You are now reading the final part, part 4:
So the first day of my job started liiiike… this:
Warning! Lots of profanity ahead!
This is how it’s like working my job, being a medical representative in Egypt.
I know it’s long, but I PROMISE you will enjoy this. This is hilarious.
And lo! “The worst crisis is the one that makes you laugh” – Egyptian proverb
“And it goes like thiiis, uh!” – Maroon 5
I called my boss at 10 AM. I was already an hour late because I was supposed to be in a hospital, not at home. We agreed that I should go to the insurance hospital. It sounded strange to me because the insurance does not let its customers buy the drugs. I mean seriously, you have a multinational brand drug that you could have for free, and a local “stairwell” Egyptian brand that God knows works or not, and NOT for free, who the hell would go with the latter option?
I discarded those negatve thoughts and went with it. Insurance it is. Maybe it’s a drill. Turned out it wasn’t. The supervisor is such an idiot he actually thinks the doctors there would consider the possibility of saying “Sorry, let me give you the drug that sucks eth and may not treat you AND you’ll have to buy it from a Pharmacy THAT has this God-forsaken drug AND it will cost you!”
If I were a patient, I would give the doctor that would do that the finger.
Anyway, I somehow made it wearing the hypocrite’s mask through the day, being an idiots tool and asking for something just as idiotic. Marketing an insecure drug to people who are far from interested. When I was done I went home and prepared for the night shift.
And without further ado… the NIGHT SHIFT.
In the night shift, I’m supposed to go to TEN different clinics. In a perfect world, I would call the doctor’s assistant, book an appointment, show up, visit the doctor, present the drug, aaand repeat. Problem: I’m not in a perfect world I’m in fucking Egypt. Visits go a little something like this:
You go to the assistant and ask if the doctor wants to see a Medical Representative. 50% of the time he’ll say no. 10% will see you right away, but you’ll have to wait for like 3 patients. The 40% aren’t a sure yes either. They are more like “come at the end of the day” being something like exactly at 10 PM or 11 PM. And if you show up a minute late the doctor will be gone. OR you can wait but the priority is for patients. That means if you wait for 2 patients. And if you’re about to enter, a patient shows up, the patient enters, and so on. You know what? FUCK YOU, Mr ASS-istant. Fuck your doctor, and fuck me too!
Although that is the case for night shifts, somehow I made about 6 visits a day and got yelled at everyday for not reaching my target of 10 (now 8 coz those higher ups sitting on their asses realized somehow that 10 visits is impossible). The supervisor keeps saying that my colleagues make 8 visits a day normally. Well you should try working in Heliopolis, the fucking most high class (and snobby) doctors in the country who are all friggin med school professors with a P h fuckin D.
Apart from the morning shifts in sardine-can-hospitals where you visit at least 15 doctors a day, night shifts were a nightmare because of the not only snobby doctor, but also the assistant that treats you like trash. You do all that, it takes 10 hours a day, 5 days a week, every week of the month, every month of the *SNORTS* year.
Relaaaax! This shit is easy! I’m not only overqualified for this shit job, I’m also underpaaiiid. I get paid the equivalent of $400 a month YEAHA! And if you think it’s okay here coz stuff is cheaper in Egypt, well GET AN EFFIN CLUE! Shit here is more expensive especially clothes that you pay 50% more than what the west would pay. In other words, if a shirt costs $20, you will pay $30. Same for food, appliances, furniture and what-thefuck-ever!
Fair… I know…
But it’s cool, it’s cool. Everyone has to start somewhere. At least I’m not getting paid $200 like those Pharmacists who work 8 hours a day and get no vacations but weekends in Pharmacies (all for real, no joke).
VERY fair… I KNOW!
But that wasn’t enough to make me quit.
You know what made me quit?
That the doctors never prescribed my company’s drugs. Who am I to blame them. A week into my third month and a 100 visits resulted in the 5 drugs marketing figures looking like: zero… zero… zero… zero… ZERO!
Those doctors must be crazy. I got supervised by both my trainers and my supervisor several times and they said I’m a natural salesman phenomenon legend. All for nothing.
How can I blame them. They DID try the drugs for the first 2 months of my job (I was getting normal sales) but then they realized the shit doesn’t work. Are they serious? Okay, listen to this story.
One of the drugs I was marketing was an oxicam. And not any oxicam, it was Lornoxicam. A powerful non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (safe as Panadol) but almost as strong as the infamous opioid Tramadol. I had an ache in my feet because of all the walking (did I mention that I can’t use my car because of all the traffic jams? Walking: 10 minutes, driving: 30 minutes!!). I took their brand that I will not mention here. NO EFFECT. Seriously. Nada. And those who take tramadol can actually cut themselves and feel little pain. LOL. I decided to go to the university coz I’m such a lab-lover (laboratory and not labrador, you funny guy) and analyzed the drug using spectrophotometry. I found traces in the tablet that make up about 70% of the claimed 8mg that were supposed to be in the tablet. It’s illegal to have less than 95% of the drug so that it may work and not more than 105% so that no one may overdose. What can I do about it? Nothing! SMIIIIIIILE! You’re in fucking egyyyyyypt
Guess what? I also had infections in my thighs because of all the walking in the dirty streets and humid weather in a suit. THEIR ANTIBIOTIC DIDN’T WORK EITHER ALTHOUGH I TOOK DOUBLE THE RECOMMENDED DOSE FOR A SKIN INFECTION.
So I had a problem: overworked (ignore) underpaid (ignore) thieving (ignore) lying (ignore) AND IT WAS NOT ENOUGH! all this, TO NO RESULT.
What made me quit is the solution to this problem.
There are two solutions to the problem that the doctors aren’t prescribing them drugs that don’t work. Of course, that is a good thing. That is not a problem at all. But to me it is. And what appears to be a solution to me is a problem to hundreds of patients that won’t get their pain alleviated with my analgesic or their infections might get complicated because of my lousy antibiotic…
The solutions, with all honesty and seriousness as I found out, practiced by all medical representatives in Egypt and any country corrupt to the brim goes like this:
1- You buy the drug yourself.
2- You bribe the doctor.
But there’s an option 3 bitch (that’s me talking to my imaginary boss in my head).
“End of final message.” – Panasonic answering machine.