It’s nice to get away from work every once in a while. But returning can be a real eye opener.
I recently enjoyed one of those “forgot your password” vacations. I took a couple of weeks off to go on a trip with my wife.
My hesitation remembering my password during that first work session back told me I had completely blocked pharmacy out of my mind during my vacation. And that is exactly what a vacation should be.
The funny thing is that you forget little aspects about work during a longer break. The constant standing, the constant rushing, and the wondering about your next meal doesn’t happen on vacation. You eat when you are hungry.
But as I reported back for my first shifts, I had simple little reminders of what I left behind for weeks. Work became a reality once again.
The first clue that I wasn’t in some warm country enjoying a relaxing breakfast with my wife was a reaction I received from a patient dropping off some new prescriptions. Her reaction to me telling her that four new prescriptions would take 20 minutes was simply “it will be that long?”
My legs also reminded me that standing all day isn’t so easy. I had conveniently forgotten about the fatigue that a long day at work can bring.
But most of all, I forgot about the patients. The human wild cards that make retail pharmacy a sort of real life “luck of the draw.” Some patients are wonderful to see, while others make you wish you were somewhere else.
And yes, some woman yelled at me for five minutes about a co-pay she wasn’t expecting or a vacation over-ride she didn’t get from her insurance company. One thing is for sure, I did not miss this scapegoat role.
But in a way it was good to get back to work. The tendency to be lazy while on vacation is almost unavoidable. Getting back to work brought back a sense of structure and purpose to me.
I also didn’t think or write about work. Hence the silence on this blog for weeks.
It was a necessary silence. I was starting to struggle with my writing. Call it part writer’s block and part apathy. Whatever it was, it was affecting my ability to sit down and write posts.
But it’s good to be back working. And it’s also good to be writing again. I needed a break from both but now I’m ready for more.
As that one patient complained about her wait time, I couldn’t help but say to myself “welcome back” with as much sarcasm as you can muster talking to yourself. I’d almost swear some unseen person actually said the words to me at that moment.
It was a simple reminder of what I had briefly escaped while enjoying an extended vacation. And as weird as it is to admit, it was also a reminder of what I had missed.
The Redheaded Pharmacist