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Behaving Poorly

, , , | Legal | November 28, 2018

(I am full of a chest cold and have struggled to the pharmacy to stock up on decongestants, so I can go back to bed for as long as possible. My spouse has texted to ask me to pick up extra, as he’s starting with the same cold. As I look through the shelf of cold and flu medication, I notice that everything contains either paracetamol — acetaminophen — or ibuprofen. There are laws limiting the sale of those medications in the UK, which have significantly reduced intentional and accidental overdoses.)

Me: *pointing at shelf* “Excuse me. How many packets am I allowed to buy?”

Assistant: “Only two, I’m afraid.”

Me: “Oh, bother. For two of us poorly, that’s only two days’ worth. Never mind. I’ll just have to come back again.”

Assistant: “Well, unless you have a consultation with the pharmacist…”

(Fortunately, the pharmacist agrees to authorise sale of two packets each for me and my spouse, and after thanking her, I pay.)

Assistant: “People are so rude about the limit, though. You should hear what they’re like when we have to say no.”

Me: “What? But they do know it’s actually the law and not just [Pharmacy] policy?”

Assistant: “Yes. One man shouted at me for several minutes because I wouldn’t sell him ten packets of paracetamol in one go. Then he said, ‘I’m just going to come back in fifteen minutes to buy more and you won’t remember me.’”

Me: “I’m not sure that’s how that works.”

Assistant: “Yeah, he was pretty memorable by that point.”

Me: “And instead he could just have gone to [Shop twenty metres away] and [Shop fifty metres away], which both sell that kind of medicine.”

Assistant: “Exactly!”

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