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Friday, September 30, 2016

Things You Don't Want to Hear From Patients During Shots

1. (moans)
2. Deeper!
3. Is it in yet?
4. It's smaller than I thought.
5. Awwwww.
6. Can I touch it?
7. Get that thing away from me.
8. Where are you going to stick that?
9. I didn't know they came in different sizes.
10. Yes! Yes! Yes!
11. My last pharmacist had a bigger needle.
12. Again!
13. Let's cuddle!
14. Of course I'll call you.
15. Just the tip, right?
16. Well that was quick.


Thursday, September 22, 2016

How To Succeed With Corporate Without Really Trying

If you want to get noticed, if you want to get recognised, if you want to be successful, remember this: do the opposite. When you read about why people leave jobs they love, one of the reasons is lack of recognition. Awards go to the Most Improved, NOT the Most Consistent. If you do your job, and do it well, you are not the type of employee corporate values. If you suck at your job then respond with marked improvement, you are a valuable asset, worthy of recognition and promotion. Seems a little backwards, eh?

Here is what I propose. Suck at your job. (Bear with me here.) 
When a new metric is introduced, suck at it. Do the worst. Strive for sub-mediocrity. Learn how to achieve the goals, but also how to NOT meet them. This will allow you to hit them harder and faster than everyone else. When the time is right, and the same few stores have excelled at hitting their targets, step in and not only meet but exceed your goals. You will receive all the praise and glory while your colleagues will be asking themselves "WTF did I do wrong here?" when they get nothing for doing their job correctly. 

It seems to have worked for a lot of colleagues and DMs I have met over my career.

Suck at your job. Just not at everything all at once. You don't want to become a DM...Then you'd be forced to host those weekly conference calls instead of blocking them out on the speakerphone.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Why Words Are Important

We all know that there are people out there for whom we need to spell out everything. This is especially true in pharmacy with regards to our labels. Hence, we have the following:
"Unwrap then insert" on suppositories.
"Uncap then inhale" on metered dose inhalers.
"Take by mouth" on liquid antibiotics for patients with ear infections.

The following conversation may or may not have actually occurred:
CP: How may I help you?
Dumb Old Guy: You filled a prescription for my dog and I don't think it's working.
CP: Okay. What seems to be the problem? Are you giving it to her according to the directions?
DOG: Well, there's the problem. It says "TAKE ONE..." on the label so I took them. I wondered how she would get better with me taking them, but that's what it said.
CP: Do you have kids?
DOG: No. Just me and my Rottweiler, Fluffy.
CP: Well that's good news. Let's keep it that way, shall we? You do have a refill on here. Let me get that ready for you and I'll make sure the label instructs you to "GIVE" it to Fluffy.
DOG: Thanks, doc.

Friday, September 16, 2016

A Little Knowledge is a Bad Thing

Today's cast will include: CP, L'Intern D'Grande, A Supplicating Student, His GF, and a Dog.
Location: a pharmacy located near an institution of higher learning.

Some days I like to torture myself by getting out of my normal stores and visiting folks across the tracks. Okay, I like getting paid for OT, but I still am selective about where I work. On this day, I traveled almost an hour away to visit a college town pharmacy where my old intern had transferred. We had volleyed quite a bit of the usual banter back and forth like old times when the story of the day unfolded right before our eyes. We were in mild disbelief as we listened to the story.

LIDG: How may I help you?
ASS: My GF is visiting from out of town.
LIDG: Good for you. Not sure how you want me to help with that, but I get off work at 10 if you want to send her over.
ASS: Um...No. She left her antibiotics at home.
LIDG: Then definitely don't send her over.
ASS: Anyway, she lives a couple hours away and will have to go the weekend without them.
LIDG: Okay. And...?
ASS: Can't you give her a few to get her through the weekend?
LIDG: No. Unless...
ASS: Yes?
LIDG: ...unless you have a new prescription for them?
ASS: No.
LIDG: Then no.
ASS: So you're going to make her go all weekend without them?
LIDG: No. It kinda sounds like you are though.
ASS: "You realise you're responsible for promoting antibiotic resistance in her now, right?"
LIDG: Uh...No. She lives 2 hours away. It's Friday night. Drive there tomorrow. Drive back tomorrow. Problem solved. You should probably pick up her birth control while you're there.
ASS: She remembered that.
LIDG: Of course she did. Quick question before you sulk away.
ASS: What?
LIDG: What are you studying?
ASS: "I'm a 3rd year Med Student."
LIDG: Well that certainly explains everything. Remember to sign up for the class on how pharmacies and prescriptions work. I'm sure it's an elective, but you really need it.
CP: Impressive. Most impressive. Obi-Wan has taught you well.
LIDG: Poor little Husky is now a whipped puppy.
CP: Going to be a long, blue weekend for him.
LIDG: We can only hope that our life lesson today has taught him something he can't and won't learn in the classroom.
<laughter erupts and lasts until close>
CP: Good one!

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Hear Me Now And Listen To Me Later

Sans Checking Any Messages: You guys called me and I don't know why? 
CP: Did we leave a message? 
SCAM: Yes. But I didn't listen to it. You've called me 3 times. 
CP: Professional tip: I'm going to hang up now. You go back, listen to the messages and, if there is any confusion about the reason for our calls, you may then call me back. 
SCAM: Do you have prescriptions there for me? 
CP: We do. One really expensive medication. We left you 3 messages. It required prior authorization which your prescriber worked diligently to obtain. We then had to special order the item for you. 
SCAM: Why do you have it? 
CP: Your prescriber sent it to us. 
SCAM: I told them I wanted it at your other location. 
CP: Oh. See, here's what really happens. We compete with each other. If we finish all our own work, we start searching other stores' files for prescriptions they haven't yet filled. Our modus operandi at this store is to select the most expensive items from other stores so we can hit our sales goals without doing too much work; in other words, fewer prescriptions. Once we steal it, they can't fill it. That's why we called you. Sure it's called incestuous cannibalism, but we're keeping it in the phamily. It's a new way to stimulate competition for meeting metrics among the stores. 
SCAM: But I want it there. 
CP: Well, since I ordered this for you, after your prescriber and I exchanged numerous phone calls since last Friday, and left you almost as many messages, I'm going to have to ask you to pick it up here. Yeah. So if you could just swing on by and remove this from my inventory, that'd be great. 

Monday, September 12, 2016

We Are Not That Kind of Pharmacy

Always remember that it is important to ask the question you want answered. 

CP: Good day, ma'am. How may I help you? 
Little Old Lady: "I'm looking for jock itch."
CP: I am truly sorry, but we are phresh out of jock itch. However, I can point you in the direction of some lovely topical applications to treat jock itch once you find it. 


Friday, September 9, 2016


There are snobs in every profession and business. I'm not talking about the businesses themselves, mind you. I'm talking about the customers patronizing the businesses. Coffee snobs come readily to mind. Are there really pharmacy snobs? I'm not talking about people preferring the CaVS to the Wu-tAnG Clan. That's like comparing McDonald's to Wendy's. I'm talking about preferring mail order to your average retail location. Most patients with whom I discuss mail order hate it. It's mostly the idea that they are forced to use a non-local pharmacy and may have to wait weeks for their refills. What I really hate most about the whole situation is being a #BackupBitch. I'm not good enough for you to leave your wife so I'm only good when it's convenient for you. I don't think so. Treat me like a side piece and I'll treat you the same way.

What started this rant, CP? 
Years of experience, followed by this woman. 

Mail Order Sister Sassing That We Are Terrible: I'm here to pick up my prescription. 
CP: I see that we received a phone in from your prescriber about 30 minutes ago. 
MOSS TWAT: That's right. 
CP: There was a problem with it because mail order just filled it yesterday. We had to call the insurance to get the override so they would pay for it. We just finished that call and actually left you a message at home. 
MOSS TWAT: I'm not at home. 
CP: I can see that. The message we left was to tell you that we do not have your medication in stock. 
MOSS TWAT: Why the hell not? This is a pharmacy, right? 
CP: Pretty sure. I'd have to walk out front and read the sign to be certain but, judging by the drugs behind me, I'd surmise we are, indeed, in some type of dispensary. Yes. 
MOSS TWAT: This is why I don't use this pharmacy. You never have what I need. 
CP: Are you out of medication? 
MOSS TWAT: Duh! That's why I'm here. 
CP: Okay. For the phans playing along at home who don't know how this works, can I take a second to sum this up for them? 
MOSS TWAT: Will it fill my prescription faster? 
CP: No. But they'll understand that my phrustrations with you are justified. Anyway, you ran out of medication. You use mail order pharmacy exclusively, as you've iterated a few times already. You called in your refill too late and now, since it will take days to get here, I have been selected to be your fallback plan. Not only that, but you have not been to our pharmacy in over 3 years. If you were one of my regular patients, I would carry your medication. However, as the only person I've ever seen receive this medication and strength in the Tri-County area over my career, it is unlikely you will find this sooner than my promise time of tomorrow morning. Not only that, but my promise time of TOMORROW is still weeks faster than your mail order's promise time. Sound about right? 
MOSS TWAT: This is ridiculous. I have this problem every time I come here. 
CP: And I thank you for your frequent business of once every 45 months. You do realise how insanely bitchy you are being, right? I am your backup plan. I am not your first choice. You choose to not do regular business with me, yet you expect me to cater to you all while accepting your verbal abuse and loud tirades against my pharmacy? I would rather "forget" to order your medication, have you file a pissed off complaint against me tomorrow and never ever set foot in my pharmacy again, then bend over and help you out of your self-induced situation, you thankless twat. It's like getting mad at your boyfriend because your husband asked for a divorce because you're cheating on him.
MOSS TWAT: So you said this will be here tomorrow?
CP: Thanks for paying attention. I did say that.
MOSS TWAT: Good. I'll be here tomorrow.
CP: Hopefully you lose a few pounds between now and then.
CP: That giant chip on your shoulder. Maybe not being under its weight will allow you to thank me for being nice and helping you.