Intelligence Is Not The Flavor Of The Month

| Working | December 3, 2013

(In the UK, you get your prescriptions for free if you’re age 16, 17, or 18, and in full-time education, which I am. Your age in years and months is written on your collection form. Mine reads 16 years and 9 months.)

Me: “Hello. I need to pick up a prescription. Could you show me what I need to sign?”

Pharmacist: *glances at the form* “Are you working?”

Me: “No.”

Pharmacist: “Are you in full-time education?”

Me: “Yes.”

Pharmacist: “Are any of these applicable?”

(The pharmacist points to war veterans benefits and low income benefits, as well as two others that definitely don’t apply.)

Me: “Uh. No.”

Pharmacist: “Well, I’m afraid you’re going to have to pay for this medicine. It’ll be £7.88.”

Me: “What? It’s always been free in the past! I haven’t got any money on me.”

Pharmacist: “It’s £7.88, I’m afraid. If you want, I can hold it for you and you can pick it up later when you’ve got some money. We close at 5:45.”

Me: “Alright, I guess I could do that. I’ve never had to pay before. Are you sure that’s right?”

Pharmacist: “Have you? You should’ve been charged. Anyway, you have to pay now.”

(I leave, knowing I won’t be able to return home and back in time. I call my dad and ask him to collect it for me. He does so and gets it to me when he gets home from work.)

Dad: “Want to know why they wouldn’t give it to you?”

Me: “Why?”

Dad: “The other pharmacist was serving me. She read over your prescription and asked the woman who’d served you why she’d charged you, as your prescription form clearly said you’re 16. She looked mortified. Turns out, she’d misread the ‘9’ in your 9 months as ’19’!”

(Good to know these are the people handling our medicine!)

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