The Sweetness of Life

Sometimes work, no matter how monotonous, can be enriching.

I work at a mail order pharmacy. I get my share of grumpy people, usually grumpy for very good reasons. And I hear my share of silly customer tricks. Most people are pretty nice if you treat them that way, but it’s not always easy. I work long hours and get really tired of the pinch of my headset, and of staring at a computer screen all day. It was hard to get where I am, and people in general often take me for granted or don’t respect what I do. However, I’ve found it’s all worth it in the end.

I have learned some things from my job and I have found some precious treasures that I’d like to share. I’ve taken a few moments to hear war stories from a 90 year old vet, and been glad to thank him for his service. I’ve taken secret delight in telling a grumpy patient ‘happy birthday,’ and hear them sound just a little less grumpy. I’ve seen the couple who have been together for sixty plus years, one spouse calling in orders for the other, and saying in passing “I’d be lost without her.” The sheer love I hear in that simple declaration is humbling. I can only aspire to that.

Sometimes I find someone who is really upset, and very hard to deal with. Once I find out the root cause of their frustration, and let them know I want to do anything possible to help, they almost always calm down. People, in general, aren’t that nasty on purpose, they just want to know that they are heard and also to know they aren’t powerless. That’s been a very good lesson for me. It’s enough to make me want to go the extra mile, help as much as I can, and if I can’t help, give them any other options or information available.

Among the hours of answering questions and dealing with boredom, I feel so privileged to witness certain things. So grateful to be a small help, and to touch a life, even for a moment.

I have found, most of all, that it’s good to be the person who spends time explaining a difficult concept and who is allowed to treat an elder with the respect that they so often lack. If you are reading this, smile at someone today. Offer a kind word. If you already do it, be proud!

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