“How was your holidays?” he asked, upbeat and friendly. Sometimes we have pharmaceutical reps bring lunch to the office and tell us about their new drugs. I could write a separate post about the ethics behind this, but I will spare you the details. One thing I will say is that there are so many new drugs (so many drugs, period) out there that I can’t possibly know them all. Having someone (so be it, biased) tell me about one while I’m eating is helpful. Whether it’s a lunch they provide or one I bring on my own matters little to me.
Drug reps are hired to be friendly- they are sales people and want us to prescribe their drugs. This one was representing a menopause drug and since I prescribe only a few of these kinds of drugs a year (most of my gyn patients are under age 40), he gave me his spiel and then he just made small talk.
I took a second to think about what kind of response I wanted- honest? polite? pleasant?
I went with honesty.
“Kind of sad, actually,” I said pleasantly, but without expanding. Why lie?
“Oh, I can imagine,” he responded. “I saw your sign.”
I looked at one of my assistants. “I thought we took those down.” She nodded, confused as I was.
“I saw it last year. I think it’s amazing that you’re back here.” Honestly I think he was also a little amazed that I walked into the lunch room with a general friendly disposition too. He was genuine and kind.
“It was a rough year. But it’s a new year now and I’m hoping this one will be kind to me.” I recited my new standard response.
“Me too. I hope it is for you.”
He was a nice drug rep. The company hired well. I don’t remember the name of his drug, but the food was good.
How do you answer “How was your holidays?”