What To Do?

I received an email from my pharmacy that said, “Flu Shot Time, go online to make an appointment today.” Good idea, I thought, I’ll go online, register, and hop down to the pharmacy and get done before anyone else makes an appointment and hopefully avoid receiving the sure-to-happen reminder calls. It seems a whole industry has evolved of reminding me of everything in my life, from dentists to car service. My watch reminds me to breathe, which is the ultimate insult.


My logical thinking told me that if I took care of it right away, I wouldn’t receive the multitude of phone calls, texts, telegrams, and smoke signals reminding me that I was overdue for my flu shot, which I haven’t missed since God was a Marine recruit. So, I grabbed my cell phone, logged into my pharmacy app and hit “flu shot” and sure enough, it popped open and asked what time and date I preferred. I picked the first date on the screen. Wouldn’t you know it, it was unavailable? I scrolled down…not available…in fact, nothing was available for the foreseeable future, which is a misnomer, because no future is foreseeable.


A little post-it note flashed on the screen and informed me, “Walk-ins welcome.” Wonderful, I was fresh out of pet birthday cards, so I could do double duty and take care of both.


I went to the pharmacy and stood in line, reading the covers of magazines I had never heard of, and finally the greeter guy was standing in front of me. “How can I help you, Ma’am?”


“I would like a flu shot, please.” I answered politely.


“Do you have an appointment?” the greeter person said.


“No, I tried to make an appointment online, but none were apparently available, so I walked in.” I was still smiling.


“Well, we can’t give you a flu shot without an appointment. If you have a cell phone, you can make it while you’re here and then we’ll happily shoot you.” That’s sort of paraphrasing what the greeter said, but you get the idea.


I was losing patience, but responded in my nicest Marine lieutenant voice, “I tried but none were available online, and the website said walk-ins were welcome. I walked in. I want to be welcome.”


“No can do,” greeter guy said. “Appointments are required.”


“So, if I walk over there and make an online appointment on the cell phone that’s in my hand, I can get my flu shot. Today. While I’m here. Is that right?”


“No, not exactly. We haven’t received this week’s supply of flu shot serum. Come back next week but be sure to make an appointment. Walk-ins are welcome, of course, but you still need an appointment.”


I’m shaking my head at that one. If the pharmacy is out of vaccines, I am out of patience. I’m headed home.


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