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Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Set An Alarm

CP: Did you ever wonder if people set their alarms to call people?
CPP: How do you mean? 
CP: Remember when we had that Level 3 Snow Emergency? The one where roads were closed to all but emergency personnel? 
CPP: Yeah. That was a helluva drive home after work. 
CP: We had patients come to the pharmacy that day. 
CPP: Yeah! We talked about how they must wake up in the morning and, all else be damned, continue with their routines because it is pharmacy day! 
CP: <in my best Backyardigans Racing Day imitation voice> Refill Day! It's Refill Day! Nothing will stop them. 
CPP: Why are we revisiting this?
CP: There must be people out there who set alarms to call us. "Is it refill day yet?"
CPP: I see. Like Anita Knapp?
CP: Yeah. She should just stay in bed. She's called every day this week. "Is my refill due yet?" NO! We just filled it yesterday! It's not due for 29 more days. Please don't call me every day for the next 29 days. 
CPP: She will. 
CP: I know she will. We need to ask them to get a wall calendar and write on it, each day for the next 28 days "DO NOT CALL PHARMACY TODAY". Then, on Day 29, tell her to write "CALL PHARMACY TODAY!!! GO TO PHARMACY!!! IT'S REFILL DAY!!!". 
CPP: I don't think it will work. 
CP: Why not? 
CPP: People program themselves. 
CP: True. People are mad that holidays interfere with their "refill day". People were surprised we were closed. "What am I supposed to do?", they'd ask. Oh, I don't know, come in a day earlier? A day later? And this is people who always filled their regular medications exactly 2 days early, every month, without fail. It wasn't even control medications. 
CPP: There should be an app for that. 
CP: Or a way to charge people for so many calls in a certain time period. 
CPP: Like the woman who called us 21 times on Thursday? 
CP: Right? Like, I have stuff to do, lady. While I appreciate you advocating for your prescriptions and calling your insurance for yourself, I have 500 other people who need me. Save it up and call me later when you have all of your thoughts composed.
CPP: Like those people who send multiple, one-line texts?
CP: Exactly! Write me the paragraph, reread it, hit "send" once. I can't handle the anticipation and incessant interruptions. 
CP & CPP: Refill Day! It's Refill Day!


Thursday, November 18, 2021

If The Real World Worked. . . An Outline

Look Again Before Interrupting Another: You didn't fill my prescription. 
CP: I most certainly did. 
LABIA: Did not. 
CP: Look, I'm not playing this game with you. 
LABIA: But I don't have it. 
CP: I filled it two days ago. I have video of myself bagging it. I sent it out for delivery. We have drone footage of the delivery driver handing it to you. Of you receiving it in your bathrobe and bunny slippers. Of you scratching your ass then flipping off my driver and drone. 
LABIA: Well I don't have it. 
CP: Why don't you look again? I'll hold. 
<90 seconds later>
LABIA: Oh. I put it in my planter when I came inside. 
CPP: Always. Without fail. 
CP: This begs the question if people do this anywhere else. Can you imagine this conversation?
LABIA: I lost my car keys. 
LABIA: You didn't give them to me. 
CARVANA: You took the keys, drove your car into your driveway, twirled them around your finger and shouted to your family "the new car is here!". I watched you. I have dashcam footage of you in your bathrobe and bunny slippers walking into the house. 
LABIA: Well I don't believe you gave them to me. 
CARVANA: You can believe anything you want, that still won't make it true. 

CPP: Right? Can you imagine how many car dealers would get "I can't find my keys" calls if our patients acted like they do at the pharmacy?
CP: Hopefully they don't keep their keys next to their medications. 
CPP: They'd always be falling into the toilet or sink. 
CP: At least their keys could be fished from either of those. 
CPP: Can you just give me a new set of keys?
CP: It's your fault I don't have them. You HAVE to give me them!
CPP: I'm going to DIE! if you don't give them to me right now!
CP: Let me guess, you want me to deliver them too?


Sunday, November 14, 2021

Phaith Can Heal You

Had a patient the other day to whom I recommended a booster covid shot while administering her flu shot. She initially received the J&J because it was only a single shot. . . until now. She argued:
Little Old Lady: "Why didn't they tell us that in the first place?"
CP: They didn't know.Would you have received a covid shot had they all been two doses?
LOL: I don't know. I don't like that I now have to get a second one. 
CP: You don't HAVE to get another. It is suggested. Data change. 
LOL: They lied to me. 
CP: No. Science evolved, unlike people.

Upon this, we three got together and discussed:

ME: I'm guessing today's lesson is lengthy.
MICE ELF: What did we do to deserve this?
CP: Settle down, both of you. It's just an analogy about belief. 
ME: Like Bigfoot or Nessie or pixies or gods or ghosts? 
CP: Yes. You are broken now but phaith can heal you. 
MICE ELF: Let me lay my holy hand up, hand upon you. 
ME: Just do everything I tell you to do. 
CP: Right. Where were we? Yes. Today's lesson: Science. 
ME & MICE ELF: Joy. Open mind time. 
CP: Why do people continue to believe the first thing they heard in spite of evidence to the contrary? 
ME: It's how they get programmed. They told me this so it must be true and new evidence be damned. 
MICE ELF: Right. Humans don't like change. We are creatures of habit. 
CP: We witnessed this first hand all of 2020 as new data came out; people lost their shit if new data challenged the old data.
ME: Don't remind me. We are still dealing with these people. 
MICE ELF: Yeah. 2020 did us no favours. That's why we are still having these conversations. 
CP: People don't like thinking of themselves as living in an experiment, but we are. We all are, but we don't realise it. 
ME: I'm guessing this is where the lesson begins?
MICE ELF: Nice segue. Here's Tom with the weather. 
CP: I write and speak in analogies because it brings a complicated issue into familiar territory for the audience. I can tailor these to fit my audience. Since most people drive, I thought of this one. 

Much like Shadow, you find yourself driving great distances across the United States. You decide that, for petrol consumption and fatigue reasons, you are going to set your cruise control at 77MPH for your entire time behind the wheel. Sound decision. But. . . what happens when the weather changes and there is a lot of rain on the plains? or snow in Colorado? What happens when someone pulls in front of you in the passing lane? This is all new evidence that challenges your firmly held belief that you can travel on cruise control at 77MPH. What do you do? Slow down? Turn off the cruise? Pass in the median? Risk your life and those of your passengers? 
What do you do with new evidence? 
Assess it?
Process it? 
Ignore it at your peril? 
You don't have to be a scientist to do your own research in this analogous situation but you do have to possess the intelligence to realise that maybe, just maybe, it's time to question your beliefs, listen to the evidence, and make a better decision. 
Or you could crash your car and injure many others with your ignorance. 
Yes, it's your choice. But if you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice. You have all of the evidence you need to make an informed decision and update your "77MPH or Bust" mantra. . . or you could ignore it at your peril. 

ME: Nah. I'm good. I don't need two sources to tell me what to do. 
MICE ELF: Yeah. The gods and pixies will tell me what to do.
CP: Shut up.

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Alter Ego

CPP: Who is your alter ego?
CP: CP. 
CPP: Right. But, when patients get mad at you and ask your name so they can file a complaint with the 1-800 number, with what name do you reply? 
CP: Shirley. 
CPP: Why Shirley?
CP: So my conversations go like this:
Angry Little Elf: What's your name!
CP: Shirley! . . .
ALE: What?
CP: . . . you can't be serious!

CPP: Cute. 
CP: Never gets old. 
CPP: At least when they call back we can tell them "Shirley? She doesn't work here!"
CP: Shirley she does! I just spoke with her! 
CPP: What happens when Big Boss Lady gets the complaint?
CP: She barely knows who I am, let alone does she have time to track down which store is Shirley's home store. I don't concern MICE ELF with such trivialities. 
MICE ELF: Thanks for that. 
CP: No problem. 
CPP: Your inner voices are speaking out loud again. 
CP: Sorry. Another benefit?
CPP: What's that?
CP: When BBL does follow up after the 1-800-BITCH-IN call, since our DMs are ever-changing, is that we can tell her "Shirley that patient is crazy! Shirley, she hasn't worked here in years! Shirley? She died in aught 6. Must've been her ghost."
CPP: You've thought about this way too much. 
CP: I Shirley have. I don't have time to deal with people having hurt feelings over their refills being too soon, expired, or denied by their providers. With everything else being added to our plate, patients are lucky we are able to pay them any attention at all. If corporate wants us to work this way, then they can deal with the fallout of their staffing decisions. Just ask for Shirley. 
CPP: Shirley they will.

Monday, November 8, 2021

Lame Pharmacy Jokes - Revisited

CP: <snickers>
ME: What? 
MICE ELF: Yeah. What?
CP: It's so stupid. I can't. 
ME: <sighs> Let's have it. 
MICE ELF: Why is it phunny?
CP: It's stupid phunny. One of those things that you see and hear and say every day that isn't phunny on its own until your brain interprets it slightly differently. 
ME: Ok. Out with it. Let us decide. 
MICE ELF: How lame can it be? 
CP: I have a really low bar today. 
CP: I'm calling to get a prescription covered for my patient. 
Insurance: Ok. Who's the patient?
CP: Larry. 
INS: Got it. Larry. Larry who?
CP: Mu. 
INS: Larry Mu?
CP: No. Last name is Larry. First name is Mu. 
INS: Patient is Mu Larry? 
CP: Odd. I know. But that's his name. 
INS: Seriously?
CP: <smirks then whispers "say it, say it!"> Uh-huh. 
INS: I have a prescription For Mu Larry? 
CP: Yes you do. And I want to know which, for mu larry, drug is covered!

ME: There is something wrong with you. 
MICE ELF: Way wrong with you. 
CP: What about poor Mu Larry? Only the insurance cares what's good phor mu larry! Look. You're either Phor Mu Larry, or you're Non Phor Mu Larry.
ME: I quit. 
MICE ELF: Yeah. I'm out. 
ME & MICE ELF: Let us out!!

Monday, November 1, 2021

Play Along

CP: Thanks phor calling Phounder's Pharmacy. May I help you? 
Provider Aptly Playing Along: I would like to phone in a prescription phor my patient. 
CP: That's good. We do those here!
PAPA: Oh. When did you start that? 
CP: It's a very new trend. Covid Vaccine Specialists has gotten away from the whole prescription business so we jumped in to carry the load.
PAPA: Well at least someone is able to fill my patients' medications. 
CP: We do offer vaccines and testing and everything else as well, but we decided to get back to our roots and offer prescriptions too! Like a real pharmacy. 
PAPA: Wow. So innovative. Thanks for staying on the phorephront of healthcare. 
CP: It's more like a niche market now anymore. Pharmacy school in the phuture, based on today's world, established by Cottage Vaginal Secretions, would be a CE class: Give this test, read this result, give this vaccine. No prescriptions, no drug knowledge necessary. 
PAPA: But do it phast. 
CP: They are the pharmacy equivalent of 10-minute oil changes. 
PAPA: At least someone out here still fills prescriptions. 
CP: Someone has to be innovator.

Monday, October 25, 2021

RPh = Legerdemainist

Only Best Existing Can Alleviate Life's Problems: I wish to purchase any and all of the following products from this professional dispensary of prescription products. 
CP: Do you always speak to people as if you are performing a google search? 
OBECALP:  Pardon?
CP: What is the best. . . ?
OBECALP: Of course. Only the best shall do. 
CP: Ok. On with the show. How may I help you?
OBECALP: I wish to procure some of your finest Hydrocortisone Cream 1%, Some Aspirin, Zinc, B6, and D3. 
CP: Odd list. Do you have prescriptions?
OBECALP: I do not. 
CP: Are you hoping for your insurance to cover a portion of them? or to be able to use your Health Savings Account to pay for them? 
OBECALP: I am not. 
CP: Then I can show you where these products are located on the OTC shelves. 
OBECALP: That shall not do. 
CP: Ok. May I ask WHY?
OBECALP: The stuff you have behind the counter is much better. It's better because you keep it back there. This I know. Else it would not be hidden back there. 
CP: Yes. We are the Guardians of The Keep. The font of knowledge and special formulations that are secreted within the alcoves among the brick and mortar hallways of our deep pharmacy. It may look small from the outside, but our apothecary elders have granted us knowledge and access to these deep recesses. It's like the Room of Requirement, our pharmacy. 
OBECALP: I knew it. 
CP: Then allow me to retrieve your requirements forthwith, post haste, and without phurther ado. 
<walks to back, exits rear door of pharmacy, enters store from the other side of pharmacy, walks aisles, selects patient's requested products, reenters through back door, pops back up at counter>
And here you are my good man!
OBECALP: Much kindness I wish upon you. 
CP: All in a day's work. 

CPP: <observing; smiling> That was quite the production.
CP: Thanks. 
CPP: Did he ask for "the best and only the Behind the Counter products will work"? 
CP: Of course. 
CPP: Ah, the sweet smell of naivete and marketing. 
CP: It still blows my mind that people think if we reach behind us to just "take bottles off the shelves" they are better than walking out front and just taking THOSE bottles off the shelves". 
CPP: Deception and misdirection. 
CP: Prestidigitation. 
CPP: Hey Rocky, watch my pull this OTC item out of the back. 
CP: If only people knew they were the exact same tablets/capsules/creams back here as they are out front. 
CPP: Even better, when we receive prescriptions for OTC items, if the OTC NDC is covered on Medicaid, we will walk right past the patient, pull it off the shelf, "slap a label on that bitch", and hand it over. Nothing special. 
CP: Except the label.

I Don't Need It. . .Yet

CP: How long ago did we learn to stop asking "how stupid can people be"? 
CPP: Working retail for any amount of time will erode your phaith in the human race. 
CP: Especially the last nearly two years. 
CPP: Indeed. What stories/anecdotes do you have today to represent?
CP: Story number one is phresh out of the gas station by my house. I often do my propane exchanges at this particular location. I love that it is conveniently located near the picnic table adjacent to the front doors. I like to watch people taking their lunch breaks there. 
CPP: I feel there is more. 
CP: On the Propane Cage is a large, bold printed sign that reads: "Danger! No Smoking near Propane". 
CPP: Which they placed next to the break table? 
CP: Upon which all the employees and local ruffians likes to take their cigarette breaks. They could turn around and open the cage while seated, with cigarette dangling like Samuel L. Jackson in Jurassic Park. 
CPP: Yet they've never become airborne particles of their former selves. 
CP: Correct. And I know you will say "so?" and I will reply with "yet". . . Which leads me to the second story. 

CPP: Which is?
CP: How do I sell people on vaccines who are hesitant? 
CPP: Go on. 
CP: I had an insurance agent ask me about vaccinating himself and his family. This was for flu, just about the time the pandemic was in full swing last year and we had yet to receive covid vaccines. 
CPP: I'm with you. 

CP: You sell insurance to people? 
Good Insurance Salesman Talker: I do. 
CP: You are good at what you do? 
GIST: I am. 
CP: Why are you asking my opinion? 
GIST: You are a pharmacist. I have never been sick so I've never had a flu shot and when covid shots come around, I don't think I'll need that either.
CP: I will change your mind. 
GIST: We shall see.
CP: I take it you are well-insured for everything?
GIST: I am. 
CP: Auto, home, life, flood, everything? 
GIST: Yes. 
CP: When was the last time you filed a claim against any of those? House? Car? Flooding? 
GIST: Not in the 25 years we have lived here. 
CP: Nice. Lucky man. I need you to go home and cancel all of your policies today. 
GIST: Why? 
CP: It's a waste of money! You haven't filed a claim in 25 years! That's awesome. It must mean you will never ever need to file one so you can stop throwing away all your money. Get out there and spend it all! Live a little. 
GIST: That's not what I advise my clients. 
CP: Of course not. You advise them to purchase insurance IN CASE they need it. Much like your flu shot, which is free, of course, or any other vaccine, just because you have NEVER BEEN SICK, does not mean you won't be in the phuture. Just because some numbnuts at the gas station hasn't blown himself up yet by smoking in front of the propane tanks does not mean someone won't in the phuture. Just like any investment advice states "past results are not a predictor of phuture returns", the same can be said for stupid people smoking in front of propane tanks or while pumping gas as well as people refusing to receive their vaccinations on the gossamer argument that they haven't been sick. . . yet."

CPP: And how'd that go?
CP: He got my gist. He came back the next day for his shots.