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Friday, January 29, 2021


CP: Que Sera Sera
CPP: Is this a reflective moment? 
CP: No. More an exercise in value. 
CPP: How do you mean?
CP: As our society has become more disposable, more single-use minded, many things should not be considered instantly disposable. 
CPP: You were watching "The Repair Shop" again, weren't you?
CP: Yes, it's quite addictive. But this example is a little less about temporal value and more about simplicity. 
CPP: Remember our old partner and her coffee pot? 
CP: Of course. 
CPP: Is this anything like that?
CP: Oddly, yes. I thought she was pretty unique but this rivals that for peculiarity. Why don't you set the scene?
CPP: I need a new coffee pot. 
CP: Why? What's wrong with it?
CPP: It's dirty. 
CP: Did you clean it?
CPP: Haha! No. 
CP: You don't know how? Or just didn't know you could do that?
CPP: Eww. Gross. It's dirty. I need a new one. 
CP: Vinegar?
CPP: Eww. I'm buying a new one.                     
CP: Just because it's dirty?
CPP: Yes. 

CPP: Your turn. 

CP:How may we help you?
Needs A Meter And Says They Expire: I need a new meter.
CP: What is the issue?
NAMASTE: I bought this one and now it no longer works.
CP: I see. What seems to be the trouble?
NAMASTE: It won't turn on, won't read the strips when it does, doesn't give me results. I need a new one.
CP: Have you tried troubleshooting it?
NAMASTE: Not sure how shooting it will help. Maybe when I get the new one. 
CP: <scritches scalp> How about a battery?
NAMASTE: I should beat it and shoot it?
CP: New battery. CR 2032. 
NAMASTE: It would be easier to buy a new meter. This one is bad. 
CP: It's less than a year old judging by that receipt you brought. 
NAMASTE: They must go bad. 
CP: Yes. Batteries die. Do you own a watch?
NAMASTE: Yes, a nice Seiko. 
CP: Hmm. I own a few Special Edition collector watches. They all require batteries. You mean to tell me that I should just throw them away and buy new, collector-edition watches instead of replacing the batteries?
NAMASTE: It would be easier.And it's guaranteed to work right away. 
CP: Umm. Hmm. I. . . Let me grab you a battery. If that fixes it, problem solved. If not, we can send you over to the Meter Maids who can fit you for a new meter. 
NAMASTE: But I want the same one. 
CP: Right. BRB. 
CP: Success! It works!
NAMASTE: Will I get a new meter if this happens again?
CP: No. You will replace this battery with the second battery from the 2-pack you are about to purchase; the one missing the battery I just used. 
NAMASTE: I still think a new meter would have been easier. 


Sunday, January 24, 2021


CPP: What is one thing that could make the COVID vaccine distribution system worse?
CP: Tickets.
CPP: Like Willy Wonka and the Golden Tickets?
CP: No. The only thing that could make this system truly worse would be if someone decided patients had to have tickets to receive a shot and they put Ticketmaster in charge. 
CPP: Don't give them any ideas. 
CP: It's such a corrupt, inefficient system, how did the government not glom on to it?
CPP: Everyone would be sitting at their laptops or shaking their mobiles whilst waiting for the site to load at 10am. 
CP: Getting frustrated trying to remember their account information; or if they even have one. Then playing the "I am not a robot" game again, and again.
CPP: First hit only a few seconds in to the game! You'd be offered a ticket in the nosebleed section or, in this case, another state. 
CP: Because that was already the "best available". Then you'd attempt to trade those in for another shot at something closer to the stage. 
CPP: And you'd get "no tickets available". 
CP: How are there not tickets available? They just went on sale 42 seconds ago!
CPP: Then you'd have to refresh the screen and hope you get another hit. 
CP: Or that someone wasn't fast enough with their credit card and the system timed out on them. Lather, rinse, repeat.
CPP: Then you cut it down to "any seat in any COVID vaccine clinic within 100 miles of the stage" and you get one ticket behind the stage, in a non-contiguous county.
CP: And you take it. 
CPP: Phew. What a way to start your day at 10am. 
CP: And it's now only 10:02 am and the tickets are sold out. 
CPP: Except you still need one for you or another parent/family member. 
CP: Enter the ticket brokers and scalpers!
CPP: Resale sites would abound with desperate patients looking to score a closer ticket. 
CP: Can't you just see scalpers outside the pharmacy/health department/hospital/clinic? Some holding up a few fingers announcing "I got three! Three seats! Today only!"
CPP: And a few patients walking around or a mobile army of a wheelchair brigade rolling around the parking lots saying "we need five! anyone got five?" 
CP: It's definitely the American Way.  
CPP: Don't give the "Big Deuce" any ideas. They'd probably steal this idea and charge an extra "inconvenience fee" for the hassle they provided free of charge. 

Friday, January 22, 2021

Don't Call Me, I'll (Probably Not) Call You

Uber-Tech: How may I help you today?
I Mustn't Accept Biting Innuendo That Could Hurt: I am here to retrieve my prescription that I faithfully ordered over a week ago; giving you ample time to fill it for me. 
UT: Delightful. Hmm. 
IMABITCH: "Hmm", what?
UT: It appears we are awaiting a refill authorisation from your provider. 
IMABITCH: I've given you a week. This is absurd!
UT: Indeed it has been a week. Yet your doctor has still not responded to our requests. All four of them, in fact. We sent one every other day for the last 8 days and, nada. Now may be the time to ring your provider yourself.
IMABITCH: You have had over a week! This is why I hate coming here. You people are so stupid.  
UT: We are not "stupid", only doing our jobs. Unfortunately, your doctor seems incapable of doing theirs. 
IMABITCH: I cannot believe I keep coming here. 
UT: Yeah. You should find a new doctor since they are the ones who seem to be failing you.

CP: <triumphantly rides in on my trusty steed> Ma'am. You are not allowed to speak to my staff that way. She has been most gracious with her patience and explained the situation but you have neither listened not attempted to understand her. 
IMABITCH: Your staff are rude and so are you. 
CP: <deep sigh>
UT: Oh shit. <ducks>
CP: Let me put this into one of my world-phamous analogies to help you understand. Let's say you are at the bar, again. Let's say you're pounding the White Claws and the 80's wants your hair back. You see a guy and, after a few more beer-goggling drinks to make yourself feel more attractive, you give him your number. Next day, no call. No calls from him for the next, oh, 8 days. On whom do we place the blame? The guy who didn't call? The bartender who served you and watched you make a fool of yourself? Just because you gave him your number does not mean you can make him call you. Just like I can't make your doctor call me either. Maybe "Bar Guy" doesn't want to look at your vagina any more than your doctor does. Now apologise to my tech and take your ass-filled acid wash mom jeans out of my store, and call your own doctor for your own refill. And put the Aqua Net back!
UT: Ouch. 
CP: Yeah. The Aqua Net was a low blow but that feathered mullet was an assault on the eyes. 
UT: 80's Karen.

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

A Change Is Gonna Come

CPP: What's your favourite interaction in the month of January? 
CP: All insurance changes. 
CPP: Give me a short example. 

Thinking She's Always Right Is Needlessly Annoying: I am here to pick up my prescription. 
CP: Didn't I see you yesterday? 
TSARINA: Yes. When I dropped off my prescription. 
CP: And I asked you if you had any changes in insurance since the beginning of the year? 
CP: And you said nothing changed? 
TSARINA: Nothing changed.
CP: May I see the new and old cards?
TSARINA: The only thing that's different is the group number. So nothing changed. 
CP: Did you change your hair since yesterday? 
CP: But you were blonde yesterday. Now it's black and pink. 
TSARINA: I changed the colour but not the cut. 
CP: I think you need to learn the definition of "change"; see "make different, alter". 
TSARINA: But it's the same cut. 
CP: I'm going to change your pharmacy for you. You can still use the same chain, but you will now pick up at the location across town since they're the same. 

CPP: If it's different, how is it the same?
CP: Another example of, how do people survive in the rest of the world if this is how they act in the pharmacy? At least in the US. 
CPP: If we were wild animals, these people would have been eaten by their parents at birth. 

Monday, January 18, 2021

You Forgot

CP: Rhetorical question. 
ME: Go for it. 
CP: Who is responsible for remembering your personal details?
ME: I?
CP: I for I, ME for ME, and MICE ELF for MICE ELF, yeah?
ME and MICE ELF: Yeah. 
CP: Just checking. 
ME: Why? What happened?
CP: There once was a lady seeking drugs. . . 
MICE ELF: Just tell us the story.

<phone rings>
CP: Good morning and welcome to CP's Palace of Pills. How may I help you?
Forgetful Lady Awaiting Knowing Epithets: You forgot my meds.
CP: As they were not mine, I fail to see how I forgot them. I may have forgotten mine, but you forgot yours. 
FLAKE: I was supposed to receive 3 medications and you only gave me one. 
CP: If you were supposed to receive 3 and walked away with one, that sounds more like a you problem than a me problem. 
ME: Don't drag ME into this. 
FLAKE: You only gave me one. You forgot two. 
MICE ELF: Hypothetical, analogical story problem time?
ME: Yes!
CP: Do you have children?
FLAKE: What does that have to do with this?
CP: Let's assume you have 3 children. If you take them to the daycare in the morning before work and leave them there while you do something oddly annoying for a few hours, how many of your children are at the daycare?
FLAKE: Three. 
CP: Good. Now, let us suppose you return to retrieve them at the end of your day. If the preschool marches one child out to your car, what do you do? Do you drive home, sans two children, and THEN call the daycare to complain that THEY forgot your other children?
ME: I can just see it now: "One? Hmm, I thought there were more but maybe I left them at home. Maybe I'll check their rooms." . . . <arrives at home> "Not here. Those damn daycare workers forgot to give me my kids. . . again! This always happens. I'm switching daycares."
MICE ELF: <in deep narrator voice> She did NOT, in fact, change preschools.
FLAKE: It's your fault. 
CP: Alas, my lass, as I just illustrated, it is not. Either way, you have to return to pick them up before we close. We cannot keep your children overnight. We will place them outside with a puppy and a Valentine's Day party bag of Fun Dip before we leave. 
ME: Do you want to tell the people the coda of the story?
MICE ELF: Please? This is the best part!
CP: She picked them up via the drive thru. We placed 3 bags in the tube and sent it over. She took out 1 bag and didn't return the tube. When the person behind pulled up, he noticed 2 bags in the tube. 
ME: That's like putting one kid in the car seat and leaving the other 2 standing on the sidewalk in front of the car as she backs away. 
MICE ELF: They just stood there and cried about being forgotten. 
CP: At least they got a puppy. 

Monday, January 11, 2021

What Work Do You Do?

CPP: If our budgets are based on work that needs done, why do they only reference prescriptions filled?
CP: Because pharmacies fill prescriptions. 
CPP: Then why are we always behind?
CP: We have too many workers filling prescriptions. 
CPP: Said no one. Ever. 
CP: Well that's what Boss Lady said last time I asked. You want to hear that convo?
CPP: Sure. 

BL: Why are you so far behind?
CP: This is actually good. For some reason, the accountants on the 13th floor of "What-The-Phuck-Do-We-Know-About-Tech-Schedules" decided I only needed one tech for today. 
BL: Yet you have 4. 
CP: Nice observation. We like to count by 5's here in the pharmacy so nice work. 
BL: So you're telling me you're over-scheduled and getting further behind. 
CP: Do you like birds?
BL: Yes. 
CP: Do you like Gladiator movies?
BL: Huh?
CP: Birds. When you bird-watch, you have to sit and observe them. You can't just look around and cry "there's one! and there's one, and there's one! I saw some, let's go get chili".
BL: Where are you going with this?
CP: Observe and Report. Watch and Learn. One tech at drive-thru. One tech at the register. One tech at drop-off. One tech doing COVID tests. 
BL: I see that. 
CP: Who is counting my prescriptions?
BL: No one. 
CP: Who is answering my phone?
BL: No one. 
CP: A girl has no name. 
BL: What?
CP: Shooting for a high score in references. Anyway, you asked me earlier why we were behind THEN you proceeded to ask why I wasn't completing my outdates, shining your pumps, and waxing that chin. I thought it was pretty obvious yet you proved me wrong. I was trying to point out the fallacy that is our schedule and your comment was "you're overscheduled yet you are behind". There is a disconnect here and I can no longer respect you. As if that eye makeup weren't enough. 
BL: Well I never. 
CP: And that's the problem. You never did my job. You never took the time to understand what we do. You never hugged me. 

CPP: You okay?
CP: All good. 
CPP: So your long, belabored point was that there is more to our jobs than lick, stick, count, pour?
CP: Basically. Every one of my staff were involved in tasks yet more tasks were demanding their attention. Only one of those techs was actively involved in filling a prescription. Could you imagine if I had allowed the stock schedule to be approved? One tech and I would never be able to accomplish all of this work.
CPP: Seriously. How out of touch does she have to be to not notice or see her surroundings? 
CP: Peaky Blinders. 
CPP: Thuggish Ruggish?
CP: Now let's ask everyone what jobs are you required to do that do NOT involve filling (typing, 3rd party rejects, counting, labeling, bagging, selling the Rx) prescriptions?
-outdates, returns-to-stock, cycle counts, selling non-rx merchandise, answering phones (what types of calls do you answer?), answering random walk-up questions (what questions arise most often?), unlocking the bathroom, et al.

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

You've Certainly "Lost It"

UT: CP, I need your help with this one. 
CP: Certainly. What's the issue?
UT: She needs her refill and the other pharmacy won't fill it. 
CP: I'm supposed to transfer it? 
UT: Yes. 
CP: Can't wait to get the other half of the story from The Other Pharmacist. 

TOP: She lost it. 
CP: Of course. What is she expecting from me? The same answer but in a different voice?
TOP: I offered her a discount price but she "didn't like the one I gave her". 
CP: Phun. 

Lost It Lady Doubting EveryBody But Is Expectant: I need my medication. 
CP: It is too soon. 
LIL DEBBIE: Yes. TOP told me the same thing. But I'm out and I still need it.
CP: I can cash it out for you or you can check for a discount card. 
LIL DEBBIE: No. How many can you give me to hold me until my refill will work?
CP: As many as you wish to pay for today. 
LIL DEBBIE: I don't want to pay for any. My insurance pays for them. 
CP: And they did. But you lost those. Now you wish to replace them and the insurance is saying "not our problem you are irresponsible". 
LIL DEBBIE: But I need them. 
CP: Then you can pay for them. 
LIL DEBBIE: No. My insurance pays for them. 
CP: Only when they are due. The lost/stolen/vacation/dog-ate-my-homework override didn't work either. And I can't "give you some" since I have never filled this, nor any other prescription for you. That's not how business transactions work. 
LIL DEBBIE: How much is it?
CP: That'll be $12.00. 
LIL DEBBIE: I usually pay $5. 
CP: Right. So that's a pretty good deal. 
LIL DEBBIE: No. I only want to pay $5. 
CP: Then you will have to wait until your refill is due and your insurance agrees to pay. 
LIL DEBBIE: Did you call my doctor?
CP: Why?
LIL DEBBIE: To tell him I need them. 
CP: I think he knows you need them. Him telling me "she really needs them" isn't going to make your insurance pay for them, especially since you told me there was no dosage change and that you really lost them. 
LIL DEBBIE: You should call him. 
CP: I will pretend I called him while you pretend you didn't lose them. It's still $12.00 for more today.
LIL DEBBIE: It was only $11.50 with the TOP. 
CP: Shall I transfer it back there? 
LIL DEBBIE: No. I really need it. I'm going to see if I can find it cheaper.

UT: That sounded phun. 
CP: Still trying to figure out how much her time and effort are worth compared to "I really need them" vs. "I need to save $7.00". 
UT: Maybe it's the principle?
CP: Sounds like she needs sent to the principal. 


Use The Force, CP

CP: Have you ever been forced to pay for something you neither wanted nor needed?
CPP: Girl Scout cookies come to mind. 
CP: Okay. That's more of a guilt trip than gun-to-the-head coercion. 
CPP: Agree to disagree. Why the query?
CP: This recent, yet always timely, conversation:

CP: Thanks phor calling CP's Pill Palace. How may I help you?
Lady Out Of Touch Can't Really Afford The Expense: You forced me to pay for this and I don't need it. 
CP: Hmm. Sounds like assault. Did one of my staff have a gun?
CP: Katana Spatula?
CP: Take one of your family hostage?
CP: Menacing look?
CP: Then I am at a loss as to how you were compelled to purchase something against your will. 
LOOT CRATE: She asked for my credit card. 
CP: Which you willingly swiped of your own free will?
CP: Sounds like an open and shut case of a normal business transaction. 
LOOT CRATE: I don't need it. 
CP: How did we receive it?
LOOT CRATE: I don't know. 
CP: <checks profile> Upon further review, it appears as if your prescriber submitted an electronic prescription, hmm, unsolicited by us, to our pharmacy yesterday. Apparently it is a new therapy. Did you contact the office recently?
CP: Aaaand. . . ?
LOOT CRATE: She said she would send it to the doctor for review. 
CP: Aha. You initiated a call to your provider who, upon further review herself, decided therapy was warranted and, taking the next logical step, sent us the prescription which you then ran down to the pharmacy to retrieve, right? 
LOOT CRATE: Yes. But I don't need it.
CP: Did you mention this to your provider? 
CP: When you were at the counter, did you ask any questions about the medication; what it was? what it was for? side effects? anything? *
CP: Hmm. So you just picked up a random medication you were not expecting, paid for it, took it home, THEN decided you didn't need it?
CP: Ok. What do you wish? 
LOOT CRATE: For my money back. 
CP: First, I cannot do that. Second, your copay was $1.89. That was a pretty cheap lesson. Next time, ask us what you are picking up. It's a good habit to employ at other places as well. (Boy, this bag feels light/heavy. What's in here? Did I get all of my stuff?) 
LOOT CRATE: Well I don't need this. 
CP: Then make sure you call your provider and let her know you have not and will not start the therapy she prescribed for you. We can't allow you to be more non-compliant.

*Yes. A pharmacist walking up to the counter to counsel may have helped. It may not. Maybe she drove off from the drive thru instead of waiting, maybe the RPh was giving a shot and she didn't want to wait, maybe she was offered counsel and she refused, maybe this, maybe that. We ALL know how our days go and not every one of our 600 patients/day receive a proper counsel. Maybe. Maybe not. Let it go. That's not the point of the story.

Monday, January 4, 2021

A Phunny Thing Happened On The Way To Vaccination

CP: It's time for another "Good Idea/Bad Idea".
MICE ELF: Ooh. I love these. What's today's topic?
CP: COVID Vaccinations. 
ME: Lame. 
CP: Hear me out on this one. 
MICE ELF: The floor is yours. 
CP: GOOD IDEA: Utilising pharmacists in the campaign to inoculate the public. 
ME: I agree. It's about time we were seen as the healthcare professionals we are and valued for the service we can provide. 
CP: Except this comes on the heels of flu shot season so everyone has this opinion that's it's just a walk-up-and-ask-and-wait-and-be-out-in-five-minutes sort of campaign. It's not as if we don't have other work to do.
MICE ELF: I'm all in favour of pharmacists-as-immunizers. Where is the issue? 
CP: BAD IDEA: Giving the contracts to the two largest pharmacy chains in the country to control distribution. It has been nothing short of a train wreck according to most media and anecdotal reports. 
ME: Why is that bad? They collectively own nearly 20,000 stores across the country. Surely they have the presence and capacity to distribute and administer vaccines on the necessary scale? Surely? Right? 
CP: When was the last time you spoke with a retail pharmacist at one of these locations? 
MICE ELF: Only what I read on Facebook.
CP: Ask any retail pharmacist if they believe their employer, especially the chains, have enough staff to cover the normal day-to-day operations of their stores. The NUMBER ONE COMPLAINT against these companies is that they are woefully, dangerously understaffed. Yet these are the hands into which we placed this critical task? If ever there were a more government move than that, I can't think of one. 
ME: You're saying they focused on big business? 
MICE ELF: To a point, it played a part, certainly. 
CP: My questions are these:
-Why are we not following the model of previous, successful campaigns (Polio)?
-Why, with months to plan this rollout, did the chains not train their techs and hire more staff sooner?
-Why, with months to plan this rollout, did counties not assemble teams of all personnel who could administer vaccines so they could administer them in a more logical, centralised manner?
-Why are we not using the National Guard to help coordinate and facilitate administration (it's worked before.)? <and no, fear is not a good excuse in case someone wishes to use that.>
-Why are we not using schools or stadiums for large groups of people? (Imagine social distancing at an indoor NFL stadium or NBA arena with The Guard there to organize crowds by zip code on certain dates and times. Obviously, once we get past the LTC/1A stage.)
-Why were clinics not scheduled by county departments of Health and submitted to "The Big Deuce (cvs and wag's)" in a better manner? (Again, they had months to strategise/organise this.)
ME: So you're saying they done messed up?
CP: Yes. While other countries are doing a somewhat better job at jabs than we are, we should be doing far better. Handing the reins to "The Big Deuce" was a mistake. I have friends who are nurses and pharmacists who are trying to apply, today, with these companies to join the jab list but are having trouble getting responses. Former techs who now work there report they are to undergo training for administration "soon". Reports from phriends who are working these clinics have not been positive either; "disorganized", "chaotic", "ridiculous", and "phuckery at its phinest" were a phew of the words/phrases I heard recently. 
ME: It's still early. 
CP: And it's a train wreck. 
MICE ELF: Well you can't complain about the government rewarding big business and calling it a mistake then suggesting they roll out The Guard. 
CP: There's a difference between "here's millions of dollars to be in charge of this" and "hey, here's some help setting up tents and organization since, you know, that's one of the things at which we excel here at home". 
ME: The US had administered 4.2 million jabs so far, as of 1/2/21. That is woefully inadequate considering the number of doses available. 
MICE ELF: And the number going to waste. 
CP: Yes. I know. There was uncertainty as to whom would receive doses and how many would be allocated. But. . . there needed to be plans in place and relying on these retail giants was a mistake. Period. 
I hope it improves.
I'm not optimistic today. 
I managed to receive a jab for myself. 
It wasn't easy to obtain. 
We can't give shots to people who don't want them, but we need to be able to administer them to those who do. 
And The Big Deuce dropped the load here.