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Angela's 10 years

The 12th of November marks my 10 years of work at Alexander Pharmacy. My work anniversary. That's roughly 20 400 hours of work! I finished my last exams at Otago University in 2012, and on the same weekend packed up my things to move to Wellington as my job required an immediate start. No time for a vacation or an OE for me. I was nervous, as although I've had part time work before as a student, this was my first real job. Turns out I had nothing to worry about because everyone was overly nice to me and I was shaped into being an all rounder Pharmacist. One funny memory I have during the early years was when I inadvertently had to do a quick shift at the sex shop around the corner. The lady in there suddenly got sick and one of the customers came rushing into the pharmacy for aid. I was first to the scene and managed to avert an acute medical crisis and told the lady she had to go home. She picked up on the good nature all Pharmacists have and asked if I could watch the shop until her boss came. She would be in all sorts of trouble if the shop was to close. So that is how I ended up at the till of sex shop and praying no pharmacy customers would pop in and see me.

One of the highlights of my career so far has been advocating for a more waste free pharmacy. Getting media attention really put me in the spotlight and I was invited to speak at different events about the issue. I'm still working hard in this space (COVID and waste free don't go together) and I've actually got something exciting in the pipeline regarding those plastic medicine bottles!

The 10 years haven't been completely blissful and there are always challenges. I do get rather emotional and upset when a patient passes away. It can be underestimated what those small interactions with patients on a monthly, weekly and sometimes daily mean to us.

I'm also worried that the pharmacy profession is being devalued with the rise of the discounters. Overseas, this model has been slammed for putting profits over people. A pharmacy should not be on the news for earning a billion dollars in profit over a year. This has already been happening in NZ and I'm scared that one day independent pharmacies will be a place of the past.

It has been a fabulous 10 years and it all started with Judy Alexander taking a chance on me and the fantastic staff over the years who make the pharmacy a great place to come to work everyday. There was always enough camaraderie to feel valued, enough silliness to have fun and just all round kindness.

Thanks to all the loyal customers who have been here for the journey and welcome new customers for the next 10 years. Judy started her business in 1986 and a lot of you have been here since so thank you for allowing me to continue to care for you.

My hopes and dreams for the next 10 years in pharmacy would be the following:

1. Scrapping of the $5 co-payment that the government makes us charge patients.

2. Maia to graduate and get her technician qualification.

3. A sustainable medicine container coming to the market.

4. Less behind the scenes paperwork and more time on the shop floor.

5. Having a child that might, just might, want to follow my footsteps.

I shall report back with more hopes and dreams in 10 years time for my 20th anniversary.







Alexander Pharmacy

We offer a wide range of products and our well trained, experienced staff can advise you on a number of health related issues. Our accredited pharmacists can offer effective treatment in various areas, including: Urinary tract infections, emergency contraception, minor eye infections, skin conditions, erectile dysfunction, over the counter medicines and first aid and many more.