Tuesday, May 27, 2008

It's not ALL bad...

Lest you think I only deal with stupid people, causing me to hate my job, I thought it would be nice to deviate from my standard stupid people posts and let you know that they're not ALL bad. As a matter of fact, I have some customers that are so wonderful that they make up for many of the stupid, mean ones.
There's "Gramma" - I mentioned once that she looks like my late grandmother, so now, when she calls, she identifies herself as "Gramma" if I answer the phone. She even crocheted a set of potholders for me!
People with cute kids - even though I have no desire to have any of my own, I usually enjoy other people's children. One customer regularly hands her baby across the counter to me. Nothing like a cuddle from a way cute baby to improve my day! And the customer whose kindergartner insisted that mom bring her to the pharmacy on Halloween so she could show me her costume.
The parental types - I have one customer who was ready to whip out his pocket knife to protect me from a particularly belligerent customer. And his wife loves to bring in baked goodies for us. Then there's the two who had a rather loud discussion about which one would get to kiss the bride first just before my wedding (in a fatherly way, of course).
Then, there's the joke tellers. I've got a couple customers who are always good for a dirty joke - and if you blush when they tell them, the next jokes will be even dirtier!
So, if I can have at least one GREAT customer come in every day, it makes up for all the horrible ones. Now I just need to figure out how to schedule them so it works out that way....

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Mean people

I think mean people are just stupid people who think that being mean, rude, and generally nasty somehow hides their stupidity. For example.
The jackass who makes my cashier cry by making some racist comment about her accent. Dude - this is America - we ALL have accents of one kind or another - if you don't like it, stay under the rock you came out from!
The lady who walks up and interrupts my conversation with another customer because she has to know where the Breathe Right strips are RIGHT NOW! (yo, beeyatch, you have one stuck to your nose already - you can wait a second, OK?) Then, she proceeds to call ME rude because I make her wait a second. WTF????
The woman who comes in shortly after our power comes back on (some bozo drove a car into a power pole an hour ago), proceeds to throw a fit because her script's not ready. We tell her that we were in the process of working on it when the power went out, and it got stuck in the system - we're fixing the problem now and it will be about 20 more minutes. She walks over to her companion and proceeds to go off about how all the people working here are stupid because we can't get her stuff ready in time for her to pick up. Let me guess - YOU'RE the idiot who hit the power pole???
Then - saving the best for last - the one who's mean to the wrong person. The gal who's friend was just arrested for altering a prescription for a controlled substance that decides it's a good idea to cuss out the sheriff... Oh yeah that will definitely get the deputy to unlock those cuffs!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Stupid phone calls part 2...

At LEAST 3 times a day I get one of these calls:
Ring ring..
"Thank you for calling my pharmacy, I'm the pharmacist, how can I help you?"
"Hi. I'm calling to see if my prescription is ready. See, 'cause my doctor's office said they would call it in two days ago, but I called yesterday and it wasn't ready, so I called my doctor again, and they said they would call it in this morning, and I'm completely out of it and I'm leaving for vacation tomorrow and I really need it filled today, so could you check to see if my doctor called?"
Dead silence. I wait a bit before responding - some days longer than others, if I feel like testing the moron on the other end of the line. Occasionally, when I wait exceptionally long, the caller will say "Are you still there?" but more often than not, there's silence on the other end as well. I can't bear it any longer...
"I can't check if your prescription's ready if I don't know who you are...."
Note to customers - IDENTIFY YOURSELF!!!!! I'm not a mind-reader....

Friday, May 16, 2008

Teenagers...

'Nuff said. No? You want more? OK.
There's this law that prohibits distribution of controlled substances to minors. Meaning, if you're not over 18, even if the prescription is for you, I can't give you a controlled substance. I am the one who gets punished if I do - something like $10,000 and up to 5 years in jail.
So, there's this young lady (and I use the term lady loosely) who comes in with scripts for some pain reliever (I want to say Vicodin since it's so popular, but it could have been something else), and she's only 16 years old. I tell her we'll fill it, but an adult will have to pick it up for her. She says she is an adult. No, I mean someone over 18. She storms away.
Maybe half an hour later, she shows up (with some pimply-faced punk tagging along) and wants to pick up her drugs. I remind her that an adult has to pick it up. "Why?" "Because it's state law" "That's bullshit - I don't believe you." So, I take the time to go online, print out the page from the pharmacy law book that contains the law, and show it to her. It uses the term "minor".... "I'm not a minor" "Yes, you are - you're not 18 yet" "I'm not a minor, though" I think a bit and say "Well, if you're an emancipated minor, bring me a copy of your legal papers so I can document it, and I'll give you your script" "But the stuff is for ME!" "I realize that - but I get in trouble if I give it to you because you're not 18. I don't know you, and even if I did, I don't like you enough to go to jail for you." And this is where it gets good.... "But I AM an adult because I have a baby!"
I could have said so much - but exercised remarkably good self control - things like... No, having a baby at 16 doesn't mean you're an adult, it just means you're easy....
Instead, I just shook my head, looked at her punk boyfriend (I assumed he was the babydaddy...) and asked if he was 18. "Yes." I look back at teen mom and say "He can pick up the meds for you if he shows me ID - but you can't - having a baby is not in the legal definition of adult"
And the best part of this whole stupid teenager story??? She came back a week later for another script, and we went through the WHOLE THING AGAIN!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Nurses....

So often, when a patient refuses to allow me to counsel them regarding a new prescription, I hear "I'm an RN" as the reason they don't need/want drug information. Every single time, I get flashbacks of all the dumb nurses I have ever encountered, like....
When I worked in an emergency room, I overheard a nurse going over discharge instructions with a patient in the next bay (cubicle? - whatever you call the area of the room divided by curtains). "This prescription is for ibuprofen - it's your muscle relaxant" I challenge any of you to find that description on the label of your Advil or Motrin IB bottle. Leave the drug info to the professionals, ma'am....
When I was a patient in an emergency room, I had a nurse tell me that I had to have two separate injections because the drugs weren't compatible in one syringe. When I informed her that the products are commercially available premixed in one syringe, she actually argued with me (after I told her I was a pharmacist). Needless to say, I'll never go to that ER again, at least not while I'm conscious!
At least once a day at work, I'll listen to a voice mail from a nurse who missed her calling as an auctioneer. When prescriptions are left on voice mail, we must write the info down as we listen. It never fails - there's at least one nurse that makes me rewind the voice mail half a dozen times, only to have to call the office because I can't get the information correct. Then, when I say that the reason that I'm calling is because she was speaking too fast on the voice mail, all I get is a giggle...
And then, there are the voice mail prescriptions that can't be figured out because the nurse leaves out vital info - like the patient's name, the drug name, the doctors name (or the spelling of it - like I would be able to guess the spelling of a 10-letter name that only has one vowel?), or even worse - the office phone number so I can call back to get the information Ms. Bonehead left out.
And the worst - the ones that are so dumb that they don't realize what they've said or done is dumb and get all pissy when I try to clarify... "No, I didn't get that fax" "I KNOW I sent it!" Well, you must be right then, because I LOVE taking the time out of my totally boring day to call and argue with you over something that's in my hand right now - I'm just having fun making you yell at me.....

Monday, May 12, 2008

Doctors are human, too.....

Which means there are plenty of stupid ones!
I know, most people think their doctors are the most intelligent, god-like creatures on the planet. But I know the truth. Don't get me wrong, there are good, even great, doctors out there - I know some personally. But then, there are the idiots, the ones who...
Write prescriptions for drug strengths that don't exist. And the patients who argue that the doctor is right are just as stupid. "You can have your metformin in 500, 750, 850, or 1000mg - but not 875 - I'll call the doctor" "But the doctor said I HAVE to have that amount!" "Well, it dosn't exist" "Yes it does - the doctor said so!" Oh right - it does exist - let me pull it outa my ass real quick for ya....
Write prescriptions for drugs that haven't been manufactured in years. Suprax tablets? Yeah, I remember them. Drug of choice to treat clap. They stopped making them about 7 years ago. Doc? You may want to actually ATTEND a continuing education class at the next conference rather than playing golf....
Write directions that are impossible to follow. No, you can't cut a capsule in half. I recall walking into my mother's kitchen a number of years ago, only to witness her attempt at cutting a capsule. Before I could get "Don't do that" out of my mouth, the powder from inside the capsule was all over the kitchen. "Why did you do that, mom?" "Well, the doctor said if I freeze it first, I can cut the capsule in half." Note to doctors - if you freeze powder, all you get is cold powder.
Refuse to follow the law when writing prescriptions. There's all kinds of laws regarding prescriptions. So many, that I probably don't even know them. But, a few are so basic and clear, even the dumbest doctor should be able to get it right. Wrong. No cursive handwriting - stupid, waste-of-my-time law, but with good intentions - to get the doctors to write legibly. Some doctors have better cursive than they do printing, some have totally bad writing no matter what. But when I call, tell them the law, ask to clarify the prescription, and get "That IS my printing", I want to ask for their third grade teacher's name so I can chew her out! The DEA# has to be on the prescription for a controlled substance. Pretty basic - but when I call to ask for the number, the office refuses to give it out over the phone - then we have to fax. I point out that it should have been on the script in the first place, and get "I never write it on prescriptions for security reasons - you should have it on file" Doc? If you don't want to write out your DEA#, then stop writing for Vicodin....


Next up, dumb nurses....

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Sidelined by an injury

Sorry for not posting anything entertaining lately, but I've been suffering with shoulder pain for the past week or so.
As it turns out, this injury has provided me with a little bit of inspiration for this blog!
First - the correct way to inquire about a person's injury. You can ask me "What happened to your shoulder?" or something to that effect, but if you say "Did you do something to your shoulder?" I may just flippantly reply that I'm wearing a sling because I LIKE trying to open prescription vials with one hand!
Second - what's up with doctors? I tell the guy that my shoulder hurts, and the note he gives me to get me out of work for a couple of days says that I strained my NECK. Then, after the meds he gives me for my strained neck don't help my shoulder, and I go back to the office, he and the nurses all look at me like I'm a drug-crazed freak. So tempted to shake my keys at them and say "These unlock the pharmacy - if I wanted drugs illegally, I have the means..."
Finally found a doc with a brain, pain is improving, life may just get better soon.....