Thursday, September 20, 2007

The Nosey Pharmacist....

Well, what an interesting morning I've had.

I had to go to Target to fill a prescription or two. My new doctor wants me to try a different medication. In general, I hate taking any kind of drugs and especially avoid new ones. My body is very, very sensitive to drugs so the first few days are always kind of scary.

As an aside, he also gave me a new scrip for Ambien, a sleep aid which I'm sure most of you already know about.

The other drug, to remain unnamed, is to treat a chemical imbalance in my brain that causes very deep depression. The jury's out. I'll mention it here if it works really well so that others can discuss it with their doctors if needed.

Anyway, the pharmacist handed me the prescriptions and began telling me the potential side effects. I listened. Finally he said, "are you depressed?"

Needless to say, I was taken aback by the boldness of the question.

"Um. That is really between my doctor and me," I said, trying to be as polite as possible.

"You wouldn't be depressed if you had a purpose in life. And you wouldn't need sleeping pills if you would get more exercise."

He then talked for five straight minutes about life purposes and exercise and how I should pay more attention to my health, you know, given my advancing age and all. He went on to tell me that he's seen me there in Target many times so I must not have a job. Is that so? Perhaps I should join some clubs or something. ( I should mention here that I don't just "hang out" at Target! I'm there twice a week for an hour or so.)

My mouth was agape!

Seriously, I was so offended that I didn't know what to do with the anger.

I lapsed into sarcasm.

I told him that he knows nothing about my circumstances and has no right to comment, that whether or not I have a "job" has no bearing on my "purpose in life", that if I want therapy I'll hire someone with the appropriate credentials and, furthermore, if he wants to preach his twisted, judgmental, moralistic cultural values, he should do it at church or before the Senate. If that is not a possibility, then the least he can do is take his sh*t-brained judgments and stick them in his left ear ~ hard! And finally I said, "when it comes out the other ear, maybe we'll both be happier for it. You'll get a lobotomy and I'll get some relief from your utter hatefulness."

Oh, I was fuming! I was so, so angry! I was so angry, I was nearly in tears! My heart was pounding. Something this old stoic hates to admit.

I was so angry that I forgot to sign my credit card slip.

I hate it when I lose my temper because sarcasm is intended to wound.. and it's the first place I go. Even as wounded as I was, there is no justification for trying to inflict it back. Even though I'm making a joke of it here, believe me, I am ashamed of my behavior.

And I will now turn my Buddhist card over to someone who deserves it. :)



Anvilcloud said...

Whatever else, that tirade of yours will probably cause Mr Nosey to triple think his agenda in future. Thus, it may well help other potential victims.

Mary said...


He was way out of line! He is in the wrong line of business if he judges other doctors' patients. I would have found him quite amusing, in a way, after the shock and anger wore off. I don't think I would have been very kind to him as my tongue can be sharp as a knife.

I wouldn't want him to fill my prescriptions in the future and would go elsewhere.

Blog Antagonist said...

Yeeeeeaaaaah. He's probably not even a real pharmacist, but rather a pharmacy technician. Which is really neither here nor there, but does explain, why, perhaps his behavior is unacceptable. I don't think they teach ethics at pharmacy technician school. And apparently, they don't teach students that depression is a biochemical disorder, not an issue of personal fulfillment. What a moron.

FWIW, I exercise daily and still have horrible insomnia. I have tried both Ambien and Lunesta and did not care for them. Just yesterday I got a new script for Rozarem. I'll letcha know how it works.

Julie Pippert said...

Ummmm I guess luckily I am no Buddhist because I am really glad you gave him the what-for. He needs to know...maybe you prevented him from hurting the next person, who didn't know how valuable she is. :)

Using My Words

KC said...

How rude. And invasive. And unnecessary. I would lodge a customer service complaint!

flutter said...

Um, excuse me?!

You were justified. I know that doesn't make you feel better, but if I had been behind you in line I would have ripped that guy's head off.

jen said...

i think i'd probably report him to his supervisor - that was really inappropriate.

Lex said...

No way!!! No freaking way!!!

I can't believe the audacity of some people.

I don't know much about Buddhism, but I'm sure there are some allowances for dealing with complete asses. No?

Snoskred said...

Target does prescriptions over there? Over here, they just sell clothes and household stuff. Might I recommend you look for a chemist which is just a.. chemist?

I agree with those who said you should report this, however I suggest you put it into writing, and give it to someone else to read before sending it, just to make it as calm and rational as possible. I do that all the time - Sephy is my anger remover from such emails and letters. ;) I type it, give it to him, and he rationally softens it, and takes out all the swear words that somehow slipped in there. I don't know how they get in there! ;)

However.. We go to one chemist here in town, who does often take a moment to discuss prescriptions, how to take them, what effects they might have, and how you can help them to work better. He never does this in front of other people, he pulls you off to the side, and he talks really quietly. Some of the things I have learned from him are absolutely invaluable.

For instance. Did you know headache tablets work better and faster if you take them with a cup of tea or coffee?

Now when I did get a prescription for anti depressants filled there, he gave me some wonderful advice which I deeply appreciate. The doctor had already mentioned some of the things he said but not all of them. Coming from him and because we had built that relationship over time, it almost made me cry. He could see that, and he reached under the counter and gave me a little Lindt chocolate ball - they have the best range of Lindt in town. How sweet!

There is a female pharmacist there too, and she has been wonderful on so many occasions. When I go to her with an over the counter medication, she pulls me off to the side to find out exactly what my symptoms are and often I have picked the wrong thing - she makes sure I always get the right thing.

So to look at it from his point of view for a moment, he probably thought he was helping you. He probably has patients who he has built that relationship with, who would not mind such advice coming to them as a surprise.

However, it is people like him who make people pretend they are not depressed, and that is why you should report it.

Can I just say I am a big believer in anti depressants. I know there are many people out there who say bad things about them but to me it is no different to a diabetic needing insulin. They do take time to work.

His advice taken away from the offensive way he said it, the fact that it is creepy he's been watching you wander around Target and the fact that it was unsolicited and unwanted?

It's not terrible advice. In fact I think I gave it in my Combat Strategies - Fighting Depression post, just in a more diplomatic way.


thailandchani said...

Anvil, I would like to think so. He really does need to be careful about the things he says.


Mary, that's really the thing. I felt judged. I felt pounded by his cultural values. If he'd said those things without the judgment, I would have been okay with it. In fact, I would have said "thanks". It was the idea that he was suggesting that I find "purpose in life" and then told me what that purpose should be!


BA, the same things are never going to work with everyone. I exercise, too. It doesn't do a thing to fix the chemical imbalance in my brain. It just helps me feel better physically.


Julie, I agree that he deserved to be read off. I just wish I'd done it without the sarcasm.

I insulted him, his opinions and his culture.. none of which will serve anyone well.


KC, I don't usually lodge complaints. I either confront the person myself or let it go.


Flutter, that would have been interesting to have you behind me in line then. LOL. I can just imagine you giving him a piece of your mind.


Jen, I agree that it was completely inappropriate.


Lex, oh sure. Absolutely. No one is suggesting that we put up with complete asses passively. The thing is to respond the right way.. with compassion and to increase understanding, not to rip the guy a new you-know-what. :)


Snos, the basic premise of his suggestion was not bad. Where he went over the line was to begin implying that he had the right to impose his cultural values on me. That is when I got angry.

As I said to Mary above, if he'd simply said "sometimes exercise and purpose help" and left it at that, I would have said "thanks" and left.

He went too far. He violated my privacy, my autonomy and insulted my intelligence.. all in five short minutes.

You know, who the h*** does he think he is to imply that I don't already know those things.. and am competent to decide what constitutes "purpose"? What made him think I needed his advice? I didn't ask for it.


So.. as you can see, there are certain things that go beyond my boundaries.. and I will speak up. Cultural disrespect is one of them.

Oh.. and as for how he noticed me at Target? I couldn't figure that out either and said something to my housemate. He immediately began to laugh and said, "Um. It's those clothes! You do kind of stand out."

Oh. Oops! LOL




heartinsanfrancisco said...

First of all, move all your prescriptions to another pharmacy. If that is not possible, I can only hope that Mr. Nosy will keep his big mouth shut in future.

That is incredibly rude and ignorant, to say nothing of unprofessional. I don't think your Buddhist card is in danger, but your blood pressure might be if you ever have to deal with that Nazi again.

Short answer: You were right and he was wrong.

meno said...

I am sorry you are ashamed. I understand because i hate losing my temper. I feel awful about it for a long time.

On the other hand, i am proud of your articulate set down. He deserved every bit of it for making judgemental and disparaging assumptions.

Damn, i wish i had seen it. *grins*

liv said...

It's not uncommon for me to agree with meno. I do again. And when it comes to patient privacy, I absolutely believe that you should stand up for yourself. Yes, he clearly came up against a shenpa for you. And, yes, you scratched the itch. It's hard to quickly realize when the shenpa is being irritated and walk away. It's harder when an attack is so clearly unexpected. Ouch.

mitzh said...

I think that he was rude and he deserved every word you said to him.

slouching mom said...

What a total idiot! Worse! Because he's misusing his position of authority and dishonoring the concept of confidentiality!


MsLittlePea said...

That is so rude. I wonder if his manager knows he's giving 'advice'. Yeah you should definitely go somewhere else.
Don't feel too bad. He was out of line and you reacted as any person with real feelings would.

QT said...

Chani - I agree with what others have said re: reporting him. He was way out of line. Does he also ask people who are picking up birth control pills if they are married or not and then lecture them about abstinence???

Try not to feel too bad about your reaction. I think it was natural....

Molly said...

Chani, I'm chuckling here and wondering how the Dali Lama would have reacted to such an attack. Mr. Nosy would probably keep him in his sights too, if he happened to be wandering around Target, especially in those orange robes! I'm in awe that you were able to pick your chin up so quickly and let him have it so articulately. In situations like that I usually don't come up with the perfect rejoinder until half an hour later. I don't think you should feel bad. You did the healthiest thing. Imagine the damage to your blood pressure if you'd kept all those scathing remarks bottled up inside??

Snoskred said...

Yes, now that makes sense - you do stand out due to your clothing. But it's still creepy.

Sometimes these things deserve a reaction along the lines of how you reacted. Me personally, I would rather react than say nothing, it is healthier as Molly said. But most of the time I don't react.

I was sitting in my car the other day and someone started sweeping along the path where the car was parked. I heard their broom touch my car. I took a deep breath and tried to remain calm, but had I heard it a second time I already had my hand on the door latch to launch myself out of the car and rip this guy a new one. Like, couldn't you wait a couple of minutes until we're gone?

When the other half got back to the car I told him what happened and he said "Why didn't you say something?" - it was then I realised I was mad at myself because I kept my mouth shut when I should not have.

I think you did the right thing there and then. I think doing the right thing now means putting together a letter and reporting it. So many times we don't want to do that because we feel like it is making trouble but I think it is important for everyone who happens to get a script from him in the future.


Carla said...

Wow!!! I'm shocked at the audacity of that pharmacist. No one likes to loose their temper, but on the other hand, this guy deserved to be put in his place...and as unpleasant as it is, someone has to do that job or this guy will just do the same thing to the next customer. And really, his job is to fill your prescriptions, not question your doctor or assume to know how to cure your ailments. I would file a complaint and then get a new pharmacist.

blooming desertpea said...

I know exactly how you feel. I am more angry at myself than at the other person after I feel I haven't responded they I would usually do.

But I think you lost it because you were already in a vulnerable state when you entered Target and that's not a great prerequisite to good reacting to offense. Don't beat yourself up for that.

At the end of the day I would say he was looking for trouble and he got it - deserved even :)

Pam said...

Shame on him! I agree with AC, maybe your reaction will save others from the same fate.

Anonymous said...

I hope you write a letter to the manager of his statements. They were rude and uncalled for. Hopefully your comments set him right.

Anonymous said...

Wow, my mouth is agape just reading about it.

I'm sorry that this happened.

Cecilieaux said...

Hmm ... Buddhist card, can you charge enlightenment with it?

thailandchani said...

Susan, I think my blood pressure was darn near stroke level! That Nazi will probably be a bit more careful with me in the future, unless he would like to be embarrassed in front of other customers again.


Meno, thanks. You probably would have been disappointed in me. Most people expect me to be a bit more mature. LOL

Still, yes, he did need a set down.


Liv, definitely a shenpa. I recognized that later. It's one I'll have to get over.. because it's bound to happen repeatedly until I get to Thailand.


Mitzh, thanks. :) He really did have some harsh words coming. Can you imagine...?


SM, that occurred to me, too. Someone, somewhere, would view him as an authority figure (which I don't) and take him seriously. They might even disregard their doctor's treatment plan. You know, just make someone feel like a cultural failure.


MsPea, I'm not sorry I reacted. The only thing I'm really sorry about is that I used sarcasm instead of simply saying, "This is a conversation we are not going to have."


QT, I can only imagine what he says to other people! Apparently his obsequious allegiance to his twisted cultural values are more important than his common sense.


Molly, I do have a sharp tongue... and can be rather cutting and biting. I don't like that about me.. at all. As I said above, I wish I'd had the jai yen to just tell him to stop talking.


Snos, the darned clothes! LOL You know, I don't even think about it anymore.. or pay any attention to anyone noticing. It's been too long I guess.

Hopefully my reading the guy off accomplished something. Hopefully he will know in the future that he needs to save his preaching for church.. and handle customers with professionalism.


Carla, he was a presumptuous ass. No doubt about it!

The next time I have to fill a scrip, I'd better see different behavior.. that's for sure! Or, ideally, I won't have to deal with him at all.

What a jerk!


DesertPea, perhaps I was a bit vulnerable. That often happens here where I feel so out of place anyway. Then to hear the things he said... yes, I lost it. Just plain lost it!


Pam, I hope so. Perhaps he will be a bit more cautious, never knowing who might tell him to "stand down" in no uncertain terms.


Reflecting, I hope they set him right, too.


De, thanks. :)


Cecilieaux, never leave home without it. :)




Bob said...

I am sorry that you found yourself in such a situation.

as you can see from all of the comments above, you were clearly provoked by inappropriate behaviour. try not to beat yourself up over your reaction. from what I know of you, you will learn from this and be better prepared for the next time. (oh, please don't let there be a next time!)

Emily said...

I really hope you write a letter to the manager to protect others. Not everyone is as secure in her purpose as you, and someone else could really be wounded by his words. (I agree with all the above, in other words!)

painted maypole said...

We all lose it occassionally. yikes. what would be the "right" thing to do in such an occasion? that's the hard question. It's easy to say "what I did was wrong" but what on earth is the RIGHT thing to do at times like that? I don't know.

Tabba said...

Chani, I think that went way above and beyond inappropriate.
My mouth was agape reading what he said to you.

Wow. I'm shaking my head a bit stunned.
I'm sorry, Chani.

Christine said...

how awful and presumptuous that man was! i think we all can completely understand your reaction to his lame diatribe. try to forgive yourself a little. hopefully you won't have to see him again!

headless chicken said...

I quickly browsed the really hit a nerve with people on this one! I agree that I would transfer my prescriptions. Furthermore, I would address in writing to an upper level employee as to why I was doing so. The pharmacist completely crossed the line of professionalism.

Another note is that he is clearly not working hard enough if he has time to notice how long or how often people are in Target. I don't care what they are wearing!! The pharmacists I know are so busy that they hardly ever look up, much less log people's shopping habits and postulate on their lifestyle...

I urge you to take some action so that others who are not as sturdy as you seem to be will be protected from his judgment and erroneous advice!!!

Marymurtz said...

I am so appalled that a pharmacist (or pharmacy tech) had the audacity to say such things to ANYONE! Whether he knew what he was talking about or not, that is a serious breach of policy and ethics.

And hey, if he's making these kind of comments to you, I imagine he's speaking this way to other customers. Imagine the people without thicker skin, and how they feel when they hear this kind of thing. If I were in your shoes, I would write a strongly worded (and objectively proof-read) letter to the store manager and cc it to the corporate office.

Confrontation is a drag. I'm sure after you told him off, you don't want to take it further. But he needs to be corrected or he'll continue to do it.

I'm so sorry this happened. You don't need this at all.

What's a shenpa?

crazymumma said...

Chani baby. It's ok to lose it once in a while you know.

Maybe, karmicly, it needed to be out there.

Angela said...

I agree with the others and second their opinions about his being out of line. And while I hate it when I lose my temper, too, sometimes I have to believe that it is better than the alternative (as several posters already commented, as well). If we are forever holding our tongues, those who may need to hear what we have to say never hear it and 2) our tongues get really tired from all the holding. Was it Eleanor Roosevelt who said that no one can make us feel inferior without our consent? The truth is that anger can teach us, yes? I'm trying to grasp the realization of this truth. It's so hard. Hugs to you, Chani.

Anonymous said...

I don't see how he was trying to impose cultural values on you. To me it seems he was just offering advice and went about it the wrong way. He probably just needs to refine his approach tecnique.
And without wanting to offend you I know from personal experience that physical excercise that increases lung and heart function also helps a person to sleep more soundly.