Monday, February 13, 2017

I'm Going Deaf?: My Time Living At The Drive Thru

Over twenty years ago I had a brief stint as a Medical Assistant.  I also received a degree in Marketing.  My point being that I did at one point in life receive an education.  I only remember however, how to kiss booboos and have garage sales.  That is how I used my education as a mother.  I remember bits and pieces of abbreviations.  Things like bid=twice a day, tid= three times a day.  Barely anything really but I do recall a bit.  Blood doesn't freak me out but vomit is beyond my skill set as a sympathetic puker.  I am telling you this because in October I acquired a job in a pharmacy and it has become increasingly clearer to me that I was not then nor am I now cut out for the medical profession. 

There are things that I have learned about myself that I didn't realize about myself as an avid reader.  I read quite a bit and it doesn't matter.  Names to drugs should not be twenty seven letters long.  I cannot pronounce half of them.  I am always messing them up.  Because my husband says that I have to sandwich things good bad good or bad good bad. I will say that if you want someone to ring up your purchase without any judgement whatsoever, I am your girl because I have no idea what most things are for either.  I have also learned that apparently I have a hearing problem and I am going blind.  (Stop laughing at me.  I know you are imagining how this goes down and from the outside it probably is pretty funny although not so much to my coworkers. Remember the story from long ago about me in a McDonalds drive thru?) 

Now listen to me.  If you learn nothing else from me in life but this, remember what I am about to tell you.  When working in a drive thru it is extremely difficult to hear with the activity happening inside plus the activity of the busy road and the McDonalds next door and the mowing of the yard and the blowing of the leaves happening.  If you are in the passenger seat talking, I am unlikely to hear half of what you are saying.  Maybe I need hearing aides.  I'm not sure.  I did listen to a lot of big hair bands in the 80's and I did get perms and I did wear parachute pants.  It may be payback for poor style decisions.  Anything is possible here.  All I know is that it is a struggle and the struggle is real.  Added to the fact that I can barely hear and I am attempting to read lips (yes it feels just as creepy to me as it must be for them)to just get through this uncomfortable situation are the accents.  If you have met me you know that I LOVE accents.  I love accents to the point of telling the lady from the dealership with the English accent that she needs to talk to me longer just so I can enjoy the melody of her speech patterns.  I welcome accents in my life, BUT sometimes different accents make it even harder to understand in a drive thru.  I'm not trying to be rude when I ask you to repeat yourself again, I just want to get this right and I honestly am not catching what you are saying with all the other noises happening and my lip reading is still in its beginning stages. A 'P' can sound like a 'T', a 'C'  or even a 'D' in some cases and an 'M' can sound like an 'N'.  The list goes on. (Hmm, perhaps this is why call letters are alpha tango bravo. Also good to know that sometimes it isn't just the person inside that sounds like the teacher from Charlie Brown.)

The blind thing is troubling really.  My glasses were just updated last summer.  Thank heavens I work with a girl who will laugh with me and help me find things that are apparently right there under my nose but I can't find them.  I have said, "I know that I kind of suck at this job.  I don't count fast, I sometimes break the computer or printer (This is a problem really and I may be bad luck because the printer has jammed my last three shifts and apparently this only happens when I am there.  Technology hates me is my only explanation.), and I don't know ANYTHING about a bunch of stuff but I do take pride in my ability to know my alphabet."  I worked in an elementary and math admittedly was not my specialty(although I do know how to count) but reading and writing are my jam so...  I try.  Lord knows I try.  Sometimes I just can't find stuff so I take longer than some.

Another thing that I will tell you is that I do not get paid to say certain things.  Because I like to bring movies in on everything do you remember Pitch Perfect when Fat Amy says, "Not a good enough reason to say the word 'penetrate"?  Well I am with her and on so many other words.  Medication comes with a paper that tells you what it is for.  Please read it.  I don't want to say certain words in mixed company.  I implore you please do not make me say words like erection, lubrication, and prostate.  I can't.  I have sold condoms exactly two times now and I assure you I was more uncomfortable than the customer. (Oh sure tell me I'm almost forty something years old and that I'm ridiculous.  My mother told me about the birds and the bees when I was growing up and all she said was "bees sting and birds poop on cars and those are the facts of life. What do you want from me?  I'm inherently predetermined to not handle these kinds of things well.) At heart I am a shy fourteen year old kid who just happens to look like an adult.  I'm not mature enough to not turn beet red and not die inside if you make me say these things.  If you ask me what certain things are for I am going to open the paper and dance around what it is if it is for any of those things. 

I am the woman who had her husband have "the talk" with her daughters.   I was there for moral support...mostly for them.  I am the woman who is completely comfortable in front of an entire school full of kindergarteners or third graders at recess or in a classroom reading books that have made up words in them.  I am comfortable with belches and farts and even fingernails on a chalkboard don't scare me.  I even got over my fear of getting properly fitted for a bra because I was not comfortable with a stranger seeing me in a bra.  I haven't worn a bikini since I was a teenager except around my own pool behind a privacy fence.  I am comfortable and uncomfortable with probably all the wrong or right things.  It's all on your outlook I suppose.

I tell my coworkers that they may not believe me but I was actually pretty good at my last job.  I feel bad that I don't seem to be picking up on things faster working my fifteen hours a week.  I thought before taking this job that I was a reasonably intelligent person.  These days I'm not so sure.  I prefer to help in life and not hinder.  I do have a willing heart and able hands.  If I am good at anything at all in this new vocation it is that I am pretty good at making conversations with customers.  I am also pretty good at being the comic relief with them.  Trying to use "The Force" to make the register move faster and telling the older gentlemen that the card reader is obviously a woman because she is temperamental and will not be rushed.

I am not sure what the lessons are here.  I have doubts about this entire thing to be honest.  I feel like I may be too old to fully grasp new concepts.  Perhaps others my age are far more brave than I am.  I know people who have gone back to college as adults with children and I am in awe of them.  In my eyes they are some of the bravest people I know.  I couldn't do it.  It isn't in me.  Just getting the computer to print has proven beyond my skill set recently.  (I still say that technology hates me and that is the reasoning behind that because seriously I may not understand spreadsheets but I have printed many times in my life without incident.)  Knowing what I do about myself though, I have a feeling that I am to learn patience.  I cannot possibly imagine why I need to learn this or why God thinks I will grasp the concept of patience this time.  I've been so good at learning it in the past....ok I'm not particularly patient with myself especially.  I want to be good at things I try right away.  I spent some time making jewelry and I do not have my own line.  I wrote two books and I am not a best seller.  To be fair though writing books and selling them are completely different things and I am not a salesman.  While I enjoy sharing thoughts and stories I do not particularly enjoy crowds and being the center of attention.  I like blending in and writing in my pajamas from my living room.  I follow some amazing writers that go live from their living rooms on social media and even that gives me heart palpitations. I'm good with one on one conversations but I am uncomfortable with too many eyes on me.  Clearly I want my cake and I want to eat it too. I just want my cake fat free and without calories. 

I'm a work in progress and progress in slow.  I have a newfound appreciation for what my husband does for a living.  Perhaps if I have learned at least one thing it is that my husband is even more amazing than I imagined him to be for doing what he does for over twenty years.  I've only been a sidekick for almost four months and it is overwhelming me and I'm part time.  He goes in and he's in charge.  It's amazing.  I couldn't do it.  I wouldn't do it.  So patience it is and I'll be learning it between the thermometers and the condoms....

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