An Unusual Conversation

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!

We’re… temporarily closed. (No one was hurt!)

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.

Published by Lorna

I spend time hanging out with my husband, those two adults I had the privilege of momming, and two grandchildren. I love connecting with my friends and talking about what’s important to us over a cup of local jo. You can find me outside taking walks, bicycling, tending our wild yard, or inside cooking Gluten-free yummy food, knitting, crocheting, sewing, reading, and catching up with my large extended family. After exploring approaches to life, I have decided the guide for me is Love. And that keeps me grinning.

16 thoughts on “An Unusual Conversation

    1. My husband and I are happily indulging in bubble tea these days! One can only be happy while drinking it. When you visit Kansas, let me know and I’ll take you to our favorite bubble tea spot.😊

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s very thoughtful and kind of you to say 😊
        When this Dorothy arrives at Kansas, she’ll definitely look forward to visiting your favourite tea spot and listening to all the tea!

        Liked by 1 person

  1. What an interesting post! I never imagined a car driving into the pharmacy, so you caught me by surprise there. Until a month ago we had a lovely family pharmacy where the staff knew everyone and went out of their way to assist. Sadly, it has now been taken over by a large franchise where the people who work there show little regard for their customers!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is such a loss! I wonder when big franchises will figure out if “pays off” in the end to prioritize staff being friendly to customers. We aim to support local businesses, but sometimes the best we can do is frequent regionally owned stores. Especially grocery stores.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I really enjoyed this thoughtful post written about a part of the country I don’t know very much about. Nuanced is exactly the right word. As for pharmacists…they are the best, no matter where they work. Hope the store is soon repaired.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your thoughts. One of my pleasures of reading blog posts is to learn about the nuances in their lives, in their cultures. Speaking of learning about a different culture than mine, I am halfway through “Wednesday’s Child”. I am already impressed with her writing style.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Love this! We also have always used a local, independent pharmacy. No mail order for us. Our current pharmacist always goes above and beyond for her people. Once, she delivered meds by snowmobile to people who were snowed in. During covid, we were thankful for drive thru (they are in an old bank building). We are now notified when prescriptions are ready by text but you are right, they are personal texts. And we were able to get our vaccine boosters by just walking in, no appointment needed. I go inside to a bank teller for the same reasons.


  4. What a mess! I wonder if the driver was texting. In any case, it’s ridiculous. Lots of Conservatives, eh? Sounds good to me, I’m a life-long Conservative but I never mention politics on my website.

    Being from Michigan, I can assure you that people in Vegas are not as friendly as Michiganders by a pretty good margin but not everybody is a rude snob that drives as though they are the only driver in the city!


    1. I think this is the first time I have mentioned politics on my posts. I am now questioning the advisability of mentioning it. I have driven in Michigan, in a snow storm at night, and hope to never do that to myself again! So, yes, every region has its nuances, to be sure.


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