yet, but I need to do that right away. We have had a very early start to winter.

Take care and be happy. I hope you resurface with something else to write about. I will be a reader for sure.Thank you ! join the club…im a lurker also..love to read but not often a commenter so its ok! It was just last week a year ago when I lost Libby, so you are so right..I still miss that girl. She had a special place in my heart. Ill write again soon, on much more fun topics I hope than the business of pharmacy and its customers!

Comment by Pharmacist Squared

November 16, 2014 @ 9:23 pm

Hey Pharmacy Chick,
Your blog is the first pharmacy blog that I had ever read and I have been following you for years. I was so happy to find you and to know that other people were experiencing the same things in pharmacy that I was. You truly will be missed. This website is the first place I go when I start to feel stressed about retail pharmacy life. In fact, I am sitting in front of the computer with a glass of wine after work trying to decompress over a particularly stressful pharmacy weekend and the first place I chose to visit was you. Thank you, thank you, thank you for letting me know I was not alone and making me laugh so many times.thanks for the note!! I hope you find some relaxation in that glass of wine. I love a little port sometimes afree a tough day. Hopefully my new topics will be interesting too!

Comment by mhillrph

November 20, 2014 @ 11:52 am

Thank you for the blog. I’m a long time reader. I don’t comment very often, but that doesnt mean I havent been here nodding along in agreement with you. I’ve been in retail many years, and I find that following a few blogs like yours helps me unwind after a long day. You have a nice ability to express your views without sounding hostile. And I admire that about you. I know from experience that sometimes the pleasant approach doesn’t work, but have generally found that “a soft answer turneth away wrath”. You’ve given many of those soft responses on your blog, and I’m going to miss that. I hope you’ll continue to blog, and share the new link with us. Many of the blogs I follow have nothing to do with pharmacy, but just have a nice human touch. I’ve always found that to be true about yours too. Thanks again for the work you’ve done to make the blog available to us.Thank you so much for your kind words, I find that encouraging that people enjoyed the blog. I will write some more, after a rest, but just not the subject of pharmacy, as I think I have beat that subject to death. Unless something amazing happens and I have to share it, Ill move on to other subjects!

Comment by Alex

November 24, 2014 @ 8:37 am

I’m completely new to your blog, but judging by this one, I’m sure its worth a read. I’m thinking of starting a blog so its ironic I discover yours right at its end. I’ve been a pharmtech less than 10 years, but I have much respect for anyone in the healthcare industry. Good luck to you!By all means WRITE, if you feel an urge, as I did, write it down, comment on other bloggers so they find YOUR material and let yourself go!!

Comment by Barb

November 29, 2014 @ 10:59 am

I’ll miss you! I’ve never commented on any of your posts but we were always on the “same page” Good Luck in all that you do!Thank you so much!

Comment by pharmacyburnt/chief pharmanimal

November 30, 2014 @ 5:57 pm

We’ve so much in common and I always enjoyed every post that you wrote. I could not only relate to all your posts (especially about your beloved dogs) but I loved the way you put them into words, you write so incredibly well. Thanks for the years you’ve shared your thoughts, feelings, and yes, opinions. May our retirement date seem not so far away. Stop at the virtual port every so often, just to say hi.Thank you so much for your comment. Ive tried to respond to every one. I hope my retirement date is as close as I hope,8 years or less according to Mr Chicks calculations…or one lucky power ball ticket! There is a light at the end of the tunnel…I just hope its not attached to a moving train!

Comment by John

December 2, 2014 @ 3:05 pm

Hi Pharmacychick,

I stumbled upon your blog today – I enjoyed it very much, and I know exactly how you feel (I left retail pharmacy a few years ago because I became too disinterested / disgruntled). I’d like to reach you via e-mail if possible (my company is looking for a copywriter / editor to edit pharmacy-related content – preferably someone with an advanced degree in pharmacy or medicine). Send me an e-mail if you’re interested. Ill shoot you an email so you can describe more.

Comment by Hounddoggy

December 4, 2014 @ 3:24 pm

I’ve been a long term reader although I don’t think I’ve ever commented. I just wanted to thank you for your writing. I work in retail so I “know”.
I am never rude or “funny” with clerks or store-keeps but I appreciate your information about how a pharmacy works and the stressors that you’ve encountered. I am extra careful to not step on toes…especially on Monday mornings!Thank you so much for you comment, I have appreciated every one I have received in this post. One has to work in retail to ” know” so I am glad you have that understanding! Blessings to you!!

Comment by Sheryll

January 1, 2015 @ 7:46 pm

Hello from another long-time-reader, first-time-commenter fellow retail pharmacist. First, thank you for your blog! I have related to the vast majority of your posts; be it about working in retail (ugh), dogs (they’re the best), golf (you are a MUCH better golfer), the decision to remain childless and questions of faith, though we are of different faiths. I even think we are around the same age – 8 years to retirement sounds about right! I suppose my introversion has prevented me from posting comments in the past – although I think I will start commenting more on the blogs I appreciate to help counteract all those hater types who are so vocal.
I look forward to reading whatever you decide to write about in the future and I wish you, Mr Chick, and your pups all the best!

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Comment by Fazfarma

December 22, 2015 @ 6:43 am

I will miss your writing but wish only the best for you.
I always felt when I was reading like we had a lot in common.
You will be missed but it’s hard to keep writing.

Comment by VxP Biologics

February 12, 2016 @ 12:16 am

Thanks for the years you’ve shared your thoughts, feelings, and yes, opinions.
I look forward to reading whatever you decide to write about in the future and I wish you, Mr Chick, and your pups all the best!

Comment by Esther

June 29, 2017 @ 8:35 am

thanks for your blog I understand how you feel. keep writing

Comment by Akhil Arya

November 27, 2017 @ 3:34 am

I’ve been a long haul peruser in spite of the fact that I don’t think I’ve ever remarked. I simply needed to thank you for your written work. I work in retail so I “know”. I am never inconsiderate or “entertaining” with assistants or store-keeps however I value your data about how a drug store functions and the stressors that you’ve experienced. I am additional watchful to not advance on toes… particularly on Monday mornings!

Comment by amit

March 16, 2018 @ 2:55 am

It’s been a good ride and with all rides…eventually they come to an end. This will be that end. I just have run out of interesting things to say and re working or hashing out the same old things seems silly. Obviously I am not alone
its good post that write about the retail of pharmacy and its product.

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