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Friday, May 13, 2022


Only: And no one or nothing more besides; solely.
No more than (implying that more was expected); merely.
MICE ELF: We hates the word "just".
ME: Hates it, we do. 
CP: I have a new one phor you: It's "only" a word. 
MICE ELF: What's to dislike about only?
CP: It's only just like just, only it's just a word. 
ME: Enigmatically unhelpful. 
MICE ELF: Just get to the point. 
CP: Here is yesterday's conversation:

Pt: I need to drop this off. 
CP: Are you going to wait or come back?
Pt: Well it's only 4 caps so I don't have to come back; I'll be around. 
CP: Good. Not sure what the "only 4 caps" has to do with your decision but I'll have it ready in 15 minutes regardless. 

ME: So your knickers are knotted because she used "only" as a synonym for "just" as a means to trivialise the job we have to perform?
MICE ELF: Your bloomers are bunched over "only" a word?
CP: Yes. 
ME & MICE ELF: Makes sense. 
CP: Counting to 4 capsules is not, has never been, and likely never will be the rate-limiting step in the equation that is philling your prescriptions. Phor people to diminish our job by use of the words "only" or "just" is phrustrating. 
ME: Well it is a perception that we fostered; or at least the big chains nurtured with their fast-food approach to a healthcare "profession".
MICE ELF: That's like saying that, in order to perform my oil change, the technician has to "only pull a plug". 
CP: Precisely. Don't minimise my job because you do not understand it.


Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Phone Trees

CP: Have I complained about how much I dislike e-scripts recently?
CPP: It's been a minute. What's not to like?
CP: The users of the software. The programmers too, but mostly the users. 
CPP: That's pretty broad. Narrow it down phor the good phollks at home. Phind Phocus Phor Phuck's Sake. 
CP: Phine. Specifically I wish to complain about the offices that are unreachable when there is an issue, and let's face it, there's always an issue with an e-script; the side effect of so many e-scripts and providers having multiple offices. 
CPP: Like the office we had yesterday. Called the only number on the e-script, the one attached also to the provider in our system, only to phind out he left the practice some time ago. 
CP: Let me guess, they had no idea where he went?
CPP: Yes. But it was the answering service and she knew he still worked in their quick clinic location. While she didn't have a number to provide, she could transfer me. 
CP: Sounds good but. . . ?
CPP: But I was on hold awaiting the transfer and <click>. 
CP: I hate that providers who have multiple offices are somehow able to put only the location of the e-script license as their primary place of prescribing. There was a provider I was trying to phind who worked at 11 different locations; the e-scripts only printed with the main office information. He was never practising at that location and they never knew where he was day to day. 
CPP: You'd think when the provider signed in he'd have to check which location he was working. We don't generate our faxes with the corporate headquarters phone and address on them; it's specific to our location. That's just stupid and a waste of time. 
CP: While I dislike that, and have given up on trying after one phone call attempt (the patient gets the next call and is in charge of playing "now where did my doctor go?") what I loathe more and more is phone trees. 
CPP: You mean because there's rarely the option phor pharmacists with questions about e-scripts?
CP: Yes. That and the confusion they create. 
CPP: How so?
CP: We receive an e-script from Dr. Zoffis. It shows her address and phone number. Period. I call the number only to hear the phollowing options:
If you are calling phor phamily medicine, please press "1"
If you are calling phor internal medicine, please press "2"
If you are calling phor OB/GYN, please press "3"
If you are calling phor Geriatrics, please press "4"
If you are calling phor Behavioural Health, press "5"
Phor Billing, press "6". 
To hear this message again, press "0"
And the message repeats; you are not transferred to a general mailbox or human phor guidance. 
CPP: We have no idea what department the provider is in. I mean we could guess but. . . 
CP: But then you make a choice and you're taken to voicemail instead of being given a list of providers. 
CPP: Just call each of the mailboxes and leave messages as if you're a lost child looking phor her mother. 
CP: <best child voice> Um, this is a pharmacy. I'm trying to phind a doctor. Are you my doctor? 
CPP: Ooh, an Are You My Mother book but phor pharmacists. 
CP: We need offices to offer lines/options specifically phor pharmacists. 
CPP: Nah. We can just keep calling until they get annoyed with us. Then they'll do something. 
CP: Which is why I call the patients to contact the offices. Set the angry patient on them. Not only did they mess up the prescription, but now they won't take our calls. Sic 'em, patient! Sic Balls!

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Too Much Stupid

CP: I'm tired of dealing with stupid. 
ME: <wearing shirt that reads "I'm With Stupid> Can't get away phrom it. 
MICE ELF: Hey now. 
CP: I meant phrom a work perspective. It's only gotten worse with each day. 
ME: What prompted this?
MICE ELF: We work with the public. AKA Stupid people. Individual dealings with individual people in controlled settings, not in the wilderness of public spaces, is acceptable but something happens to them in the wild frontier. 
ME: Continue. 
CP: Shots. Shots have made people dumber than I imagined possible. 
MICE ELF: Why don't you just segue into the vignette about it?
CP: Phine.
All Shot Seekers Today Are Causing Our Stress: I need to get my 4th shot; my booster. 
CP: Okay. Which shot did you want?
ASS TACOS: The Covid. 
CP: No shit? Huh. Threw me off with asking for the "4th shot". Was phairly certain you were going to tell me Jager. Which Covid shot?
ASS TACOS: The booster. 
CP: Phuck me. Didn't we go through this with the 3rd shot? Have you learned nothing? Moderna or Pfizer?
ASS TACOS: Moderma. 
CP: <sighs> Moderna it is. Have a seat and I will be with you forthwith. 
<CP walks out and continues sighing>
CP: Which arm would you prefer?
ASS TACOS: Oh <looks at each arm like one of them will suddenly sprout a little hand waving a little flag at me that says "me! me! pick me!"> I don't know. Does it matter?
CP: Not to me. It just has to be one of your arms; not phrom a passerby. 
ASS TACOS: Ok. I guess <keeps looking at them> I guess my Left cuz I'm right-handed. 
CP: Makes as much sense as anything else you could've said. I need to get right <points to the Shot Triangle on the arm> here, so if you could do whatever it takes to phree that patch of skin phor me, I'd appreciate it. 
ASS TACOS: If I hold it up like this, is that okay? 
CP: Not as okay as it would've been had you worn a short-sleeve shirt. This. Is. Your. FOURTH. SHOT! You haven't even had to to phorget the previous one like you do with your phlu shots. It was 4 months ago. How do you survive life at this point? 
ASS TACOS: <confused and a little creeped out> By getting my 4th shot?
CP: Well keep your fingers out of the way. My needle is long enough to go clean through your digits and still administer the shot. You'll just look a little weird walking out with your middle finger pegged to your shoulder. 
ASS TACOS: Think I'll need another shot?
CP: Sure. You'll need lots more. Hopefully, one of these times, you'll remember to dress accordingly, and to be ready by having your arm out when I walk out so as to not waste everyone's time. 

ME: Right? It would be different if this weren't the same process for the last year. This is the 4th shot in a year for people, 5th if you count their phlu shot, yet they act as if they've never been asked these questions.
MICE ELF:  Nor been told where I'm going to stick it.
CP: Maybe we should hang a sign:"If this isn't your first time, you know what to do". 
MICE ELF: I'd be afraid of what I'd walk out to. 
ME: Yeah, ME too. 
CP: Meh, they wouldn't read it anyway, much less comprehend it.



“Think of how stupid the average person is, and realize half of them are stupider than that.” 

George Carlin 


Friday, May 6, 2022

It's Up To YOU

Have A Little Fun While It's Talking: I wish to call in my refill. 
CP: You don't have to wish here. At CP's Drachm-a-Rama, we make all your wishes come true. 
HALF WIT: I was going to call in my refill. 
CP: You were? Okay, then what happened? This is good. I'm on the edge of my seat. 
HALF WIT: Nothing. Like, then you picked up. 
CP: You were going to call in your refill, then I picked up. Did that change your plans? It really should only have reinforced you were making correct life choices at that point. You need only say "I am calling in my refill" and our transaction can be considered completed.
HALF WIT: Then I am calling in my refill. 
CP: Glory be! What is your number?
HALF WIT: 8675309 
ME: Really? That's the best you could do?
MICE ELF: It was either that or 42. 
CP: <shhh!> Ok Madam HALF WIT, when did you want to come in phor it?
HALF WIT: Oh, I can come in phor it whenever it is ready.
CP: No shit. Coming in earlier than when it is ready would be a waste of time. Perhaps you meant to reply "I will wait for the text and make plans to pop by once that happens". 
HALF WIT: I'm not in a hurry. 
CP: Good to know. Well I put a 2-hr time on it so we will see you then, and not before. 
HALF WIT: But I just took my last dose. 
CP: And you don't need another until tomorrow. My 2-hr estimate will be more than satisfactory. 

Thursday, May 5, 2022


CP: CP's Draught Kings, How may I help you?
PT: Do you have any 12-hour Sudafed products?
CP: We do not. 
PT: Generic Claritin-D 12hr?
CP: They are on backorder; have been for over a month now. I can offer you some of the 4-hr as a consolation.
PT: Can I get a box of those?
CP: Sure thing. 
<finishes transaction>
PT: When do you expect to get more?
CP: I expect them tomorrow.
PT: Really?
CP: Yes. I expect them every day, only to be crushed anew by the lack of supply in the day's order. Like Penelope, I expect every day will bring that which has been lost to me. I fear 12-hr pseudoephedrine products will return in the same timeline as Odysseus. 
PT: I'm not up on my mythology. 
CP: Well you can read all about it in the time you spend waiting for 12-hour pseudoephedrine products to return to my shelves. 

Monday, April 25, 2022

Phaxes Phrom Pharmacies - A Debate

CP: Remember when offices used to write prescriptions phor patients at their office visits and the patients would bring those hard copies to the pharmacies to phill?
ME: Of course; it's where our story began. 
MICE ELF: Natch. 
CP: I realise times have changed and pine phor those days. 
ME: Pining phor the fjords?
MICE ELF: Not pining. Those days are dead. 
CP: And I miss them greatly. I dislike our new options so much but I was thinking the other day how, with the advancement of technology and e-scripts and online charts, etc, we seem to have regressed with side effects of all of these. 
ME: Side effects?
MICE ELF: Of e-scripts? 
ME & MICE ELF:  <sardonically> Say it ain't so!
CP: Prescribers have essentially broken themselves into two basic camps today: those who mandate the pharmacy request patient refills via phax/e-script, and those who mandate the patient request their own refills, not accepting contact via pharmacy. 
ME & MICE ELF: <nodding> uh-huh, and?
CP: And I ask which of these is actually better, or arguably worse, phor the patient?
ME: Prescribers who rely on the pharmacy!
MICE ELF: Prescribers who rely on the patient!
CP: If I send the requests, I know the dates and times I electronically submitted my request(s). I can explain to the patient the office is ignoring me and set the upset patient on the office. "Sic 'em! Sic balls, Chopper!"
ME: Nice. All it takes is a patient phoning in their refill for the system to automatically send the request. We aren't even involved. Easy. 
CP: And we can make an emergency script if needed showing how the office ignored us. 
MICE ELF: But I think the patient should be responsible for their own medications. 
CP: Good point. We have argued that many times. My issue is how many offices are difficult to reach, even phor the pharmacies. Imagine how much trouble it is phor the patients. 
MICE ELF: They can wait on hold. Or they have e-chart access. 
CP: Easy to understand for those under 60yo, or those with smartphones and internet access. What about the situation where the patient has been ringing the office for 7 days and the prescriber hasn't sent in the Rx? What happens? Now the pharmacy has to make an emergency Rx with no record of how long the patient has actually been trying for a refill. The patient comes to us in a panic and they need our help. 
ME: Wouldn't prescribing rights help this?
CP: It would, but that's not the issue. If prescribers are going to require patients to contact the office for refills, they should be responsible about sending refills and contacting the patients in a reasonable time. 
As much as I loathe the "please contact your pharmacy phor refills", I do prefer it over offices that don't respond to their patients. 
MICE ELF: Well e-script requests get ignored often as well. 
ME: I didn't realise patients' requests were often delayed. 
CP: That's the problem. Neither of these is perfect; phar phrom it. Instead of accepting refills phrom only one source, perhaps they should accept requests phrom both. 
ME: Do you know how many offices will hate that? Conjugal Visits w/Satan notoriously is responsible for inundating offices with multiple requests phor the same patients, same medications, and even old, discontinued meds. 
MICE ELF: How about we go old school?
CP: Either in person at the visit or via MyChart? Covers all ages.
ME: No calls, no phaxes, no responsibility on our part. 
MICE ELF: But I have to have these or I'll die. 
CP: Should've asked at the last visit or learned to use that iPhone your grandkids got you for Christmas. 
ME: Ouch. 
Which of the phollowing is more annoying:
1. Offices that require pharmacies to submit all patient refill requests?
2. Offices that require patients to call phor their own refill requests (and phorget to actually send them)?

Thursday, April 21, 2022

Special Trip

CP: What do you pack phor a special trip?
CPP: I suppose that depends on the definition of "special".
CP: I suppose it does. Does a trip to the pharmacy qualify as "special"?
CPP: No. I'm thinking of ones where you pack a little suitcase for a weekend away or where you get all gussied up. Why?
CP: The number of people who complain about "not wanting to make a special trip" to the pharmacy. 
CPP: Ah. Let's hear it. 

Lady At Pickup Is Sulking: Picking up. 
CP: Joy. Name?
LAPIS: Lazuli. 
CP: Ah. That is arriving in our order today. 
LAPIS: I know. 
CP: Uh-huh. Says we called you yesterday and told you it'd be here after 13:13. 
LAPIS: Uh-huh. 
CP: Yet here you are at 9:03am. It's mathematically and physically not here yet.
LAPIS: "Well I'm not making a special trip for it."
CP: Well you don't have to get all dressed up to come back. The Walmart pajama attirewill be just as fine when you return as it is now. Nothing special about it. In fact, had you checked a clock before you left, you really needn't've made this trip in the first place. I'd call this the special trip, honestly. 
LAPIS: Harrumph. 

CPP: She actually "harrumphed"?
CP: She did. 
CPP: I'm guessing there's another story?
CP: Same store; same day. 

Please Allow Ninety Days Always: Picking up. 
CP: It appears I have 5 medications ready phor you. 
PANDA: I should have more. 
CP: I see a couple that are in my queue for 97 minutes phrom now. I've not yet gotten to them as it's still <checks watch> 97 minutes away. 
PANDA: Are they all for 90 days?
CP: Some are. Others are not. 
PANDA: "We live over an hour away and I don't like making special trips here."
CP: With an hour drive to visit your pharmacy, I find it difficult to believe that EACH trip here isn't special. In the phuture, I'd check my watch to verify the promise time and, maybe, just maybe, call ahead to make sure everything is filled today. I see some things phor you aren't due until 1, 3, 6, and 9 days phrom now. You could really cut down on these special trips. 
PANDA: But we like coming here. 
CP: Then make sure your provider writes for 90 days at a time since he didn't do that on the last round. While I appreciate you visiting us, you can't tell me you love me on in one breath while complaining about the inconvenience in the next. 

Monday, April 18, 2022

Ok. Sure. Thanks Phor The Warning?

CP: Good Morning. CP's Draughts and Drachms. How will you make me crazy today?
Lady: Yeah. I just called. 
CP: No you didn't.
Lady: I did. 
CP: Called what?
Lady: Called you. 
CP: No you didn't. 
Lady: I most certainly did. 
CP: Didn't.
Lady: Did. 
CP: Why?
Lady: To get a refill. 
CP: Ok. But you didn't talk to me. 
Lady: Right. 
CP: Ok. What do you need this time?
Lady: I just called in my refills and that machine lady told me it would be ready at 13:13. I 'll be there at noon. 
CP: Ok. We will see you at noon. Your prescription still won't be ready until 13:13, but I appreciate you coming early to check out our work. Are you bringing cookies?
Lady: What? No. I want my prescription when I get there; not when it's ready.
CP: Then come later, when it's ready then it'll be ready when you get here. 
Lady: Listen. I have had just about enough of this. 
CP: But you're not completely full up on me yet? I suppose there is always room for Jello. 
Lady: What ever are you on about now?
CP: See ya when I see ya. 
Lady: My Rx had better be ready when I get there. 
CP: Then I suggest you coordinate your schedule accordingly. Tschuss.