As one of my clients today was giving me his litany of psych meds during an intake assessment, I thought about how grateful I am that I worked in a pharmacy while I was in high school and thus have at least a passing familiarity with a lot of prescription drugs. It was a long time ago, and I was only an assistant, not a certified tech, but thanks to that job a lot of these drugs at least ring some bells.
Then I got to thinking about my boss at that job, Shawn, the pharmacy manager. In the intervening years I have talked about him at job interviews when asked to describe the best boss I’ve ever had. In retrospect, I have no idea how he put up with me and my friend Andy, who was a year younger than me and also worked in the pharmacy. But he did. He was so patient with us, so willing to teach us, and so forgiving of our mistakes and our teenage ridiculousness. I’m sure I had completely inappropriate conversations with him about my romantic life. I also had a crush on him and made some really horrible passes at him (horrible because he was my boss and in his 30s and married), but he handled it all with aplomb. He helped me with my chemistry homework, didn’t mind if I read Stephen King on the clock when we were slow, and when we worked Saturday mornings together he’d send me across the parking lot to Hardee’s with money to get us both breakfast and coffee. He took care of me and Andy, but not in a fatherly way; it was more like having an older, wiser, slightly smart-ass brother. How or why he did it, I’ll never know.
It has been 12 years since we worked together, and the Winn-Dixie in which the pharmacy was located has long since closed. But I still remember Shawn’s kindness and I am so thankful that I had that experience. My Google-fu reveals that he’s now working in a pharmacy about 30 miles from here, in a little town that’s not unlike the one where we worked together. When I have some free time, I think I might go thank him in person.