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Saturday, July 30, 2016

(Not) In This Moment

The inanity of it all induces infarcts in my cranium.

CP: Halloa! May I speak to COWING, please?
Confused On Why I Need Gel: Speaking.
CP: This is CP, the great and powerful, all knowing, yet humble pharmacist calling to tell you we are filling prescriptions for you.
COWING: Yes. Good. My doctor said he was sending prescriptions over for me.
CP: Indeed he did. The only trouble is the ointment he prescribed.
CP: We are currently out of stock and must needs order it for tomorrow.
COWING: I see. That is okay. May I ask a question?
CP: I'll give you that one for free but feel free to ask another.
COWING: Why did he give it to me?
CP: Pardon?
COWING: I don't remember ever having a cream before.
CP: Okay. I see this is a new prescription.
COWING: Did he tell you where I'm supposed to apply it?
CP: Hopefully in your house. But on the label, he only told us to write "affected area twice a day".
CP: Hmm, indeed. You did see your doctor today, non?
CP: And you indicated some type of issue to him?
COWING: I guess.
CP: You guess? What did you say was wrong with you?
COWING: I'm not sure.
CP: Ah, there's the rub.
COWING: Phunny.
CP: Good doctor. He can prescribe something to fix something when someone doesn't tell him there is anything wrong. Perhaps you should call him in the morning and find out why he gave this to you. Wouldn't want to act too rashly.
COWING: Good idea.
CP: Thanks. Be sure to let me know too when you come in to pick it up. I'm curious as to how this ends. #ILoveYouForAlwaysDrivingMeInsane

Thursday, July 28, 2016

It's Not Open For Discussion

There are truths. There are facts. There are laws. 
When it comes to these things, there can be no debate about their existence or validity. 
And yet...

CP: CP's pharmacy where we obey all the laws. How may I help you? 
Nurse Is Not Nice Yet: I'm calling in a prescription. 
CP: Phantastic. Let er rip. 
NINNY: <completes verbal assault on my ears> Anything else? 
CP: Yes. You said the prescriber is a CNP. 
NINNY: Sorry. She's a PA. 
CP: Okay. I just need her CTP#. 
NINNY: I have her DEA#. 
CP: Which is neither spelled nor pronounced CTP#. Try again. 
CP: It's her Certificate To Prescribe Number; hence CTP#. 
NINNY: I don't have it. I have always called in prescriptions this way and we have never had a problem with any other pharmacy...until you. 
CP: Phunny. When I've politely asked for information, I've never had a problem with an office providing it to me without drama...until you. 
NINNY: Well we don't have it. 
CP: In order to write a prescription, all non-doctor prescribers MUST have a CTP#. This number MUST appear on all written and electronic scripts and MUST be provided when phoning in the prescription. 
NINNY: I don't have it and we've never done it this way. 
CP: Would you like me to fax the State Law to you? 
NINNY: YES! <rattles off fax number>
CP: Then you will call back with the CTP# and an apology? 
NINNY: <Click> 

<15 minutes later> 
CP: You're a go for CP. 
NINNY: <politely> I have the CTP# you requested. 
CP: Thanks. Was that so hard? 
NINNY: <grumbles> 
CP: Sucks being wrong, huh? Next time, learn something instead of being a vicious twat. It's my job to know the laws I have to obey. Perhaps your office manager could use an update and send a memo. 

Friday, July 22, 2016


CP: Ma'am, we are calling to let you know that your prescription is too soon to refill until 3 days from now.
Over Dramatic Dame: "I guess I'll have to go without, then."
CP: Are you completely out?
ODD: No. I have about a week left.
CP: Well this is due only 3 days from now.
ODD: Oh. Okay. Then I should be fine.
CP: Depends on your definition of fine...

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Train(wreck) of Thinking

The following conversation recently took place. 
There once was a girl from Albuquerque whose brother happened to live near me. This is their story. 

CP: Thanks for calling CP's Pharmacy where we dispense doses of reality. How may I help you? 
Someone Expecting A Lot: I was calling to see about paying for prescriptions over the phone. My brother lives up there and I wanted to pay using my credit card. 
CP: I must apologise, but we are not allowed to accept credit card payments over the phone. 
SEAL: Why the hell not?  
CP: Our mutual protection.
SEAL: If my brother walks in there with cash, can he pick it up? 
CP: Of course. Cash, amazingly enough, is like cash. It's rather universally accepted as a standard form of payment. Cash is always welcome.
SEAL: "So you're telling me if I drove all the way up there, walked in and paid cash, I couldn't pick it up?"
CP: Not sure where you live, but that's quite a leap in a logical train of thought. I simply said I couldn't take your credit card information over the phone. 
SEAL: But I have cash. 
CP: Which I can't take over the phone either. Not quite sure how you even expect that to work. 
SEAL: But I want to pay for it there so you can show my account as paid then he can pick it up at another store. 
CP: Wait. What? If I follow, you are telling me: You are hours away from me. Your brother lives near me. You want to pay me for something he is going to pick up at another location. And to speed the story along, the prescription is for your dad? 
SEAL: Yes. I don't see the problem. 
CP: Oh. That IS the problem. Have you tried that with Starbuck's? Maybe had your brother place an order in Des Moines, called the Starbuck's in Decatur to pay for it, then sent someone else to pick up the order in Detroit? 
SEAL: No, that's stupid. 
CP: Precisely. 
SEAL: We don't live there.
CP: <beats head into counter>

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Teaching Moment

Today we are going to learn what words mean. (or not...)

CP: Are you ready, class?
Practically Every Retrieval Person: YES!
CP: Okay. Repeat after me... "I..."
PERP: I...!
CP: State your name.
PERP: State your name.
CP: <whispers, "too easy"> ...do solemnly swear...
PERP: ...do solemnly swear...
CP: ...that I will repeat and understand...
PERP: ...that I will repeat and understand...
CP: ...everything Professor CP teaches today.
PERP: ...everything Professor CP teaches today.
CP: Good.
PERP: Good.
CP: Here we go.
PERP: Here we go.
CP: Your insurance will NOT pay for your prescription today.
PERP: You are refusing to fill my prescription today.
CP: Wait. Back up. Stay with me here. Your insurance...
PERP: My insurance...
CP: ...Won't pay...
PERP: ...Says you won't fill...
CP: ...Your prescription...
PERP: ...My prescription...
CP: ...Without a prior authorization.
PERP: ...Because you're an asshole.
CP: I would be all too happy...
PERP: You are all too happy...
CP: ...to charge you cash and take your money...
PERP: ...to take my money and refuse to fill my necessary medication...
CP: ...but your insurance will not pay for it.
PERP: ...and blame my insurance for not covering it.
CP: You should go somewhere else.
PERP: I'm going somewhere else that knows how to bill my insurance.
CP: See you tomorrow.
PERP: See you tomorrow.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

I Can't Answer...

...Anything that starts with:
1. Why did my doctor...?
2. When will my doctor...?
3. When will the insurance...?
4. Is it cheaper at...?
5. Does another pharmacy...?

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Subliminal Utterings

Ever have one of those great moments when your lousy day improves remarkably because of one little interaction?
Me neither. But this helped.

CP: <entering prescriptions at drop off> Do you have your insurance card? 
Drug Using Mama's Boy: Yes. 
CP: Thanks. <enters information, clicks on the wrong screen and whispers...> Dummy. 
DUMB: <acting insulted> Excuse ME?
CP: Sorry? 
DUMB: Did you just call me a dummy? 
CP: What? No. Sorry. I said "Dumb Me". I clicked on the wrong thing. 
DUMB: Oh. Okay. 
CP: <Whispers as he walks away> Dummy.

Subliminal Utterings

Ever have one of those great moments when your lousy day improves remarkably because of one little interaction?
Me neither. But this helped.

CP: <entering prescriptions at drop off> Do you have your insurance card? 
Drug Using Mama's Boy: Yes. 
CP: Thanks. <enters information, clicks on the wrong screen and whispers...> Dummy. 
DUMB: <acting insulted> Excuse ME?
CP: Sorry? 
DUMB: Did you just call me a dummy? 
CP: What? No. Sorry. I said "Dumb Me". I clicked on the wrong thing. 
DUMB: Oh. Okay. 
CP: <Whispers as he walks away> Dummy.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Answers Are Hard

I ask, you reply.
The more succinct the answer, the better.
The more accurate, the better.
However, just make sure the succinct answer is accurate.
Unlike this guy.

Too Short: I have this refill to drop off.
CP: When did you want to pick it up?
TS: She needs it. (actual response)

With such an open-ended answer, Super Intern and I decided we needed to work out our responses.

"She needs it..."
1. So, when?
2. I can see that from the empty bottle.
3. I'd love to give it to her, but she's your wife.
4. Okay. Go home and give it to her. By the time you finish and get back, the prescription will be ready.

See what happens when you don't say "I'd like to wait for it"?

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

If The Real World Worked...

These conversations must take place elsewhere.
They must. It's the only thought that keeps me sane.
Here is my vision after yesterday's all-too-typical conversation.

CP: Thank you for calling CP Pharmacy where all your dreams come true. How may I help you?
DUDE: You shorted me.
CP: <doesn't offer meaningless apology for something which may not be our fault> Let me research that for you.
DUDE: I was supposed to get 90 and you only gave me 30. You shorted me. It's quite obvious.
CP: Aaaaaand...Nope.
DUDE: Um, yep.
CP: How about nope? Your prescriber only wrote for 30 tablets.
DUDE: But I take 3 a day. That's only 10 days.
CP: With refills no less.
DUDE: But I should get 90.
CP: Why?
DUDE: Because I take 3 a day.
CP: Why not ask for 270? Why stop at 90? Maybe she only wanted you to receive 30 at a time.
DUDE: I still say you shorted me.
CP: Okay. Here's an experiment for you. Call your bank.Tell them they shorted you. Tell them you wanted a check for $20,000 but the one payroll direct deposited was only for $1,000 and you deserve more. Even though you have refills (one check per week for the term of your employment) you feel you deserve more. I'm sure they will call your employer's payroll department and get this little oversight remedied for you.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Sound Effects

One amusing thing about daily radio shows has always been the use of sound effects boards for comedic effect. It elicits an almost Vaudevillian nostalgia. I feel we need this in the pharmacy for the benefit of "Good Customer Service".
Example from last week:

Patient Expecting Some Type of Extra Response: I just called?
CP: Okay. And now you've called again.
PESTER: She hung up on me.
CP: Who did?
PESTER: That lady I was just talking to.
CP: I see. <checks around to ask what happened>
Okay. I seem to have found the problem. Let me put you on hold while I deal with it.
PESTER: She hung up on me!
CP: Got it. No hold then. <sets down phone. queues up sound effect board>
(Sounds of whips cracking, chains rattling, women screaming)
I shall repeat until you say Mercy!
PESTER: Do you mean me?
CP: Yes. I shall flog this vile wench until you say "Mercy". Since you are the person she doth wronged, you shall be responsible for the amount of punishment meted out.
PESTER: What? That's inhumane!
CP: Well what did you expect? You kept repeating "She hung on me" as if you wanted some sort of repercussions for her transgression. This is the solution upon which I alighted.
PESTER: Gods, No! Mercy.
CP: Are you sure? Usually people tell me to just let the hate flow through me.
PESTER: Perhaps a walk of atonement may better serve this situation?
CP: No. It's a small space back here. No room to walk. Anyway, what was the reason for your initial call?
PESTER: I needed a refill and couldn't figure out how to type in the numbers on the phone fast enough.
CP: That's it? A refill?
CP: Would you like to try our new delivery service?
PESTER: Sounds great! What do I have to do?
CP: Nothing. Just wait at home for us to drop by. I'll be sending my tech with our whips and chains.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Somebody's Watching Me

People love to watch us work. After last week's interaction however, I am convinced they watch but do not see. Today's winner in observation is brought to you by Mr. Magoo.

I saw you.
You saw me.
You arrived in line behind 3 other people.
You were 4th in line on Friday, July 1st.
A Holiday weekend.
You stood in line behind 3 people at Drop Off.
You watched 3 people each drop off 3 prescriptions.
You heard 3 people, with 3 Rx's, say they would wait.
You heard my tech give out wait times to each person.
Still you stood.
Still you moved forward in the queue.
The wait times increased accordingly:
25 minutes,
30 minutes,
35 minutes...
Friday at noon on a Holiday weekend...
Then you hear "40 minutes" for your wait time.
You are surprised,
Nonplussed, even!
Your reply?
"I'm going somewhere else where they can do it faster!"

Good! And Good Luck! It's a 10 minute drive to the next closest pharmacy. Where you'll have a 30 minute wait.
On Friday.
Of a Holiday weekend.
At noon.