Wednesday, April 04, 2012

I'm Not Asking for That Much

A couple of months ago I shared the struggle I have with depression and what my feelings are surrounding it. I know that it’s real and if I could, I’d choose a life without it. I also know I’m not alone and I know there are people with more severe forms and their suffering is greater and also real. So when the following incident happened to me, I was more than a little bit upset and it’s taken me a while to form the right words to describe it and how I felt. There are certain things that shouldn’t happen or shouldn’t be said and this is one of them.

I went to my regular pharmacy which happens to be at Walmart. I know plenty of people who refuse to shop there for varying reasons. For me, it’s close to my house and my prescriptions there are inexpensive, which is a good enough reason these days. I was picking up two prescriptions that I’ve had for the last two years. One was my antidepressant and the other a medication to help lower my cholesterol. Since I’ve been on both for so long, I typically don’t have to see the pharmacist but on this occasion, for some odd, unknown reason, I was required to check with him before being given my prescriptions.

He was an older gentleman, rather grandfatherly-looking. He first picked up my cholesterol medication, noted what it was for, and then looked at me skeptically, asking, “Is this for you?” I was a bit taken aback, but I’m fortunate enough to appear younger than I actually am (even if I don’t feel it) so I just answered yes. He asked again, “Do you have high cholesterol?” Um, yes. I’m not taking it for the fun of it. He next picked up the packet of antidepressants. “And these are for your moods?” I stammered yes, took my bag, turned, and walked away.

The whole way out the store, to my car, and on the way home I thought of a hundred responses that I wish I’d thought of in that moment. My “moods”? Like I’m some weak little woman that needs a pill for mere moodiness? That man reduced what thousands of people suffer from, what is a real disease, what I’d be overjoyed to never have to deal with again, to a minor little moody episode. I suspect he really believes that it’s all about my period and my inability as a woman to succeed in the world without men like him.

It was insulting. It was demeaning. It was absolutely inexcusable. I expect better behavior from a professional. I expect non-judgment. I expect and deserve to be treated with respect. I would say something about how, especially in today’s economy, businesses should be doing their absolute best to keep the customers they have. Only it’s simpler than that because it’s only about respect and being educated enough to know better. Frankly, I expect a pharmacist to know better and to be better informed about the medications they dispense.

I’ve been thinking about how to address this issue with Walmart because I think they need to know about the kind of people they employ. Because of this man’s condescending attitude towards me, and by extension, others like me, I’m seriously considering switching pharmacies. I’m seriously considering taking all of the shopping I do elsewhere. I like Target better anyway, but it happens to be on the other end of town. However, I’ll give up convenience if it means being treated fairly and with respect. If it means interacting with knowledgeable, professional people without judgment, I’ll gladly go out of my way.

Depression is hard enough.


MissyMe said...

So, shall we check back in a week to see if you've written the letter and made the switch?

Because too many people *rant* but fail to follow through with action. If more of us would call out unacceptable behavior and take actions that result in a consequence for the store, they would take notice.

Don't just rant - ACT!

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