I Love My Pharmacist competition: Reena’s story

Reena Barai
Reena Barai

When I first heard about the ‘I Love My Pharmacist’ competition, I remember smiling to myself about the title.  I have always proclaimed that ‘I love pharmacy’ and so the title struck a chord with me.  A friend emailed me about the competition and said that I ‘had’ to enter.  I remember replying back to her joking that I wouldn’t be able to find a customer who admits to loving me!

That same day I delivered some urgent medication to a customer of mine and she was so grateful.   She said to me that she ‘would be lost without my help’.  I took this compliment as a subconscious declaration of love!  Every day, every pharmacist does something above and beyond their call of duty and yet these acts of human kindness go unnoticed by most.

I have to be honest and say that I have never been one for entering competitions.  My reason for this is mainly because I feel uncomfortable with the notion of blowing my own trumpet.

A few days later another friend got in touch with me to ask if I had entered the competition.  I explained my doubts about entering competitions in general and actually he encouraged me to enter not for myself but for the profession.  If there is one thing that I am passionate about it, it is just that, promoting the profession I am so proud to be part of.

So I entered… was interviewed… got chosen in the top 5… and then won it!

Reena celebrates winning I Love My Pharmacist with her customers
Reena celebrates winning I Love My Pharmacist with her customers

My customers were all so excited to read the article about me in Woman’s Weekly.  I was taken aback by the amount of compliments I received for being nominated in the first place.  Then I was overwhelmed by the amount of people who voted for me.  I was totally shocked when I won.

Winning was an amazing boost for the confidence of my staff and my customers.  I have had the most lovely messages from customers, family, friends and colleagues as a result of winning.  It has totally inspired me and my team to keep doing what we do, as it is obviously appreciated.

The local mayor came to my pharmacy to present me with a plaque.  I turned it into a party and invited my customers to share in my success.

I have had some funny comments since winning too. One day a customer saw my husband dropping me off to work and commented that because I am so famous now I get chauffeur driven to work! One of my local GPs rings me up and asks to speak to Britain’s Best Pharmacist every time.

Jokes aside, I never realised the impact being in this competition would have.  It has helped promote the profession and it has definitely done a lot to help us recognise that our service is valued in the community we serve.

So if any of you are having the same doubts as me, don’t, go for it, you do an amazing job, get some recognition for it. You have nothing to lose but so much to gain.  Good luck!

Find out more about entering the I Love My Pharmacist competition »

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