21 February, 2006

chemist chunts

Why do we here in Australia call them chemists anyway? They're not chemists, they're pharmacists. Actually, only the one standing up on the raised platform is really a pharmacist. The rest are just shop assistants. For future reference:

The folk on the left are Chemists. The folk on the right work in a Chemist/Pharmacy.

I ran out of my Meds. This is troublesome. Don't fear, lovers and dreamers, it's not that troublesome. It's not like I'm going to flip off the deep-end and start
behaving like my neighbour just because of 48 hours without my drugs. But, unfortunately, I do experience a withdrawal effect. It's difficult to define or describe. It's this funny, dizzy/disorienting feeling that creeps through my vision and balance. It's not necessarily unpleasant, just a little weird, and leaves me feeling a bit uneasy and uncertain. This, I realise, is why it's necessary to spend a full year phasing out the damn things (a process which I'm about half way through).

So here I am (finally) at the Chemist. I hand over my prescription. I take my little ticket that tells me to come back in fifteen minutes. I peruse JB Hi-Fi and pick up those Sufjan and Tori CDs I've had my little munkey eye on. I go back to the Chemist. The young-lady at the counter is not a chemist. She's not even a pharmacist. She's a fifteen-year-old braces-wearing shop assistant. But is that going to stop her asking awkward and unnecessary questions about my perfectly legitimate and altogether necessary prescription medication? NO SIREE!

As I'm about to hand over my cash and go on my merry way, I notice she's reading the instructions on the script. She starts reading them out. Okay, so she's thorough. Fine fine. As she - in her best teenage warning tones - mentions that this kind of medication usually has side-effects, I agree - "Yes, I've experienced those to some extent. But it's fine..." MISTAKE!

Little Miss Busybody instantly grabs the nearest more-senior staff-member and starts prodding her in my direction, as if I'd asked for assistance. For the love of God, I was just making conversation! Just give me my fucking pills and let me get out of here! So now the older Chemist-Lady (older being a relative term - she's still younger than me) is bleating at me. "Blah blah side-effects. Blah-blah only as directed. Blah blah Very Careful." In my head I am
baring my gums and flicking my gorgeous long red hair in an uptight fashion. On the outside I am stoically smiling politely. Trying to defuse the two pairs of enquiring eyes currently drilling me, I say, nonchalantly, "It's really fine. This is my regular medication. I've been taking them for over a year and..." MISTAKE!

"Oh... over a year!" Her eyes light up with self-righteous know-it-all smuggery. Inside my head: You shut your fucking little mouth right now. For your own good, lady, Do Not say another word. On my face: stoic, polite smile. Her: "Well, you really ought to consider cutting down or even cutting them out. You usually don't need to take them in on ongoing way. You should really talk to your Doctor..." The younger one is out of her depth now, but stays, nodding at me in a vaguley reproachful way that just screams "kick my head in".

Inside my head: I'm well aware of the nature of my own medication. Perhaps the fact that I JUST HANDED YOU A PRESCRIPTION FOR THESE, would alert you to the fact that I really do need them, and I'm not just taking them for the hell of it! On my face (stoic, polite smile): "Yes. I know. I'm in regular consultation with my Doctor." Her (not knowing when to quit while she's being a total cunt, making a dick of herself but embarassing me): "Blah blah side effects. Blah blah harmful if prolongued unnecessarily. Blah blah did I mention Very Careful?"

Inside my head: What the fuck?! Okay, one of my personal heroes died by overdosing on his Meds, but you don't know that, and that's not why he's my personal hero. I am not hairy or scary or druggie looking. I am wearing a nice shirt. I have glasses. I am a sensible, intelligent person who is not about to scoff the entire packet of tablets as soon as you let me out of this fucking shop. Get off my fucking back and give me the medication AS DIRECTED BY MY DOCTOR, WHO I'M QUITE CONFIDENT KNOWS A DAMN SIGHT MORE ABOUT THESE THINGS THAN YOU TWO CUNTS PUT TOGETHER! On the outside (smile a little more strained, tone a little more terse): "Yes. I. Know. I'm. In. Regular. Consultation. With. My. Doctor." Her (patronising smile): "Well that's all you need to do."

Now, what prompted my next action, I really can't say. Perhaps I was just seeing how far I could be pushed before I went completely over the edge and finally gave them good reason to suspect my stabililty/ability to self-administer simple medication. Whatever my subconscious motivation to stir the pot even more, I did it: I asked for a packet of Nurofen. MISTAKE!

Both the Pharmacy poppets dithered and frowned. "Are they okay together?" the younger one asked the older one, in an almost conspiratorial whisper as if I wasn't STANDING RIGHT THERE. The older one looked lost, all at sea. In her confusion and panic, she actually thought to look to ME for advice. Refer to the patient's own experience of their own medication?! What a novel fucking concept. By this point, sheer amusement at the absurdity of these two had taken over from my anger. "I have taken Nurofen semi-regularly - whenever I get a headache - the entire time I've been on my Meds. It's never been a problem." They looked uncertain, but could obviously sense a "listen you little cuntrags, if I wanted to overdose on Nurofen I'd go and buy a trolley-full of the shit at Bi-Lo. Now quit the bullshit and make with the drugs" lecture was well overdue. So they finally gave me my stuff, took my money and bade me "have a nice day".

I walked away, shaking my head, a paraphrase of the Julianne Moore pharmacy scene from
magnolia playing through my head: "I come in here. I ask for these things. I give you the things. And you have the fucking indecency to ask me my life? No! You Suck. my. DICK. Where is your decency?!"

I used to feel a little discontent with my local pharmacy where they are almostly harshly brusque, barely saying hello before whisking away your script and ushering you towards the cashier. Now I feel like sending them chocolates and a bouquet of roses.

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Blogger Afe said...

Is Munkey cranky?

February 21, 2006 11:58 am  
Blogger elaine said...


That scene in Magnolia kills me.

February 21, 2006 1:20 pm  
Blogger Jellyfish said...

What a horrendous story. If I were you, I'd write them a snippy letter. It might just mean that they treat whoever goes there next with a bit more respect (because what you described above was very, very disrespectful). God forbid one should have to get the morning after-pill from them or something.

I can't believe the gibbons they have working in chemists. They all seem to be about three-and-a-half years old and thick as two short planks. I gave up on our local one after repeated occasions on which they totally buggered up printing and reprinting of photos. 'Erm, no, actually I did not ask for 17 copies of that blurry photo of my uncles elbow, doubles of all 30 would be preferable if it's all right with you.'

Another classic was the time a friend from overseas went there and asked for a reccommendation of what she should take as she thought she was getting a cold. 'Try not to wear makeup for a few days so all your pores are really open' were the words of wisdom she came away with.


ps - thanks for last night - tolerating the showtunes. I was in dire need of some youknowwhattygoodmakefeelnice this morning. Bleh.

February 21, 2006 2:17 pm  
Anonymous Bear Wabbit said...

Dude!! Hot Post!! I really liked the furious bits. They reminded me of me on a "good" day.

PS Don't sweat twoheads. I'll be back soon and will let ya know. Ya can kill the link if you want... the site is dead.


February 23, 2006 8:22 pm  
Blogger mindlessmunkey said...

Afe ~ Munkey is feeling much better after his rant, thankyou.

Elaine ~ Shocking isn't it. You would think that somewhere in these kids' training there'd be a mention of sensitivity and discretion, since you are dealing with people's medical issues.

Jelly ~ Ah yes, clogged pores are responsible for many a nasty cold, I'm sure. The odd thing with the two I encountered was that I'm sure they honestly thought they were doing the right thing and being helpful. It wasn't a deliberate disrespect. Just brainlessness.

There was no 'tolerating' involved. I had a ball! Sorry to hear about your sore head / angry belly.

BW ~ Be sure to keep me updated!

February 24, 2006 8:44 am  
Blogger BEVIS said...

*clears throat*


You've just been tagged. Please don't hurt me.

*runs away*

February 28, 2006 3:26 am  
Anonymous Bear Wabbit said...

So my ex-BF (cos he moved out last week the chunt) had an account at local drugdispensary and I went to open an account myself and the bitch there reckons she won't do it cos exBF hasn't paid off his account yet and she's pissed off that he's moved house cos he didn't tell her about it (like she's the most important bitch in the fucking universe) and so I say "Oi you fucking cow, I want my fuckin repeat scripts. How dare you treat me like all the lamefucks in this area? You have now officially given me the shits from lumping me in with junkies and white trash and I'm taking my lower middle class business else the fuck where!!"

New blog on the way when I find a moment to scratch my arse...

March 02, 2006 10:35 am  
Blogger mindlessmunkey said...

Oh BW! You and Mr Wolf are no longer? I can't tell you how sorry I am to hear that.

March 02, 2006 10:51 am  

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