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Showing posts from July, 2008
"Excuse me ...

but do you have shoehorns in the pharmacy?"

Well, that's a new one, I have to admit. No one has ever even mentioned the word "shoehorn" in a sentence before, that I can remember.

I may very well have identified a new disease: Pharmaceutical shopagnocis, a psychological ailment characterized by the metonymies of the department store (metonymy, you will recall from your eighth grade grammar lessons, is (from Webster's Collegiate Online)

a figure of speech consisting of the use of the name of one thing for that of another of which it is an attribute or with which it is associated (as “crown” in “lands belonging to the crown”).

What I think happens is that someone walks into the department store, happens on the pharmacy and remembering the last time they were in say, Rite Aid or Walgreens or CVS, they still think that everything in those stores is contained in our little section of a much larger store. Thus the shoehorn (which a normal, well-adjusted …
I encounter quite a few personality types at work. Maybe all of 'em. How many types are there? Let's see …
There's the codger (think Walter from Jeff Dunham), the rich codger and the rich codger's wife. Middle-age guy undergoing crisis; middle-age woman undergoing peri-menopause; the young guy and cute girl; the woman with family; the guy without the family (may be married but usually shows up alone and can't remember the wife's birthday … or the kid's); the beautiful woman (by definition rare—usually found gathering in makeup aisle); the guy in the suit (also rare, as they feed in theaters and party rooms); the retired gent (who may be "the codger" or a separate class: the nice guy); the impatient lady (is it done yet? I have an appointment! My husband is out in the car! I have ice cream out in the car! My dog is out in the car!); the poor—and I mean dirt poor—lady who has a cab or bus waiting outside the store ("Can you hurry? I have a cab w…
It's so disgusting ...

when people take the wad of bills out of their pockets as they're paying for their prescriptions, and then proceed to lick their thumb, count off a few, then hand the money to me. Oh thank you, sir; thank you, madam. No, I don't mind a bit, sir, that I am handling your spittle. Glad to. It's a privilege. If only you'd given me your dirty snot rag as well, then my day would be complete.
Today's my birthday ...

and while on the topic of birthdays, I'd like to mention one of my pet peeves. Not a day goes by when I am not faced with a man picking up a prescription for either his wife or one--or both of--his kids. Before handing over the medication we verify the date of birth of the patient, just so we know that 1) the person picking up the medicine is likely to be a representative of the patient and given instruction to do so, and 2) that we indeed have the right prescription in hand.

Simple enough, right? Wrong. You'll note I said earlier that it is a man picking up the prescription. The man does not know the date of birth of his wife. The man does not know the date of birth of this child. Many would say that this is an example of generalization, of stereotyping. Not so. While there are of course exceptions, the majority of men picking up prescriptions struggle mightily to come up with a date of birth for their loved ones.

Let me be clear: A man who does not k…