The Pharmacy Chick

Flying the coup in retail

Certain places are better than others.

Filed under: Uncategorized — pharmacychick at 6:39 pm on Saturday, July 25, 2009

Because PC works in a city, its an environment with varied (shall we say) personalities that populate its streets and byways.  PC works in suburbia.  We have a pretty clean mix of the rich, the middle class, and the poor.  Yea, we get our seekers and pond scum like any other pharmacy, but for the most part, we see a decent cross section of middle America. 

The other day I had the opportunity to head down town.  Pharmacy Chick hates “downtown” for several reasons.  First off, I hate only seeing sky when I look straight up.  Its the most claustrophobic feeling wandering the streets where the buildings tower over me.  Second, I am a person who gets lost fighting my way out of a paper bag.  Going downtown meant (for me) mapquesting my destination, and verifying that I can reach Point A and still get home without taking a route much different than I took getting there.  Its a confusing mash of one ways, construction that goes on for years, a train system imbedded in the street (GET OUT OF THE WAY…the TRAIN is COMING), and a bus system that has to be run by retired Nazi officers. Third,  I really don’t care for the people that populate  “downtown”.  Its like a steaming, teeming human ant-farm during the middle of a weekday.  They are everywhere!

Since I grew up in a town of about 70,000, “downtown” meant CENTRAL AVE.  Up town, meant “the Mall”.  Downtown was filled with shops and above them were cruddy apartments in the oldest buildings the town had.  A nondescript dark door between the stores would be the only sign that something was above these stores.  The Mall, was “the Mall” a conglomerate of stores anchored by Sears at one end and Penny’s at the other. It wasn’t huge and it took maybe 5 minutes of brisk walking to get from one end to the other. In none of these places did we have loiterers and beggars.

The downtown I have now is daunting to me.  Street performers banging on white buckets trying to catch some of your change,  homeless people hoping to snag the rest of it.  Many are shameless about asking for it, and it makes me fearful to even be down there by myself. I had to meet a friend for dinner.  We walked around.  I was glad I wasn’t alone.  In all of this mess is one of our stores.  Its the only store that has a police officer at the door, and the restrooms are locked for everybody.  Above the store are expensive condos.  You can have your groceries brought from the grocery store next door to YOUR door and never leave your home.  I talked with the Brett, pharmacist at the downtown locale.  “WarZone” is what he calls the store.  Since he has to pay for parking, he quit driving there and takes the train. 

Hmm, I thought about that for a minute.  What if somebody followed him out?  No safety of a car… Brave man.  The mentally handicapped are dumped on the streets and end up in his pharmacy.  They arent’ stable.  Those that haven’t fallen completely thru the cracks have state welfare. Many of the homeless (by choice or not) wander around, hoping somebody is sucker-enough to toss them a dollar or so.

Not today buddy,  and Brett:  Watch your back ok?  I think I will quietly retreat to my suburbian pharmacy…and shut up.


Comment by Pharmacy intern

July 26, 2009 @ 8:37 pm

My home store is located in a relatively safe area of the city. I filled in for a few shifts at a store “downtown” though. The store and pharmacy staff are great. Once you step outside though…

The few blocks from my bus stop to the downtown store are awful. Nothing like the adrenaline rush from the fear of being mugged to wake you up early in the morning. To make things scarier, one day I was verbally harassed by two guys who luckily stayed on the other side of the street. (If they had crossed the street, would have been a toss-up between running like hell to my store or judging which of the closer stores would give safe haven to a white girl.)

I wouldn’t necessarily call a car a safe zone either. Don’t you watch crime shows on TV?

You are right about one thing… visits like that make you appriciate what you have… both at work and at home.

A word of advice: If you buy a GPS system, continue to use Mapquest anyway for future downtown trips. Satellite doesn’t work so well when you have concrete and steel around. Found that out on a separate nonwork-related trip.

Comment by Matt M

August 6, 2009 @ 9:30 am

That sounds like Houston. Trains on the street, bums on the corners. It is true, though, that taking the train downtown is better than driving, and paying to park.
Its probably like any metropolis center…

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