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Week 3: It’s a pharmacy, Jim, but not as we know it.

September 16, 2008


One of the things you’ll find when you work in a pharmacy is that you spend A. LOT. OF. TIME looking at drugs, or at least the packaging.  Ä side effect (see what I did there?) is a heightened appreciation of just how cheesy pharmaceutical packaging can be. Take this one, for example. 

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This wonderful preparation is Tropex, made right here in Ireland. If you look closely, you’ll see that the woman in the picture is sporting a mullet circa the 1980s. What are the white lines?

Why, they make up rifle crosshairs! If you didn’t know better, you’d think the picture was a poster from a 1980s cop drama, probably a sniper’s-eye view, aiming carefully. 

What the wonderful folks from Tropex do, however, is they use the crosshairs – of course!- to indicate the immediate demise of any wax seeking sanctuary within your ear.  

But I prefer the other explanation. 


Back to the Pharmacy- after all, that’s why you’re all here, right? This week, it seems I’m the designated wasp-killer. After telling my colleagues  a horror story of a  giant spider/tarantula thingy appearing in my apartment and  our attempts to kill it using cans of beans (unsuccessfully, hence its nickname of the ‘Resurrection Spider’),  everyone assumes that any insect smaller than the size of a human fist is fair game for me.  That’s how it goes, I guess. At least I’m getting over my agoraphobia.


One of my favourite things to do is give small children lollipops.  If I were Michael Jackson, there’s no way I could say this without sounding creepy, but fortunately it usually goes over rather well with the kids.  The parents seem to like it too, but I always feel a bit funny- shouldn’t we be giving him/her something healthier?  Do the parents give us a smile when we hand over the confectionery, then curse us silently for ruining the child’s dinner/giving her premature caries/ instilling in them a craving that will lead to their sudden obesity? I sure hope not. I couldn’t handle seeing a small Milo or Piotr coming back in 20 years and sueing me for being the first one to ruin their previously healthy expat diet.  


Boots Westport: Puts the ‘Far’ into ‘Pharmacy’.  It’s rather out of the way, that is to say it’s not in the town centre, so as a result our traffic tends to be limited mostly to Tesco customers. That’s why our store manager decided we needed the promotional day.

Arriving in the morning, we saw a Midwest Radio van in the carpark beside Boots. They were connecting their satellite up with the wires leading from the roof of Boots (don’t ask me) and  Caroline (store manager) was having a lively chat with a member of their newsteam.  

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Midwest Radio van:  Fame at last. 

We got through the morning delivery quickly and we had a brief period with a relatively quiet store- we filled this time by blowing up the balloons to decorate the store with. If you’d come in at that time (fortunately no one did), you’d have seen a rather undignified scene of the pharmacists and pharmacy students playing with balloons. Still, it was fun.  Here’s what it looked like:

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The rest of the day passed in a flurry of activity. Some of us got a makeover from the No.7 lady (their foundations are very good).   Most of the lollipops were gone and the raffle was carried out with great success. All in all, a good day.   

  One of the perks of working in a pharmacy is that you can get plenty of ideas and advice about supplements or medication for yourself- I was looking for something to help with my concentration – a boost never hurts.  Patricia saw me gazing at the fish oil supplements and we discussed the different types- apparently, the levels of DHA are what matters for concentration and the Boots Super Strength Omega 3 has the best balance of absorptability and DHA levels. It sounds like I’m promoting the Boots brand , believe me that’s not what I’m trying to do with this blog, OK?   

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For the best concentration money can buy?  

Anyway, it looks like this and I bought it.  I’m curious to see whether it’ll work. I’d rate my concentration span as about 5 or 6 now- we’ll see what it’s like by the time I finish blogging.  Clinical trials begin on Monday!

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