I read a comment in a forgotten pharmacy forum a while back in which a frightened young commenter said that she couldn't think of anything worse than to be a middle-aged pharmacist out there trying to find a job. She said that she would put up with anything in her present position in order to not lose her job and become one of "those" pharmacists.
That comment stuck with me. Not only because of the fear behind it, but because that middle-aged pharmacist, and that same scenario, could easily apply to me.
Now, I'd be lying if I said that there wasn't a little fear behind my decision to quit working in pharmacy, especially since I've been doing it so long and didn't have something else lined up beforehand. There's always that fear of the unknown.
But as time has passed, I've realized that my fear is really unfounded. There's no actual basis for it, it's only in my mind. There's nothing to be afraid of, I've planned and prepared for this time in my life. No matter what happens, I will survive. I've come to learn that fear is no justification for my actions.
So then, why would such a young commenter be so afraid of something 25-years into her future?
Working as a pharmacist, she would be generating a very comfortable income. If she lived below her means, avoided accumulating debt, saved a significant portion of her income and invested it wisely, upon reaching middle-aged she would be in such a safe financial position that fear shouldn't factor into her decision-making. Not being able to find a job at that age would be the least of her worries.
But on the other hand, I've worked with some older pharmacists who lived high on the hog their entire career, thinking that the gravy train would never come to an end. They hadn't prepared themselves for the worst case scenario, and now they're stuck working, not because they want to, but because they think that they have no other choice. Fear guides their actions.
If you haven't noticed, most of the pharmacist crimes that I've reported in my blog or on Twitter, were perpetrated by middle-aged pharmacists, people old enough to know better, but probably willing to do just about anything because they were desperate for money.
It seems to me that those pharmacists' fear of losing the lifestyle they grew accustomed to became greater than the fear of the consequences of crossing over that ethical line.
Perhaps it's one "those" middle-aged pharmacists that the young commenter is afraid of becoming?
But, on the other hand, perhaps "putting up with anything" out of fear could lead a young pharmacist into becoming one of those pharmacists upon reaching middle-age? Something to think about.
But, don't just take my word for it. Watch this hidden video of a middle-aged pharmacist interviewing for a position with a less-than-reputable independent pharmacy owner, and choosing to compromise his ethics during the fifth decade of his life in order to become employed.