7 Reasons They Treat Me With Suspicion In The Pharmacy
1. The Set-Up. ‘Hello,’ I say, ‘I’ve come to pick a prescription up for my girlfriend’. ‘Okay,’ the pharmacist replies. This is good. I had worried the pharmacist might treat me with suspicion. But men picking up prescriptions for their girlfriends is obviously something he sees a lot. ‘What’s the name?’ he asks me. ‘Claire Elizabeth Quinn,’ I say. Or at least that is what I meant to say. Instead I can’t quite get the words out and end up saying, ‘Clar Lizabet Queen’. ‘Pardon,’ he replies, now viewing me with slight suspicion.
2. The Name. I know my girlfriend’s name. I know it off by heart. I have said it hundreds of times. I should just say it again. I can do that. Only I don’t. I actually look at the piece of paper I have in my hand and read from it. I am reading my girlfriend’s name out! I am acting as if I don’t know her! I look up and the pharmacist is looking at me. He is actually looking right at me. As if I’m a bit insane. Either that or as if I am someone trying to pick up drugs that aren’t mine.
3. The Search. After what seems like a five minute pause, the Pharmacist starts looking for the prescription. And he keeps looking. And he keeps looking. But he can’t find it! He turns back to me. I know what he’s thinking. He’s thinking, ‘Is this guy genuine?’ But what is worse, he knows, that I know, that he is thinking, ‘Is this guy genuine?’. I shuffle uncomfortably.
4. The Pharmacist’s Assistant. The pharmacist calls for back-up. It appears in the form of a woman from behind me. I hadn’t even seen her when I walked in. Was she hiding? Was she a body language expert? Could she identify a prescription stealer just by looking at someone’s shoulders? Oh, this is stupid. Why am I feeling conscious? I really am Clar Lizabet Queen’s boyfriend. ‘Just a minute,’ she says to me. Oh my goodness! She’s going to call the police!
5. The Address. But she doesn’t call the police. Instead she shouts out from a room to the back of the pharmacy, ‘What’s the address?’ Oh no! What’s the address? I can’t remember the address! I can’t remember my address! I feel a knot tighten in my stomach. ‘Stay calm’, I tell myself, ‘just focus’. I take a deep breath, open my mouth and give her my address. It’s definitely the right address. I’m sure it’s the right address. I think.
6. The Wait. But then all there is silence. No confirmation that I had indeed named my address correctly. Just silence. And then the pharmacist goes to the back of the shop and suddenly I am alone. And the silence is all around me. What are they doing? I look around. I see women’s things. The pharmacy is full of women’s things! Thankfully the pharmacist’s assistant reappears. ‘It won’t be a minute,’ she says. ‘Thanks,’ I reply. But I’m not really thankful because she has gone to her place of hiding in the front of the shop again and I can feel her staring into my back.
7. The Handover. Eventually the pharmacist himself appears and hands me the prescription. But I can tell he’s still not sure. He’s still not sure about me. He’s loathed to hand it over to me. It seems ever-so-slightly like it’s stuck to his hand. I feel bad snatching it from him. I give him my thanks and leave the pharmacy. My walk home turns into a jog. I hide in the garden.