Orit Dagan

A Blessing in Disguise — Out of the Public Eye


I went yesterday, rushing between Yom Tov and Shabbat, to my HMO pharmacy, since the large Super-Pharm chain doesn’t and never has carried one of my prescriptions that I need to take every single day. I phoned between 8 AM and 9 AM, otherwise you can talk to no human in the Maccabi Pharm. I made sure they had my script and asked them to reserve 3 boxes, which I would pick up in the PM.

I went, took a number and waited for almost an HOUR til I was called. I was patient and calm, smiling and waited for the pharmacist to fill my scripts; while at it, also asked for a bottle of paracetamol. I told her there were things missing and she said that she brought me all that were on the pages. I told her that it can’t be and that I had the pages in my hands, walked the three steps from the chair on which I had sat to the counter and that all the prescriptions were printed out in succession on one page. She kept insisting my medications were not on the papers.


Incredulous and undaunted, I went to the computer provided at the entrance, sat at the desk, logged into my profile, pulled up my prescriptions, opened the .pdf files, printed them out and went back into the pharm, since she told me to come directly to her and not wait again.


As she was busy with a customer and had to walk away from the counter, I announced to everyone within earshot that the next available pharmacist is mine, since I waited an hour and did NOT get full service. At that moment, an older, more senior pharmacist called me to her station. She looked at the papers and said that my medications were right under the prescriptions that WERE filled. I told her that I knew that but that for whatever reason, the other woman didn’t see them. All the while, the first pharmacist kept throwing barbs at me, talking back and refusing to admit she might have made a mistake. I reminded her that for the Maccabi Health Services, I calculate as income and she as expenses and that my payments pay for her salary and that she has to provide SERVICE. She insisted she gives good service and I told her that she only gives good service when people say nice things to her. When there’s a problem, she doesn’t give any service.

The pharmacist who was waiting on me brought what I wanted, including the paracetamol. I looked at her and asked whether she found my papers from before and whether my medications were on there. She confirmed that, indeed, my medications were where they were supposed to be on the original pages I handed the first pharmacist; the pages I printed out at the Center were identical to those I had previously printed out at my branch. My time was wasted and many others would have gone home without their medications.

I asked the pharmacist “So, what do you have to say? What now?” She said she would speak to her colleague. I thanked her and walked out to go to my car.


Walking on the path, I heard a voice from behind me “Excuse me? Excuse me?” I turned around and asked “Me?” It was the first pharmacist. She came to me and apologized. She said that I was right, that she didn’t even get me the paracetamol for which I asked and that she was totally wrong and that she was so very sorry!

I smiled and told her “You did a great thing by coming and apologizing. I accept it, commend you for it and you earned my respect!” I told her how I planned to write a complaint to the HMO but that her apology and admission that she made a mistake righted the wrong. I also suggested that when there are so many people and she must be so tired, to take a breath, walk away, come back and look at the paper again. She told me how she was working straight through since the morning and that people were yelling at her all day and how such a thing never happened to her before. I told her that in life, things never happen until they happen, that we’re all human and that I accept her apology. I then opened my arms and said let’s hug and we did, warmly.


What I haven’t mentioned, because I felt it was secondary, was that this pharmacist was an Arab Israeli. There were no media, no cameras and no politicians, just two Israeli women hugging it out after a long day for each. She wished me to be inscribed for a wonderful year and I thanked her.

About the Author
Orit Dagan was born in Israel and raised in New York. After twenty-four years of life in the USA, she returned to Israel and settled in Jerusalem. She studied and mastered natural health, is an artist and a musician.