Chem’zilla! I Don’t Have The Flu!!

I'm genetically impaired like most people on the earth, and suffer chronic hayfever. In fact, around this time of the year, I start to sound like the love child of Mr Snuffleupagus and Mushmouth!

So this morning, I decided to drop by my local pharmacy and attack my fever head on, and to my surprise, curing my exasperatingly blocked nose was to become the least of my f'urries!

Now, for those who read my blog regularly, you will no doubt recall my first encounter with the public 'zilla know the that type of person, the one who asserts to you a particular view of the world, that is completely incongruous to reality, only to become enraged and perturbed when you clarify their complete reality miss! Well, this morning, I had the distinguished (not in the good way) pleasure to meet, Chem'zilla!

So, I walk into the pharmacy on the corner of Warrigal Road and High Street in Melbourne, and start having a look at the shelves, seeking out the hayfever medication. I'm then approached by the resident pharmacist/salesperson, a shortish fellow with slick back hair and high pants, who begins what was soon to become an interesting demonstration of small man syndrome cum delusions of grandeur! I'll try to recreate the conversation to the best of my recollection:

CZ: Hi, can I help you with anything?
Dave: Hi. I'm looking for something to relieve my hayfever symptoms.
CZ: [Quizzically] Hayfever?
Dave: Yeah, I've got really bad hayfever, blocked nose, itchy eyes, that kind of thing. I've tried Telfast, but it doesn't seem to be working...
CZ: Have you been to a doctor to find out if it's actually hayfever or maybe something else..?
Dave: Um, no. I mean, the last time I went to a doctor about it was when I was very small. Since then, I've just tried a few different combo's of sprays and pills and eventually I hit the right combination..
CZ: But you may not have hayfever, it might be something else that is making you feel this way...
Dave: [A bit surprised] Um, you could be right, but I'm pretty sure it's hayfever, just because I've had this for the past 29 years of my life, and have got good at self-diagnosing/medicating..
CZ: [Cuts Dave off] Right, but this is the problem, so many people think they know what their issue is, but they are not qualified to tell...
Dave: [Eyebrow raised] OK...maybe I just try another hayfever medication then if that doesn't work, then I'll go to the...
CZ: [Cuts Dave off] But what if you have the flu!? You'll just be wasting your time! Why won't you go see a doctor!? It sounds like you might have the flu!
Dave: Why do you think that?
CZ: The symptoms your presenting sound more like the flu than hayfever!
Dave: [Feeling more and more uncomfortable] Presenting? [Reaching for a packet of Zirtec] Can I just get a pack of these please!
CZ: [Intercepting Dave's hand] No, I don't think you need these!
Dave: [Now agitated that CZ has brushed his hand away] Mate, I just want to get a pack of these [indicating to the Zirtec medicine]. I know what hayfever and the flu feel like, trust me...
CZ: [Cuts Dave off again] Sir, I'm a qualified pharmacist...

Now, what followed was the only point of clarity I had during this interaction that allowed me to ascertain my "pharmo's" mental state...

CZ: And based on what you've told me and my own observations [that was the clincher], I don't think you are suffering hayfever!
Dave: Observations???
CZ: [With vacant stare and fidgeting with Zirtec packets] I can recommend a doctor close by if you would like..
Dave: Thanks mate, I have to go.

So I start my way towards the door, already quite miffed about the past few seconds, when someone who appears to be the owner/manager/boss appears from the storeroom. Things get a little peculiar from here:

Boss Man: Goodbye sir, see you again.
Dave: Mate, I just came in here to buy some hayfever medication, and that guy over there gave me the third degree about my symptoms...
Boss Man: [Cuts Dave off] Are you sure you have hayfever..
Dave: [Eyes wide open] What!?
Boss Man: [With emphasis] Are you sure you have hayfever...
Dave: [Completely annoyed] Whatever, thanks!

So anyway, I flee the store, completely overwhelmed by what has just occurred, and convinced that the children of the corn have moved into mainstream pharmaceutical sales. What was classic was their absolute conviction that I had something other than hayfever, considering I'm in Melbourne, have a blocked nose and itchy red eyes and happen to be walking into their store during October. I suppose it's kind of like software customers (I don't need a CRM application, I actually need a web-based database application to manage my customers) and requirements 😉

Imagine the experience for an amorous teenager on that *first* night of their life, going into CZ's pharmacy, looking to exercise some reproductive responsible!!? That would be golden!

Comments (6)
  1. Dean Harding says:

    Um, but are you SURE you have hayfever?

  2. Mr. Lemphie!!!

    i feel you pain..literally stomach is now cramping so hard that it’s hurting and i think i’ve burst some veins in my nose from snorting (ok, i don’t normally snort but something must have set it off here)..

    i wonder if you can point me in the direction of a good pharmacy because i may be needing some medication for this..i mean, the symptoms are pretty severe..stomach cramps + blown blood vessels in my nostrils…

    i almost just woke up the entire neighbourhood after reading that saga..and i must say, you have the biggest amount of patience i’ve ever…no let me rephrase that…you must have the combined patience of at least 20.000.000 mothers.

    p.s. i can give you the recipe of a molotov cocktail if you like?

  3. I just have to blog about this as i think this particular link requires at least 2000 hits over the next

  4. G’day Dave,

    I am glad you blogged this, I too have been a victim of the Pharmacy Overlords/Chem’zilla.

    I went to the chemist to buy "baby panadol" or something similar for our 2-year-old. This was not good enough for the pharmacy assistant/bouncer, and after a brief conversation I, like you, was told in fairly strong language to go see a doctor (and the woman also insinuated I was being a negligent parent – grrr).

    I realise that these people are doing their job to some degree, screening for those customers that might unknowingly take medicines that aren’t effective, but intimidation and pushiness is not a great way to do business!



  5. Alan Toogood says:

    You could have rabies… were your frothing at the mouth???

  6. Paul Stovell says:

    Hey Dave,

    I’m also one of the unforutunate few that (I thought?) suffer hayfever annually. I found Zyertec worked well for me, but the best tip I got was to actually just wash my face every few minutes. It washes all the pollen and other gunk off your face and for 10-15 minutes makes you feel good as new.

    That is, if you’re sure you have hayfever…

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