[I wrote this post on December 12, 2011 and for some reason it never got published. Well, I'm publishing it now!]
Over a month ago, Jim Plagakis, a.k.a. JP a.k.a. JP at Large posted on his website, a call for me to release my name / information out to the web, and "Join the revolution with both feet." He preceded that by listing a number of the other blogs/sites out there that many of you read/check on a daily basis. I myself check all the various sites at least weekly or bi-monthly.
He points back to the first meeting of The Pharmacy Alliance (TPA) held in Galveston. He says that I wrote every morning about the event [IN DETAIL], and the information I posted could have only come from someone at that meeting -- and therefore in that photo.
Bad news, fella. I wasn't there. I'm not in that photo. I've never even been to Galveston. As far as posting about the events of the meeting, I don't remember that either. I've racked my brains, scoured my old posts (even the virus filled version 1 site from the original iteration of TheAngriestPharmacist.com), and even asked a friend to search around for me. This produced very little.
I have posted about TPA several times -- as a category and tag -- I even referenced in a post that I was, at the time maintaining the website for JP. It was wordpress, same as this site, so I cleaned it up, added some plugins, inserted some logos, and helped where I could. While I still "technically" have access, I have not touched the site in years. But, I really don't think I posted about the events in detail.
This website is "version 2.0" and several posts were lost due to that virus, some were deleted, and others were time-relevant when posted and therefore stupid to re-publish as I ported over. Maybe these posts you speak of were in there, regardless, I don't remember posting about your meetings.
I did make a donation at time point. I did receive a pamphlet / booklet sent to me with a bunch of stories and information in it -- that JP himself typed up. I may have posted about it -- but not in depth as I can't remember much about it.
Now to the meat and potatoes of what you want and what you would like. You suggest that, because all of these other bloggers are public, and therefore assume they therefore have not had any ill repercussions, I should be logical and step forward. But I ask you to weigh that which *I* have to gain, and that which *I* have to lose.
First you must understand that I'm not writing fun, cutesy anecdotes like what we find in Drug Topics when we turn to JP at Large. The content of my posts, and those at which I point the finger, is not always in a very good light. In the past, I was even worse -- I like to think that I'm a bit calmer these days. At least, I don't completely go after and destroy people as I had done in the past. I talked to and treated people much worse. While I'm still not cordial, I'm happy enough with my tone. Yet, it's still not something I'd want my boss to read. And I certainly don't want to be in a position where I'm seeking future employment only to be faced with printouts of my posts, questions of my content, or other types of allegations regarding these posts. Much as emails never die -- I don't want hasty posts written in my 20's to damage by 40's.
Another reason that I wish to stay anonymous rests in some of the other content of the site. I have stories galore -- about patients. Of course I changed names, sexes, and sometimes much more -- to keep the original theme there, but if a patient stumbled on to this site, saw my real name/picture, read a story and recognized it as being a conversation we had, and became upset at the way I posted or responded to the inquiry, I'd be in a heap of trouble. HIPAA Violations. Potential Lawsuits. Public Embarrassment from receiving the previous two.
I also wish to stay in the shadows because people are freaking crazy these days. If your name is on the internet, your facebook address is findable. If your facebook is found, your photos are usually accessible (Zuckerberg's private photos just got found and shared). If your photos are found, your family's photos are available to the same lunatics. Then your address and phone number aren't far behind. Why would I want to even open myself up to that chance? I see that JP has, even recently, posted his address on his website. What's to keep someone from showing up there? What would keep a really crazy person in love with Jodie Foster showing up and shooting you in the shoulder? :-)
Obviously, you and I have completely different circumstances. I'm not yet 30. You started your blog when you were much later in your career (yet I know you wrote for years and years -- I've got the books). Over a great number of years, you have grown your site into a very respected blog, a monthly column in Drug Topics (a magazine I would LOVE to write for monthly as 'TAestP' but they would never let me! I asked Margaret way back when who really considered me. I contact Julianne some time ago as well, and she told me to send in stories -- yet they will not be published even on the DT Blog, much less in an issue), several successful books, and one that holds pretty big following! Meanwhile, In a few short years (My first post ever was 02-05-2007), I have grown a respectable amount of viewers, 1500 followers on twitter, nearly 1500+ facebook followers, and I was scientifically proven to be, "The most vitriolic pharmacy blogger of all time" in an article published in the American Journal of Health System Pharmacy. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21098377) [Based on the number of swears, content of posts, technorati rating, and some other things I'm sure]
Finally, and in my opinion most importantly, if I were to announce my true self to the world, no one would give a shit what I have to say. I really think that, if people would come to this site and read the posts, they'd say to themselves, "Screw this guy -- he's just some whiny little bitch that works at a Rite-Aid in Texarkana or a Wal-mart in Altanta. As The*Angriest*Pharmacist, I'd like to believe that I can have a much larger reach -- a wider influence. My opinion will actually be heard and maybe even taken into account. If it were just me -- going by my real name + nickname -- I really think my daily number of hits and views would drop dramatically. Yet, at the same time, I think the reverse may be true. I can at least humor the other side...While I may, as TheAngriestPharmacist, be heard by more people, as an anonymous voice, I may not be considered as reputable. Voices without a face and letters without a signature are sometimes (hell, usually!) taken as invalid -- the old argument of "sign your name if you're proud of what you say..."
But..I am proud of this site. I'm proud of what I have to say. I'm proud of the things I've said and accomplished in the past. [I've removed hopefully all of the posts of which I'm not proud] I'm proud that I've grown this site from a site that had zero traffic to a sizeable readership tho not near the size of some others. I'm proud that I grew beyond TheAngryPharmacist's jabs at me -- to the point that we actually get along and discussed another joint venture (I outgrew responding to the jabs -- I'll never outgrow receiving them, as there are certain readers that will never grow beyond that simple isolated thought.)
At this point in my life (as I said, I'm not even 30 years old yet), I think I'd rather be widely heard anonymously and risk not being considered as valid than share my opinion as a unimportant, named public figure and not be considered relevant or important. I'm happy with the way things are.
BTW, I'm not alluding myself that I'm ACTUALLY anonymous. I know for a fact that if you wanted to know bad enough, you could find my information. You could find out who I was. Hell, it was accidentally posted publicly for several weeks a number of years ago before someone told me and I was able to take it down. I have protected against this from happening in the future -- mainly with added security. I also have an additional trusted admin that will take care of anything and everything for me -- on this site or all my social networking sites. For instance, if I were to die suddenly, he will post information about that on this site. That way, you can mourn the loss of ME! :-D He also knows to take the site down if anything goes negatively viral or something crazy happens while I am not available to shut it down or address it myself. He has all passwords, God-Mode Access, and most importantly, my trust.
I've got a new T-Shirt in honor this very post:
Who is The Angriest Pharmacist? WHO CARES. HE SUCKS!
I'm tired of randos coming to my website and submitting bullshit comments to various posts. I've got better things to do than delete 3-5 comments per day calling me an asshole, a meany head, or questioning my professionalism/ethics (and then banning the user)...as if you reading a vague story about a drug seeker / drug shopper compromises THEIR privacy. As if ANYONE reading these stories can find out what state I'm even in -- much less a patient's name. That's just not possible. Considering that I'm not a complete idiot, I change facts, details, and other things to keep the backbone of the story without making it so obvious as to the subject and subject matter. The person fingered in the story wouldn't even know they are the subject matter in 9 of 10 posts.
I get talked to like I'm a piece of shit all day. I'll be damned if I'm gonna come home and take e-shit from some nameless fuck over the internet (I do realize the hypocrisy of using the term 'nameless fuck' as I am one). But, what I mean is, people stumble upon this site and give me shit -- non-pharmacists, non-healthcare workers, nobodys. I'm not that bad. I'm not a horrible person. Some of this is a joke. It's an act. It's a persona in some ways.
I do (or envision and reimagine) the things that you want to do but can't. A favorite comment from these nameless fucks is that I would/should be fired in their business for doing X or saying Y. Who are they to judge me or question what I do.
I can't fully express how much this pisses me off. Nor can I adequately express how some of these hatred and anger is misplaced. I'm not a bad guy. I'm not an unethical dick. 'You' just don't like THAT post.
Now, don't get me wrong -- I'm not deleting these comments because they person questions my judgment or doesn't like what I did. I can handle a dissenting opinion. That's not the issue. I would be FINE with that. But, I've yet to have a dissenting opinion posed in a professional manner worthy of being posts. For instance, in response to, "Unfortunately, this is a true story" I got the following comment:
"This was written in a humorous way I’ll give you that.. Guy sure was stupid LOL!! I would fire you ASAP but I suspect you probably own or manage the pharmacy in the story, which is even more repulsive. You sir sicken me, and should be ashamed of your profession."
Now, do you see how that has no point? That serves no purpose other than to push me down (as well as the profession of pharmacy. Now, I can accept that this situation could have been handled a different way. But, unless you present a clear and concise rebuttal without resorting to belittling me or our pharmacy, I don't give a fuck what you have to say. Now, you don't have to be a kissass, but you can bring about a different POV without being a prick. Here's what you could say:
"While I agree that was frustrating, you handled it dead wrong. You're a pharmacist and obviously have some education. Not everyone in the world is a smart as you. Some people need things spelled out to them. Some people have learning disabilities. Did you ever things of that? Did you do what they taught you in school and ask him to show you how he will use the inhaler after you educated him? Oh, I forgot, you barely did educate him. This situation is nothing but a failure of a pharmacist to counsel a patient effectively.
See how that works? With a little cunning, you can tell me I'm wrong, pose your opinion, maybe even take a jab at me, have your comment posted, and not get permanently banned from my site WITHOUT BEING A SNIVELING PRICK. I'm not saying you can't swear. I'm not saying you can't question me or what I did. Just don't be a jerk. Don't attack me -- unless it is REALLY fucking funny and REALLY fucking good.
So, how do I remedy this? I thought about deleting all comments and blocking all future comments/discussion, but I value that input from fellow pharmacists and technicians. Instead, I've decided to require registration. That means that initial registration will require a name, verified email address, and maybe some other information as I see fit (such as an acceptance of terms of service). Then you can post comments on the site. After a certain number of approved comments, you will get the ability to post comments that skip my moderation -- after earning trust so to speak.
We'll see how this goes for a while. Maybe a little bothersome registration will prevent assholes from doing what they do best.
Here's where you can find me. Post a comment if there's any other of these social networking sites or services that I should look in to. I want to be as connected as possible...
http://www.twitter.com/TAestP -- Official TWITTER of myself and the website. If you are not already following me, YOU SHOULD BE. Thoughts and jokes are submitted almost hourly. Once I get home and get to drinking, updates become much more liberal. For instance, I submitted 9 updates tonight insulting all aspects of Toddlers and Tiaras...:-)
http://www.cafepress.com/TheAngriestPharmacist -- New kid on the block. In the past, I created funny, witty, and/or pithy t-shirts on another side. This allows me to do the same thing on a massive level. Instead of creating, for instance, a plain-old man's t-shirt, yellow organic T, or a ringer t-shirt, I can now take the same design and create every single type of shirt (male, female, long/shirt, ringer, etc) all at one time.
http://www.zazzle.com/TheAngriestPharm -- The old merchandise store. While the store was successful, I'm simply not happy with the functionality of the site. It won't even open in firefox (all I get is the full source code) and in IE, the administrative portion of the site doesn't function properly. I'm slowly but surely moving the designs to CafePress, but not all designs are going to make the trek. I'll, of course, keep the zazzle store running, but it won't be maintained.
http://www.facebook.com/TAestP -- Profile of TAestP (Angri Est Pharmacist -- for some reason it won't allow a first name of THE or ANGRIEST), texted updates/musings daily. This is a good way to share funny shit with me.
http://www.facebook.com/TheAngriestPharmacist -- Official Page of this website. Updated when there's a new post. Often updated with stupid shirts I make to amuse myself.
http://www.stumbleupon.com/stumbler/TAestP/ -- My SU profile if you want to see how I amuse myself every evening...
http://bit.ly/gp2wTh -- My Bit.Ly URL. Use this as a shortened version of my website.
http://digg.com/angriestpharm -- My DIGG Profile. If you don't digg this site, I will haunt your dreams!