As some of you may remember, I had a very upsetting interaction with my pharmacy where they basically accused me of lying about picking up my prescription, then found it and never apologized. I wrote a lengthy complaint to Rite Aid corporate and to the separate ethics investigation firm listed on their website. I made sure to emphasize the fact that either a) they had not checked if it was still in the computer before accusing me or b) were doing a terrible job tracking a serious controlled substance.

Today I woke up to a call and message from the manager of the pharmacy apologizing and asking me to call her. At first I didn’t want to call at all since I really just want to cut ties with that pharmacy and be done, but I decided I should see what she had to say. She did apologize, but that apology was peppered with accusations and excuses. She said something about leaving to check the video and when she came back I was gone (not true, as the first time she firmly ushered me out and the second time she saw me when she came back to the pharmacy and was in my line of sight the entire time they were checking me out), she said “I never yelled,” (as if that was the only reason I would have a complaint), she said they had set it in a “special place” for me since it is a controlled substance (but couldn’t explain if it was or was not listed as having been picked up in the computer), she said I was one of her best customers and that she had “always gone upon and beyond” for me (except she insisted I always wait for my prescriptions, which is not true, so clearly her claims that she knows “every one of [her] customers and their habits” is false. However, to her credit, she once gave me a pill bottle full of cadbury mini eggs, which was super cool) and when I said I did not feel I could trust them she said “you know what, it was one time.”

Basically, the whole “apology” was just a dismissal of my experience and my legitimate frustration. A big “sorry if you are upset, but...” She also spent a lot of time trying to convince me to give her another shot (“you will only deal with me from here on out” was actually the opposite of what I would want) and asked me to come in so she could apologize in person (so you can accuse me to my face and tell me to “calm down” again?). I thanked her for her apology, and said I hoped this situation would mean others would not have to go through the same situation. She insisted this has never happened to anyone before. I don’t know about you guys, but I really doubt that. I just happened to have the time and the confidence to push back and make sure I got my pills. This particular pharmacy serves a predominately poor, brown and black population—many of whom do not speak great (if any) English. I very much credit my luxury of time, education, and particularly my white privilege with being able to push back against the accusations and not worry about being seen as “causing a disturbance” (even with those things it was a battle and I was told to “calm down” and treated like a suspicious nuisance). Based on my experience, I am very sure many other patients are not so lucky.

Anyway, I’m shopping for a new pharmacy. I hear there is one of those cool mom-and-pop pharmacies up the street for me, so they will likely be the recipients of my business from now on (and I get quite a few prescriptions).

So to that manager I say,

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