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Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Call Ahead Seating

This is what restaurants call it; or some variation that results in the patron using her smartphone to call the restaurant telling them she is on her way. This allows her to add her name to the waiting list now as opposed to when she arrives in 20 minutes.
Some restaurants call these reservations. 
Chain restaurants don't take reservations per se, but they accept and encourage people to use mobile technology to reserve, sorry, save, their place in line. (I understand. People will skip reservations without calling. Instead of reservations for next Friday that may not show, they accept "holds on seats" for 20 minutes into the future for people more likely to dine at their venue.)

Retail pharmacies have used and encouraged this for decades. It's called "call in your refill before you come to the pharmacy". A day or two early would be most appreciated. However, the non-adopters of this technology are also the ones to complain when a party that just walked in the door gets seated ahead of them.

Words of Advice: Call Ahead.
1. If you want to make sure we have it in stock, Call Ahead.
2. You just left the office and your prescriber sent it electronically? Call ahead. Call now. If we received it we can move it up in the queue. (Me love you long time for doing this.)
3. For the last 6 months I have personally told you we will not stock your $2500 medication and that you should call 1 or 2 days before you need it. Don't yell at me about not stocking it after I told you to Call Ahead.
4. You want to know why it takes so long to wait for a refill? Call Ahead.
5. I monitor my queue and make all antibiotics high priority or waiters. This minimizes wait times. Not everyone does this for her patients so ... Call Ahead.
6. People always ask if they can wait. Of course. I am not one to keep you from doing whatever you choose to do with your time. However, instead of standing around waiting at my counter, does it not make more sense to Call Ahead, perhaps a day or two or three early, and spend your time waiting ... elsewhere? Like home?

I had a gentleman last week walk in and hand me a bottle. I asked why he did not call in the refill.
Old Guy: I need this refilled.
CP: Why didn't you call this in over the phone so you wouldn't have to wait?
OG: Why would I call it in and have you guys tell me 2 hours, or tomorrow, when I could just bring it in and you'll tell me 20 minutes? I can shop during that time.
CP: True ... Or you could have called it in yesterday, walked in now, just as you are here to shop, and not have to wait 20 minutes because it would already be done.
OG: But I'm here now.
CP: Unfortunately your medication is not. We don't receive our order for another hour. Had you called it in yesterday, we may have had all of it. Or we could have told you to come down at a later time. You will still have to make another trip.
OG: This is why I hate coming here.
CP: Right. Because the lack of a simple phone call on your part somehow translates into bad service on my part. Sometimes you win #PharmacyRoulette and sometimes ...

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