I walked into a chemist the other day and politely requested some headache tablets.
‘What are they for,” asked the 12-year-old behind the counter, suspiciously.
For a headache, I replied like a smartarse as she looked me up and down.
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“Have you had them before, how often do you take them and we will need to see your driver’s licence,” she countered, from behind the counter.
Who else is sick of being treated like a junkie every time they walk into a chemist these days?
Teenage shop assistants loudly ask personal questions; sour-faced clerks demand identification for cough medicine; and white-coated pharmacists come down from their lofty dispensaries to lecture.
Is it the way I dress or is everyone being treated like a drug dealer when they go shopping for something to dry up their snot?
Knowing the drama asking for a certain brand of headache tablets gets you, I once asked for just a small packet.
Yes, I get a lot of headaches – usually after visiting a chemist, strangely enough.
“Oh, we don’t have any packs of 10 left, only 30s,” said another 12-year-old.
Ok, I’ll have a pack of 30s then.
“Then we will need to see your driver’s licence because you are buying a large quantity.”
But I’m only getting the 30s because you don’t have the 10s.
“We still need to see identification and enter your name into the system.”
Recently I was even questioned over a brand of eye drops I asked for.
Putting her head to one side doubtfully, a 12-year-old asked me what I wanted them for.
To put in my eyes, I said patiently and added, before she could utter another word, “my optometrist prescribed it.”
Oh, that’s ok then.
I’m sure pharmacists are fed up with people trying to get certain products that can be used to manufacture illegal drugs.
And I am also sure they are very aware of the duty of care they have to ensure customers are getting the right medicine and information.
But the vast majority of us do not sniff cold tablets, or whatever druggies do, and know exactly what we need when we are sick.
So could they at least tell their staff to stop being so rude?
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