Most difficult customer of the year goes to….the lady who would not take no for an answer and decided to belittle every member of our team.
We had the most odd situation at work this week. A lady demanded we supply her with a covid vaccine. We explained that we are not administering covid vaccines. She looked around sixty years of age, so we assured her that her GP will contact her to invite her to attend a vaccination appointment.
Yet, she was not satisfied, she said she has seen pharmacies on the news administering the vaccine. We acknowledged that some pharmacies are doing exactly that, but we are not. She became furious, accusing us of trying to trick her.
Then she asked if we – our members of staff – have been vaccinated. I stayed quiet but one of the young girls nodded and told her that NHS front line workers have been offered the vaccine and that most of us have received it. That only added fuel to the fire. The lady started ranting and yelling that we had to arrange a covid vaccine for her.
We tried to calm her down, explaining we had no way of arranging an appointment for her, assuring her that she would be invited in time and reminding her that the best way to stay safe is to stay at home and be careful to wear a face mask and observe social distancing rules when out for essential reasons such as grocery shopping.
She stayed at the pharmacy for an hour distracting us from our work, demanding we arrange a covid vaccine for her and accusing us of deceiving her.
Last week I was running on adrenaline all week because work was so nuts and I realized something – I love ice-cream. It is like the best energy food.
There is a gelato bar not far from the pharmacy I work at. Everyday last week I went there for my take-away sugar rush to give myself the boost I needed to face the afternoon. Who would have thought it would be ice-cream that would help me keep my act together?
It is amazing how much damage locum pharmacists can do in a day. They come in and try to deal with the prescriptions themselves – not caring about all the systems we have in place to look after our customers. It’s a nightmare trying to resolve all the upsets.
The unimaginable has happened! Four members of the pharmacy team are having to self-isolate. One is ill, and tested positive for Covid-19. Everyone else was tested again, three tested positive. I tested negative.
Work over the last two days has been manic! Better get myself to sleep and get some rest before another crazy day tomorrow.!
I was at work a couple of months ago with a locum pharmacist. He’s a great pharmacist and a nice guy, but for some reason he loves listening to a well know radio station which features political controversy and tends to milk it for every contentious sentiment.
That morning the radio presenter was commenting on some lockdown protestors actions. Now I don’t remember everything he said, but I do remember him criticising people for being like sheep. He seemed to be encouraging people to question authority over their guidance during the pandemic and challenge it, rather than meekly obeying. I was angry that he can take to the airwaves and preach a message like that, and I found it weird that the locum pharmacist was listening to it in earshot of our patients.
I was listening to him and feeling angry. In many parts of the world, for thousands of years, sheep have been protected by shepherds. Although you could say that the shepherd was only caring for them for the sake of their fleece, milk and their meat, the point is the shepherd protected them.
At the moment, during this pandemic, governments and authorities are trying to protect us. There are so many bizarre theories flying around and people protesting the protective measures and even claiming it is all a hoax. I suspect with some of these people, the only way they will realize how wrong they are is when they catch the virus. I would not wish this virus on my worst enemy.
Most people have the sense to realize that as a vulnerable flock we need some shepherding, protecting, guiding, and in some cases strong direction to prevent people who are putting themselves and others at risk. It is so much easier for those providing that shepherding if we just obey.
I have been working at chemist’s for a couple of years. It’s alright. 2020 was insane, but we were not the worst effected. We have had customers giving us their opinion on the pandemic for the past ten months. This should give you an idea of the different opinions – and we have to be polite no matter what the customer says to us:
- first they said it was deliberate, that a nefarious government engineered the virus and unleashed it to gain the upper on other countries.
- then they said the virus is not real, that it’s a hoax
- then they were glad that schools closed because they were terrified for their kids
- then they were saying that kids should be at school because they are suffering at home
- then we have queues out the door of customers asking for face masks (we couldn’t get them at the time, but the government were saying back then they were not necessary
- then face masks were mandatory and they were saying that facemasks violated their human rights
- then they were saying we desperately need a vaccine to get us out of this mess
- then they start saying that they don’t trust the vaccine and they think there is a microchip inside it
People are cute man. We have had the weirdest situations and scenes with customers yelling at each other “Back off buster, stay two metres away from me,” or storming into the store pushing each other out of the way to grab as much alcohol gel as they could,
So the latest thing is the attitude towards the vaccine. I keep on hearing people say they can’t wait for everyone to have the vaccine so we can all go back to normal. I don’t want to tell them – “normal” has gone. We are hoping they will be able to start lifting some of the restrictions in the next few months. But normal won’t be around for a long time. Packed arenas, conventions (someone seriously needs to tell the US that), festivals, marathons – there are so many parts of what used to be normal that just won’t be safe for a long time.
We are hoping that soon, we can visit the Aunties without worrying. We are hoping for some normality to come back. But we cannot go back to being packed like sardines on a train for a long time. Even once the vaccination is rolled out, there is a lot that needs to have changed. Safety is going to be different from now on. It has to take into account a mutant strains, that the vaccines are not 100% effective and that some people don’t want it.
Even if you have had the vaccine, we are still going to need to be careful for a long time to come.