Magazine article Drug Topics

She Works Hard for the Money

Magazine article Drug Topics

She Works Hard for the Money

Article excerpt

It was the winter of 1992.1 had to hire a new full-time pharmacist. I had already decided on the person I wanted. The store manager called me up to the office to discuss my choice. He indicated a thick folder. It was a paint-by-numbers company-policy thing that I was supposed to complete. It asked a bunch of ridiculous questions, such as: Would this applicant be tempted to steal expensive drugs for his/her mother who did not have the resources to treat her cancer? Yes or No.

I fanned the air above my head. "You're not supposed to be smoking in the store." I was actually resentful. I had quit smoking cigarettes two years before and I still dreamed about them.

"It's my office." He gave me a look. "My private space." Take that, Plagakis, you smarty-pants pharmacist punk. "I can smoke in my office."

He stabbed the folder with his forefinger. The folder was yellow with purple letters: Entrant Pharmacist Evaluation Plan.

I held out my arms, palms up. "I have already made my choice," I said.

"What's wrong with the guy from Ana cortes?"

"Nothing. She's just better all around. She's young. She comes from the aristocratic wing of the U.S. Navy. Her husband is a naval aviator." Naval Air Station Whidbey Island was literally right down the street. Twenty-five percent of our business was with Navy families.

"So what?" He was ready to fight.

I chose not to. "She's smart, John. Her presentation is impeccable. She looks like a professional."

Eventually, the store manager dropped his resistance. Cheryl's status went from temporary help to full-time staff pharmacist with a stroke of my pen.

She turned out to be more than competent, and she drove the manager batty. He criticized her for wearing a skirt and blouse every day. When she demanded the title of Doctor on her nametag, I expected him to foam at the mouth. He tried to mock her for wearing high heels even on 12-hour days, but finally slunk back to his corner when nobody laughed. I never told Cheryl this, so I will now: You are my pharmacy champion, Cheryl.

Cheering the champs

I love women. No one has inspired me more consistently than women athletes. I love their intensity and passion. Abby Wambach doesn't play with that kind of fervor for the money, because there isn't big money for female soccer players. …

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