Thursday, July 30, 2009

Was a sunny day

It's 80 degrees, a beautiful summer morning with a gentle warm breeze. In a few hours I will be working in the windowless deep-freeze of the Acme chain pharmacy, filling upwards of 400 prescriptions at breakneck speed or is it reckless speed. You will approach the counter impatient as all get-go, with a crazed glint in your eye, and demand attending to. When informed your insurance won't pay for Cialis or Viagra, you will rant and spew forth invectives as your suburban neighbors look on, then I will politely point you in the direction of the baby aisle where you may purchase a pacifier. Later the techs and pharmacy staff check out your profile and bingo... tricyclic antidepressants. Knew it!

But mostly it's not the customers who stress me out, it's the pharmacy manager (better known as my boss) for this 1000 hour internship. Sally, a tall West African woman with a quick smile and hearty laugh, gets all glum when I walk in. It's understandable, saddled with this menopausal intern who after 30 years of side-stepping the profession is now in dire need of her tutelage.

So she won't play in the sandbox with me. A thirty year hiatus in pharmacy amounts to resurrecting the dead. The last time I donned the white jacket, the major drugs of choice were Digoxin and Inderal, and Talwin, the addicts drug of choice. Now I need to learn over 1500 drugs with sound-a-like names in look-a-like white oval shapes. When I walk in her smile fades, her posture straightens and often she points me to the register. How in God's name can I learn how not to kill you dear reader, when I'm mostly learning how to give change? "I'm a pharmacy intern, not a cashier." I say to her. The techs look away from there pills and revel in our tension.

I send off an e-mail to upper management: Is this the best use of your money, training a pharmacy intern on the register? I get no response. Send it off again. I call the district manager. He skirts, he slides, he's a slippery devil. It's to no avail, I get it...stop complaining.

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