Saturday, February 14, 2009

Handicapped

I can appreciate the need to accommodate the needs of people with physical limitations, within reason. But, I hate it when people expect things without any explanation, or worse yet, a stupid explanation...
Take the case of a woman who comes to my pharmacy. We have been receiving, from the manufacturers, drugs that come in unit dose packages - you know, those little blister packs that you have to punch each pill out of. A lot of people bitch about those, including me - they take up too much space in the pharmacy, they're a pain for people who don't get their prescriptions in multiples of 30, and they all look the same so if patients have more than one product packaged like that they run the risk of mixing them up. A couple of weeks ago, this woman comes in to pick up her scripts. The cashier hollers across the room to me that this lady wants us to punch out all the tablets into a vial for her. No reason. I say no - if I said yes to every request like that, we would spend half of every day punching tablets out! Seriously - I get at least a dozen requests for that every day! So - I said no, and the lady starts throwing a fit. The cashier sends her over to where I am so I can get yelled at too (share the wealth, I guess). So, the tirade gets launched "You have to punch them out! I'm handicapped! I have NO THUMBS!" She thrusts both hands in my face, and they clearly each have 5 digits... I try to hold back a mouthful of foul language, and in my attempt to cover my frustration with a phony smile, a "give me a fucking break" look comes across my face. Then she threatens to sue me for discrimination...
Now, had she told me she couldn't use her thumbs, or that she had no movement of her thumbs, or even said "my thumbs are un-opposable", I may have reacted differently. But, as each of the 5 patients behind her said to me as they came to the window - SHE HAD THUMBS!
So - if any of you readers have a disability that needs me or any other business you frequent to do something special to accommodate you, listen up.... Don't assume I know your disability by looking at you. Don't communicate your disability in a false way - if you can't walk, say "I can't walk" not "I have no legs". And finally, I can't discriminate against you if I don't know about your handicap - you can't sue me for something I had no knowledge of...
Oh, and from now on, I plan to punch out the tablets for my "thumbless" patient. Maybe I'll do it in front of her, and use my index finger just to piss her off...

6 comments:

Wunderwoman said...

Where did all the handicap people come from? Have you noticed we seem to have more than ever before? And what is going on, when they get out of their vehicle (parked in the handicap spot) and can walk better than I can into the store? Please don't hate me, just asking.......

mensch said...

I suppose that "no thumbs" is the diametric opposite of "all thumbs."

NY pharmacy intern said...

About the only ones the store my pharmacy will punch for patients are the stupid evista packs. I'm 23 and have a hard time getting them open at times. However saying you have no thumbs when you do have them just has a giant red "IDIOT" stamped on your forehead.

Pharmer Mike said...

I'm with you. I'd wait until she shows up EVERY time and make her wait while I punch them out. Then she can be as inconvenienced as you. On another thought, how can she grip a steering wheel to drive without thumbs? Maybe a call to the DMV would be appropriate. I wouldn't want to risk my family. You know, if she needed to swerve but couldn't. (evil grin)

Nathan Lee said...

There are some epeptics who need handicapped spots, and there are some diseases and injuries that can rapidly change the level of disability associated with them. Not every disability is paraplegism, and not every disability causes physical limitations. You simply need to be incapacitated in a way such that chronic or sudden impairments can cause physical harm when exiting a vehicles or approaching a building.

Nathan Lee said...

There are some epeptics who need handicapped spots, and there are some diseases and injuries that can rapidly change the level of disability associated with them. Not every disability is paraplegism, and not every disability causes physical limitations. You simply need to be incapacitated in a way such that chronic or sudden impairments can cause physical harm when exiting a vehicles or approaching a building.