"Well, there is only one piece of advice I can give you," said the wisest of wise men. "The secret of happiness is to see all the marvels of the world and never to forget the drops of oil on the spoon."

('The Alchemist' Paulo Coelho)

Monday, July 24, 2006

Jobsworths and the Nanny state

Today I set off on a mission - to rent a carpet shampooing machine for the day, which I eventually did after having to provide 2 forms of ID, including a recent utility bill, but that's another story.
A detour on my journey was to Boots the chemist to stock up on Keith's pain killers and some low dose dispersible aspirin (You see, Elder Daughter, I do listen to you and follow your advice!).
At 9.10 I approached the sales asistant.
"I'd like the larger pack of 400mg Ibuprofen please."
Sharp intake of breath and a determined expression on her face.
"Sorry, can't sell you those. The pharmacist isn't here till 10a.m."
Inward groan - forgot that the Nanny State won't allow us to buy nasty strong medicines all by ourselves. Outwardly polite, I said,
"O.K. Well I'll just have some 75mg dispersible aspirin then, please."
Shocked expression that I am trying it on yet again. Voice reminiscent of Joyce Grenfell when talking to 'George'.
"I'm sorry, I can't sell you those. The Pharmacist isn't here."
Thoughts briefly flit through my mind...
  • Protest loudly at the stupidity of this state of affairs.
  • Ask her what harm she thinks I am going to do to myself or anyone else armed with 75mg dispersible aspirin, for heaven's sake.
No point really. I'm still not going to get served.
I smile through gritted teeth and leave.

Later, I return to Boots, where I am served, without question, by another assistant. This time the all-important pharmacist is in residence.

Is he aware of what I am buying? No
Does the assistant inform him that she is about to entrust me with these 'dangerous' drugs? No.
Would it have made any difference to him or me whether or not he knew what I was buying? Again, no.
Just the result of more mind games by politicians gradually extending their power over our ordinary, everyday lives.


Craigy Baby ! said...

OMG What a nightmare ! I think they asked for ID as you look far too young to be in charge of such a powerful machine. And as for the painkillers think yourself lucky as if you lived in the jungle there are NO headache tablets at all. You know why ? Cos the parrots-eat-em-all (Paracetemol ha ha !) ;-)

Yorkshire Pudding said...

Hello. Thanks for calling by my blog from time to time. It's a while since I called by yours and I'm liking it better. Regarding the drugs - why visit Boots? Ibuprofen is so much cheaper at Netto. Don't they have Netto in Wales? These jobsworth assistants really piss me off. I've just returned from one of my local pubs wghere this young lad (21) was yelling about drinking up at 11.05! - when of course we have twenty minutes drinking up time. I'm going to strangle him and vandalise his house now. You might read about me in The Sun.

Michelle said...

*Shaking my head*!

Jennyta said...

The Sun is a rag I don't give house room to, I'm afraid, YP. But no doubt you'll make mainstream news. You can get three small packs of Ibuprofen for £1 at Poundland, but I wanted the higher dose ones - and I didn't have time to go into town.
I'm intrigued to know why you now like my blog better.

Jennyta said...

Craig, you're really pushing it, lad! ;)

Jennyta said...

Michelle, do you mean to say that over there in Oz everyone is allowed to have control over their own lives? I'm jealous!

Birdman said...

Every time I go in the local chemist and ask for summat, he always says "Who is it for?" This annoys the shit out of me more than it should and I feel like shouting "Al Capone - so hurry up you stupid tw*t!"
Perhaps I need Prozac but he'd only ask me who it's for.

Arthur said...

try heroine jenny, no pharmacist needed, longer opening hours and no VAT

I'll put you down for a kilo and you get a free car sticker that says 'if you think my car looks smashed you should meet the driver'

just say no to ibruprofen

Jennyta said...

Nice offer, Arthur but it's actually for Keith, not me and he is off the wall enough without any help!

Jennyta said...

Prozac? I think half the nation must be on it already. That's why we allow ourselves to be treated like backward three year olds without any protest, Birdman!

Jonathan said...

Ha...I remember when I went to London a few years ago, I wanted a souvenir newspaper...so I bought the Sun...you're comment Jenny reminded me of that. I read it for about a minute...our tour guide said it was the equivalent of a tabloid. I like to think I'm more cultured now.

Wow...to think that you guys go through that to get asprin. Here, its over-the-counter. Cold medicine tho'. Since that's used to make methamphetimine, most stores don't sell it unless you're 18, and they limit the quantity. Seriously. Cold medicine. Maybe the US is headed towards regulating asprin.....

Dale said...

As they say over there, Jenny -- COR! It hasn't come to that here yet, but I suppose it's not far away. Our government has steadily become more involved in our Lives as well. As though we're incapable of looking after ourselves.

Wallo said...

Yeah the carpet machine thing is a pain...every customer who comes to it never expects the whole ID thing...the amount of people who have to make return journeys is countless.
Some of the items which come up with an age warning surprise me too!

Jennyta said...

AND it hasn't got rid of all the stains Keith has made. ;(

krip said...

Oh dear, oh dear.
O what a tangled web we weave.


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