How to Annoy Your Pharmacist

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I used to work in a retail pharmacy at the weekends. It killed two very studenty birds with one stone for me – great work experience and extra pocket money. It was also my first customer-facing role, and I found myself on a steep learning curve from day one; both academically and personally. It taught me a lot, the real juicy stuff you don’t get from a degree and textbooks. A lot of said juicy stuff revolved around how to deal with challenging characters – the kind that people mean when they talk about “work in real life”. I decided to put this post together in their honour. The next time you walk into a pharmacy, you’ll be armed with eight great ways to annoy your pharmacist. Use at your own peril.

  • Ask your pharmacist for advice, then sing the praises of herbal remedies and slag off modern medicine.
  • Interrupt your pharmacist with medical jargon you don’t understand when they’re trying to explain something to you.
  • Storm in demanding your repeat prescription – wait for it… when you haven’t ordered a repeat prescription in the first place.
  • Yabber on about everything BUT your medical query when there is a long line of customers waiting to see the pharmacist. The weather and Brexit are particularly good topic choices.
  • Ask your pharmacist why they take so long to put a sticker on a box. Because that’s what they spend five years training for.
  • Ask your pharmacist if they even need a degree to stand behind the counter.
  • Ask your pharmacist for advice, then ignore everything they’ve told you and say “I’m going to see a doctor”. Walk out immediately for maximum effect.
  • Insist that branded medication is always better when your pharmacist offers you a generic equivalent to help you save money.

I’d love to hear from you if you work in a pharmacy and you’ve had any customers do this on a regular basis, or if you have any amusing retail anecdotes – I want to hear them all! Put them in the comments below. Until next time.

– J

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Disclaimer: This is a spoof post based on the author’s personal experiences only. J accepts no responsibility if these tips yield unfavourable results. All images used in this post have been obtained from Pixabay under a Creative Commons License and edited on Canva by J, exclusively for All content in this post relates to the Masters of Pharmacy (MPharm) degree program in the United Kingdom. 

6 Comments on “How to Annoy Your Pharmacist”

  1. I use to work in retail and it made me realise how crazy or extreme some people can be. Like literal meltdowns over a product not being in stock. I’ve stood in line waiting for prescription before, and have heard customers have lengthly chats about how a friend they know, had similar symptoms and tried something herbal or different. And I always hate when someone asks for advice and then chooses to argue with it. x

    1. Haha I’m not the only one then! In all seriousness though, I do think retail is a great learning experience, and having at least some experience in a customer-facing role would benefit everyone. x

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