The first, related to part of what my job is: business performance. A few years ago, having a pharmacy was a "safe", comfortable and easy business. Things have become more complicated, so it is not so safe, not so easy, not so comfortable. In fact, we used to not have to be too concerned about the profitability of the business, and now we have to watch every sale we make, one by one, because the pharmacy is at risk of making a loss. This is what the first favour is all about.
A few months ago, an acquaintance of mine who suffers from a very serious mental illness started to place orders with me. The medicines he takes are very expensive, but pharmacies are allowed a fixed margin, calculated by the Ministry of Health, so that there is no possibility of speculating with them. What happens is that we can't buy them and not sell them, because our purchases and sales become very unbalanced and that is what would lead us to losses that could be very serious. Well, this person ordered some of these medicines from me over the phone, as well as some foodstuffs financed by the Social Security, which are also very expensive. He told me that he had the prescriptions in his possession, and that he would come for them in a few days. A week went by, and he did not come. Easter week went by and he still didn't come.
THE MEDICINES HE TAKES ARE VERY EXPENSIVE. HE TOLD ME THAT HE WOULD COME TO PICK THEM UP IN A FEW DAYS. A WEEK WENT BY, AND HE STILL HADN'T COME.
Then I realised that maybe this person had bought it in any of the pharmacies near his house, since he was quite ill, and to come and pick it up he has to walk a long way, or come in a taxi. And besides, it seemed to me that I might not be able to return them to the distribution warehouse that serves me, because we have a few days to do so. I tried unsuccessfully to locate my client. So I went home, and started asking Don Alvaro to help me, because, although the patient in this case pays about 12 €, I had advanced about 1,000 €, with the consequent loss. I could not afford this "luxury", and Don Alvaro knew it.
The next morning, as soon as I arrived, I received a phone call from this person, apologising and telling me that he would come the next day to collect everything. I couldn't believe it. It sounds easy, and maybe it's not that easy, but these "coincidences" are very rare in my job. I can't thank Don Alvaro enough for treating me so well.
The other "management" favour is also totally unusual. On a rather complicated day, due to the number of people coming in, I gave a lady back her Social Security card (on which we all have electronic prescriptions) and, by mistake, I also gave her the card of another lady who had been there earlier and had left it behind. This, we could say, is a nuisance for the person who "loses" the card, because they go through their house and things to find it.... but even more so, if I can't give it back to them.
In the pharmacy we knew that the lady to whom I had given the card by mistake, lived in a house in the same square where we are, we also knew the doorway, but we did not know her name and surname, so we could not look up her telephone number to call her and talk to her.
BY MISTAKE I ALSO GAVE HER ANOTHER LADY'S CARD.
I started to entrust it to Don Alvaro because order in my work is fundamental, and doing what I had done with the card was a serious mistake. It was not going to be good for the professional prestige of my pharmacy: I had to put it right. The morning progressed and a third lady came in, who happened to be a neighbour of the one we couldn't reach. I spoke to her, to make sure that they knew each other, and I asked her to give her the message to call me, because I had given her two cards: hers and someone else's. It was all sorted! To my surprise, a few minutes later, the lady I had asked for the favour appeared in the pharmacy with the card. She had spoken to her neighbour, they had checked and she had done me the favour. I really thanked her, and I decided to write down the favour so that people would be encouraged to ask Blessed Alvaro for everything, because if he can manage it, he does it quickly and efficiently, like when Saint Josemaría used to ask him to do things. I am amazed that he treats me like that.
J. V. S. - Spain