duty of care

Tonight at work, someone came in a minute before closing time to ask if they could get a prescription filled. Since it was not quite closing time, and also because the medication might be really important and they hence might need it urgently, I said ‘yes’.

Assuming they would be the last customer, we closed the sliding doors so no one else would come in while the final prescription was being dispensed.

But there was another customer who was browsing around. I thought she was not going to buy anything or just buy a front shop or S2 thing, but after a bit of browsing, she came to the counter and asked for an S3 item (needs to be dispensed and labelled). I couldn’t exactly refuse, so I got her details and put it in the dispensing queue.

And even while I was talking to her, I noticed in my peripheral vision, a guy who’d just walked out from the medical centre next door (we share the same exit) with a couple of prescriptions. So, since he was already inside, and the medication might be really important, I added them to the queue, too.

And then somewhere in all this, another woman came into the pharmacy to buy a few front shop things (I assume she saw people inside, so assumed we were still open even though the doors were closed). Well, at least the transaction was quick, and she paid by EFTPOS, so it didn’t affect the till count.

But I guess, overall, it wasn’t that bad in terms of staying back extra. I’ve heard worse stories – of people asking if you could urgently fill a prescription just as you were about to lock up and leave; of staying back up to an hour overtime because people kept coming in; of people who come in even though the pharmacy is clearly closed, and the opening hours are clearly displayed outside.

Mind you, though, those stories were not of pharmacies here, but of another place, where there is evidently a strong sense of duty to the community (or disregard of opening hours).