It’s been 10 years since I wrote this tribute to my Walgreens pharmacy. And today, I’m sharing this eulogy. My pharmacy closed, a victim of…what? Current events, maybe.
After I wrote the 2013 tribute, we developed a relationship with the prime pharmacist. He knew us, knew our meds and was a helpful source of information as we navigated the increasing number of drugs that seem to go along with aging. A nice guy.
But now, he’s out of a job. He told me that there were no jobs in the Walgreens system. Oh, he could do vacation coverage until the first of the year, and then it would be potluck fill-ins.
“We’re really sorry to lose you,” I told him. “We’ve never had a pharmacist who actually knew us this well.”
“I’m sorry to lose the continuity I’ve built over years with patients like you,” he said.
Twenty years ago, this kind of pharmacist was the norm. Mom and pop drugstores actually existed. But now, long gone. Or going. Along with any semblance of personal service. Gone is the kind of personal counseling about our meds by a trusted professional.
Anonymous, that’s the way corporate everything is going, distancing the customer from any live human, including a pharmacist who gets to know you.
I left the store on the verge of tears. Yes, I’ll miss my familiar little Walgreens and the nice pharmacist who gave good guidance. Sure, that was part of my sadness. But I was also mourning the loss of the personal touch in our society and recognizing that our interactions with the organizations that serve us will get only more anonymous as the years pass.
Young people my nephews’ age will never have the kind of relationship that we’re losing.
And I’m sorry for that, as well as for our loss.
Nothing stays the same. Everything changes. That’s just the nature of life. It’s just coming faster these days.
And, to tell you the truth? I just hadn’t realized that aging would mean so many goodbyes. Of all kinds.