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Wednesday, December 15, 2021

That's a No Phrom Me

Needs One Pervasive Excuse: I am here for my covid shot. 
CP: Glad you're finally making it in to see us. 
NOPE: I'd like the J&J if you have it. 
CP: We do. We vend a vast variety of vaccines. 
NOPE: I shall prefer that one. 
CP: Of course. We also like to call that the 1-800-Safe-Auto vaccine. 
NOPE: Why?
CP: Because you are looking for the bare minimum to either stay in school or keep your job and you only want one shot, aka the "cheap" option. 
NOPE: Exactly. 
CP: I just need you to fill out the paperwork. 
NOPE: First, I have a question for you. 
CP: Shoot. 
NOPE: Do you aspirate the covid shot? 
CP: Nope. 
NOPE: Why not? 
CP: Because there is no reason to aspirate on an IM injection; this hasn't been taught for years. 
NOPE: But, even though they are tiny, you could still inject it into tiny vessels. 
CP: No. No I really couldn't. Those little vessels are called capillaries. Aspiration of an IM injection could cause problems, especially in small children, cause pain in patients, require unnecessary distraction from the injection itself, and prolongs patient exposure to the needle. 
NOPE: So you won't do it?
CP: NOPE. I have given thousands of shots and never been asked to aspirate, nor considered it. But I can tell you've been reading "reasons to not get the vaccine" or "how to annoy your pharmacist" on the internet for many months now so you must be well-educated. Please explain why you require this. 
NOPE: Major side effects of heart issues from shots being administered into the bloodstream. 
CP: Uh-huh. I see. And how is your familiarity with human biology, anatomy, and the circulatory system? 
NOPE: Huh?
CP: Do hospitals take blood from your deltoid muscles?  
NOPE: Nope. 
CP: Why?
NOPE: <shrugs>
CP: Right. No major blood vessels located there. 
NOPE: But there could be really deep ones. 
CP: Have you looked at your skinny arms lately? You can barely conceal the bone under the skin, let alone any major blood superhighways. 
NOPE: But I'd rather be cautious. 
CP: And I'd rather not have to explain how to do my job to everyone that doesn't believe the experts who study these things for a living. I'd rather not spend my days proving decades of knowledge to random internet sleuths all day. But here we are. I'm stuck arguing my facts against your "reasons to avoid getting vaccinated". I will not aspirate. Now do you want the shot or not?
NOPE: I have to get it for work. 
CP: Then pull your arm out of your sleeve, shove it in your mouth, and let's go.

Wednesday, December 8, 2021

How Have You Survived This Long?

CP: Did you ever wonder how some people have made it to adulthood? 
CPP: Every day of my retail life. And every time I phind myself in public. 
CP: These people are born, grow up, walk among us, drive vehicles on the same roads we drive, and they vote. It's scary. 
CPP: What story-of-the-week prompted this? 
CP: When you buy a car, where do you go to buy the petrol to make it run? 
CPP: Is this a trick question? 
CP: No. 
CPP: Gas station? 
CP: Not the dealership? 
CPP: No. That'd be stupid. They sell cars, not the zoom juice that makes it go. 
CP: Next question. You decide you want to upgrade parts on your new ride. Do you go the original dealership? Or to an auto parts place that carries all kinds of specialty parts? 
CPP: The latter. 
CP: Is a business obligated to offer replacement parts to the original products it sells? 
CPP: It seems that would be a lot of inventory to carry. 
CP: Indeed.

Story Time

Guy Asking About Replacement Batteries Actually Gets Enraged: Can I ask you a question?
CP: I would have to say yes. Yes you can. Judging by the start of your sentence with "Can" and ending with an upward inflection and question mark, you're either Canadian or asking a question, eh? 
GAARBAGE: How does my meter work? 
CP: It sucks blood into itself and tastes for sugar. 
GAARBAGE: No. Do I need a battery or a charger?
CP: Did it come with a charging cable or a charging port?
CP: Is there a battery cover o the back?
CP: Battery for the win!
GAARBAGE: How do I get a new one?
CP: Go to the battery store, or grocer, or pretty much any place that sells batteries and buy one. 
GAARBAGE: Which one?
CP: Open the battery cover, remove battery, read the number. Or take it to said location of phuture purchase and show it to them. They can matchy-match it phor you. 
GAARBAGE: Don't you sell them? 
CP: We do not. 
GAARBAGE: Why not? 
CP: We don't sell many batteries so we don't stock them. 
GAARBAGE: Why not? You sell the meters, you should sell the replacement parts. 
CP: They're not really replacement parts. 
GAARBAGE: Cadillac sells Cadillac parts. 
CP: Sort of. But this is a Lifescan meter and we are not a Lifescan store. We are a retailer of many phine brands. Batteries can be found everywhere. 
GAARBAGE: I've never heard of running a business like this. 
CP: I don't run it, sir. I just listen to people complain about things to make themselves feel better. Just helping do my part.

Monday, December 6, 2021

If It Sticks

CP: What's brown and sticky?
CPP: A stick!
CP: Brilliant! Did you ever wonder if there is another profession that allows phellow practitioners to practice by throwing everything at a wall to see if it sticks?
CPP: Besides home chefs with pasta? 
CP: Not reliable. But yes. We have to be the only profession that oversees and willingly allows another profession to take advantage of us, but not actually doing their job correctly, and throwing shit at the wall to "see what sticks" by calling it "practice". 
CPP: Shouldn't prescribers become "experts" at some point?
CP: <best video game voice> LEVEL UP!
CP: Seriously. Anywhere else and these professionals would be fired for too many mistakes, errors, not phollowing the law, etc. 
CPP: Yeah. Not phollowing the law is a big one for ME. 
ME: Nothing like the State Board of Medicine shrugging their shoulders, and saying "meh. they need time to adjust. they're busy" while ignoring most law changes for, rough estimate, 23 years. 
MICE ELF: Phrustrating as phuck. We in pharmacy have to be compliant the literal day the law takes effect. Prescribers? Oh, well they were warned for a couple years, then the delay was extended, then it went into effect and somehow we are on the hook but they are not. 
ME: And when we call them on it, they plead "this is the phirst we are hearing of this". Bitch, it's been on the books since 1996. 
CP: They're right though. On top of that, especially with e-scripts, we see all types of "good enough, just hit send. the pharmacy will sort it". 
*Handwritten Rxs - MUST have a numeric AND spelled quantity on all controls. Period. 
*Random medications selected-eh, so the strength/dosage form/quantity don't match. I'm sure that after I hit send, some magical trolls phix it before it gets to the pharmacy and they speak troll there and it will come out the way I intended. 
*Duplicate Drugs with different sigs: I'll send over one thing, change my mind, send another e-script and not tell the pharmacist which is correct or new or needs canceled. She's smart. She can sort it. 
*Missing information-well the system didn't give me one of those little red (*) to indicate this is a "required phield" so I just thought I could ignore it. 
*Too much information-I know this is the "directions phield" but I'm going to also add the drug name and strength and my mother's secret cookie recipe here and hide the drug directions within the baking directions so the pharmacist can hunt and seek. 
ME: You should name it Helen Hunt's Cookies. . . so the pharmacist has to "go to helen hunt for it". 
MICE ELF: Old. But still phunny. 
CPP: Seriously. Where else is a professional allowed to just make up random shite to send to another profession with the intention of "let them phix it". 
CP: Could you imagine a car manufacturer building every car with mistakes (mismatched wheels, missing seats, no windows, a stick instead of a steering wheel) and expecting the car dealership to phix them all once they arrive on the lot?
CPP: Sounds like that Yugo our phriend had in college. 
CP: The pharmacy equivalent of this Orangutan Practise would be to grab random bottles off the shelves, dump some into your hand, slip them comfortably into a bottle, and use a random sig generator to assign directions for the label. Makes me want to bring our college dartboard to work.
CPP: Maybe today you die? Maybe tomorrow? 
CP: And there is only one thing we say to Death: 'Not today'!


Irritating Seer Explaining Ephemera Now: I am here to pick up my subscription. 
CP: Prescription. We are doms, not subs.
ISEEN: Perscription. 
CP: PRE-scription. We come first. 
ISEEN: Is it here?
CP: No. 
ISEEN: But she sent it? 
CP: How do you know?
ISEEN: I seen it. 
CP: Saw it. 
ISEEN: Huh. 
CP: Like the old man with the hammer? 
ISEEN: Huh? 
CP: "I see", said the blind man to his deaf wife as he picked up his hammer and saw. 
ISEEN: Um. . . 
CP: Or Caesar? "Veni, Vidi, Vici"? We came, We saw, We conquered? 
ISEEN: I watched her send it. 
CP: Eyewitness testimony is unreliable. I cannot accept your account. It is biased with prejudice. 
ISEEN: I just want to know where it is!
CP: I watched a magician make something disappear. But did it? I may call him prestidigital, but I don't believe anything really disappeared. 
ISEEN: What did I watch? 
CP: The back of her computer while she was texting her girlfriends about meeting for drinks after work.
ISEEN: So is it here? 
CP: No.
ISEEN: This is such a pain. 
CP: In the immortal word of the great, mystical poet, MJK, "All this pain is an illusion."

Friday, December 3, 2021

Don't Know What's Missing

VS: I need my whole profile transferred to you. 
CP: Sounds good. How many medications am I expecting? 
VS: All of them. 
CP: Any names to clue me in?
VS: All of them. 
CP: They must have royally pissed you off, eh?
VS: Hosers!
CP: Right. Ok. Careful what you wish phor. 
VS: Huh? 
CP: I shall call those philthy pig dogs and request "a profile transfer" as you wished. 
VS: Good then. 
<hour later>
VS: Did you receive my profile?
CP: Yes. We received all 6 prescriptions. 
VS: Why aren't they all there?
CP: As far as I know, they are. They sent us 6. 
VS: "We are not off to a good start."
CP: Well if the old pharmacy had issues, and our only discussions thus far have been about transferring your profile, and you are already experiencing issues, I'm going to suggest the problem may not be the pharmacy. 
VS: Are you saying it's my fault?
CP: Nope. Merely implied there may be a common denominator. Anyhow, as I attempted to elicit earlier, can you indicate anything about your profile? Names? Number of Rx's? What they treat? 
VS: I need everything. 
CP: Well we see how well that worked the first time. Perhaps the phault lies with the pharmacy you are leaving and not of the new one you selected. Mayhap it would behoove you to call them yourself to prod them along?
<hour later>
<phone rings>
<nose goes ensues>
Uber-Tech: NOT IT!
CP: Damn. . . Did you call them? 
VS: I did. 
CP: And?
VS: They said they'd send my insulin over. 
CP: Anything else I can expect?
VS: I know I had at least 12 or more. 
CP: Uh-huh. So that's 12 total? Or 18 total: original 6 plus at least 12 more?
VS: Whatever they send you. Just fill it and I'll call back to see if you don't fill anything. I'll watch on the app. 
CP: I can only fill what they send me. I don't know what I am requesting so I don't know what they are not sending. 
VS: That makes no sense. 
CP: And this is why you have problems at the pharmacy. May I offer you our special transfer deal?
VS: Okay. What is it? 
CP: I will receive all of your prescriptions from Phormer Pharmacy and, phor phree, transfer them to another pharmacy phor you. This way, we can skip right past the phirst date anxieties and awkward sex and skip right to breaking up but without all the emotional drain and drama?
VS: Sure.Where?
CP: Who have you not dated yet?
VS: Um. . . 

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.

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Something New Every Day

CP: Quick and Easy Pharmacy, How may I help you? 
Concerned Recipient At Pharmacy Indicating No Adverse Events or Soreness Still: I'm concerned. 
CP: Hello Concerned. I'm Pharmacist. Why are you like this?
CRAPINÆSS: <serious face> I came in for a flu shot yesterday and I don't have a sore arm or any symptoms.
CP: Great! 
CRAPINÆSS: Not great.
CP: Why not great? 
CRAPINÆSS: I always have a sore arm and a fever after my shot. You gave me the shot so fast. Are you sure I'm inoculated? 
CP: Completely. 
CRAPINÆSS: But my husband gets his shot through the VA and he always has side effects with his shot. I just don't see how you could've given it to me that quick. It was barely a second.
CP: <snickers> Poor guy. I have a way with a syringe. I've been doing it that way for years, as has the person who trained me; he who was among the first to administer vaccines in the area and has trained many Jedi in the ways of the Phorce over the years. 
CRAPINÆSS: It was painless. and short. 
CP: <Stifles laugh> Um, thanks. 
CRAPINÆSS:  <still serious> And it was quick and easy. 
CP: <deadpans> I hear that lot.
CRAPINÆSS: <serious face still on> Good day. 
CP: Good Day. 

UT: Why are you smiling like that?
CP: That LOL
UT: Little Old Lady?
CP: Made me laugh. She was so prim and proper, so serious the whole way through her flu shot complaint, I could barely contain myself. 
UT: What complaint? 
CP: Her shot didn't hurt. At all. Who calls on the pharmacy to complain they have nothing to complain about? 
UT: I'm surprised she didn't ask "is it in" while you gave it to her. 
CP: Please don't ever say "while I gave it to her" again. 
UT: After every flu shot. From now on. How about "How'd she take it?"?
CP: Like all my exes, an inch and a half at a time, all the way to the barrel. 
UT: I think you could've used the 5/8" on her.

Thursday, September 30, 2021

I Heard/Saw/Read It Somewhere

ME: Do your own research they said. 
MICE ELF: Uh-oh. Don't get CP started. 
CP: What?
MICE ELF: ME just said someone said "do your own research". 
CP: Haha. I love when people say they "did their own research". Remember when we were at University and we were taught HOW to think and not WHAT to think?
ME: Of course. WE were all there. 
MICE ELF: We learned lots about our subjects, and others. We learned how to read and evaluate clinical studies, how to research and write papers. 
ME: Yes. The good old days. 
MICE ELF: Yet no one trusts us, or any other, more expert opinions anymore. 
CP: Sad, really. But I did give myself a laugh after I overheard your conversation. 
ME: How's that? 
CP: This is how the conversation went in my head. I wish I weren't on the phone at the time. 

Merely Every Guy Arguing Things Which Aren't True: I'm here to get the J&J booster. 
CP: There is no booster. 
MEGATWAT: There is. I read a study somewhere. 
CP: Did you now? Do you have a copy?
MEGATWAT: I don't know where I saw it. On TV or NPR or somewhere. 
CP: Aha. I see. I see. Can you give me more than the headline to go on?
MEGATWAT: It said J&J had been approved for a booster after 2 months and it will bring me up to 94%. I want it. I had my shot in March. 
CP: This is the problem with attention spans and how we digest news today. It reminds me of those "spotty network" commercials where people only hear every other word. 
MEGATWAT: How's that? That's what I heard!
CP: Yes, it was announced that J&J reported the results of their Phase 3 trials. They reported that a second shot boosted immunity to those levels. However, the news did not say a booster had been approved, nor did it say it was recommended by the CDC or approved by the FDA. You can't even understand what you saw/read/heard on the news but you say you are going to "do your own research". Ha!
Let me give you an example: The study headline reads: "Every time a woman flips a coin it comes up heads". What is your takeaway? 
MEGATWAT: It's a miracle! I must take her to Vegas with me!
CP: But was it a singular woman? Or "woman" as in "not a man", or ALL women who flipped the coin? 
MEGATWAT: I don't know. 
CP: How many women were in this study?
MEGATWAT: I don't know. 
CP: What if I told you that the "study" involved one woman; that her "flipping of the coin" involved placing the coin on the table face-down then simply turning it over to show heads face up? Would that change your mind? Your "own research" is based on this flawed study. Much like the "alternative treatments" studies of your own research the study size was too small, there was bias in the study, she and the researchers knew which side was down so it wasn't a randomized, double-blind study. Basically, if you don't know how to interpret the data, you are incapable of "doing your own research". 
MEGATWAT: So can I get the shot?
CP: You are equally as flawed as your "own research". Please come back when you "hear" J&J has been approved for a booster. 

ME: You are correct though. 
MICE ELF: Yeah. People who purport to doing their own research are merely googling for research to back their preconceived opinion. 
CP: And I love when people post in the replies the same "studies" with the same headlines that are all based on exceptionally flawed data. 
ME: It's still amazing to me that, no matter how much evidence there is to the contrary, these studies are still passed around as scientifically sound. 
MICE ELF: Probably the 3 worst cited studies have been: 1. Vaccines cause autism, 2. Oxycontin does not lead to addiction, and 3. the ivermectin study circulating. 
CP: As I said, the people who quote these studies back to us are the ones who can't understand or interpret what they saw/heard/read on the news, let alone determine if their information is coming from a legitimate source. 
ME: But keep in mind, thanks to Coming Very Slowly, our expertise is worth less than your interpretation of a news headline. 
MICE ELF: People can't even understand coupons, sales, how to assemble IKEA furniture but they can tell us all about "their own research". 
CP: Where else is the professional challenged? 
ME: Ted Bundy was his own lawyer? 
MICE ELF: Yeah. And how did that work out for him? 
CP: Leave the thinking to the experts.

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

You Can't Make Me. . .

. . . and continuing to argue and call me names will not help. 
Uber Tech: Angry lady on Line 2. Wants your name and all kinds of information. 
CP: Why? 
UT: I told her we are not allowed to fill her Rx for ivermectin. 
CP: Again, why does she need my name? Is that a veiled threat that she is going to report me in order to achieve my acquiescence? 
UT: I accidentally told her we had some because we just filled it for one of our regular patients who has been receiving it for his legitimate condition for over a year now. 
CP: Okay. I'll take over from here. 

CP: Pharmacist of Dreams. How may I help you today?
Continuing Unabashed Nagging That Is Sorta Harassment: My doctor called in my prescription to another pharmacy and they said they can't get it. 
CP: Did they now?
CUNTISH: And your lady there told me you have it so I want it. 
CP: Did you tell her you are using it for COVID? 
CUNTISH: I did. 
CP: Then I am not allowed to dispense it. 
CP: It is not for a legitimate purpose. 
CUNTISH: You HAVE to fill it. It's a real prescription from a real doctor. 
CP: I'm not questioning its legitimacy, although I am questioning the morals of your provider. 
CUNTISH: You cannot refuse to fill it. 
CP: Indeed I can. 
CUNTISH: What's your name?
CP: I go by many names. None of them are going to fill your prescription. 
CUNTISH: You cannot refuse me!
CP: I can. And I am. The law is clear here. (I quoted her the actual number * of my BOP Rule hoping this would end her harangue. It did not.)
CUNTISH: My doctor says I have to have it!
CP: Then you will have to find another, less scrupulous pharmacy, to berate into filling it. 
CUNTISH: You're the 4th pharmacy I have called and they all said they don't have it. 
CP: I doubt that. I believe they are telling people they don't have it so they don't have to argue with patients and get verbally abused and threatened. Which is what I will be doing hereafter. 
CUNTISH: What's your name? 
CP: Listen, if you want something, threatening me is not the way to get it. I politely explained why I refuse to fill your prescription; just like the other 3 pharmacies. You have all the information you need. 
Now go away. 
CUNTISH: What's Your Name!?
CP: <click>
* It states: "A prescription, to be valid, must be issued for a legitimate medical purpose by an individual prescriber acting in the usual course of his/her professional practice. . corresponding responsibility rests with the pharmacist. . . an order purporting to be a prescriptionissued not in the usual course of bona fide treatment of a patient is not a prescription. . . A pharmacist is not required to dispense a prescription of doubtful, questionable, or suspicious origin."

Friday, September 24, 2021


CP: If a patient comes in and complains about wearing a mask, saying it violates his freedoms, can I rebut with how he is violating my freedom to not have to listen to his bullshit? My pharmacy is not a pulpit. 
CPP: Didn't you make this case about offices calling to speak with you? 
CP: <laughs> I did. When the techs page me with "Pharmacist. Line 1. Dr. Zoffis wants to speak with you." I didn't get a choice. It takes two to make this conversation work. Maybe I don't want to participate in this one. Maybe I'll just sit it out. They're violating my freedoms by expecting me to talk to them. Even worse are when the patients say they "need to speak to the pharmacist". I don't think they do. I don't think I want to join. 
CPP: So you're saying your rights are being trampled? 
CP: Yes. If anti-mask, anti-vaxx feel they are being bullied by being forced to do something they argue is against their rights, what about my rights? I have the right to not have to listen to you. The only problem is, I can't mute you, hang up on you, change the channel, or delete you. 
CPP: Right? Our entire relationship is one of a transactional nature. No talking is required. 
CP: It's great that you're being forced to receive the vaccine by your employer. I don't care how much you hate it. I'm just here to give them. I don't care about your conspiracy theories. I'm not implanting chips, the patient won't die in a few months, and I don't care that you can still smell pungent aromas through the mask. Give me your arm, shut up and sit there. Or better yet, keep your mouth shut and pay me your copay. It gets old. 
CPP: Makes you have a new appreciation for barbers and bartenders and massage therapists. 
CP: They can't escape during their services either. But they can affect the service they provide. 
CPP: Oops. I thought you said "shave it all". 
CP: Hope you enjoy this drink. 
CPP: I have a job to do. But I don't have to listen to you.
CP: You have the freedom to shut up. I suggest you use it.

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Nothing Changes. . . Everything Changes

ME: What's with the look?
MICE ELF: Yeah. You look a little pissed.
CP: I have not been drinking. 
MICE ELF: Angry. 
CP: Yes. That. 
ME: What happened?
CP: In the long list of "phrases your pharmacy hates to hear", this one is getting a lot of play lately: "In all the years I been dealing with this place, I ain't never had a problem with my insurance". 
ME: I hate that. 
MICE ELF: That's great. I appreciate you had a lengthy undefeated streak. Manchester United have a good one going right now too. Unfortunately, theirs, like yours today, will come to an end. But you had a good run. 
CP: To which he replied: "I guess I have to change pharmacies since you people can't get your shit together". 
ME: Another classic. 
MICE ELF: To which you replied?
CP: We are unworthy of your patronage. Please forgive us for ruining your streak. As a reward, we are promoting you to Ex-Patient-Of-The-Month! You prize is a free transfer to any pharmacy you like. Should you elect NOT to choose a pharmacy, a pharmacy will be chosen for you at random. Good Luck! And may the odds be ever in your favour. 
ME: Wow. Nice. 


Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Get Out Of The Line

CP: I always greet patients as they enter the store or approach the pharmacy. 
ME: Me too. 
MICE ELF: It's a good way to let them know they have been seen. 
CP: It also cuts down on complaints about them standing around without us acknowledging their presence. 
ME: Do you want a pat on the back or something?
MICE ELF: Yeah. That's what you're supposed to do. You can't take credit for things you're supposed to do.
CP: My issue is with those patients who do not acknowledge they have been acknowledged. 
ME: Like when you say "Hi. We will be right with you" and they do not respond?
MICE ELF: Or when you say "Welcome! Are you dropping off or picking up?" and they proceed to just stare blankly as if they just woke up in their body and have no idea who or where they are?
CP: Right. It's not your first time here. Or being in public. There is an order to social interactions; a procedure to follow, if you will. I say "hi" then you say "hi".
ME: Pleasantries exchanged! 
MICE ELF: Now we can conduct business. 
CP: Is it worse to ignore the first step? or just jump ahead to "stating your business" unbidden? 
ME: Like when people walk in, you say "Guten Morgen" and they say "Jones. Pick up. 7/7/77." and they haven't even fully entered the building yet?
MICE ELF: Right? Like let's just blow past first base and jump to dry fingering. 
ME: Something is very wrong with you.
MICE ELF: Well that's how it feels. I didn't even have the chance to look up or put on my fake smile and we're already blasting away. 
ME: It still amazes me how people can be clueless.
CP: Like the people who look confused as to where to stand. There are signs: "Drop off", "Pick Up", "Consultation", "Vaccine", but "Stand Here With Dumb Look On Face" is not among them.
ME: Precisely. 
MICE ELF: Remember John Pinette? 
MICE ELF: He had a comedy bit called "lines drive me crazy" about his experiences waiting behind people to order food at fast food restaurants. 
CP: I always think of this when I'm in line. Or when people are in my line. 
ME: Walk up. Get acknowledged (so you know I'm paying attention). Announce your intention(s). Wait for my response. Follow orders. Move along. 
MICE ELF: Move along. 


Thursday, September 9, 2021

Please Contact YOUR Patient

CPP: What is the most annoying change to happen to us (seemingly overnight) over the last decade or so? 
CP: I am most annoyed by doctors' offices that have outgoing messages on their phone trees that state: "If you are calling for a refill request, please contact your pharmacy and have them send us a request electronically". 
CPP: Yeah. Especially not helpful if you are calling to request a NEW prescription that the patient has never filled at your pharmacy before; they recently transferred from another pharmacy or state or provider and you need to get them a fill. You can't refill it if you haven't filled it. 
CP: I've decided to phlip the script on these offices. 
CPP: How's that?
CP: After each attempt at a refill, I will leave a voicemail message or note on the e-request that states: "Should you or your staff choose not to approve this medication request, it is incumbent upon you to call your patient and explain to them why you denied the fill/refill. We told the patient we would submit the request but that we did not have to power to approve or send the approval to the pharmacy. Patients have been instructed to follow up with you on all denials/non-responses after 48-72 hours.
CPP: You should also have a message on our phone tree specifically for the patients. 
CP: It just so happens I do: 
"It is up to the doctor to explain why they denied your request(s). If you do not hear from the pharmacy stating your refill has been approved, please contact your office until you get an answer. We can ask for a refill, but we can't make them review it, approve it, or send it back. We are busy giving shots and testing for COVID and not filling prescriptions or answering phones. Call your doctor until you get a response."
CPP: Nice. 
CP: Well, two can play at the game. Now if we could just use call forwarding to send them directly to Dr. Zoffis. Hmmmm. 
CPP: Can we include "we will no longer accept handwritten or phoned in prescriptions"? 
CP: I'll allow it. 
CPP: This reminds me of the time we talked about scheduling patients' office visits. Sort of.
CP: When we got tired of offices including those little notes on e-scripts and phone calls? 
CPP: Right. That, and when offices told us we should just have it ready when they get here. 
CP: Oh yeah! We just started telling patients they had appointments or they could just waltz into the office and they'd be seen immediately. 
CPP: Change the expectations. 
CP: Change the world!

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Conflict of Messaging

CP: What are among the first things you do whenever you change your name, change your address, or change any personal information? 
CPP: I let everyone know. Family, businesses, banks, etc. 
CP: Right. Good. Makes sense. 
CPP: Are you moving? 
CP: No. I just wanted to make sure it wasn't me. 
CPP: What wasn't you? 
CP: There once was a lady with prescriptions
In desperate need of decryption
We called with no luck
She said what the phuck
And thus ended her conniption. 
CPP: Cute. You just made that up for this post? 
CP: #LamePharmacyJokes phor the win!
CPP: What's the point of telling people you've changed your bio?
CP: Seriously. This lady with prescriptions. We had a note in her profile from two years ago. "Patient transferred out to Long Dick's Drugs. ANY prescriptions sent to us will have occurred in error and should never be filled, but forwarded to LDD." 
CPP: Okay. Phairly straightforward. 
CP: Until we received prescriptions which needed decrypted. We called the doctor. He said she uses the other pharmacy so we filed them. 
CPP: Again. So phar so good. 
CP: Until the patient calls the next day asking why we didn't fill her prescriptions. 
CPP: And you explained the note. 
CP: At which time I explained the note. She said she decided to come back to us for convenience and we are again, her new pharmacy. 
CPP: But not before she got mad at you for not filling prescriptions she told you not to fill? 
CP: I'm pretty sure if I were to start doing business with a company, I'd tell them before I start having things sent to them on my behalf.
CPP: Like that scene in Notting Hill where Honey tells the friends she met someone, looks at Spike and mouths "it's you"?
CP: Exactly. You can't get mad at me for doing what you asked me to do even though you now changed your mind and didn't tell me to no longer do that thing and to do something else without telling me to now do the something else instead. 
CPP: Not a lady. Definitely a woman. 

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Things That Make My Brain Hurt

ME: What's today's puzzling, makes-my-brain-hurt conversation?
CP: It's a good one. Makes me question my sanity. 
MICE ELF: You have some left?
ME: Please continue. 

<Scene: Friday, 16:42>
Lady On Some Therapy: I need a refill. 
CP: I see you have a refill available but we do not have the medication in stock. 
LOST: I am lost without it. 
CP: You are lost with it. 
LOST: I'm going to die without it. 
CP: You are going to die with it. 
LOST: I need it.
CP: It's Friday evening and we do not receive orders on Saturdays. I can order it for Monday or I ca. . .
LOST:  Can you transfer it?
CP: . . .or I can phone the pharmacy of your choosing and transfer it to them. 
LOST: Transfer it to Other Pharmacy People so I can get it this weekend. 

MICE ELF: There's nothing wrong with that. 
ME: Yeah. That scenario repeats itself all day every day in every pharmacy. 
CP: Fast forward to Monday morning. 

<Scene: Monday Morning, 10:10>
Dr. Jack Shephard: My patient called and said she needs a refill. 
CP: You mean LOST? 
DJS: Yes. 
CP: She has a refill. We were out of stock. It's a special order item due to cost. As it was Friday night, she opted to transfer it to OPP. 
DJS: She called and said she needed a refill. 
CP: Nope. 

MICE ELF: Again, not weird. 
ME: I'm bored. 
MICE ELF: Get to the denouement already. 

<Scene: Monday morning, 10:42>
LOST: Did my doctor call in my refill?
CP: You don't need a refill. You transferred you medication to OPP on Friday. 
LOST: Yeah. But I didn't want to go out over the weekend. 
CP: Wait. You had us transfer your prescription to OPP because you were going to die if you had to wait until Monday and now you tell me you didn't feel like going out to retrieve it Friday night, all day Saturday and all day Sunday? And they're a 24 hour store!
LOST: That's why I called my doctor. 
CP: Your doctor doesn't enter into this. He is irrelevant to the current situation. 
LOST: Well I want you to refill my medication today because I don't want to go there.
CP: Well I cannot. 
LOST: Why not?
CP: As you were told on Friday, we order this only for you. Since you elected to transfer it to OPP, we had no reason to order it for today so we did not order it for today. 
LOST: Well what am I supposed to do now?
CP: Um. You could, um, oh I don't know, uh, go to OPP where your prescription is currently filled and, like a puppy in a shelter, waiting to find a home?
LOST: Why don't you keep it in stock?
CP: Because it costs a lot. You're the only patient on it. Despite repeated pleas from us to sign up for automatic refills and alerts, you continue to refuse. Perhaps you will change your mind now. Or not. 
LOST: Well transfer it back and order it for tomorrow in case I don't get over there. 
CP: Huh? I am not going to hedge your bets for you. I can't transfer if you ARE going there because they will have to cancel it. 
LOST: Well if I don't get it, you'll need to order it. 
CP: I'll just don my wizard hat and crystals and scry to know if you're going to pick it up and, while I'm at it, divine your intentions to refill future prescriptions. 
LOST: I don't know what that means. 
CP: And I'll sign you up for automatic refills and texts.

ME: Wow. That took a turn. 
MICE ELF: I'm surprised she called you on Monday.
ME: Yeah. Wasn't she supposed to be dead?
CP: Alas, no. One of these days someone is going to actually keep the promises they make to pharmacies.

Friday, August 20, 2021

Booster Shots

With the announcement that pharmacies (and everyone else) will be administering COVID booster shots soon. . . 

Kick 'em when they're up
Kick 'em when they're down

The Giant Deuce salivating and rubbing their hands (read:genitals) over this news.
Number 1: How do we stretch our staff even further and put patients' lives at risk under the guise of "helping patients live better lives"?
Number 2: Decrease staffing as we enter Pharmacy Winter.
Number 1: Always.
Number 2: Push flu shots at the expense of workflow and safety precautions.
Number 1: Duh.
Number 2: Announce that we will be administering more COVID vaccines and we will be adding staff to help?
Number 1: Huh?
Number 2: Just checking if you're awake. Further decrease staff, add daily conference calls to distract pharmacists and staff about the need to push flu and COVID shots, give them a goal or slogan of "FLU PLUS 2!"
Number 1: Catchy. How about "COVID and Flu and Shingrix, oh my!"? Also, can we work them until they have panic attacks and die behind the counter?
Number 2: That's next on the list.
Number 1: Think anyone will notice?
Number 2: Nope. Pharmacy staff are the worker bees. They die for us to survive.
Number 1: And make bank!
Number 2: No one cares about the profession. Nurses got all the press in 2020. Newspapers tried to bring attention to Pharmacies before we quashed the shit out of those reports.
Number 1: Give them pizza!

Oh. Yeah. Boosters. Good idea.
They work for all types of vaccines that mutate or whose effects wane over time.
Good idea, this. 
But if we know it's coming, why aren't we staffing NOW!
I say the day they announce as the first date shots are available, we all walk out. 
No shots. 
No shifts. 
No shit. 
Someone has to pay attention to us then.

Wednesday, August 18, 2021


CP: What if everyone adopted metrics? 
ME: You mean there are people NOT on metrics? 
MICE ELF: How do they function? 
ME: Yeah. How do they even know what to do next?
CP: Metrics make me nostalgic for the days of 5S. 
ME: Like when we had to label our staplers and spatulas and where we filed our prescriptions. 
MICE ELF: It was better than phorcing pharmacy to adopt Six Sigma. 
CP: They weren't inherently bad, but pharmacy workflow has too many variables and not enough help to allow it to work. 
ME: Glad we have those metrics though. 
CP: As I began, what if everyone adopted metrics and phorced their employees to attain them to the detriment of their other work? 
MICE ELF: Examples, s'il vous plait? 
CP: Dear OB/GYN Kenobis, you have not met your quota for baby deliveries this month. Don't drop the ball.
Dear Hospice, not enough people are dying to work with you this week. Start killing it. 
ME: Well, with hospice metrics, they'd call it something like "graduating to the mortician" or something more catchy and less somber.
MICE ELF: Can you imagine the action plans for OBs to make more deliveries? 
CP: I have a long-term plan, but it's going to take about 9 months, a lot of sperm bank withdrawals, and some open-minded volunteers. 
ME: And about those morticians, are there quotas for funerals in a week? Or cremations? Or alternative burials? 
MICE ELF: Probably alternative burials; like pushing HPV shots during a certain month. I know you had your heart set on this beautiful casket and plot with a tree but, can we interest you in tree burial? Where we hang him in the tree? It's our special this month. Next month is Sky Burial month. Half off if you book one for yourself too!
CP: I thought I was the oddball of the three of us. 
ME: You are. We try to keep up. 
CP: Speaking of the stupidity of pushing shots during random months and speed over accuracy, we sound like the police. 
MICE ELF: Holidays, tickets, and speed traps, oh my!
ME: Talk about filling quotas. 
CP: Metrics aren't inherently bad, it's simply that pharmacy uses them to measure the wrong things at the wrong times and worse, don't use the data to make informed business decisions. 
ME: They use them to punish us. 
MICE ELF: Like Mistress May?
ME: There's another business without metrics. 
MICE ELF: Not enough punishment delivered?
CP: I have such sights to show you. 
ME: You know you mixed your genres there at the end, right? 
CP: They'll get it.

Thursday, August 12, 2021

Pharmacy Label Phlair

CP: Our labels need updated. 
ME: Why? 
CP: They're not exciting enough. 
MICE ELF: They're supposed to convey important instructions to the patient so she knows how to correctly take her medication. 
CP: But they could be improved. They're boring. 
ME: Boring is good. Succinct. To the point. No misunderstanding. 
CP: That ship sailed a long time ago when e-scripts joined the scene. If there is one truth about e-scripts and directions, it's that they're even more difficult to understand now. 
MICE ELF: What do you have in mind? 
CP: Same message, more elegance; or eloquence. 
ME: What prompted this? 
CP: Remember yesterday's post? Under My Tongue?
ME and MICE ELF: We do.
ME: Yeah. What prompted that?
CP: One of my techs was fixing her sig code in the computer and wrote "under the tongue, dissolve one tablet" and thought that was a much more fluid way to write the directions. Then I took it to the next level and asked us, what if we applied that to ALL directions and labels?
ME: Oh dear. And you came up with?
CP: Diagramming sentences. We just move the parts around. 
1. Under the tongue shalt thou dissolve a single tablet. 
2. Via the Vagina shall ye insert one applicator of thine cream.
3. By mouth, thy shall swallow two capsules (place a pair in there)
4. Regarding the rectum, remove from foil one rocket and ram it home. 
5. Between the lips place the inhaler and proceed to breathe deep, puff. . . puff . . . hold. . . hold. . . hold. . . exhale through nose, pass. 
MICE ELF: Wait. What was that last one? 
CP: Huh? Nothing. Thinking ahead. We have pharmacy phriends in other states too, don't forget. 
ME: This was lame, even phor you. 
CP: It's been a slow week. But I made ME laugh.

Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Under My Tongue

Under my tongue
Dissolve a tab for your ills
Under my tongue
Dissolve the films or even pills
Sublingual those
Convenience of the dose you chose
Ease of use, dissolving's fun
It's under my tongue
And ain't this the best way? 

Under my tongue
Can't resist when you can't swallow today
Under my tongue
There is just no easier way 

Goes down easy, yes it does
No need to drink just swallow now goes down easy 
My meds are phun
It's under my tongue 
I, I, say that's the way

Under my tongue
A delicious taste of a pill 
Under my tongue
It's the sweetest, yeah, dose it's a thrill

Goes down easy
The way it melts in your mouth it so 
Goes down easy, my dose is phun
It's under my tongue
I'll take the easy way
Goes down easy, oh yeah
No way I swallow the tabs no more
Down easy, that way is dumb
It's under my tongue
Yeah, just let it melt

Under my tongue
Won't choke on solid dosage phorms
Under my tongue, and I 
I can see why this dose was born

Goes down easy, yeah, that's she said 
The way it melts like it's s'posed to do 
Down easy, this dose is phun
It's under my tongue.

Tuesday, August 3, 2021


CP: Why don't people believe us?
ME: They need two sources. They're just doing their own research. 
MICE ELF: No. They never believe anything we tell them. Just look at any number of our posts. 
CP: <screams> Ah!. 
MICE ELF: What? I just agreed with yo. . . 
CP: <screams> Ah! There's that word again. 
ME: What word? 
CP: I can't say it. Suffice to say it is one of the words CP cannot hear. 
MICE ELF: It's just. . . 
CP: <shrieks> That's the word!
ME: What? Just? 
CP: Yes. 
ME: Why is it so painful? 
CP: Because people invoke that word as some sort of skeleton key; a word that will unlock all mysteries and solve all of their problems. 
ME: How do you mean? 

CP: Dear patient. We are unable to fill this. <explains why: prior auth, no refills, expired, backorder, myriad other reasons without solutions>
Just Invoking Patient: Can't you just. . . ? <whatever they say here is irrelevant>
CP: No. No we cannot "just" anything. Believe me. If we could "just" do something, we would. I'd rather "just" solve the problem than continue to listen to you argue with me. 
JIP: It's just. . . 
CP: No it isn't "just" anything. The discussion is over. 

MICE ELF: Why would people rather believe it is our job to make their and our lives more difficult by intentionally withholding a simple solution? 
ME: Or that we professionals, who deal with these issues all day, every day like it's our actual job, would somehow not have thought of their brilliant, novel fix?
CP: I want to follow these people around; maybe around town, maybe to their jobs, maybe home. Any time they run into trouble I'm like to offer them helpful tips that start with "Why don't you just. . ." or "Can't you just. . ." and see how helpful they think it is. 
ME: Like the other day when I was at a local restaurant and their internet was down. They warned the patrons they would have to pay by cash or check. The party accepted the terms and proceeded to enjoy their meal for the next two hours. At the end, the leader of the pack handed the hostess his credit card. When she again informed him their internet was down and reminded him he agreed to pay cash, he said "just run my card". She told him it doesn't work like that, the internet is down to which he replied "can't you just turn it off and turn it back on". I loved her so much when she smacked her forehead and said "why didn't I think of that hours ago?" 
CP: And that's just why we eat there. 
MICE ELF: <psst> You just said the word again.