In my line of work, I see hundreds of kinds of people. And they never cease to amaze me
In my line of work, I see hundreds of kinds of people. And they never cease to amaze me.
I have several favorite customers at the pharmacy, and a majority of them are married with children. It’s so easy to look at the numbers all day and forget the faces behind them. But at the register is where you see the purpose of your hard work.
One gentleman who comes on a regular basis is a jokester. Every time he comes to use our services, he has a joke, and he asks for one in return. His personality is a great one, and his outlook on life is “might as well be happy while you’re here.” He tells us not to work too hard, and then rolls away on his electric chair. I’m not sure if that man was ever married, but I like to think he once made making a woman laugh his whole life.
Now another lady who is a regular is quite the different story. When I first started working there, all my co-workers told me to watch out for this woman’s scorn. Her bitterness was legendary, to say the least. So naturally when I waited on her at the register, she didn’t disappoint.
As I helped her through the transaction, she mumbled something under her breath. I think she said it louder than she actually wanted to since she’s hard of hearing. She said, “If Dan was here, I wouldn’t have to deal with little tarts all day.”
Maybe I should of avoided this, but I asked who Dan was. She glared at me behind those old glasses and said it was none of my business. She didn’t say anything else and left slowly with the majority of her little body leaning on her cane.
I asked my co-workers if she had a helper named Dan. They said no but suspected that was her late husband’s name. It all became clear.
I guess some people hide their loneliness, their fear, or their depression with hatred. I suppose it makes them seem strong to the outside world. She might have been seen as a bitter woman to most, but now every time I see her, I think of her as a lady who loved a man very much.
Now I have to tell you about this particular couple. Every time they come in, there is a hopelessly long line at the register. The husband is always in an electric scooter and the wife is still able to move about herself. She does the transactions and hates, I mean hates, machines. Their visit always goes like this: They want their dozen prescriptions, that takes a little time, then the wife wants some cash back from using her debit card. She can’t remember the PIN, so she turns to the husband, who can’t hear her, and they always have a tiny argument.
“We’re holdin’ everybody up, why can’t you remember the damn number.”
“Don’t you use that tone with me, old man.”
I do my best not to laugh and make it look like a customer-friendly smile. What seems a year later, they are done with the transaction and they leave the counter slowly. What’s great is that they’re still arguing as they go home.
After so many years together, they can still get under each other’s skin. To me, that’s a whole lot better than not caring. They’re still out there doing errands together, and by the end of the day, I bet when they get home that wife will make sure that “old man” as she called him, will have everything he needs before going to bed.
Love comes in strange varieties, but sometimes you just know it’s there. And you definitely can tell when it still is.