Thursday, April 24, 2008

Stupid phone calls

I probably deal with as many stupid people on the phone as I do in person, but two calls in my entire career stand out as the worst (best?).
I'll start with number two. It falls under the "Just because you know my name" category.
My name is on a sign on the wall outside the pharmacy, plaques on the wall inside, my nametag, business cards, etc... This invites a lot of idiots who think that just because they know my name that I have to be the one they talk to. For everything. And I do mean everything. My techs are getting pretty good at screening these calls for me, but occasionally one slips through. This one started out "Hi, Mrs Pharmacist, this is Jane. I'm calling beacuse I need to get a blender and I...." I stopped listening at that point. Hello? Why on earth would you call your pharmacist about a blender???
The all-time stupidest (is that even a word? Well, it is now - I like to coin my own now and then) call - actually, multiple calls from the same bonehead - was many years ago when I worked in a hospital. I was on the night shift, and a man called and asked for the pharmacist. I said "Speaking. How can I help you?" He says "No, I want the male pharmacist." I was the only pharmacist there, and told him such. He proceeded to go on and on about how many female pharmacists there were and asked me why that was. "I don't know. How can I help you?" Then the call got really weird - "Well, there are still more male pilots than female pilots, aren't there?" I decided that the call was stopping there, and told him I was hanging up unless he had a pharmacy question - he hung up first. But then, persistent little idiot that he was, continued to call back and give me the same speech every hour or so. After four or five of these calls (getting shorter and shorter - I started to recognize his voice and would just hang up) - he had to get the last word in. Phone rings. I answer. All I hear is a man screaming at the top of his lungs "More men pharmacists!" and a click.
Okey dokey. Now we've established that there is stupid, and then there's just plain crazy...

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

They don't teach that in pharmacy school...

I'd say, in general, that pharmacists are a pretty intelligent group. But, there are some things we don't know (and I for one, freely admit to what I don't know). Stuff that they didn't teach us in pharmacy school. Veterinary medicine is one of these things.
I know of some pretty good websites for info, and just as a pet owner (four lovely four-legged "fur kids") there are things I have learned from my own vet. But it never ceases to amaze me when a customer gets all pissy because I can't tell them how to treat their animal and refer them to a vet instead.
Yesterday, a man comes up and asks what to give his dog for diarrhea. Well, there can be many causes of diarrhea in dogs (just as in humans), and since animals metabolize drugs differently than people, I suggest to him to see his vet for evaluation and treatment. He yells at me about how he refuses to pay 150 bucks to treat a case of diarrhea. Then he goes to the section with the diarrhea meds (I like to call it the butt and gut aisle) and spends about 15 minutes looking at stuff, picks a product and leaves.
Even though I am a real animal lover - did I already mention my own 4 pets?- I halfway hoped he had picked something that would kill his poor little pooch just to put the thing out of the misery of having an idiot owner.
Note to customers - If the pharmacist says they don't know, and refers you to a doctor or vet, don't be an idiot and just decide on your own what to do!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Sorry, we don't stock that in the pharmacy....

Unless you go to a small, mom-and-pop type of pharmacy, chances are, the pharmacy staff has no control over what merchandise is carried in other departments of the store. That doesn't stop the stupid from blaming us for it though....
A while back, one of my regular customers was picking up her scripts, and decided I was to blame because she couldn't find the pasta. She's normally a rather pleasant lady, but this hidden pasta had her in a rage! I politely explained that much of the food section had been recently moved around, so I couldn't tell her exactly which aisle, but surely, it was over there. She continued to holler at me, so I finally said "I wish I could help you, but we've never stocked pasta in the pharmacy." Now completely red in the face, she screamed "What am I supposed to do?!" I put the most serious look on my face that I could manage and looked her square in the eye and said "Eat rice."
Another customer came to the pharmacy and yelled at me about the store no longer carrying the right brand of yarn. I told her it wasn't my department, but she could express her concerns to customer service or to the manager of the department. She said "I already did - I just wanted you to know that this is making me move my prescriptions to another pharmacy because YOU stopped carrying my yarn!" Fine. But the last time I checked, the local yarn store didn't have a pharmacy.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Does it LOOK like we're open?

Webster's dictionary defines "closed" as "not open". I see many, many customers who need to buy a dictionary....
Most pharmacists that I know arrive at work about half an hour before opening for the day. We run reports, listen to voicemail, fill prescriptions that have been called into the automated refill system during the night - things to prepare for the day.
Not a day goes by where I don't have at least one person come to my pharmacy before business hours and ask if we're open yet. Let's see... Door's closed, gate's closed, lights are off - does it LOOK like we're open?
The ultimate stupid person shouts to me through the closed gate - "Are you open?" I say, "No - we open at 9" Dummy shouts again (gate has holes in it - no need to shout, really) "Can I drop off my prescription anyway?" Again, "No - we open at 9" More shouting - "How about if I just shove it under the door?" I'm starting to feel like a recording - "No - we open at 9" Mr. Brilliant tries again - "What if I go through the drive-through?" I don't want to say it again, but I do - "No - we open at 9" He tries one last time - "What if I fold it up and stick it through the hole in the gate?" I'm getting fed up - "I'm not going to say it again - NO - we open at 9" One last shout from him - "Well, you don't have to be a bitch about it!"
Well, I may be a bitch, but at least I'm not stupid....

Thursday, April 17, 2008

I've been inspired!

After reading the blog of my "friendly neighborhood pharmacist" (fillmysubscription.blogspot.com) I was inspired to create a spin off. I, too, am a pharmacist with many hilarious tales from behind the counter.

However, I decided to focus mainly on the stupid people I encounter every day. I'm not talking about the average Joe who does or says something they later regret - we've all thought to ourselves "Wow that was dumb, I can't believe I did that!"
I'm talking about the REALLY dumb ones that leave me shaking my head, wondering how they even found their way to the pharmacy in the first place!

So, stay tuned, I'm sure you'll be shaking your head, too....