Response to Jean Campbell’s Pharmacy wonderland.

Tim Colby
3 min readFeb 24, 2022


Jean Campbell’s pharmacy open letter is here.

Stirring stuff up, remember when these places had soda fountains?

Yeah, I’ve seen so much of this in the past 2 years during the pandemic, and NO, it’s not over, for you back to normal delusional folks. ‘Normal’. That’s what people may be hearing and thinking, but that is the societal delusion of pandemic losers. Systemic change has taken root. Like it or not what the public gets regarding economic and pandemic news, is well, a lot of wishful thinking.

Our pharmacy along with many others nationwide including various public initiatives federally and locally thought it was a good idea to take their pharmacists workforce and tell them, Hey team! pull up your bootstraps, we are all gonna be concurrently vaccinating walk-ins on top of your already severely understaffed pharmaceutical departmental duties. Come on! You can do it!

So the already super stressed out pharmaceutical staff has tried to perform this extra service, and typically as management attempted this doubling down of staff duties, the inevitable happens. Over time the walk-ins morph into, make an appointment for your shot. Or, due to unusual demand, no shots can be administered on certain days. This week’s messaging is, our pharmacy is closing daily for 2 hours in the afternoon to give the staff a break and lunch. Another gotcha lately is the rush to put interns into helper positions in the pharmacies, everyone is green when they start jobs while still in classes or just after graduating anything, I get it, but it’s also mildly comical watching the newbies try to work the online systems with little to no training. What was that birthdate? You are who? When simply trying to pick up meds for others. Weird. Zero experience with customers, that is to be expected.

I shouldn’t gripe too much about the poor interns trying to work a new pharmacy interface behind the pharmaceutical counter, since the poor customers also face an ever-changing and updating pharmacy website when trying to use apps at home to order their meds. How do I say this nicely, um, our online pharmacy website dumpster fire of ever-changing fixes and remakes, well, it’s mostly impossible much of the time. A customer always ends up on the phone disturbing pharmacy staff who have enough to do. (Yeah, I’m sure mega-pharmacies have their agendas of continually herding customers from one new marketing idea to next week’s big marketing idea, it’s all mind-numbing!)


It was a dramatic effort to attempt to vaccinate 300+ million people on short notice. However the medical providers everywhere were already taxed out from the first 2 rounds of C-19 in 2020, so when the big push came in 2021 in the fall and those charmers who wanted to attend super spreader events, like attending sports anything and the accompanying beer-swilling and mask-less mouth breathing tailgate partying, including rallies and public events of almost any kind, well this medically warned about behavior, apparently disregarded, insured the first 2 pandemic spikes witnessed plus the later 2021 spikes. Because America believes in education and the professionals that education produces. <dramatic 2-year pause> Um, apparently, not really.

We now see help-wanted pitches from fast-food workers to brain surgeons.

So if you visit a pharmacy and happen to notice zombie pharmacists racing around (in a white blur as Jean Campbell puts it) behind the counter with daggers for eyes and breathing through facial sweat, please try and cut them some slack and remain courteous, at this time they are not uniquely there for you, rather they are trying to survive one more workday before going bonkers.



Tim Colby

Grad: Whats-a-mata-U, Mayor: Foggybog, Wi., Awards: Medium response run-on-sentence-king, Medium response all-over-the-place trophy