Alex Barker, PharmD
Alex Barker, PharmD
Alex Barker is the founder of The Happy PharmD, which helps pharmacists create an inspiring career, break free from the mundane "pill-flipping" life. He is a Full-time Pharmacist, Media Company founder, franchise owner, Business Coach, Speaker, and Author. He's also the Founder of Pharmacy School HQ, which helps students get into pharmacy school and become residents.

Kmart Pharmacist's Jingle Sells Out Flu Shot Supply

JANUARY 25, 2015
Do you whistle while you work?
 
If there’s a catchy tune and no one's watching, I may venture to release my off-tune vocals, if only to annoy my co-workers.
However, I never thought to announce to the tune of a camp song that flu shots were available.
 
That’s exactly what Kmart pharmacist Eldon Wilson of Hutchinson, Kansas, does every day. So, I decided to call Wilson and ask him a few questions about his vocals.
 
Here's how his jingle goes:
 
“Welcome all to Kmart; I hope it’s a nice day. This is your Kmart pharmacist; I have something to say. Flu season is upon us, in case you have forgot. Don’t forget to protect yourself: Get yourself a flu shot.

“The process is quite simple; it’s really quick, you see. Because I can bill your insurance or Medicare Part D. Let me help you get one; it’s really not that hard. You may even be eligible for a $5 gift card!”
 

What was the source of inspiration for this song? According to Wilson, “I was asked to make an announcement on the PA that we have flu shots. I thought to myself, ‘Well, if I have to do this, I’m going to have fun with it.’ I knew this old camp song, so I used that.”
 
Can you guess how quickly Wilson sold out his flu shot supply?
 
“It’s difficult to sell flu shots as it is. But, after I started singing, we sold out within a few days,” Wilson shared.
 
So, have other pharmacists in the store adopted his technique?
 
“Ever since the [news] went public, we’ve had customers come in when the other pharmacists are working," Wilson said. "Our patrons are a little demanding of them. They want some singing. It’s like they’re asking for 'The Lawrence Welk' show. They don’t expect too much. They just want to be amused by their pharmacist.”
 
Four days a week, Wilson works 10-hour shifts at Kmart. Since high school, he knew that he wanted to become a pharmacist. He attended a “pharmacy camp” at a local pharmacy school during one summer and became convinced that he would become a retail pharmacist.
 
Concerning other tune ideas, Wilson said, “My first idea was to sing to the tune of 'Game of Thrones,' but that required recording music, and I just didn’t own the resources to make it happen.”

He later shared with me that the theme song of "Doctor Who" was his second choice, but he believes it's more suited for shingles vaccines.
 
Wilson works with another pharmacist who was a former vocal music teacher.

“The possibilities are endless,” he said. The “Shingles Jingles” duet may soon hit Hutchinson, Kansas.


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