Drugmonkey, I Love Love Love Your Book, But You Don't Write As Much Now That You're A Responsible Business Owner, What's A Person To Do?

I hear you my friends, and I feel your pain so much I went out and found another book to ease your withdraw symptoms. I love this book my friends. I. Love. This. Book. I could waste your time explaining why, or I could just put up an excerpt and let you see for yourself. From "pills-a-go-go" by Jim Hogshire.

Buy a copy of it right now.

Pill-hounds are not only the ones who hate pharmacists: practically everybody hates them. In turn, pharmacists hate everyone back and, for that brief moment when they are in charge of your medical treatment, they will jack you around out of pure spite. 
A pharmacist shuffling papers behind his altar-like counter won't look up when you arrive. He won't even grunt before he's good and ready to peer down at you and acknowledge your existence. Then he will make you talk out loud about your medical problems. Sometimes, he will challenge your prescription. Hmmmmm, you got the clap, dontcha? Prozac, eh? Don't look depressed to me. Isn't it a little early for you to be refilling this codeine? In fact, I'm not sure you should have any more codeine. He will make you grovel. That's what he lives for. 
How did the pharmacist become so odious? Does pharmacy inherently attract people who naturally seethe with inner malice while maintaining a stony facade? Are they born this way or does something happen to them? Unfortunately, there is no evidence that pharmacists have a genetic problem. Like sadistic prison guards, they are largely creations of their surroundings. Something about the job ruins them. 
The sadistic process of twisting a pharmacist's psyche begins in college. Pharmacy school is rough--you can't get through it without advanced calculus, chemistry and super dedication. Pharmacy school lasts at least five years. And it costs a lot. 
No one would endure pharmacy school for the chance to count pills, let alone to be hated by customers and held in contempt by doctors. So, to make students cram pharmacokinetics (which they will never use on the job), the schools tell big, outright lies. They promise that their graduates will be liked, and will hold an esteemed position in medicine, in society even. 
Students are told again and again about the high degree of trust placed upon pharmacists by patients and doctors. They see pictures of kindly people in smooth coats holding up test-tubes and being beamed at by old ladies. They are shown photocopies of a folklorish survey indicating how certain professions are trusted. Pharmacists, they see, are only a notch or two below Supreme Court Justice--and far above a doctor. 
This is the opposite of reality, of course, which just makes the hoax crueler. When you see a pharmacy student, what you are looking at is someone who just wants to be liked and valued by their community, slaving away for respectability and honor they will never get. 
The reality of pharmacy is that it is a service industry, not much different than a dry cleaners. Pharmacists are not pillars of the community, they are pill-counters and stock boys. And respect? Please. 
Instead of being part of a benevolent triangle of medical care, the pharmacist finds himself at the butt end of an abusive process nobody likes. It probably doesn't take more than one day on the job to show a newly minted pharmacist that he or she has been tricked, and it's little wonder pharmacists are five times as likely to kill themselves than the average person, or that only psychiatrists (narrowly) finish before pharmacists in the sad race for most suicidal profession. 
Think about it: customers arrive at the pharmacy because they have been hurt or are sick. They have already made the trek to the doctor's office, lost a day of work, been kept waiting and charged a hundred bucks to spend three minutes with a doctor who hands them a piece of paper. Now they have taken the bus to the drugstore and are about to be appalled by the money they are going to shell out to this grump behind a counter so high it makes them feel like a three-year-old. They are not happy to be there. They are, in fact, quite unhappy. And nothing the pharmacist does is going to make them happy. But--too bad--the pharmacist isn't all that content himself. He's been swindled so badly he's never going to trust anyone again. 
The collision between sick, ripped-off patient and tired, ripped-off pharmacist is as predictable, and mean, as a cockfight. The customer grumbles at the pharmacist, asks some ridiculous question--or any question at all--and the pharmacist sneers and usually doesn't respond. The phone is ringing. The people standing in line start clearing their throats. The pharmacist shoots a few withering looks, then doles out the pills. Slowly. Sufficiently abased, the customer begins to limp home. The pharmacist waits for more abuse. Since old people take the most medicine, the majority of his customers are old people--cranky old people who complain about prices and ask the same stupid questions a thousand times a day. This is just more gravel in the pharmacist's shoes. 
There are no test-tubes in sight. No mortar and pestles, no hand-in-hand work with the doctor. In fact, there are no real prescriptions anymore. A clerk in a pizza joint has a more complex job than a pharmacist. Doctors prescribe ready-made medicines, often by brand name. Doctors decide if a generic can be substituted. The pharmacist just gets the right bottle of pills and starts counting. Substitute birdseed for the pills, and a competent pigeon could do your pharmacist's job. There is simply no pharmacy going on in a pharmacy. All those nights of midnight oil, learning absorption rates of alkenes into mucous membrane mean nothing now. That was just the price for a pill-selling license. And pharmacy school didn't breathe a word of this. 
Neither did the school teach any of the practical skills the pharmacist genuinely needs. They didn't teach how to run a cash register, or catch shoplifters, or even how to identify pills. Pharmacy students can draw the molecular structure of almost any drug but cannot visually ID or even name the top twenty pills they will sell. Then there's pill-counting--the most obvious part of pharmacy drudgery. Just how much organic chemistry is necessary to count pills? This is even more humiliating since the number of pills in a bottle is one of the few things a pharmacist/pigeon can screw up. It's also something the old bag snapping about high prices can and will check. 
Of course, as the years grind by under the fluorescent lights behind the silly counter, the pharmacist eventually learns all this. But it's all on-the-job, hard-gained knowledge. And in learning it, hearts are broken. All the bad land sold in Florida cannot have caused the pain a single pharmacist feels by the time you see him there among the pills. 
Pharmacists are not taught to read doctor handwriting, which is unfortunate because all the jokes about this subject are true: most doctors really do have shitty handwriting and the inability to read it can lead to serious mistakes. People have been killed by script fuck-ups and pharmacists commonly mis-dispense drugs due to errors in reading the prescription. Then they get sued and kicked out of the business forever. The doctor, of course, is unaffected. 
So this is a very real problem. But calling the doctor's office for clarification of a prescription just makes the pharmacist a pest. The receptionist treats him like an irritant. The doctor treats him like an idiot. Should the pharmacist have any other "problems" with a prescription, he comes dangerously close to questioning the doctor's wisdom--and may incur the doctor's wrath. And doctors are often angry, angry people with a lot of resentments of their own about the way their educations turned out and the way society views them. So the brittle ego of a pharmacist will not allow him to risk calling a doctor every time he thinks there's something wrong with a script. Mostly, the pharmacist just lives with the fear and uncertainty, which only adds to his or her time-bomb-like personality.

The rest of the book is less pharmacist specific, but as the title promises, full of pill type subversive goodies. You will learn and you will laugh. You will be offended, because if a writer isn't offending someone than he is probably boring. In a prefect world you could use your APhA discount to get it. As it is though, the APhA strives for nothing but non-offensiveness, so you'll have to pay full retail .

You won't regret it one bit. You're welcome.
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Drugmonkey, I Love Love Love Your Book, But You Don't Write As Much Now That You're A Responsible Business Owner, What's A Person To Do?
Drugmonkey, I Love Love Love Your Book, But You Don't Write As Much Now That You're A Responsible Business Owner, What's A Person To Do?
Reviewed by malaria
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Rating : 4.5