What To Do When Your Pharmacist Doesn’t Turn Up

What to do when your pharmacist doesn't turn up

It can happen so unexpectedly. One minute your pharmacy has a pharmacist. The next, it doesn’t. But what do you do when that unexpected circumstance hits you, out of the blue?

Well, if anyone knows about dealing with emergencies in the world of pharmacy, it’s us at Team Locum.

We’d advise… Nay, beg any pharmacy owner/manager reading this article NOT to try the DIY route we’re about to document. But if you really must attempt to entice your pharmacist back to work, here are some options…


You have several alternatives at your disposal, the most popular of which is a sustained and enthusiastic bout of grovelling. Successful grovelling normally starts with a regime of desperate pleading, and heads steadily downhill from there. Desperate pleading entails repeating the word “please” an excessive number of times, until either the pharmacist comes to work, or you collapse from exhaustion – whichever happens first.


Start by requesting that the pharmacist comes back to work, using a highly sycophantic tone, and incorporating at least eight instances of the word “please” into your request. Each time the pharmacist rejects your requests for his/her presence, respond, once again, with the word: “please”.

For example…

Pharmacist: “Sorry, no.”
You: “Please.”
Pharmacist: “Sorry, no.”
You: “Please.”
Pharmacist: “Sorry, no.”
You: “Please…”

Repeat until the pharmacist gives in, or you begin to enter the advanced throes of exhaustion. The goal is to make it infinitely easier for the pharmacist to come to work, than to endure a single second more of your conversation.

So, all set then? The pharmacist has jumped in the car?… No?… Then ‘tis time to step up your grovelling to the next level. It has been suggested that pharmacists might respond more positively when addressed as Ma’am or Sir. But this is too urgent for a “might”. You need a cast-iron, gilt-edged, 100% effective means of addressing the pharmacist, so as to convey a sense of reverence befitting the occasion.

Why not try something like “Your Pharmaceutical Highness”? Or, if you’re very familiar with the pharmacist, just “Your Highness”. Alternatively, you could try “Your Pharmaceutical Excellency”, “Your Excellency”, or simply, “Excellency”. For instance…

Pharmacist: “No.”
You: “Please, Your Excellency!”
Pharmacist: “No.”
You: “Please, Your Eminent Pharmaceutical Highness…”

And so on. Note that the pharmacist has now dropped the “sorry” from his/her replies, and is responding with a simple “No”. But press on – things should be absolutely fine…

Your Pharmaceutical Highness image


Okay, so maybe not absolutely fine. But fear not. This is where you send the pharmacist a follow-up text message – with a picture. Before you can do that, however, you need to hot-foot onto the street and lay down a strip of red carpet outside your pharmacy. You are going to represent the pharmacist’s supreme importance pictorially, by showbizzing up the entrance to your store. If you have no red carpet, borrow one, using a combination of pleading and grovelling, as previously discussed.

Your red carpet strip should ideally be flanked by rope-connected golden pillars, but if you can’t source such trappings at short notice, improvise. Traffic cones and string would make an adequate stand-in, but ensure you have permission from the Highways Agency before moving any traffic cones you do not personally own.

Each side of your red carpet and cones arrangement, there should also be an enthusiastic audience. Don’t worry – your audience will build of its own accord. Perhaps a little more open-mouthed and bewildered than enthusiastic, but they’re people, and they’re paying attention – that’s all you need. Photograph the scene, and text the picture to the pharmacist, accompanied by the phrase: “Starring… You!”.

You may, at this point, find you have to talk the pharmacist out of calling the in the authorities – assuming the authorities haven’t already found their own way to your dazzling spectacle of red carpet and traffic cones, that is. Conversely of course, the combination of high flattery and extreme confusion may just have motivated the pharmacist to journey in your direction and set to work. But if your advanced grovelling campaign has not worked by now, it probably never will. In that case, it’s time to shelve the ego massage and get serious…


In some realms of business, the classic six-hour diatribe can turn around the staunchest of resistance. Six-hour diatribes are, however, not recommended in situations where one is attempting to entice a pharmacist into work. Apart from anything else, a six-hour diatribe takes six-hours to orate. That will delay your pharmacist’s arrival by at least six hours, and possibly also give the impression that you are a tad challenging to work with.


It may not be the most dignified of tactics, but there’s a lot to said for a cacophony of sobbing when all else has failed. If you’re sobbing over the phone, make sure you snivel loudly and with conviction. Snivel interactively, increasing the volume each time the pharmacist expresses further disinterest.


If the sobbing does not fully convey the extent of your disappointment, you may alternatively wish to try howling. Unashamedly crying the tears of unmitigated failure, at ear-splitting volume, is fairly high-risk, but you don’t have much to lose at this stage.


By now, you will probably either…

a) Have a disorientated-looking pharmacist walking through your door. Or…
b) Find yourself in some kind of custodial establishment being asked a series of searching questions.

Whichever is the case, you’re tired, drained, and definitely not ready to face the rest of the day. Of course, you could, instead, simply have called Team Locum, and asked them to supply a replacement pharmacist for you. You’d be feeling fully refreshed, and importantly, you wouldn’t be in custody. Still, you’ll know for next time. Here are the Team Locum contact details, should you wish to avoid any or all of the above in the future…

team locum pharmacistFor locum enquiries… 0121 451 2707
or visit the Team Locum Homepage for more info.

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