Yesterday morning my pharmacy texted me to inform me my prescriptions were ready. I called them back, as I wanted to make a change. The staff person answered the phone, wrote down my details and said she would need to call me back later as a car had driven through their store! I told her there was no urgency and to take their time!
Then I found this on social media!
Another staff person texted me in the early evening, saying she didn’t understand the note taken during the “car incident”. She apologized for the confusion! I felt no apologies were necessary. I texted back “Oh, it is not a problem, you all had a pretty bizarre day!” I then clarified what I wanted.
This morning she texted, saying my prescription is ready. I thanked her and added I hoped they were all doing okay today. Her response: “We are doing alright. Appreciate all the support for our team from the community.”
Here’s some takeaways about all of this:
First, I choose to use a local, independent pharmacy. I feel they will approach my care in a more objective way, not based on perpetuating the goals of the big corporation. The two pharmacists would greet me by name when I walked into their store. I am not a “frequent flyer” but they knew me. I end up in social events with one pharmacist as our adult children are friends.
The pharmacist who was the owner sold out to a young pharmacist who had worked there while he was in pharmacy school. The change happened right at the beginning of the pandemic. The former owner continued working there part-time and the one I knew socially, retired.
They only delivered curbside during our initial lock-down. One time the new pharmacist came to my car window to hand off a prescription. I commented on his adorable Mickey Mouse pin and he launched into a story of how much he loves Disney Land. When I said I had never been, he said it was an absolute necessity to go there in my life time. Ever since then, I have adored him.
My husband and I noticed changes: they started advertising on Facebook, they started offering COVID testing, then vaccinations when they arrived. So our sleepy pharmacy turned into a hopping, lots of people coming and going pharmacy. Although we were happy for their thriving business, we missed our laid-back, sleepy store. And missed that we are not greeted by name when we walk in, as there are a bunch of new staff there.
Another change is they now use texts to communicate with us. I had never envisioned texting with my pharmacy, but it works! And it’s not canned, it’s obviously a person texting with me.
Another takeaway: My husband moved to Kansas to marry me. He had never lived in the Midwest, but has lived on both United States coasts extensively. After eleven years, he still marvels at the friendliness of people here. Having lived in the Midwest all of my life, I had no comparison. For me, any exchange with a service person has the potential to be more than perfunctory, and pleasant. For instance, last week I had a delightful conversation with the clerk at the post office, and with a medical tech taking a blood draw. I found out the post office clerk was going to go to a poorly-made movie on purpose, just for the fun of it. The medical tech used to faint around needles and now she’s headed to medical school this summer. How cool is that?
Since the pandemic, my husband is the grocery shopper in our home. He will return from his early morning shopping trip, telling me about his latest conversation with the same store clerk, who always shows up to bag his groceries. When he wasn’t there, my husband inquired after him.
About a month ago my husband learned about the bubble tea phenomenon and that we have four bubble tea stores in our town alone! We went to the one highly rated, which happens to be in the same strip mall as our pharmacy. We enjoyed it so much that we went back a week later. The young owner recognized us and reminded us to use our punch card. I know it’s good business on their part to remember their customers, but I don’t take that for granted. And again, he was friendly and engaging.
There’s things I don’t enjoy about living in Kansas. We have a vocal amount of ultra-conservatives in our state government asserting their copycat legislation of the larger conservative states. But I keep my political views out of casual conversations, and I always have delightful exchanges.
There’s genuine caring going on around here. I like it. My husband is going to go get my prescription today. We know he will have a lovely exchange with the pharmacy staff, and with the bubble tea owner if he stops there as well.