When you lose your job at CVS because you did not answer the phone in 20 seconds because the young patient you just dispensed Methergine to was bleeding all over the floor, here’s job for you.
Last night, around midnight, the telephone rang. Victoria and I are early to rise and early to bed. We had been asleep for around 2 hours. When the phone rings in the “middle of the night”, we immediately have that knee-jerk, “Oh No, who died?” or “Oh No, is one of the kids hurt or in trouble?”
I picked up the phone and there was silence. I said, “Hello, who is this?” My heart was racing. ”Hello, is there someone there?”
The person cleared his throat and then said, “Is this Jim Pal-Ah-Gis?”
“Plah-Ga-Kiss”, I said, “This is JIm Plagakis.”
“You are a disgrace.”
“What? Who is this?”
“It doesn’t matter who it is. You are a disgrace to pharmacy and you are going to rot in hell.”
Victoria touched my forearm, “Who is it?” She was clearly concerned. Late night calls are rarely good.”
“Somebody from California.”
“How do you know I am in California?”
“Because it’s midnight here. It’s ten o’clock there. I just took a shot. Reasonable people don’t call at midnight, even if the purpose is to issue a scolding. Who do you work for? I trust that you are a fellow pharmacist, a colleague.”
“I am a pharmacist, but I am not your colleague. You are a disgrace to the profession.”
“Pray, tell me why I am a disgrace to pharmacy?.” I said, yawning. V was wide awake now. She had a scowl on her face. I waved my palm, facing downward, telling her to relax. Trouble is the fuel for most of what I write. I enjoy the fluff, but you guys like the down and dirty. I play the devil’s advocate a lot. In the recent post about Walgreens, I played the role of advocate. I don’t know what WAG is up to so I trust what they say. I took my shot and that post got more comments than any other in about a year. It seems that you are passionate about the future and you should be. Who said, “If we don’t hang together we shall surely hang separately”? A spirited discussion is important before change is possible. Without trouble, David Stanley, The Red Head and Jay Pee would be three weak sisters writing about the Certified Technicians Annual Meeting in Keokuk, Iowa.
“All you write about is the negativity. You don’t have any pride. Pharmacy is a profession and you treat it like a job. You should be ashamed. You are a disgrace.”
“Do you work for a big company?”
“I don’t have to tell you who I work for.”
What an idiot. By not saying NO definitively he just told me YES that he worked for a big company. ”Have you been drinking?”
“Shut up,” he demanded. ”How dare you?”
“He’s been drinking”, I said to Victoria.
“SHUT UP. I have not been drinking. How dare you?”
“Let’s calm down,” I said, “What do I write that pisses you off so much?”
“You write about 14 hour days, no lunch, pharmacists being dangerous when they are tired. You can’t do that. People who are not pharmacists use the Internet too. And…. you sell the morning after pill. That guarantees you a trip to hell.”
“What should I write about? If I see a turd in the punch bowl, I’m gonna tell everyone.”
A very long pause. ”I don’t know why anyone would want to read what you write.”
“You read it don’t you?”
Another long pause.
“Please don’t call again,” I said. “I know that it is hard when someone points at the wart at the end of your nose, but I’m gonna keep on doing it.”