Waiting at the Pharmacy

Never give a blogger the opportunity to listen to your conversation unless you’re okay knowing that whatever you’re about to divulge may end up on a blog post.


Assume everyone you don’t know is a blogger who can read lips.


Dad and I were waiting to pick up his meds at his pharmacy. We sat in chairs against the wall in this small area, which was about five feet away from the drop off/pick up counter. After a few minutes, my almost eighty-eight-year-old father started dozing off — “resting his eyes” is what he calls these moments.

While we waited for his last prescription to be filled, I overheard Devin, at least that’s what his name tag said, talking to one of his co-workers, who was out of my view. Devin was handsome, mid twenties and had a booming voice.


Oh, yeah, that was Mrs. Prescott. I know. She always keeps me on the phone for-ev-er! *laughter* She calls here all the time. Asks a million questions. A total pain. She doesn’t really care what you say or how many times you answer her questions, she’s not going to let you off the phone for at least twenty minutes. Everyone here’s had to deal with her. I hate it, but she’s old, so, what can you do? It’s like she doesn’t think we have anything better to do than to talk to her.

Me in my head:

Oh, Devin, Devin, Devin.

That was so not cool.

I want to think of our young people — people your age, Devin — as the great future of our world. But, you, Devin, are not representative of the hope I want to envision for our planet. You give me anxiety. What’s up with having damned little compassion or respect for your elders or your customers?

Also, how is it you don’t realize just how loud you’ve been talking? You realize, don’t you, that just because there’s a counter separating where you’re standing from where we, your customers, are sitting, that doesn’t act as a sound barrier, right? Do you see glass or plexiglass or any other type of wall separating you from us? No, you do not because there isn’t any. There’s only a waist-level counter. Do you know what that means, Devin? It means I heard every word you said to your co-worker about poor Mrs. Prescott.

And even if every word you said about Mrs. Prescott was true, it was mean-spirited and inappropriate. Customers don’t want to hear you talk about other customers like that. Aren’t you violating some kind of ethical code? Who raised you to be this way, Devin? Should I call the corporate office and let them know what I overheard you say? Because it’s your kind of attitude that causes customers like me to not to want to do business here.

I also hope you live to be a ripe old age, Devin. Perhaps, one day, you’ll find out what it is to be lonely with no one to talk with except a pharmacist’s idiot minion who has no compassion. I hope you find out in your life that someone just like you said unkind things behind your back, too, Devin. Maybe, then, you’ll understand just what it means to be a human being and why what you just said wasn’t okay.

Mrs. Prescott had the opportunity to talk to someone who could have made a small difference in her life, who might have cared enough to alert her doctor’s office that she could use someone who is able to spend more quality time with her. Perhaps, there’s a local volunteer organization who visits with senior citizens. Maybe that service could have been set up for her.

That was a wasted opportunity, though, Devin, because she only got the chance to speak to you, who, clearly is only partly human — the asshole part.


I wanted so much to tell Devin directly to his face that he was so much better than the words that came out of his mouth. Then, again, I (Judgy McJudgerson) wasn’t a better person, so why expect so much more from him?

The last thing I wanted to do was put my dad in Devin’s crosshairs, so I kept my mouth shut. Also, I would have embarrassed Dad if I’d said anything.

Who knows — maybe Karma was waiting in the wings. Wouldn’t it have been the best if someone had told Devin that he or she was there to pick up their mother, Mrs. Prescott’s, prescription right after Devin said what he did? I would have paid good money to see that.

At least Mrs. Prescott wasn’t aware of what was being said about her.

By this time, Dad’s meds were ready. We didn’t dawdle. We had another errand to run.

As we left, Dad was busy telling me what he expected from me when we stopped by his neighbor’s house, next, to pick up a package that had been left there by mistake. “Now don’t say anything about me being in the hospital,” Dad said.  “It’s none of my neighbor’s business. He’s nosy. Don’t say anything. Just let me do the talking…”


I hope all the Dads out there had a wonderful Father’s Day!


If you would please, Wayward Friends, tell me about some kindness you’ve encountered lately, especially if it was from a young person. It might help restore my hope in the young. Also, what would you have done if you overheard Devin? Any other thoughts?


And music —






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26 thoughts on “Waiting at the Pharmacy”

  1. I think (because I’m a bitch and also ‘elderly’) that when my medications were ready to be picked up, I would have just looked (stared) at him and not looked away – no smile or animation at all. If nothing else, it would have made him feel creepy and then I would have been the next person he talked about, out loud, with other people listening. Perhaps, one of those other people would be his boss or someone of authority in his life (like his parents).
    (YAY! My ‘liked’ button worked! I guess I’m back among the in crowd!)

    • Hey Barbara,
      I’m glad you’re back, “like” button and all! I’m a bitch, too, and getting more and more elderly by the minute. It took a lot for me to refrain from saying anything. I did stare at him (how could I not!), but he was oblivious. *sigh* I’m with you, maybe someone in authority will bring this guy down a notch or two. The young need that sometimes.

  2. Recent kindness first… My daughter in law, asked me to give her a hug yesterday on Fathers day….then our 7 yr old granddaughter read me a whole Dick and Jane book the night before…plus we have an early 20 something young lady who does in home private pay care for my dad…she is a rock star…. I did have a nice quiet Fathers day. (thank you) Always enjoy your blog posts. You have a good energy about you. Later! DM

    • All great and wonderful, DM! Thanks for restoring my faith in the young. Is there anything better than having a grandchild read to you? Glad you had a wonderful Father’s Day! 😊 Mona

  3. Hi Mona – It’s easy for me to say he should be bitch slapped, but I don’t condone violence. (It’s funny to say it, though.) It’s hard for me to fathom that someone in a public-facing job would do this, no matter the age. Somehow he needs to be upbraided and made aware that this is unacceptable. Maybe a movie-like gang-up from customers, telling him just that – or maybe an official complaint up the chain of command.

    We encounter a good deal of young people at the cigar shop I work at. For the most part, I find them to be kind and good-natured. But there’s the occasional entitled asshole. My twins will be thirty this year – and their friends are awesome to me. What’s the age cutoff? LOL

    But I also know plenty of older people who display a staggering lack of tact, emotional intelligence and situational awareness. Character. Some have it. Some don’t.

    Always enjoy your posts!

    • Roger,
      Red Foreman on That 70’s Show always threatened “a foot up the ass.” Always made me laugh. Bitch slap made me giggle, too! I’m with you, no real violence. Maybe The Three Stooges could work Devin over. Someone will eventually set Devin straight. Glad you’re around wonderful young people, especially your kids. I feel lucky to have great kids, too! How’s that new grand baby doing? Hugs, Mona

  4. “…maybe Karma was waiting in the wings.” I assume that Karma is always waiting in the wings. As for kindly young people I’m to an age where anyone under 30 is a young person and the ones I like the best are those kids at the Kroger U-scan lane that patiently input my paper coupons for me. I like being pampered like that.

    • Ally,
      You are so right about young people helping! Anytime a young person can help me with technology, I feel blessed and pampered. Once that young person no longer knows how to deal with the newest tech, they are no longer young. Ha! Have a great rest of your week, my friend! Mona

  5. Let me go back to some old kindness from my own youth because Devin and Mrs. Prescott reminded me of my college pool hall which was run by Tom, a funny little gnome of a guy who was about a hundred and three. Let me emphasize that Tom was funny, but most of my fellow students missed it because they didn’t take the time to talk to Tom. I don’t remember why I started talking to him but when he found out I was from Nashville he started calling me “Minnesota Fats”. Tom had even known some great pool players and had interesting stories about them. He also told me to save my ID. A guy who’d graduated in 1934 came in and asked if he could play pool. He still had his ID, which was 59 years old at that time. Tom said, “As long as you’ve got your ID you’re welcome here.”
    Almost seven years after I graduated a friend of mine, who’d stayed to work at the university, sent me a message: “We have lost Tom.” And I realized that, as much as I’d enjoyed talking to Tom, I didn’t even know his last name, or anything about him really. I missed him and I regretted that I hadn’t gotten to know him better.
    My advice to Devin would be this: listen to Mrs. Prescott. Learn everything you can about her. There may be a point when she doesn’t call anymore and you’re surprised to realize her calls brightened up your day, that you actually miss them, and that you had a chance to get to know her and you didn’t.
    Of course Devin might not get the message. I’ve noticed kids don’t always hear so well.

    • Chris,
      Tom sounds like he was a real character. I’m so glad you got to know him enough to be able to share a story about him with us today! I’m sorry for your loss, but just hearing about Tom and getting to hear one of your stories really brightened my mood. Also, it keeps his memory alive and I like that aspect as well. I doubt that I’ll ever run into Devin at the pharmacy again; but who knows, I might. If I do, I’ll mention what you said to him as a kindness. Hopefully, it will give him something to think about, even if only for a few minutes. If it gives him a change of heart, a change of perspective, then that’s like winning the lottery! Hugs, Mona

  6. Great post, lady! Eavesdropping in public is so much better than scrolling through your cell phone, right? When I read what you said Devin said after his phone call with Mrs. P, I kind of felt for him. Not that it was appropriate at all for him to loudly complain about her with his co-workers. I’ve just been on his end of the line so many times in my career, with someone just babbling on and on. Yet, you are right, in that Mrs. P is lonely and deserves respect. Blowing off steam at work is important but how he did it was totally wrong. I agree with one of the other commentaters here, that Devin (or others in a similar situation) should embrace the opportunity to get to know the lonely person on phone, because yes, her phone calls will someday cease and be missed when they do.

  7. Rhonda,
    Actually, Devin’s voice was so loud it wouldn’t have made a difference if I had been reading on my phone. BTW, my hearing isn’t what it used to be after all those rock concerts in my youth if that gives you a better idea of how loudly he was talking. I was shocked by what he said, especially since he works in a pharmacy. The fact that Mrs. Prescott has a reputation there indicates this is an ongoing issue. I would think the pharmacy is in a position to be of service in this instance. The fact that they consider her more of a nuisance than realizing she’s in need disturbs me. I get what you mean, though. I think we’ve all been in a position where we’ve had a phone call or many go on for a long time when we have other things we need to do. There’s a difference here, though. Also, there’s a lot of lonely people in the world. Having worked in the public for so many years, complaining in front of customers, especially about another customer, is just unacceptable. Or at least it used to be. We’re all human. None of us divine, especially me. Still, there is a line you don’t cross. Anyway, my heart goes out to Mrs. Prescott. I may still contact their corporate office, yet, not to get Devin in trouble but to suggest that maybe a program could be set up for customers like Mrs. Prescott. Anyway, I’m glad you felt for Devin because, no doubt, I’m being a little hard on him. He’s young and spoke up in that way that only the young can sometimes do. As always, I appreciate your take on life and all of its vagaries, my friend! Mona 😘

  8. I had the most patient young barista yesterday when I realized my digital card was just short on funds for my order and had to quickly reload it while she waited. Luckily, there was no line behind me, but I know she had plenty to do rather than stand around at the register while I fumbled with the app. Still, she assured me it was no problem, and even said she recently did something similar. I left with a smile on my face, and she got a nice tip. Win, win!

    • Hey Christie,
      Thanks for adding another great story about wonderful young people! There are a ton. Thanks so much for sharing. It warms me to know there are good young people and older people, too, out there! Have a great weekend, my friend! Mona

  9. Howdy, Mona. I think most people are pretty kind. Some are even more kind than that. But what I want to mention here is that I love the Three Dog Night song you’ve included. Hadn’t heard it in forever. It’s very cool.

    • Neil,
      I want you to know that I played Shamballa just for you, my friend. Have a great weekend! 🙂 Mona

  10. Devin’s comments made me sad.
    Mona, I would have had to say to him something like: “I’m glad Mrs. Prescott didn’t hear you speak of her that way as it would have hurt her feelings and ruined her week; everyone deserves compassion.”

    I honestly try to be kind to everyone, so I see kindness back all the time.

    • Suz,
      What you said was perfectly stated. I wish I’d been able to channel your thoughts at the time. Frankly, when it happened, I was just shocked. Then it really upset me, especially since none of the people who were in the pharmacy said anything to him when it happened. There were at least four other people working back there. Hence, this post. As is always the case, my Wayward Friends were able to remind me of how blessed I am and were able to restore my sense of humanity, even toward Devin. I’m working on something more upbeat for next week. Thanks always for your kindness, Suz! The world is definitely a much better place with you in it, my friend! Mona

  11. I can’t even remember the last time a young person showed me kindness…unless it was when my granddaughter used the money I paid her for doing chores, to buy me something nice. Can you believe that? <3

    As for Devin, I'd probably have called the pharmacy and spoken to his boss about it. I'm pretty sure they are taught about patient privacy and he had to know better!

    • Hey Deb,
      You know, patient privacy is what I thought, too. Thank you for saying that! Since Devin suggested that everyone at the pharmacy has had to deal with Mrs. Prescott, though, I think this is something they all bitch about to one another. My thoughts are that when there’s good management, it’s reflected in the entire team. When there isn’t, then that shows up, too.

      I’m so glad to hear that your granddaughter did something so nice for you. That is, indeed, a blessing. She sounds like a true sweetheart! Again, that gives me hope for the future. Thanks so much for sharing, my friend! Mona

  12. This is a great post and perhaps Devin, or others like him, will read it and realize how inconsiderate they can be.
    Thank you for spreading kindness on this platform. Like love, we can never get enough kindness. <3

  13. This is a great and entertaining post. I hope that Devin or other unkind and uncompassionate persons will get to read your post and perhaps come to some kind of realization about their behavior.
    Thank you for spreading kindness on this platform. Like love, we can never have enough kindness. <3

    • Hey Carol,
      Welcome to Wayward Sparkles! Thanks so much for your kind words. You’re right. Kindness is always in demand. As much as I try to spread the good, sometimes other stuff gets spread around here, too. That’s okay. The other “stuff” aka fertilizer is what makes things grow (or so I’ve been told.) I’m so looking forward to checking out your blog as well! I’ll see you over there. It just may take me a day or two. Today looks like it’s going to be a super busy day! My Dad’s coming to visit today. Grocery shopping. Oil change for the car, etc., etc. As you can probably also tell, I’m having trouble with my site. I’m pleased you were able to get through; though, it looks like it gave you a bit a trouble, too. My new tech guy will, fingers crossed, be able to get things up and running much smoother for everyone! Again, thanks for stopping by. I hope you visit as often as you can. I usually post something new during the first part of the week. Have a great rest of your week! Mona


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