Sometimes You Have To Go Off-Script

, , , , , | Healthy | July 20, 2021

I work in a pharmacy, so you can imagine that we get more than our fair share of sick, coughing people. Unfortunately, that also means that we get more than our fair share of people who insist they cannot wear a mask. While corporate has refused to allow us to use curbside service, my management HAS been very good at backing us up and insisting we can refuse service to people that don’t comply.

Customer: “Hi, I just need this script filled.”

Me: “Sorry, ma’am, can you please put on your mask?”

Customer: “No, I have a medical exemption.”

Me: “I’m afraid that I am going to have to insist.”

Customer: “I cannot wear a mask.”

Me: “Ma’am, we will refuse service to anyone who isn’t wearing a mask. Many of our customers are high-risk.”

At this, she lifts her script to press it flat against the plastic of the barrier between us.

Customer: “The sooner you give me these, the sooner I can leave and start taking them so that I can wear a mask. But I need this script first.”

I am about to keep arguing, but then I realise what the medication on the script is. It’s a strong prescription painkiller, used for nerve disease and shingles and its complications.

I then look at the woman’s face again, and  I realise the redness on her cheeks and jaw are not embarrassment or just a ruddy complexion but inflammation.

Me: “Sorry, ma’am. I’ll… get right on that.”

Could she have been clearer? Given the particular painkiller, probably not.

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