A View From The Other Side of The Counter: Guest Post by @OptforOptimism

Thanks for Sophie for this guest post.


I try my very hardest to avoid going to the GPs’ surgery for three reasons;



1) I hate waiting 40 minutes after my appointment to “get in”.



2) I like to think that I don’t abuse the service, and therefore try not to go.



3) I hate The Pharmacy afterwards.



The last time I visited the GP was about a year ago.  I was almost 8 months pregnant and had a horrific chest infection.  Every time I coughed I would pee. Sexy, I know.  However the GP was more concerned about me triggering early labour, so he kindly prescribed me an inhaler.



My local surgery is a new build, with flat screens and comfy chairs; it also has a Pharmacy attached to it.  Rather than move my car, I tend to wander into it straight from the surgery.  My visit to The Pharmacy went like this;



Enter pharmacy.  Join the queue and wait for ten years while the Busy Body Counter Lady finishes her conversation about Jim from Bush Street and his bad foot.  Further discusses patient information.  Asks after grandchildren.  Falters to find any new topic to discuss, and beckons me over.



I hand her my prescription (which are free in Wales).  I attempt to tear the back off.  Very difficult when you have other “waitees” literally sat on the counter between the rack of throat sweets and lip balms and you can’t raise your elbows without smacking them in the jaw. I presume they think their prescription will arrive quicker if they invade innocent peoples’ personal space.



I hold my breath, not wanting to catch the flu or other disease.  Now it’s The Wait.  You know, the ridiculous amount of time it takes to get a simple prescription filled.  I wander about, trying not to stare at badly behaved feral children and their screeching parents.  Look at the make up display.  Read a few leaflets on diabetes and heart disease.  Avoid the automatic door, if it opens, you see, everyone turns around and glares at you.  I play a game of “guess the ailment” but can never truly win, unless Busy Body Counter Lady feels the need to discuss said ailment with patient of my choice.



Stare at a few people going in and out of the Consultancy Room, wondering if they’re after the morning after pill or weight loss tablets.  Lose the will to live.



Pick up a packet of Berocca and decided RIGHT THERE AND THEN to start living healthier and taking vitamins for the rest of my life.



Join the queue and wait for ten years while the Busy Body Counter Lady finishes her conversation about Jane from Meyrick Street and her husband’s gimpy leg.



I, almost triumphantly, hand over the Berocca and pay by debit card.  Decline a bag as they’re 5 pence in Wales and I have no change.  Wait for a moment longer than I should in case Busy Body Counter lady turns around with a winning smile and says;



“Sophie? Here you are” and hands me a green bag.



She doesn’t.  I turn and back away, there’s no waiting space near the queue or the counter, as the other “waitees” are still lounging on the displays trying to peer into the back.  I wander over the knee supports, and before I decide to make the fatal decision to start up running, I stand back in the queue.



And wait for ten years while Busy Body Counter Lady insists on sticking reduced stickers on every single hair dye in the box on the counter.  I couldn’t count them all but I’d say there was at least fifty thousand.



It’s finally my turn and the conversation goes a little something like this;



Me: Shall I just come back another time?



BBCL: What is it you’re waiting for?



Me: Well my prescription (?!)



BBCL: Well what was it for?



Me: Erm, well *CUE Waitees to prick their ears up* nothing exciting…just an inhaler.



BBCL: Well The Pharmacist is going as fast as he can, isn’t he Sandra?



*Sandra stocking the knee supports nods her head in agreement*



Me: Right well, yes, but that isn’t what I asked…shall I just come back?



*The Pharmacist enters The Pharmacy through the automatic doors, and in true form to the waitees I turn around and glare.  His mouth is full of sandwich, with crumbs on his tie and clutching his car keys.*



Busy Body Counter Lady has moved on to the next customer.



I have a violent coughing fit and pee myself a little bit.



Lose the will to live and go home.



Isaiah was born a week early.



Now I LOVE the fact that the NHS is free and accessible.  I have private cover and wish I could see a GP on that to avoid taking up space in an undervalued commodity.  That said, if I had to see a Pharmacist I’d rather just get ill.  And die.  Ok, that last bit was a bit extreme.  Pharmacists have their place and do an excellent job;



Me: What is this? (opens mouth and allows stranger to peer in)



Pharmacist: Ulcer, go and buy XYZ.



Excellent, what’s not to like?  But when you are waiting for a script it’s like waiting to DIE.  Long and unnecessary.  EVEN for the stuff they don’t have to count.  Like an inhaler, for a random, unassociated example.



Next time I have to go, I shall take my baby and my toddler.  And feed them Skittles in the waiting room.  Let’s see how long I’ll have to wait THEN.



Disclaimer:Sophie love Pharmacists.  This, while a TRUE account, was written tongue in cheek.  Before you come after me with flamed torches, and I end up having to go and get burn relief from erm The Pharmacy


3 thoughts on “A View From The Other Side of The Counter: Guest Post by @OptforOptimism

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