With "pharmacy winter" now upon us, I wanted to give everyone insight as to what our diet involves. It is not enough to simply say, for most of us, that we do not get a lunch break. (Wah, I know. Poor salaried, well-compensated people bitching about lack of a lunch break.) Sorry, for whatever reason patients tend to forget we are lowly human beings who must still take in nourishment to remain...alive.
Anyway, my analogy for today is: Baleen Whales. Seriously.
How does a baleen whale feed? Two of the three ways are:
1. It opens its mouth and strains the sea as it swims or
2. It gulps in large quantities of food.
Both of these readily apply to the pharmacy staff. Most pharmacies I know have feeding stations set up at strategic points. This means there is an open bag of Cheetos near the fax machine, a bag of SourPatch Kids by the drop off window, and some trail mix or nuts by the sink, unless someone made me brownies. I love brownies. Also along the circuit are beverage stations. You'll likely find open bottles of pop/soda, water, and coffee mugs. It's pretty much a free-for-all when it comes to food. The skimming approach is apropos because as we walk the circuit picking up faxes and medications and waiting on customers, we skim handfuls from each open bag and swig mouthfuls from the beverage stations.
Some employees believe in the "gulping large quantities" method. They will walk to the back, cram in a full Smucker's PB&J and carry it in their mouth, chewing it to nothingness as they retrieve faxes, voicemails, and restock the shelves. There are advantages to both methods and most pharmacy staff have adapted to the one that best suits them.
Please be warned, if you manage to espy pharmacy employees engaging in this behaviour, do not attempt to speak to them or distract them. Feeding time is a very short, rare occurrence in the pharmacy and you'll likely only get grunts, especially fromm the "gulpers". Also, please look around and see if you can identify any of these stations. Usually they are well hidden and woefully understocked. If you do not see them and you are a patient, unlike at the zoo, you are encouraged to feed the animals in the cages.