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The worst week of my pharmacy career


Four colleagues self-isolating.


Four part-timers volunteer to work every day to keep this thing afloat.


An ex-manager of ours who now works at the hospital stepped in to help and was a Godsend.


No contact from “up above”.


We’re basically left to it. To sort ourselves out in one of the worst weeks in pharmacy history. No-one asked us to work these extra hours. We did it for each other. The few of us who were left that is. I certainly didn’t do it for my basic minimum pay wage.


Patients not adhering to the two people in store rule and when asked to wait outside away from the ramp abusing staff.


Patients not standing behind the two-metre line.


People standing in store openly coughing.


I personally had a woman scream at me for her prescriptions not being ready. She said to me:


“What the hell have you been doing?”


I didn’t reply but thought: well yes, of course, we are all sat on our fat arses watching daytime TV in the dispensary love!


Then a couple who entered the pharmacy together were asked to wait outside as there were already two people in. The man shouted:


“I haven’t got the Corona. I wish I’d gone to another f$%king chemist.”


At which point I said:


“Please feel free to take your prescription to another pharmacy.”


And he replied:


“No you’re my local chemist so just do it and hurry up.”


He then left to wait outside, as requested and slagged us off loudly as incompetent to the rest of the patiently waiting queue.


A lady requested a medication that I could not supply her with due to the special measures and bein unable to do a private consultation in the tiny room. But I was directing her as to how she could get it urgently when she stopped listening, sighed loudly and said:


“For God’s sake, this is a f$%king joke.


She stormed out.


Her husband, who was a huge man over six feet tall and I’m sure well over 18 stone, then pushed by everyone in the queue to stand at the door and shout loudly demanding to know who just refused his wife the medication.


I put my hand up and tried, again, to explain how they could access it the same day by using our online doctor service where we would be sent a private prescription for it.


He then shouted aggressively at me, whilst pointing:


“You clearly don’t know how to do your job properly.”


Disclaimer… I actually do. I didn’t just Google this shit! As his rant was clearly not going to end I could not get a word in. I told him to leave three times.


He eventually left. As he was leaving he told us that we were f%&king useless.


Sounds shit doesn’t it? Well, let’s just top this off.


We had a queue outside waiting for us to open and as a member of staff, not in uniform, approached the door for us to let them in and they were assaulted for pushing in. The perpetrator claimed that it wasn’t their fault as the person hadn’t announced who they were. Yes, that aggressor left our pharmacy in a police van.


Our pharmacy is in an affluent suburb of an affluent city and quite frankly public, we deserve better.


We are snowed under. We are busier than we ever have been. We have hundreds of scripts every day for new patients who we’ve never had before. Where are they all coming from?


Some medications are out of stock. This again is not our fault. These strange times are scary for everyone but they are also scary for us. Every member of our team has family members who we are at risk of coming in contact with.


We all have small children, elderly parents, vulnerable family members and we also are stressed and worried.


Please be patient with us, we are risking our health to help the public. The abuse and insults affect our mental health and we take it all home with us.


A good 95% of our clients are lovely, supportive and patient but the ones that we take home at night and re-play in our heads are these guys that I’ve mentioned. They should be thoroughly ashamed.


If you go outside on a Thursday and clap for the NHS please be aware that this courtesy should adhere to every single time you come across one of us networkers in any setting.


This article has been published with permission from Annette. You will find her on Twitter here.



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