A huge proportion of pharmacy customers are elderly folks. They’re (mostly) friendly and cheerful and they talk to me like I’m one of their grandchildren. They aren’t in a hurry and like to visit and I enjoy them very much. But it’s frequently difficult to understand them.
Sometimes they’re a little mumbly, or their voices have that gravelly, wavering quality that happens with age. Plus, there is a whole lot of background noise from the busy store we’re in.
When they come to the counter to ask for their prescriptions by their last name, it can be hard to decipher what they’ve said. "Anderson" can easily be confused with "Amundson" or "Henderson." So I’ve made a habit of asking the first 2 letters of the last name, "Was that A N?" I ask. That eliminates any confusion.
Problem is, I’m in the habit of doing it with EVERY customer, no matter their age or whether I clearly understood the name.
Yesterday, a woman was picking up a script with the last name of "Furnby." I asked, "Was that F U?"
Now I ask the first 3 letters . . .