Monday, November 18, 2013

Work Ethic (Apothecary, Part 1)

I worked for my dad for years at a pharmacy in Missouri. I still remember driving down Ward Parkway in his truck listening to talk radio and willing him to drive faster. I’m not sure why I was in such a rush to get to work, but I was young and almost always in a hurry. And, of course, I thought my dad was slow because that’s just how teenage girls are.
While working at the downtown location, I met some amazing people. I don’t remember all of their names, but they were hard working and loyal to my father and his business. They were because he was the example. He was always there earlier and then later than all of his workers. He would go the extra mile for his customers and he became part of the community. Even when really awful things (things that made the evening news) would happen, he would turn around and open up the store early the following day. 
Michael thinks this story epitomizes my father (there are many others, but this is a good one). On his way to work in my mother’s minivan, he was in an accident. Not just a fender bender--the truck in front of him lost his exhaust system hitting the car my dad was driving, taking out one side and causing it to flip, multiple times, and finally landing in a ditch. He climbed out of the driver-side window and was looking at the damaged car when help arrived. One person asked him if there were any survivors. “Ummm. Yes, me.”
 The tow truck arrived and pulled the disabled car out, and my dad asked if the driver could drop him off at his store on his way to drop the car off. The hospital? No. Work? Without question.
In the basement of this downtown location, there were these huge apothecary cabinets--painted green and scratched revealing many layers of paint and a deep stain. They smelled musty and showed years of wear. But, I loved them. Even as an impatient teenage girl, I saw something in these old cabinets and I knew that I would have them in my home one day. I told my father and he listened. Years later, when he closed the store, he moved those cabinets into storage. When they moved their home, he had them moved again.
A few years ago, Michael and I visited my parents and brought one of the cabinets back in a rented truck. The bottom cabinet is complete and I’m working on the top now (Apothecary, Part 2). Clearly, I’m not in a rush like I was when I was a teenager.
Part 3 and 4 are in waiting in the wings now. We brought them back this summer.

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