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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

It's all in the Planning

I like to plan my day. I like to know when I am going to do certain things. I like to be able to tell people when they can expect me. Many pharmacies employ some type of timing system when it comes to filling prescriptions. They either use little clocks on their computers for each order, times on patients' bags, or stopwatches clipped to baskets, to keep track of when something is due for pickup. How do we arrive at these times, you ask? Simple-we ask people questions:
When do you want to come back for this?
Did you want to wait or come back for this?
When would you like to pick this up?
Usually this conversation ensues...(it has many forms)
Me: Will you be waiting or did you want to come back?
Every Single Customer Ever: Well, how long will it take?
Me: Our wait time is about 20 minutes right now.
ESCE: Hmmm. I'll probably come back.
Me: What time did you want to come back?
ESCE: You said about 20 minutes? I'll be back in 15-20 minutes.
Me: So I should say you're waiting?
ESCE: No. I can't wait that long. I'll be back then.
This one isn't too bad. It usually ends with a head shake and a 20 minute wait time on it.

The ones I really love are these:
Me: Okay. And when did you want to come in for it?
Phone Customer: This afternoon some time.
Me: Ok. I'll put an hour on it an we'll see you after then.
PC: But if I'm not there, it'll be tomorrow some time.
Me: So I should put tomorrow instead?
PC: Well, if not today or tomorrow, then it'll be some time on Saturday.
Me: Great. Thanks for helping me plan my day and prioritize. When everyone else's orders get behind, I'll blame you.

The times are there so we know when to expect you. If you're going to tell me Saturday, I expect to not see you before Saturday. It's like a date. If we are going to make reservations for dinner for Friday at 7pm, we are not going to tell the maitre d' "Unless we decide 8:17 works better. Maybe we'll just wait until Saturday instead. Even better, how about we just show up unannounced at around 5:29?"
Worse yet are these:
Drive-Thru Guy: Here to pick up a prescription.
Me: Ok. What's the name and date of birth?
DTG: Here you go.
Me: I don't have anything ready for you. When did we tell you it would be ready?
DTG: I told them I would be back after 7:30 tonight. I dropped it off this morning.
Me: I see. Here it is. You dropped it off at 11:34 this morning. You told us you'd be here after 7:30 tonight. It is currently 12:17pm. It's not quite ready yet.
DTG: Why the hell not?
Me: Um. Do you own a watch? Perhaps have a sundial on your dashboard? Some means of telling time? I know in my world that I can't confuse 43 minutes with 8 hours on my worst days but you seriously have to get a grasp on this thing called "time". I bet you order your pizzas from the parking lot and walk in 10 seconds later expecting those 30 minutes to have magically melted away like my brain from this conversation.

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