How should you address a sweet old lady?
How I met Mrs. Bailey
I had a pharmacy in one of the wealthiest areas in Western Michigan for many years. You would recognize the names of many of my best customers and patients. You probably drink their soft drinks or their beer, wear their clothes and use many of their products around your house, on the lake or in your car.
One of them, a little old lady who would remind you of “Miss Daisy,” had developed a long-term relationship with another pharmacy a few blocks away. I am going to call her Jeanette Bailey.
The pharmacist who owned that store closed it when he retired. Even though it was very profitable he hadn’t been able to find a buyer for the business.
We got to know each other
Mrs. Bailey called me to let me know that she was going to need a new pharmacist. I called the pharmacy that was closing and transferred most of her prescriptions to my place. I called the doctor for a couple of prescriptions that needed to be renewed.
This was a couple of years before I got my first computer, so I still did everything by hand. I had developed a form that allowed me to enter all of her meds and medical conditions so that I could keep track of when she might need refills and to check to make sure that none of them would interfere with each other or cause problems with her chronic conditions or her age. By the time I completed that form I usually got to know my patients very well. A computer does all that now.
Mrs. Bailey was having a rough day when she called to ask me a question about a serious illness that the doctor had just discovered. She became a little emotional. After a few moments I interrupted her and I said, “Jeanette, you don’t have to worry. You know that the doctor and I are going to take good care of you.”
Her response almost floored me. She said, “You don’t know how good it sounds to hear you call me by my first name.” She said that no one had called her Jeanette since her husband had died almost twenty years before.
Jeanette was with me for over ten years before it was her turn to go.