An Actual Conversation

I’m taking a microbiology class this semester at the local college. We meet twice weekly and have gotten to know each other fairly well. I’ll be honest and say that I barely tolerate most of my classmates.

One individual really needs to just give up now. I say this because the prerequisites for this course are to have taken and passed any two of the following: biology and its lab, chemistry, or anatomy and physiology and the labs for both of them. I’ve taken all of these. They were not the easiest things to pass let alone get A’s. I’m not certain that this individual can even spell physiology.

An example of his normal contribution to a class discussion about the microbes used in creating the vaccination for hepatitis B was this gem. “Does everyone get hep A first then go to B and then through C?” After the professor picked his jaw up he answered the question and continued his lecture.

Tonight I was blessed with this question during break, “do you think I could work in a pharmacy?” My answer? I know that answering a question with another question isn’t really nice but I just couldn’t help myself. “Can you open a childproof cap?” “Well yah!” “Ok,” I said, “Can you do it one handed while talking to a doctor on the phone AND repairing a robot for the third time that day?” “Ummmm” “Sorry kid. Pharmacy isn’t for you.”

You think I’m kidding. And if you happen to be one of the poor souls who work in a retail setting you have to do all of that while patients stare at you. All. Day. Long.

Oh The Things You Can Fill
Dr. Seuss on Pharmacy:
Author unknown

Oh the things you can fill
For the folks who are ill.
With your bright shiny spatula
Oh, what a thrill.

Besmocked and bedecked out
In Pharmacist clothes
Knowing all of the things
That a Pharmacist knows.

You’re quick and efficient,
You’re sharp and inventive.
It also just happens
You’re anal retentive.

You read slips of paper
To get the specifics
From doctors who scribble out
Strange hieroglyphics.

Could it be Celebrex?
Or maybe Celexa
It might be a Z-Pack
Then it might be Zyprexa

And you bill by computer
Minus 15 percent
Plus a buck twenty-three.

You fill and you bill
And you feel so dejected
‘Cause half of your claims
Are being rejected.

So you pick up the phone
While computerized voices
Keep you waiting forever
Explaining the choices.

Press 1 for directions.
Or maybe it’s 2.
Push ‘pound’ for a message
Oh, what should you do.

Then you pour out the pills
On your pill counting tray
And you count, and you count
And you count pills all day.

You count them by fives
To the rhythm and beat
Of the songs that you learned
On Sesame Street

And the customers gripe
And complain while you’re fillin’
Could it be the whole world
Is on ‘Grouchacillin?’

My pills are too big
And my co-pay’s too high!
Take it four times a day?
I cannot comply!

Then you scarf down your
In one single bite
Which if done in a restaurant
Would be impolite

But a Doc’s on line one
Mrs. Jones on line two
She has 500 pills
Will you cut them in two?

And the drug reps, they tap
On your counter, tap, tap.
To give you their spiel
Plus a load of free crap!

There’s pens and there’s post-its
There’s free stuff galore
But the really cool clock’s
For the doc who’s next door

Then ol’ Mrs. Snifflemore
Gives you that smile
And you know once again
That it’s almost worthwhile

So you hang up your smock
And put down your free pen.
Tomorrow you’ll do it
All over again.

Oh the things you will fill
For the folks who are ill.
With your bright shiny spatula
Oh, what a thrill!


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