Sometimes customers are people too.
They’re not all bad. Sometimes it’s easy to forget, when you have a line that stretches further than you can see, full of customers who are all willing to pull you over the counter over a two-dollar copay.
But your customers, difficult as they can be, are people too.
And just like you, sometimes they do things out of the kindness of their hearts. Sometimes they give you a compliment, sometimes they give you a gift, sometimes they make you laugh. Sometimes they even make you cry from the knowledge that you really helped them.
Related article: Top 7 Worst Customer Stories
But for every customer who’s threatened to get a gun out, another has brought birthday cake or waited in line just to say thank you.
Here are 10 of the best customer stories that you sent us. We hope they serve as reminder that, even though being a pharmacist is a tough, all-too-often thankless job, you are making a difference-and your customers realize it.
I had a single male customer who was obviously lonely and didn't have a lot of money. He used to come in for his medicine and we would talk. One day he came in with a stuffed momma teddy bear and her cub. It obviously wasn't new but he wanted me to have it. It was such a nice gesture and I still have the bear. When I see it I know for at least one customer I wasn't just a unknown person behind the counter who just "counted out pills."
A number of years ago I filled a prescription with the label in Spanish, for a patient who was with his wife. The RX was for Phenergan Suppositories and I provided the consultation in Spanish. I asked the patient how long and how many times he had vomited, if he had fever, if he had been replacing with fluids after he vomited and warned him of the side effects. It went well, after he answered the questions, both of them thanked me for taking the time to help them understand the medication and for talking to them in Spanish. I could tell they were very happy that we were able to converse and understand each other. However, when I got to the directions, I instructed them to inserte una suppositoria en el recto cada 6 horas se es necesario para nausea o vomito. Both of them were a little puzzled and the man turned to his wife and whispered in Spanish, “what is el recto,” to which she shrugged her shoulders. He then asked me “que es el recto,” to which I took a few seconds trying to think of a proper alternative. All I could come up with was su culo (which is a vulgar translation for your butt). We all laughed like hell as they shook their heads in agreement.
I consulted with a gentleman who was suffering for devastating shoulder pain and the pain radiated down his arm to his hand. He said that it had been 17 years of exasperating pain that he has had to contend with. Nothing had ever helped and he had not been able to sleep on his left side for the past 17 years. I said, "Do you take vitamins"? He said "No". I recommended he get Vitamin B 100 (there are 6-7 B Vitamins all at 100mg each.) So, I'm at work a month later and I hear a man scream from out front, "There he is!" I thought, oh boy, what did I do now?" “I want to shake your hand and Thank You. My arm feels GREAT. I can sleep on my side again and all because of you!” I went "Whew"-could have been worse.” He then began crying with gratitude.
Mr. F was a gentleman in his late 80's-he lived alone after his wife had died. He had been prescribed eye drops to be used twice a day in preparation for eye surgery. His neighbor had helped him for several days but was no longer able to do so. He had been a patient and customer of ours for many years. I told him to come into our pharmacy twice a day at the time he needed the drops put in. We were open 7 days a week and all our pharmacists, technicians, knew him very well. He came in twice a day-one of us would take care of inserting the drops for him. Surgery went well. Several months later, he had a birthday-he brought us a thank-you birthday cake!
A lady came to me wanting help with restless leg problems that tormented her. I don’t believe in aggressive sales to my customers; if I do not think there is an over-the-counter that will truly help their particular condition, I'm not going to sell them something that I don't think will truly help. However, I had just read about the role that iron deficiency plays in restless leg syndrome. I found the best OTC iron formulation that we sell and told her to please come back and tell me if it worked or if it did not. Some time after this encounter, the lady came in, and with a smile she could not contain she happily told me that my recommendation had worked! I told her how truly grateful I was that my recommendation had helped her. This is a customer that has had a hard life just in general. She was brought to tears simply by the fact that I had sincerely wanted to help her, and that I was just as thrilled about her restless leg problem being relieved as she was!
I was counseling a young woman who had an infant and a toddler in her grocery cart about her oral contraceptive pills. I asked if she had taken them before and she said, while looking at her two children, "Obviously not".
I had a patient who found some old apothecary bottles in their backyard. They made them into a suncatcher with stained glass and gave it to me as a present with a thank you note. I cried. I didn't realize how much I made an impact on people's lives, even working in a grocery store pharmacy.
I have had lots of great customers but just recently one stood out. I recently changed stores within the same company and I was waiting on a young lady and she had the biggest smile on her face when she asked me if I used to work at the other location. I said yes and she said that she couldn't be happier that she found her favorite pharmacist. I honestly didn't remember her but she described what I had done for her and that finding me again made her day! Well, she definitely made mine also.
I was pharmacy manager for over 5 years at a high volume national chain pharmacy, and the average patient at that time was at the higher end of the socio-economic scale. Many were current or retired executives and "snow birds", and some were long-time country folk either unemployed or living humbly on extremely valuable property. Like every store in my career, there were regular patients I didn't know because they never fussed, and patients we all knew because they always were angry about everything. But one patient went out of his way to cheer me up almost every time he came in. He always picked up prescriptions for his wife who never came to the store. My customer had a wonderful laugh and always tried to tell me a joke before leaving.
Eventually, he asked if it would be okay to tell an off-color joke about Viagra and I told him okay, as long as no one heard him. And the joke was worth a million laughs!
But the best memory I have of him was awesome! My husband and I went on vacation with 2 other couples one summer to Highlands, NC, about 500 miles from our home. This is a very small tourist community in the mountains of NC. During our vacation, the girls and I decided to go shopping in Highlands, and as I stepped out of the car, I heard in a loud, laughing voice, "Kathy Jones"-what are YOU doing here? " I couldn't believe my ears. How in the world would I know someone 500 miles from home who knew my name? My friends were just as surprised as I was. The customer gave me a big old hug, and after introductions were made and small talk complete, we told each other we'd see each other next week at home at the pharmacy. I'll never forget how surprised and pleased I was to know a special customer from home would remember my name and meet me 500 miles from home.
A regular customer came in on Christmas just to bring us cookies. No prescriptions, just wanted to thank us!