Thursday, May 25, 2006

Tough day out there

In big towns, most people know what a pharmacy is and the role of pharmacists, i.e. they can't buy medicine if the pharmacist is not around thanks to the strict regulations followed by certain pharmacies.
In small town, ??? Have you actually came across some people who totally believe in doctors, nurses, staffs in blood test centers, traditional healer, bomoh, sales person either direct selling or indirect, speakers from unknown places, friends and anybody around except pharmacist?
Not everyone but there is a small group of people that would make your day feel like hell if you can't ignore the harsh and hurting words they said to you.

Case 1
Irritating words: Got discount somemore or not? I always buy this from XXX pharmacy. The boss is my best friend, you know. He always give me special discount, not like you. I can get this for 30 sen cheaper.
My reply: Sorry, this is the lowest we can offer.
Irritating words: I know your shop sell things expensive. But i live nearby, so i come to your place. It is very hard to find parking in that place, got to pay somemore. Give somemore discountlah.....

Case 2
Irritating words: You got this medicine or not? (Showing few types of generic medicine without labels, indications, or marks on the tablets.)
My reply: What are you taking this for? We need to know the indication because there is no labels.
Irritating words: You don't know is it? Aiyoh.... you sleep in class or what? How am i supposed to know medicine? You suppose to tell me what it is.

Irritating words: Do you have this XXX (direct selling product or some unkown products)
My reply: Sorry we don't keep this. We have subsitute for this.
Irritating words: What? The pharmacy XXX keeps this. Your shop is incomplete. Everything also don't have.
My reply: (Mmmm...he/she must be a fortune teller) If you want, we can order for you. If i order now, you can get it in the evening.
Irritating words: I want it now. Haiyah, so much trouble you give me. Now i have to go to town to get it.

刀 (pisau) on the top of the word patience and 心 (heart, i got to use english here because i don't know whether to call it hati or jantung) below the word, means we got to be patience even there is a feeling like a "pisau" cutting through your heart. I still remember my malay friends used to tell me " Sabar adalah separuh daripada iman" (i can't remember exactly).

Pharmacist = drug expert?? Are we (the pharmacists) the only people to believe this as a fact? I hope not. What do the public think? How many of them actually respect us for what we are?


Chris A. said...

Can't be more agree with you. ACtually i would say ppl behave more stingy and calculative when they're in their hometown, or small town. Imagine if 1 teluk intan fellow went to KLCC and buy a cough and cold medicine, no matter wat is the price, he will pay the price without making noise, as he know it is not the place where he familiar, and most probably can't bargain the price. Just some of my tought after pracitising in community pharmacy.

Jason Ng said...

There is another source to this problem.

Scenario: Pharmacy XXX. Customer come in and ask the worker for a product. Price was quoted based on the lowest IF possible. BUt customer says this, "I m a regular here, I know ur boss very well, He or she always give me lower price". WHat will u do?

I m saying this is because, Bosses tend to give in and give a lower price. So what is the point of having sales assistants if the prices given by all are not consistent? What will happen if the boss is out for lunch and etc? No need to sell ar?

mcpa said...

Hello, its SS wong here,
I have heard and come across all the irritating situations that are posted in this website during my last 25 years of practice in Kuching city--a population of 500,000 that are being serve by about 90 community pharmacists.
This type of irritation exists even in other nations such as Britain and Australia where pharmacists dispense all the prescriptions. It is the human nature of "kiasu" or "fittest survive law" that not many people like to encounter.
To minimuze the above irritating remarks from some patients, I have set a policy (to be followed by myself as well as my supporting staff, in supplying all the medicines/consumer products at fixed price. For some regular and elderly patients, we may use discreetion to give 10sen discount (round up the final purchasing figure to ringgit).
Yes, there was this well dressed gentlemen from KL--he proclaimed it himself-- that demand a 20% discount for a bottle of vitamins. My reply is: our prices are fixed--we do not run a Discount Shop. He left in a "daze". I can do without these price hunting customers--I want to serve those people who appreciate my professional service--and I never hesitate to tell them the difference.
Please come to MCPA AGM this 25th March 2007. We shall have somethings interesting to share and to work at.