The Chemist Chick with Helen Nichols
True stories from behind the pharmacy counter
I Wasn’t Always A Chemist Chick
Believe it or not, I haven’t always been a Chemist Chick and have tried my hand at other professions. Today I’ll take a look at...
The Chemist Chick S01E10 I Haven't Always Been a Chemist Chick AI Transcript
[00:00:00] Welcome to the chemist check with Helen Nicholas. True stories from behind the pharmacy counter. Hello, potties Hills. Uh, here again today with thought I would tell you about other jobs that I've had apart from pharmacy, you know, in between my chemist gigs. When I landed in Perth or caught up with my, all my Coleen, we've been friends from Sydney since I was 19 years old.
We met up at the Hudson hotel and started celebrating me, arriving to WWI with what else? But Harvey Wallbanger is we celebrated for a couple of weeks. Then I thought it was time to start looking for a job. Usually it was just a matter of doing the rounds and knocking on doors. I've been invited to a party this night.
It was 1978. Tom have great parties. Awesome music, live bands. Good times. I was a very slim, long, long hair legs up to my armpits and an 18 inch Weiss, [00:01:00] 20 year old girl. This lovely man came over to me at the party and we started chatting. He asked me if he got a job yet. No, not yet. I'm having a bit of trouble finding what I want, but, uh, let's face it.
I wasn't looking that hard. I was having way too much fun with Colleen and all our mates at 30. This man was Allister, Norwood, the founder and owner of jeans, waist. He said, come into my office Monday morning and I'll give you a start in one of my stores. So on my skimpy little den and jeans and shorts things.
Um, I worked in the Murray street store. It was a lot of fun for a young girl as we would dance around the shop. 12 favorite tapes, no CDs, yet. He was a good man, very respectful and a pretty cool boss. He deserved all the success he got with Jeanswest. On the corner of Murray street was a little pharmacy.
I would pop in and ask for a job. As I missed being with my other chemist cheeks, my people fashion just wasn't for me. And one day lo and [00:02:00] behold, Tony, the pharmacist said, okay, one of our girls is pregnant and is living in a couple of weeks. He said, every girl I getting hate bloody falls pregnant must be something in the water.
Anyway one afternoon. I said to Tony, I don't feel so good. This was in the days the pharmacist did pregnancy testing. Tony goes on. No, here we go again here, go pay in this Vegemite jar. I'll do a test. Yep. You've got it. I was pregnant with my beautiful son, James, next adventure motherhood. 13 months later, I have my first daughter, Katie, the loves of my life.
That was until down the track. When my other beautiful daughter was born, Nicole things didn't work out with their dad. And sadly I was too young and I was wild. It was too wall to settle down and he is. And was the most wonderful man and a good human. He's always been a great father and he's always played a huge role in their [00:03:00] lives.
But like I said, I was just too wild and just had to keep moving around when the kids are two and three years old, I fly back to Brisbane with my beautiful children, to where my dad is living. And you start and all that. I get a job in a large pharmacy in Brisbane city mall. This was a stunning shop and I was very happy there for a while.
I remember at I perfume had just been launched. It was huge, and I loved it on Christmas Eve. After an exhausting day, the boss shut the shop. Pop the champagne cork and said to all of us girls, my Chrissy present who you are is go pick yourselves, a nice fragrance, whatever you want. I was so excited. I grabbed a hundred more bottle of a nigh.
I was thrilled. There was no way I could afford this myself as it was quite expensive. Then a funny fact, when it was first released, people would mispronounce it and call it. And I call it an Ana anus, anus, us girls would crack up and we called it a bottle of [00:04:00] bum bum. When I said I was happy there, it was for a short time.
As the boss got engaged to one of the girls. Now she was a nine carat gold bitch. But once he put a ring on it, she was a nightmare. So Scion Aras, sweetheart. I signed off on good terms, but wasn't hanging around for the shit show. That was about to start. Sometimes you just gotta know when to fold them. As Kenny Rogers says.
Many of my coworkers over the years, I'm still really good friends with. I've also made lifelong friends out of customers. High cares. We met over the Clarence counter. Then my little Irish mate, Catherine, who came into the shop one day and we are soulmates. I even went to Dublin and we had a pint of Guinness.
She said to me, put your hand in me, holding me, go for a stroll as we skipped around Dublin. And of course another girl I worked with my beautiful friend flew. My best friend for life and beyond love your Flowbee. [00:05:00] Now, back to other jobs I've had in Perth. When I was 25 years old, I was a waitress at the hair and hound Tevin so long gone.
Now I was the worst waitress on the planet, but I look good and tell great jokes. So the customers loved me. I wore a little black mini dress and worked in high heel shoes, more appropriate for a catwalk, not a Tavern. Anyway, I was so bad. I can only carry one plate at a time. All the other girls could carry two or three up their arms.
No, not me. I carry the plate out, holding it with both hands with my tongue, sticking it to the side in deep concentration. So it's not to drop it. Also opening a bottle of wine at the table. I placed the bottle between my legs for traction and pull the cork at with great force. And concentration and my tongue sticking yet as again, because I can clearly think better that way.
My boss calls me aside and says, Helen, you were the worst waitress have ever [00:06:00] seen, but the patrons love you and ask for you. So what am I going to do? I know I'll put you behind the bar. Oh, fuck. If he thought I was a terrible waitress, wait till he sees me as a barmaid. I did love this gig. That was, we were allowed to, I have a couple of drinks while we worked.
The hair in hound was a very popular watering hole in its day. It always played great music. Our panders were from all walks of life, tradies to suits. Now one day, this group of four blokes. Came in clearly young budget, bunch of smart asses. They were giving me a bit of a hard time. And they're saying, you ask her no, no, go on you ask it back and forth.
And I just said, Oh, for God's sake, what is it? They slid a note over the bar to me and said, can you please read this out loud for us? So I started reading slowly out loud. Hi, my name is John. I think you are gorgeous. How's about, we go out somewhere [00:07:00] nice for dinner, have a bite to eat. Then we can have a dance, have a drink and go back to my place.
And fuck as I fold the note in half and slide it back across the bar. I said, sorry, boys. I don't dance. I did a Deb on them. What ended my time at the Heron hound was a female supervisor had, she was a lovely girl. She was seeing this man for a couple of days. She would gush about him and go on. She was here in wedding bells in her head.
Then one day he came into the Tavern and she introduced me. And I knew him from a while back when we were both in relationships. So we were just friends. Then now we were both single and the sparks were flying around the room. She did not like this. One bit. The nail in my coffin was the next day when he sent me a dozen long STEM red roses in a huge way.
Box with a cellophane window. So beautiful. So the end of my job, McInnis chicken with Helen Nichols, true stories [00:08:00] from behind the pharmacy counter, you can subscribe to the podcast at Apple podcasts, Spotify, Google podcasts, and where ever you hear great podcasts. This has been another quality podcast from bitesz.com
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