Better known in networks like Enraged Pharmacy, Guillermo Martín’s followers number in the hundreds of thousands on Twitter, Instagram or TikTok. The secret of his success? Disseminate and deny hoaxes with smiles, irony and a little bit of bad milk, the same ones that he distills in the book, ‘Check with your pharmacist‘, a book to spend some time with the situations that Guille and other pharmacist colleagues encounter every day behind the counter.
Congratulations on your new book, ‘Consult with your pharmacist’. Tell us a little about him…I have tried to create a book that brings together all the aspects that exist within a pharmacy. Things like prescriptions and medicines, but also pharmacists – we are beings worthy of study – and, above all, what happens at the counter, what I call the ‘battlefield’, which is where we interact with patients and that gives rise to all kinds of anecdotes and funny and comical situations. It’s my first book written and I’m a little nervous about it. I encourage everyone who wants to have a good time to read it because it is written in a very pleasant tone.
In it you tell the many anecdotes that happen to you on the other side of the counter of the pharmacy where you work. Tell us about the last thing that happened to you.More than anecdotes, what I have done is recover those typical, anecdotal situations that happen in all pharmacies and exemplify them with something that has happened to me. For example, recently we saw a man with a shot glass with transparent liquid in it telling us that the eye drops had broken it that we give him an equal. These are the types of situations that happen so much in the pharmacy and that nobody knows why… Like those people who make a mess with the holes and don’t know where to put the suppository.
“What I try to do, through jokes and irony, is to educate. Although it is true sometimes I have a bit of bad milk”
You say that the pharmacy is sometimes like a social center, where people meet their neighbors, tell each other their problems…Yes, yes… there are people who come to us to install WhatsApp, to fix their mobile, they invite each other to the bar… four or five get together and spend the afternoon. It makes me want to draw some letters from them… and sometimes we become a psychological support for patients.
Are the questions that an older person in the pharmacy can ask you very different from those that younger people ask you on social networks?Well, it’s just that it’s harder unteach things to teach, and although it is true that sometimes young people ask me questions about things that we are very surprised they don’t know, by not having preconceived ideas it is easier to ‘teach’ them. Older people, and sometimes not so old, come with very predetermined ideas and it is very difficult to contradict them and explain to them that this is not the case. Young people are a blank sheet of paper and you don’t have to cross anything out.
You use sarcasm a lot, irony… especially to make some criticism, to launch ‘pullitas’…Yes, I throw a lot of sarcasm, irony -and a bit of bad milk- because I think it’s a wonderful form of humor and in the book I also put some, but obviously in real life they can’t happen, but it’s always good to have them by hand. It is that we have reached a point in social networks where saying that viruses exist or that vaccines save lives has become a controversial comment, when three years ago it was an obvious thing and common sense. But hey, I have a great time, and listening to certain comments helps you a bit to try to re-educate and deny all the nonsense that is said and explain why. What I try to do, even if it is through jokes and irony, is to educate. Although it is true that sometimes I have a little bad milk…
Is it possible to divulge and entertain at the same time?Yes, irony is also necessary sometimes, because it shows us our reflection in the mirror. When we make things ridiculous, people realize things, and it is also a way of educating. I went viral on TikTok simply because of the irony, but it is true that it is also dangerous, because the algorithms detect the irony as something real and interpret it as false information. It has already cost me some sanction. And well, it is also that there are people who believe the ironies.
Apart from deciphering letters from doctors and cutting medicine boxes with a box cutter, pharmacists also know things about health
Tell us something (or some things) that many people do when they go to the pharmacy and that they should stop doing.I have a book published just about that, hahaha, but the one that bothers us the most is that they ask us without a prescription for things that you know are prescriptions, also that they degrade us as if we were just dependents, that they interrupt us when we are attending to another patient and that they pay attention to everyone except us: the pill that your neighbor has told you, that you have read on the internet…
The ‘consult the pharmacist’ is literal…And an imperative, too.
Why did you decide to start promoting on social networks?I was passing by… I was bored in class and I started posting things on social networks, then I would tell about things that happened to me at the pharmacy, many pharmacists began to follow me, and especially as a result of the pandemic, more general public began to follow me.
Have you ever thought… ‘but who would send me…’Sometimes, yes, because I’ve had some problems, conflicts…
What is the myth and the truth that pharmacists have a superpower to decipher doctors’ handwriting?That is an indisputable reality, hahaha… In fact, now on Instagram I am doing a recipe deciphering contest and they are being a complete success. I suppose that, since the race, that we have to take notes very quickly, we are used to that type of letters, and then, aside, those names that are so rare for us are familiar. Between that, and the number of the dose, which some are very peculiar, and the patient who tells us why he sent it to him… in the end you get it… so more than a superpower, it’s skill. It’s already like doing sudoku for us… Once I did have to call the doctor because we couldn’t figure out what it said.
What will become of pharmacists when all prescriptions are electronic?Well, the new generations are not coming out prepared, hahaha, they just need to take away the cutter, hahaha.
For almost all of the coronavirus it has been a before and after. What have you noticed more in pharmacies? Do people behave differently towards you?What is in the pharmacy, people have behaved very well and trust us even more than before the pandemic. Then there is always the typical brother in law that tells you that you have made gold with the masks, with the tests… but they are the fewest, what happens is that they make a lot of noise, especially on the networks.
People trust us even more than before the pandemic, but there is always the typical ‘in-law’ who tells you that you have made gold with the masks
How do you deal with the fact that some think that all pharmacists have made a fortune with the coronavirus?Man, in the end you take it as a joke. One day I took a photo of a yacht saying that I had bought it with the money from the masks and there are people who believed it. I don’t even deny it anymore…
You are very combative, especially on Twitter with deniers, pseudoscientists… What things make you more serious?The truth is that I usually go through everything with a good humor, but when they attack me personally, it does piss me off. And well, I also get serious when I want to explain something well, so that it is understood, like the price of masks, of tests…
To finish, what would you like to value the work of pharmacists?Highlight and let everyone know that you have a toilet at your disposal next to your home and that you are happy to help and answer any questions, within your powers. Apart from deciphering medical letters and cutting medicine boxes with the box cutter, we also know things about health.