Monday, September 14, 2009

Short and sweet today.

Our answering recording goes something like this:

"Welcome to ___ Pharmacy. Please listen to the following Options.
To hear pharmacy hours, press 1.
To refill a prescription, press 2.
If you are calling from a doctor's office, press 3.
If you need to speak to a pharmacy employee, press 4.
To hear this menu again, press 7."

Every single caller to our phone line hears that part of the message, unless they already know their number or just start hitting keys like a toddler creating a tone poem. So why did I answer this following phone call *3* times today?

"My Pharmacy, my town. Technician Becky speaking. How can I help you?"
"What time does the pharmacy close today?"
"Nine o'clock."
"Oh. Do you have those hours listed anywhere? I shouldn't have to call to find this out."

Dear 3 Idiot Callers;
Debrox is available on the top shelf in the cough and cold aisle, above the eye drops. Use it, or stop wasting both my time and my oxygen.

Please, just pull your lip over your head and swallow,
Becky the (PMSing, Pissed off, Stressed out) Techie

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Today a nurse blew my mind.

Normally in my experience, nurses get the same kind of flack (and consequently lose their patience at the same rate) as pharmacy employees. So today, when a patient of ours had a conniption fit because her refills from 5AM today went to the "tomorrow" queue through our voice mail (meaning they'd be ready for Thursday pick up), I wasn't surprised when she said she as a nurse. It's somewhat common for the people having conniption fits at our counter to be nurses, doctors, P.A.s, or otherwise familiar with the back of the desk in a medical situation. One of the rudest, most insulting and cruel patients I've ever waited on claimed to be a psych ward nurse... and of course, was *not* picking up mood stabilizers for herself, more's the pity.

Any way, as upset as she was, this lady got herself back together, and then, she blew my mind. In my attempt to calm her down and get her out from in front of the registers (because I had to run both, having no help out front for the last 90 minutes of my shift), I explained how the voicemail line rolls over at midnight and that we're short handed thanks to a 44 hr. cut by corporate last week (which delayed her "rush" from the usual 10 minutes to 25). She asked for the customer care number, which I gave her, and before the prescriptions were done, she'd called, gotten a human being (a feat in and of itself)...

And took our side in her complaint. "It's not the employees' fault," she said. "Everyone here is always courteous and polite. They need more help. They can't even breathe back there."

I could have cried tears of joy and relief. And I couldn't thank her enough.

That is a patient that I'm sorry to lose, not because I have any kind of twisted sense of loyalty to the people treating me and my coworkers like Amish buggy horses (run them till they can't work any more, then shoot them and buy new ones), but because I would be glad to bend over backwards to see that she doesn't get the short end of the stick again thanks to our understaffing and late deliveries. She deserves pharmacist and tech loyalty, because she knows how to give it. But I won't have that chance again, regardless of how big the gift card is that corporate will send out, because she's been wronged (against our will) by her own oversight and corporate dictation.

Hard to run the kind of "drug store that cares" when we're treated like we work an assembly line.

Friday, September 4, 2009

A Funny one, sort of.

While ringing out a female patient somewhere between ages 18 and 30 the other day, I highlighted a note from the pharmacist on her bag encouraging her to use a "back up method" if she's taking HBC while on Augmentin.

"Don't even worry about it," she said, handing me her keys for the store loyalty card.

"It's just that the way this is absorbed can affect how your birth control works. We want to help you avoid a surprise pregnancy is all," I said, and gave her a total.

I completely missed the rainbow key chain she still had in her hand. I also completely missed that the girl standing beside her talking on the phone was leaning on her shoulder with a hand in her back pocket until they both sort of chuckled and rolled their eyes at each other.

It took me way to long to realize "don't even worry about it" may have meant that she didn't have a partner capable of impregnating her in the first place.

That's how out of it these past weeks have made me. I don't even know a lesbian couple when they snuggle in front of my counter.