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Thursday, April 30, 2020

This Is Not Phor You

UT: This is not for you.
CP: Singing again? PJ?
UT: Yeah. Just remembered the conversation we had about clothes and peoples' selections regarding trends.
CP: About how, just because it's available in your size doesn't mean you should try to wear it?
UT: Exactly.
CP: What prompted this?
UT: The drive thru.
CP: How, if your window doesn't work, perhaps the drive thru isn't for you?
UT: Right. If if won't go down, it's frozen, or it's otherwise broken, the drive thru is not a service you can utilize at the moment.
CP: If you have no arms, perhaps picking up a hobby like darts, knitting, or sword fighting would be outside the best-suited for your available skill set.
UT: Yet if they were pharmacy patrons, they'd complain we should accommodate them even though their windows don't work.
CP: None shall pass!
UT: You've got no arms!
CP: Yes I have.
UT: Just a flesh wound.
CP: They always say "but it's cold outside" or "my dog is in the car", or "I'm just lazy".
UT: No one ever admits that last one.
CP: Until our drive-thru closed for repairs at one of my stores, I would have sworn some of these people didn't have legs. I'd never seen them standing.
UT: "You can come inside."
CP: "No I can't."
UT: "Why not?"
CP: "No legs."
UT: "Who's working the pedals?"
CP: "Willie."
UT: Lame. Must've had some TADA-lafil. . .
CP: Or you could have the person who entered our lane backwards.
UT: Backwards?
CP: Well, he pulled in so his passenger, whose window did work, could drop off his prescription.
UT: At which point you scolded him on his no-no maneuver.
CP: At which point he left, only to return 15 minutes later. . . pulled in the exact same way.
UT: And did he hit someone?
CP: Nearly. He thought it wise to gun it out of the lane before anyone could enter. Only he managed to miscalculate his timing and nearly gunned it broadside into a little old lady.
UT: The general public is horrible. The public in cars is worse. It's especially apparent during this whole quarantine.
CP: These are the same people Walmart expects to drive a cart correctly down their one-way aisles.
UT: As if I needed another reason to avoid that place.

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

If The Real World Worked. . .

UT: I've realised during all of this COVID chaos that people's perceptions of pharmacy haven't changed.
CP: As have I. Their approach to a New World and its expectations has altered but they continue to treat pharmacy as they always have.
UT and CP: Poorly.
UT: Like a necessary evil with which they have to deal instead of the valuable service we provide.
CP: You're talking about the people from last week.
UT: Right. For some reason patients continue to have different expectations of us than they do of the rest of the world and it's rather consistent with multiple occurrences.
CP: Let's revisit.

<flashback scene>

CP: How may I help you?
Dude Asking For Things: I am here to pick up my prescriptions.
CP: I am sorry sir, but we have nothing for you.
DAFT: My doctor was supposed to call 2 hours ago when I spoke with him on a televisit.
CP: Apparently he did not as I have nothing in my pharmacy for you.
DAFT: Are you sure?
CP: <raises hands>
DAFT: What are you doing?
CP: The old Sure commercials. You know the jingle? "Raise your hands if you're Sure!"
DAFT: Can you call him?
CP: No.
DAFT: Why not?
CP: He's not my doctor. It's after 7pm and he's likely closed.
DAFT: But I need it.
CP: I guess he didn't think it was that important or he would have called. Maybe try his after hours number or his e-chart.

UT: Which would be like this scenario playing out in today's world:

<dream sequence>

UT: Hi! I'm here to pick up my curbside grocery order.
Grocery Store Worker: We have no order ready for you.
UT: My wife was supposed to call it in 3 hours ago.
GSW: Again, we have nothing here.
UT: Can you call her for it?
GSW: No.
UT: Why not?
GSW: She's your wife. That would be weird.
UT: It was worth a shot.
GSW: It really wasn't.
UT: It apparently works at my pharmacy.

Friday, April 24, 2020

In Case We Forgot

CP: Remember how before all this started we weren't respected?
CPP: Yes.
CP: And now we're respected less, to the point of invisibility?
CPP: Yes.
CP: I miss the good old days when it was just disrespect by prescribers and their offices.
CPP: What brought about this nostalgic stroll?
CP: I had to call an office and their phone prompt reminded me of our nonessential status with them.
CPP: Their phone tree had no option for "Pharmacist"?
CP: That and. . .

<phones office, presses "doctor line"
Office Of Pure Stupidity: Doctor's Line? Whassup?
CP: I have an important question about an urgent e-script one of your prescribers just submitted. Based on the medication and indication, it appears the patient needs it soon and I, unfortunately, do not carry this. Can I speak with the prescriber about options?
OOPS: This is the doctor line for urgent calls. Hold please.

*Thank you for calling OOPS refill line. Please call your pharmacy and have them send an electronic refill request. Leave your information for your refill. *BEEP*

CP: Hi. This is CP. I am Head Pill Pauper at Palace of Pills. I was calling because a new medication you prescribed is not available in my store, or locally. I have another strength we can substitute for the short-term until my order arrives if the patient really needs this tonight.

<4 hours later>

CP: Pill Paupers Paradise. How may I help you?
Prescriber at OOPS: I was calling about a prescription I sent earlier.
CP: Would this be the Rx for Ana L. Fischer?
POOPS: It would. I had a question about it.
CP: Would this be an answer to the voicemail I left?
POOPS: What voicemail?
CP: The one I was forced to leave this morning. The one I left immediately after receiving the prescription, typing it myself, calling around to other stores to see if anyone had it? The one I left explaining all of this after calling your prescriber line but the receptionist deemed my sense of urgency only required being turfed to the refill line?
POOPS: I never got your voicemail. I never knew you called.
CP: So now I need to revisit the entire conversation with you. Even though I left all this information and we could have resolved this earlier, my call wasn't deemed important enough to not only be pushed through, but to generate a memo that I called. Sweet. So why were you calling?
POOPS: I wanted to see if you had the Rx in stock.
CP: No.
POOPS: Do you know who may?
CP: No one.
POOPS: Can you order it?
CP: Had you taken my call this morning, I could have had it tomorrow. Now I can't get it in my store for 2 more days.
POOPS: Well we can call the patient. I think she can wait.
CP: Nice. I have some of a lower strength if you want to hold her over for a couple days.
POOPS: I'll call you back.

<2 hours later>
POOPS: She says she can wait a couple days. Go ahead and order it.
CP: Ok. I'd hate to be in her condition right now, but I will order it. Please add me to your list of local pharmacies that has this in stock since I am the only name on the list right now.
POOPS: Will do. Thanks for your help.
CP: It's what I do.

Thursday, April 23, 2020


CP's Partner: What are you ruminating about this fine morning?
CP: Miracle workers.
CPP: Anne Sullivan?
CP: More along the lines of the JCCP.
CP: Yes. The Junior Christ Club of Pharmacy.
CPP: Oh. Explain.
CP: The JCCP is that group of miracle workers who have been turning 30 days supplies into 90 days, or greater, supplies, since at least Babylonian times.
CPP: You do know Ancient Babylon predates Jesus by. . .
CP: Shhh. You get the point. They changed names over the centuries.
CPP: What spurred this today?
CP: With the quarantine, people apparently had a lot of time on their hands and were digging deep into their medicine cabinets looking for medications to refill. Either that or they only now discovered that something they take every day was finally empty. That, and this conversation:

Man On Phone Yelling: I need this refill for my wife.
CP: She is out of refills.
MOPY: (shouting to Lady In Another Room) You're out of refills.
LIAR: (shouting back to MOPY) I can't be. I take it every day.
CP: We last filled it in September. . . of 2019 for a 30 days supply. She should have been out last October.
MOPY: (shouting) You filled it last September. You should have been out 6 months ago.
LIAR: (Shouting) I just took my last one!
MOPY: She says she just took her last one.
CP: I didn't realise she was a member of the JCCP. Unless she changed her dose to once week, that is the only way she could have made 30 tablets last 210 days, or 30 weeks, and to have taken the final dose yesterday.
MOPY: It says on here "March 17th, 2020".
CP: Right. That's when the refills expire. Check the fill date next to the Rx# on the right side.
MOPY: (mumbles) "9/19/19". (shouting) How the hell have you been taking these?!
LIAR: (shouting) Every Day!
CP: I faxed the prescriber for you. If she can't complete another miracle and turn the empty bottle into a full bottle, I suggest you also ring the refill line and request a renewal.
MOPY: Okay.
CP: I'd also suggest you retract her application for Sainthood.

CPP: I think the manufacturers should hire from within the JCCP. Imagine what they could do for our patients during all these manufacturer backorders.
CP: We never would have run out of Albuterol MDI or ARBs, or anything ever again!


Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Zombie Apocalypse - COVID-19 Version

CP: I was going through the archives recently and guess what I found?
ME: Your dignity?
MICE ELF: A soul?
CP: Haha. Phunny. No. I found my Zombie Apocalypse post from 2013.
ME: Refresh our memory.
CP: "Pharmacy would be the worst place to be during the initial outbreak of a Zombie Apocalypse. Think about this...

Where is the first place people will go for advice for their initial symptoms?
Where else do people herd around each other in tight-knit groups to ensure complete lack of privacy?
Ever see Contagion? Rise of the Planet of the Apes? See how that spreads?

In World War Z, people were fighting over bottled water and canned goods. The pharmacist was dispensing...with a gun. No one was asking him for the 512's.

Since I do have the keys however, I could imagine being camped out in there for some time. Coping with it would be so much easier. I'm just not sure I want to be at work when it all starts. While we are quite savvy and resourceful, there is not much of a defense to be mounted with vials and counting trays. I'm not sure my sharpened spatula qualifies as a Katana."

MICE ELF: Wow. And that was 7 years ago?
CP: It was.
ME: Except it was hand sanitizer and toilet paper.
MICE ELF: Why did you dig this one out of the vault?
CP: My prediction was accurate. We were the first group of people to be visited. Everyone came to us for thermometers, TP, sanitizer, alcohol, aloe, masks, and gloves. They complained about a cough while getting in our faces. They touched everything in our stores. They bellied up to the 36" deep counter and leaned over it asking questions.
ME: And despite orders to the contrary, they continue to visit us in the same numbers.
CP: As I said then, "people herd around each other in tight-knit groups to ensure a complete lack of privacy". It took mandates of social-distancing (which should be termed "physical-distancing") to force people to provide space.
MICE ELF: Well, that and tape on the floors.
ME: What's your wish with this (re)post?
CP: That physical barriers will be erected to "close the pharmacy".
- That all negative customer service scores be immediately thrown out as it regards a pharmacist's bonus percentage.
- That, if corporations are going to continue to force us to work during this crisis, we should be protected and receiving their fullest support.
- That companies exploit their business as a critical, front-line healthcare job by promoting us as the critical service providers we are. (Instead of making the news for NOT providing basic protections for their employees.)
ME: It would be nice if the media opinion of the major pharmacies in this country was "US Pharmacists and Techs on the front-lines helping people get their medications as companies offer full support of curbside pickup, delivery and personal shopping amid concern for their employees' and patients' health and safety."
MICE ELF: How'd you type that without laughing.
CP: It doesn't hurt to dream.
ME: What's your next prediction?
CP: Barriers will be erected and my dream of "closing the pharmacy" will be nearly realised. (Except I know they won't completely cover the 40 linear feet of open airspace.)
ME: Yeah. It'll be the size of a police officer's riot shield.
CP: Like sticking a butterfly bandage on a severed limb.
MICE ELF: Buuuuuut?
CP: But we will have to take bets on how long after this crisis is over before these companies remove the barriers and put us back at risk.
ME: Instead of being prepared for the next outbreak or continuing to care about their employees' safety and welfare?
CP: "Despite all my rage. . . "