Remembering Fun Times at an Independent Pharmacy

APRIL 15, 2015
When I first got my pharmacist license, I would work all the time.
 
I once worked 21 days straight with a lot of 12-hour shifts. I even worked a second job at an independent pharmacy, just so I would have pocket money for all of my recreational ventures.
 
I was living a fraternity lifestyle on a pharmacist’s salary. It was the only time in my life I had more money than I knew what to do with. Somehow, I lived to tell the tale.
 
Holman’s Pharmacy in Jamesburg, New Jersey, is nothing more than a memory today, but it holds a dear place in my heart as the coolest job I ever held. The owner (not CEO), Frank Holman, was also the coolest boss. As an intern, he let me and my fellow co-workers do deliveries in his Jaguar, and when he got a Pontiac Trans-Am, he was more than happy to throw us the keys to pick up lunch or go to the bank.
 
Before conflict of interest was so strictly enforced, Holman’s was where I moonlighted after I became licensed. I even temporarily became the pharmacist-in-charge when Frank accidentally let his license expire. He was always good to me, so it was the least I could do for him.
 
With mail order coming into prominence and increased pressure from encroaching chain pharmacies, Holman’s slowly declined. However, my coworkers and I had a lot of fun while we were there. Once the doors closed at 9 p.m., Frank would swing by with a 12 pack, and we’d take a wiffle ball and bat off the display and pitch right down the center aisle. If you hit the pharmacy sign on the back wall, it was a home run. In the corporate world, any of the above would get someone a most unfortunate meeting with Human Resources.
 
Frank Holman also taught me a lot. He taught me the “Hawkeye Pierce” mentality of having an extreme amount of fun on the job. But, when it got serious back there, his inner scientist emerged. All of his jokes aside, Frank was a phenomenal pharmacist.
 
A lot has changed in 20 years. I’m the same age Frank Holman was when I started working for him.
 
While technology has improved job safety beyond measure, the increased workload balances everything out. The one job I have can be absolutely exhausting at times, and the thought of working 21 days straight is unconscionable to me.
 
I now go to bed at the same time I used to comb my hair to go out. Believe me when I tell you I’m okay with that.
 
Jay Sochoka, RPh, wants to play wiffle ball in a pharmacy.

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