Thursday, 1 October 2009

Tale of a Pharmaceutical Hack

I used to work in a chemist and it was rad. It was the best job I ever had. Seriously I’m not even exaggerating for the sake of making a point; I’m fucking serious. To begin with I worked with my best-friend Buzz, yea her name’s Buzz, and yea occasionally she’d get on it and peeps would be like ‘Buzz are you buzzing’? Ahah hilarious. Not surprisingly it got old very quickly, but that’s beside the point.

Each shift would begin at about five past, solely because I’m a tardy fucker, and I’d stand behind that counter and think about all those shit jobs out there and how good mine really was. How much better can it get than: customers who enter the store with their purchases already in mind? They’d have a list already made and all I had to do was tick ‘em off. Sounds grand doesn’t it?  There was no up-selling, down-selling, over-selling, under-selling or the like. It was as simple as putting on a pair of pants. They’d come in, tell me their drug of choice, I’d pluck it off the shelf and they’d walk out a happy lady or man. I also learned shit. That was very unexpected. I learnt about respective active ingredients and what their roles involved.

I learnt how stupid a lot of people are. As soon as I had that white smock on it was as if people just assumed I was a qualified neurosurgeon and not a failing uni student, who was schlepping as a sales assistant to support her own drug habit. It seemed people just wanted a quick solution and we were the miracle workers who could dish up a whole bag of shit and they’d quite happily unhinge their jaw like a snake feasting on a chicken. People believe medicated supplements will solve all their problems.

This one guy came in and explained to me that the day before he had a really bad cold. ‘Okay and how are you feeling today’? I replied. ‘Yea great’ was his solemn answer. Understandably I was confused so I apologised and asked him to re-iterate the reason for his visit. He told me that ‘yesterday he had a really bad cold’ and ‘today’, I interrupted. ‘Oh today I’m fine’.  Enough said. Safe to say I turned him around and gave him a big kick up the bootskie. He immediately got the message and left empty-handed.

We also had this box in the back-room which held all that was holy. All the shit that was no longer store-worthy became ours for the choosing. They’d be lipsticks, hair pins, a variety of laxatives, band-aids, pills (all the colours of the rainbow) and whole lot of liquidy goodness at our disposal. Sometimes when we were on break we’d assess the contents and then self-diagnose an ailment according to what was available. As if reverting back to childhood we’d treat throat lozenges like coloured candy with an added kick. Once there were these vibrating condoms. They were there for like three weeks and no one dare touch them. I guess everyone knew that if they took them they would eventually be found out. It’s not that we were prudes; it was more that we didn’t really want our manager Bryan thinking about the fact that we occasionally ... copulate. For those who had boyfriends it was automatically assumed and if Bryan bothered to listen to our conversations, in between serving customers, he’d know what those who didn’t have boyfriends were getting up to as well. So the point is he knew we were all sexually active but a missing box of condoms, vibrating ones at that, would only be an unnecessary reminder. No thanks. A friend of a friend of mine told me they’re nothing special... So no loss I guess?

Finally one of the most predictable things about working in a chemist is the questions. As soon as people found out I worked in a chemist their eyes would light up as they began to probe me about Vicodin. Do you sell Vicodin? Do you have access to Vicodin? Could you get me some Vicodin? Like clockwork I’d be faced with the almighty clincher. Vicodin. Every celebrity and his chihuahua have been slapped with a DUI after downing some of these ‘relaxants’. Thugster wigger Eminem sports a Vicodin tattoo on his arm and spent the last four years hooked on the drug. The opiate’s correct name is Hydrocodone and the name Vicodin is merely a brand name used in the United States. Yes that’s right folks, sometimes using American movies as a reliable reference will only make you look like a complete hipster/emo, who likens waking up every morning to being punched in the guts by a baboon.

Aside from providing happy hallucinations of dancing pigs and talking mushrooms, the painkiller contains high doses of Acetaminophen, an ingredient which can cause like, liver failure, or something. Once my eyeballs had done the routine cycle and rolled out of their sockets I’d promptly inform Bambi that his drug of choice was not available in the UK. Fortunately, the closest country that uses Hydrocodone, in its purest form, is Germany. So get your Lederhosen on and remember this name: DICODID by Knoll, 10mg per tablet.

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I am more than prone to monologues; however, this is solely due to the manner in which they compliment a witty anecdote and their ability to resemble concrete evidence when it is so obviously lacking. I often wish I could emulate that aloof character who coolly stands in the corner smiling mysteriously as if she has a secret. However, I fear resisting the temptation to involve myself in other people’s conflicts and responding through body language rather than verbose banter may come across as contrived and arrogant. And, I am not willing to take that chance.

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