A Strange Encounter
It was a conventional evening at the Gladwyne Pharmacy. Preparing for our closure, I was organizing the register receipts from the day to save myself from ancillary labor the following morning. 6:57PM: only three more minutes before I can finally return home after an extensive, demanding afternoon. Contrary to the ordinary occurrence, our regular last-minute customers were not swarming in the door. Initially, I took this as a good sign: today may mark the first time I get off work punctually. But, lo and behold, my expectations did not match the true exposition.
A man walks in: at least my height, possibly taller, and significantly stronger. He was completely unfamiliar to me; I assumed he must not be from the area. He flounced his way in my direction as if under heavy influence of drugs or alcohol. A strong scent of whiskey filled the air as he neared. Instantaneously, I knew this man would be a problem. “Give me these drugs now! ” he clamors as he slams his gargantuan fist on the counter. It unfurls to reveal a crumpled sticky note with a short list of narcotics written upon it in pencil.
I briskly replied with the standard protocol response for a situation such as this: “These drugs require a proper doctor-written prescription for us to give them to you. ” I could ascertain that he was not satisfied with my rejoinder. This is where my once-regular day at work began to look more on the abysmal side. With an even more irate expression on his face than before, the man reached with his other hand towards his waist. At this point he was obviously insinuating towards his possession of a weapon. Unreasonably, he demanded to speak to one of our administrators.
I informed him that none of them were present, but if he so wished I could contact them via telephone and have him speak directly to them. This was outrageous to the man, and for some reason engendered even further aggravation from him. Our only pharmacist on duty that night had been eavesdropping from the beginning, and thought it necessary to call our owner. She came out and politely handed the man the phone with our owner on the line. A second later, the phone was in pieces on the ground. The man approached me again, this time with a newfound ambition in his eyes.
Noticing that both of our register drawers were ajar, he enjoined that I give him all of their contents. “I’ll take all of the money or all of these drugs, or you will have a problem! ” I rapidly fabricated this retort: “You, sir, are the one with a problem: the local police are en route as we speak. ” Without hesitation, the man bolted out of the pharmacy, and was arrested later that night for DUI. I was commended and received a pay-raise for my bravery. That improbable night I learned never to succumb to another person’s demands, even if your life depends on it.