Your Excuse Is Not A Feint

, , | Right | March 12, 2019

(I’m in line in the pharmacy waiting for my prescription. There are elderly gentlemen in front of me and behind me. The pharmacist is at the counter with a new trainee. All of a sudden, an old lady at the front of the store faints.)

Pharmacist: *to trainee* “I’m going to help, but don’t give this medication out until I get back, because I haven’t signed it yet.”

(The pharmacist goes to the front to assist the old lady and another worker whilst paging for the manager.)

Elderly Man: *in front to trainee* “That’s mine. Give that to me.”

Trainee: “I’m really sorry, sir, but the pharmacist is just helping another customer and I can’t give it out until he’s signed it.”

Elderly Man: “Can’t you sign it?”

Trainee: “Unfortunately, I can’t because I’m training and it’s only my first day, but I can ring your other goods up while you wait.” *indicates to his basket*

Elderly Man: “But I’ve been waiting for ages and this is ridiculous!”

(Strictly speaking, this is not true; he went into the store in front of me and we’ve only been here less than five minutes.)

Elderly Man: “Where’s your manager?”

Trainee: “The manager is up at the front with the other customer. The pharmacist shouldn’t be long back now that she’s arrived.”

Elderly Man: “This is ridiculous. I’m a customer, too!”

(The trainee looks close to tears and I can’t take his behaviour anymore. We can all see the sick customer at the front, as it’s a small store.)

Me: “She’s just given you a perfectly reasonable excuse why she can’t give you the medication, and you can see why the pharmacist and other staff are busy. You need to stop being rude to her.”

(The man just harrumphs at me. The pharmacist returns and deals with the grumpy elderly man, and he shuffles off.)

Elderly Man #2: *behind me, taps me on the shoulder* “Good girl.”

Me: *to trainee* “You didn’t deserve that, and he was being rude and aggressive.”

Trainee: *as she finishes serving me* “Thank you.”

Me: “No problem. I used to work in retail and know what some customers are like.”

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