Saturday, October 18, 2008

Anybody have a tow truck? Or a bulldozer?

I already knew tonight was going to be a long night. Saturday nights at my store are always crazy, and I had an extremely slow pharmacist working with me.

A patient pulls up in the drive thru....
"I have a prescription for Mr. Centeroftheuniverse."
I search for the prescription and find nothing.
"I don't have anything ready for you. Did the doctor's office send something recently?" (we have several urgent cares by our store and most of them use a computer system that faxes us the prescription - it's a useless system because the patient almost always pulls in at about the same time and the RX spits out of the fax machine)
"Yeah, my doctor's office sent it to that other store, but that bitch over there wouldn't fill it for me." (said store had just closed)
I ignore the comments referring to my colleague as a bitch, find the prescription in the computer, and "pull" it over so we can fill it.
"Okay, we can have that ready in about 15 minutes. When would you like to stop back for it?"
"I'll just wait."
"Okay, there are some parking spaces to your right."
"No! I'm going to wait right here!"
"I'm sorry. I have to keep both lanes open. You can wait to the right."
"NO! I'm staying right here!"
Mr. Centeroftheuniverse and I go back and forth a few times and the manager finally goes out there and convinces him to move (meanwhile there are two more cars behind him).

I'm sure he'll send in a complaint through corporate.

Does this only happen at my store? How do you get these people to move? Inside the store I can almost always get them to move, but short of calling a tow truck, I don't know how to get them to move in the drive thru. It's not going to take any less time if they sit there and it's only going to leave me with a whole line full of pissed off patients rather than just one if I let the line pile up behind them. I know most people would just say "Fill it ASAP and get him out of there" but I really don't think letting patients bully you into doing something is a good precedent. Plus, the pharmacist I was working with has one speed: slower than molasses. So there's no way she would have had it ready in less than 15 minutes. Aargh.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Enforcing Manners

Where has common courtesy gone? I bet I only get a thank you out of about 75% of my patients. I say thank you to EVERYONE at the end of a transaction. The other 25% either stare blankly at me or just walk or drive off. How hard it is to say "Thank you" or "You're welcome." And I don't know how many times I don't even get a chance to say "Hi, How can I help you?" before the person barks "Jones!" at me.

Perhaps, it's the fact that I was a teacher in a past life, but I feel like an enforcer of manners sometimes.
"I'll be with you as soon as I'm done here."
"Please join the line."
"I'll let you finish your conversation."
"Would you mind placing those items over here so I can reach them."
"For privacy, would you please step back a couple of feet."
"For privacy, you cannot wait here at the counter."
"Please do not touch that." (typically to little kids, though I had an adult reach over and grab a stapler lying on the counter the other day and I did say that. The customer wasn't very happy, but really, why would you pick up our stapler?)

Also, if someone holds out their hand to take something from you, the proper thing to do is to place it in their hand not to throw it on the counter.

It's too bad I can't say "What's the magic word?" though I have come awfully close a few times.

Shouldn't these things be common courtesy? Why do people have to be reminded to wait their turn and hang up their cell phones. Have we really gotten to the point in society where manners are no longer important. I've said it before, and I'll say it again, I'm willing to do a lot more for a person who is nice to me than for someone who barks at me, never says please, and is generally a rude pain in the butt.

Friday, September 26, 2008

What part of NO don't you understand?

Let me just say that pharmacy school sucks the life right out of you. I haven't posted anything lately because I've been so busy with the start of school. As much as I hate to wish my life away, it sure would be nice to fast forward it a bit. Between I either spend my time getting to school, sitting at school, working on stuff for school, or at work.

Anyways, back to work. I'm tired of dealing with patients who think that arguing with me when I've already said no is going to change my mind. I am not your wishy washy mommy who caved when you threw a tantrum. You cannot fax us a prescription unless you are a doctor's office. That is the law in this state (and everywhere I think). No it does not matter if you just want me to bill your insurance (which I cannot do without filling the prescription). No it does not matter if you are leaving town and don't want to wait. No it does not matter if you called another pharmacy and they told you you could (and why don't you just go there? though I would like to know what pharmacy is telling patients to fax their new prescriptions over). No, it does not matter if you have your wife call back and ask the same question. We MUST have the paper hard copy before we can fill the prescription.

The same thing goes for the people trying to get their Vicodin fills early. I don't care if you're "leaving town" or if the pills "got lost." I don't believe you anyway.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Oh, my insurance didn't cover that?

I kind of love it when someone is standing in front of me complaining about their copay and it turns out that their insurance has saved them a ton of money.

Your total is $35, please.

Oh, I have insurance./Oh, my insurance doesn't cover that?

Yes, they covered it. They saved you $179.82.

Oh. (person shuts up and pays for medication)

Why is it that NO ONE reads the information given to them by their insurance company? If they did, they'd know already that their copay for non formulary drugs is $35/$50/$60/whatever. Instead, I get to hear about how they paid $10 for the last thing they got and isn't everything $10.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Patience is a virtue

A virtue that most patients don't have.

Recently, I was counseling a patient on his medication when he asked a question that I wasn't sure the answer to. I beckoned the pharmacist over and we had a nice discussion with both the patient and I learning a lot. Towards the end of the conversation, both the pharmacists and I noticed this guy pacing around and glaring at us. As the first guy walked off, this guy came storming up and sneered "I'm sure that guy is just fascinating, but is my prescription done yet?" I told him we were still working on it. Less than 5 minutes later, we had it ready and the guy went off on both the pharmacist and me. "You guys have to learn how to manage your time and cut off people like that. This is what they call allocating your time. I'm sure he's a fascinating guy, but I've been waiting." The pharmacist responded that we are here to educate people and that unlike their doctors we will give them the time of day and answer their questions. Of course, I made sure to mention that if he had called in his refill ahead of time, it would have been ready when he got there.

Then, we have the people who have their finger on the drive through button before the car starts moving and the ones who walk up to the counter and scream "Hello, I'm here for ____" when they can clearly see that everyone is occupied.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Quote of the week

Tech: Hey RPh, there's a call on hold for you.
RPh (picking up phone): Thank you for holding. This is RPh, how can I hold you today?

I'm not a personal shopper

Why is it that people think we're going to go out into the store and get items for them while they sit in their cars in the drive thru? The person who thought putting drive thrus in pharmacies was a great idea should already be smacked and forced to man a drive thru for 7 days straight. It's bad enough dealing with the crackling speakers and customers who see the glass as a window of invincibility that allows them to be even ruder to us than they would if standing next to us, but the people who want us to shop for them really drive me nuts.

It's not that I have no sympathy for people who have sick kids or limited mobility. If you ask me to grab an OTC med when you DROP OFF your prescription, I'll grab it, particularly if it's for a sick child or you have crutches in your car. If you ask when you drop it off, it means that the line won't be held up and I can sneak out when I have a second. If it's not medicine or a medical supply, forget about it. If it's anywhere aside from the aisle right outside the pharmacy door, forget about it. If it's going to hold up the line, forget about it. If you're a demanding jerk who can't even ask, but instead demands, forget about it. Saying "I need you to get me XYZ" is not going to get you anywhere. Saying, "Can you do me a huge favor and grab me a package of Tylenol" might get you somewhere.

I can understand why a sick person might ask us to grab some Tylenol when they drop of their script, but my coworkers and I have been asked to get:
Chips & nacho cheese dip
Pop/Gatorade/bottled water (One guy even asked for a 12 pack of pop, but gave up pretty easily when I asked him how I was going to get it out there)
Milk
Hair dye
Tampons
Toilet paper
Lotion
Nicotine patches
Lice shampoo
Batteries

Today, I guy I was counseling in the drive thru asked about an OTC interaction. I told him not to take it with his RX, but confirmed that another product was okay. Rather than saying, "Okay, thanks," he says, "I guess you better get me some of that." Um, excuse me? There were no less than 3 cars in the drive thru at the time and only 3 of us total in the pharmacy.
Me: Okay, it's inside the store. Are you going to be coming in to get some?
Him: I can't get it here?
Me: The drive thru is for prescriptions.
Him: I don't want to come inside. It doesn't seem like it should be that hard. I guess I'll have to come in. Huff.
Me: Okay. Have a nice day!
If the guy had had some manners and said, "Is there anyway you could grab me a box of that, please" then he probably would have gotten if, but if you're a rude, demanding jerk, you can bring your lazy behind in and pick it up yourself.

Anyone have any good ways to politely let these people know that you aren't going to do their shopping? I usually say "the drive through is for prescriptions," but they still try to argue with me.