If We Were Having (Another) Coffee

If we were having (another) coffee…

Well, firstly – it would probably be over Zoom. Secondly, you’d be having coffee and I’d probably be having one of the fancy-schmancy Christmas drinks from Costa that I love so much (black forest hot chocolate, hello).

How are you?

I’d want to know how you’ve been. How are you? No, really – how are you?

So much has happened in the world in so little time, and we’d be lying if we said we haven’t been affected by any of it in some way. I never thought I’d graduate in the middle of a pandemic with no ceremony, or be wearing a mask all day at work when I am anything but a surgeon. So many people I know have been feeling more anxious, or more isolated than usual – myself included. I know what it’s like to spiral when you spend too much time with yourself. I know just how easy it is to fall into that trap of never-ending “what ifs”.

So tell me – how are you? I want to hear all of it – the Netflix binges, whether you’ve tried your hand at baking a sourdough yet, the fears that creep up on you, those plans for the future that are so scary and exciting at the same time – all of it.

Being a pre-registration pharmacist is difficult.

You probably know that my self esteem is joined at the hip to my productivity and achievements, so you’ll know that I need a challenge to keep myself going (and secretly enjoy it no matter how much I moan). But pre-reg is tough.

It’s difficult to work a full time job and come home knowing that you need to be studying as much as you can. It’s difficult to handle the guilt that sets in when you take a breather to think about anything BUT pharmacy, for the sake of keeping your sanity. It’s difficult when the pressure of the upcoming qualifying exam is constantly looming. It’s difficult when an entitled patient calls you a “bloody idiot” at work and you can’t fully retaliate because you are in too precarious a position to risk not being signed off as “competent” at the end of it all. It’s difficult when you realise how accurate the film “Horrible Bosses” might just be.

It’s also extra difficult when certain idiots and Karen-types tell you how spoilt you are and how easy you have it compared to how they had it “when they were young”.

Here’s the thing, Karen. Unless you’ve been a pre-registration pharmacist before, or been in someone’s unique situation for that matter – you have nothing to say on the subject. I’m sure you had your own struggles to deal with “when you were young”, but you don’t see me dismissing and one-upping your hardships with my own, especially when you’re feeling down and vulnerable. So please don’t do it to me with what you had to endure “in your day”. Quite frankly, I don’t give a flying f*ck.

The good ones are like golden eggs.

But it’s not all bad, really. Some patients are just what you need to keep going when you’re sleep-deprived and running on caffeine. You can’t help but remember them – for all the right reasons. The lovely ones who are always polite and grateful when you help them sort out their repeat prescriptions, the ones who bring sweet treats and biscuits for no reason other than “just because” – these are the people who make the job worth it.

I’d tell you about that lady who asked when in the day would be best to take her new tablets, as the doctor had only told her “once a day” and not much else. I recommended taking them at night, as she was elderly and these tablets may put her at risk of falls from their blood pressure-lowering effect. She then called back a week later, just to tell us how well this advice had worked out for her, and to say thank you. These are the ones who make it all worth it.

I’d tell you how much I appreciate you.

Because I know I don’t do it nearly enough, and I should do it so much more – because I am truly grateful for our friendship. Especially in these “unprecedented times”, loneliness has definitely gotten to everyone a bit, and I am no exception. I’ve never been one for lots of acquaintances, and I cherish my close friends with everything I have. So if we’re having coffee, that definitely makes you one of those. So, without being cringe-inducing – I appreciate you, and I appreciate our friendship.

– J

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Disclaimer: All images used in this post were obtained from Pixabay and edited on Canva.

3 Comments on “If We Were Having (Another) Coffee”

  1. It’s so annoying when people (Karen’s) go on about how much tougher they’ve had it. As though anyone else can’t possibly feel tired or stressed because they’ve got a supposed easier ride.

    I’ve no doubt you’re doing amazing and juggling as best as you can. The person who called you a bloody idiot – really needs to look in a mirror. And maybe get off their high horse and realise they likely know absolutely nothing about pharmacy. Or much else for that matter x

  2. I definitely have hot chocolate envy now 😀

    These are definitely strange times. For me it’s been interesting to see how I completely lose touch with some people and spend more time with others.

    I can relate to the studying whilst working thing, but I have no idea what it’s like to deal with random, opinionated, or entitled members of the public all day. Respect. I think I probably wouldn’t last very long. But as you say, it’s the good ones that keep you going and keep you from losing your temper.

    Please remember to be kind to yourself and give yourself self-care breaks as well.

    I’m starting to put December meetings in my diary, which reminds me that it’s just around the corner. I know Christmas will be different this year, but I’ve always loved the pre-Christmas time and want to do what I can to make it special this year too.

    Take care and enjoy that hot chocolate!

Comments and stories welcome!