Friday, February 08, 2008

Choices

Every day we each make choices, the majority of which are inconsequential. However, now and again we are required to make a choice that will determine what path we take in the future. Periodically, I hope to give you some insight into the reasoning, or lack thereof, behind some of the choices I've made over the years. With any luck, knowledge of this will help you to understand what has made me the man (or asshole, depending on your POV) I am today.

Way back when, I made a decision to enter Pharmacy School. For the longest time I thought that this was the worst decision of my life. You see, in high school I knew that I was going to go to college. I also knew that the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill was the only college I wanted to attend. Other than that, I had no clue what I wanted to do with my life. During high school I worked at Phar-Mor first as a bagger/stock boy, then as a video clerk, and eventually, as a pharmacy technician. (For those of you who don't remember Phar-Mor, it was in heavy competition with WalMart in the late '80's, up until one of the higher-ups in the home office ran away to the Caribbean with a sack-o-cash and the company went bankrupt.)

So, I applied to two schools; UNC and N.C. State. I applied to the latter because it was in my hometown and I wouldn't have to go far to wash clothes. (I was 17 years old! Give me a break!) I also had an application to Western Carolina sitting in my desk in case I was not accepted to either of these. I got in to both schools, went with my heart, and became a Tar Heel. I was happier than a pig in shit, but I still had no idea about what direction I was going to take with my education.

It turns out that there comes a time at college where they do not allow you to major in "Undeclared". Using my past experience as a pharmacy technician as a jumping off point, I figured "What the hell," and began on my track to Pharmacy School. After 5 incredible, wonderful years at the most beautiful campus on the face of the earth, I graduated from UNC-CH with a Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy. I then went on to pass the Boards and became a Registered Pharmacist for the Great State of North Carolina. It was at this point that I began to realize that I did not want anything to do with the profession.

Like most new graduates, I went straight for the money. Since I had no real idea as to how to contribute to the betterment of the profession, I figured I might as well get paid while mulling it over. I worked 2 years in the 5th circle of Hell, also known as Revco (now CVS). This solidified my view of the profession while helping me to understand that the general public is as smart as a sack of hammers. I have since left the retail world and am trudging through the Pharmacy profession as a hospital pharmacist.

Now, I told you all of that to tell you this: I think that going to Pharmacy School was the best choice I ever made. Please don't get me wrong. It is a thankless, dying profession that is only a good choice for women who want a good paying job that'll let them take extended periods off (for maternity leave and such), or for men who want a decent paycheck with no possibility of career advancement or fulfillment. However, it has finally hit me that if I had not chosen to go to Pharmacy School, had I chosen a career path more suited for me, I would have ended up at some technical or engineering school, like (God forbid) N.C. State, and never set foot in Blue Heaven. I wouldn't have been on Franklin Street on April 5th, 1993. I would have never met some of the best friends a sorry ass like me could ever have. And, most importantly, I would have never met my awesomely understanding and forgiving wife, who is also the mother of my beautiful children. My job sucks, but my life is full of love and wonderment.

It's all about choices.
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