Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Medicaid Recipients

My store is running a promotion: Get 5 prescriptions filled at the pharmacy and get a 20% coupon for the store. This is really a great promotion if you think about it. First of all, it's a great deal to our customers because 20% off groceries can be a lot of money. Secondly, it's pretty unique in that it's a case where we are using the store to draw customers to the pharmacy instead of using the pharmacy to draw people into the store.

Like any other promotion or coupon give-away, the offer excludes medicaid and medicare recipients. Well, this has been a point of contention for several of our customers. Some have said that we are discriminating against medicare patients. One lady completely flipped out on me and one of our store managers over the whole issue. We tried to calmly explain to her that we don't make the rules and there's nothing we can do, but she got pretty belligerent. She started yelling about how no one in the pharmacy knows what they're doing, and how she'll never fill another prescription here ever again.

(On a side note: This woman complains about something and threatens to leave every single time she picks up a prescription, but bless her heart, she always comes back.)

This entry isn't about me complaining about how my tax dollars funding these medicaid patients. Nor will I take a popular stance on how people just abuse the system and pump out kids all the time in order to get more money from the government while doing nothing but sitting on their asses. Quite honestly, I think the Medicaid program is a good thing, and I have no problem with my tax dollars going to fund it. I will never complain about people having multiple kids while on Medicaid because I don't think I have any right to tell a woman when she can have a child and when she can't.

I can understand how a person might be stuck on government assistance for a long time. Not everyone is smart enough or physically capable of making a comfortable living. Sometimes, it has nothing to do with intelligence, but rather the way and the environment in which they were brought up. Many people never get the same kind of opportunities I had. Believe me, I'm well aware of just how fortunate I am to have been raised in a comfortable, middle-class household. I'm grateful that my parents instilled in me the value of education, and I'm grateful that they invested their time and money in making sure I had every opportunity to succeed in life. Many people don't have this kind of family support, and it's understandable that some end up on Medicaid.

However, the one thing I will never understand is when Medicaid recipients (and I certainly don't mean ALL of them) expect to have things handed to them. The woman that went nuts on us gets all of her medication for free, she gets tax breaks, she gets government assistance to pay for her food and housing, yet she still has the nerve to bitch about a freaking 20% off coupon. Instead of being happy and grateful for whatever help she can get, she complains and holds her hand out for more. Worse, she thinks she deserves more.

All I know is that if I were on Medicaid, I would work my ass off trying to get off it. I would make it my singular goal in life to stand up and make ends meet on my own. I would be happy that I was able to get some help from the government, but I wouldn't be looking for any additional handouts.

In any case, I never lost my cool with the woman. I never got flustered. I didn't fire back at her in response to any of her criticisms. I just let her rant and rave, and I'm sure the next time she comes into our pharmacy (and there will be a next time), I'll listen to her complain about something else. Even when she told me I didn't know how to do my job and insulted the entire staff, I never wavered. I know that I will never be able to reason with her and yelling at her won't accomplish anything.

In the end, she'll continue to believe the world owes her everything, and I'll never be able to understand how someone in her position could think like that.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Thoughts on Miami

I just got home from a five day trip from Miami. While down there, I made several observations that I would like to share.

1) You know how you see celebrities and models on TV and think that women like those don't really exist? Well, they do, and they're all in Miami. It's unbelievable just how many drop-dead gorgeous women are there. An average woman in Miami would be one of the hottest women anywhere else.

2) More about the women: These gorgeous women go to bars and clubs wearing next to nothing, and then they give you a dirty look if they catch you sneaking a glance at their cleavage. Seriously, what the fuck??? If you don't want to be treated like a piece of meat, then put some fucking clothes on. One girl there wore a blue dress that wasn't even long enough to cover her entire ass. I had to do a double take just to make sure I wasn't seeing things. I wasn't even thinking of her as a sex object. If anything, I was completely embarrassed for her. I mean, half her ass was showing. I didn't get to see the front of the dress, but there was no way in hell that thing covered her goods. It was kind of disgusting.

Then there are the women who sit on the beach topless for hours on end in plain view of EVERYBODY. Then, when they decide to go in the water, they clutch at their tops every time a tiny wave comes... you know, because the waves might knock their tops off and someone might see their breasts. Pretty freaking stupid.

3) BMW 6-series in Miami are like Honda Accords anywhere else. I must have seen 10 Bentley GT's when I was down there. Eventually, the novelty of seeing Ferrarris, Porsche's, Lamborghinis, Mercedes, BMWs, etc, wears off. However, when you first go down there, every time you see a Bentley, you try to get a look at the driver because you're wondering which celebrity or athlete is behind the wheel. Then, you look and see some nobody in a wife beater. It's dissappointing and a little irritating because you wonder how the hell this guy can drive a Bentley while you're stuck in an old Accord.

That's pretty much all I have to say for now. I also had a semi-epiphany in Miami, and I plan to write about that in the near future. I'm tired now, so it will have to wait.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Peak Oil

I wrote this several months ago for another blog. For whatever reason, I feel like posting it here.

Here is a cold hard fact: We are either at peak global oil production or going to reach it in the next 5 years.

I don't think people understand the implications of that fact. Let me say this is another way: Within the next 5 years, we will be on the downward slope towards completely running out of useable oil on the planet earth. Most geologist estimate that somewhere around 2030, our planet will be completely out of financially feasible oil reserves.

Ever since Al Gore's movie (An Inconvenient Truth), the nation and the world has been obsessed with the idea of global warming. Everyone is talking about "going green" to stop the release of greenhouse gases that are destroying global ecosystems, melting glaciers, and causing our storms to become more intense. The idea is noble... but HORRIBLY misguided.

The real crisis facing the human race is not climate change. It is, infact, RUNNING OUT OF OIL. Perhaps we don't quite appreciate how much of our modern lives is entirely dependent on the assumption that energy is cheap and limitless. Just about every single thing we do in this country can be traced back to oil.

Let me give you an example from just one day in my life. When I woke up this morning, the first thing I did was turn on the television. TV runs on electricity. Electricity comes mostly from oil (or other fossil fuels). Then I checked my email on my computer that consumes electricity that we get from oil. Let's not forget that many of the parts in my computer are made with plastic that can only be made from oil. Oh yeah... my computer was made in a factory using electrical and mechanical processes that need to be run with energy we get from burning oil. The same could be said about my television. Taking it a step further, both my TV and my computer were most likely made over seas, then had to be shipped to this country on big cargo ships that use tons of fuel to keep them running. Once they reached this country, they had to be loaded onto trucks that run on gasoline and transported to their destinations hundreds (if not thousands) of miles away.

That was just the first 5 minutes of my day. Are you starting to understand the crisis we face as a civilization? The United States especially has a huge problem. The model of suburbia was made possible because of cheap, abundant oil. 10 years ago (even now!) no one thinks much of anything about getting in their car and driving 20-30 miles to work every day. Imagine a world where gasoline is so scarce that it costs $100 per gallon. Now, even if your car got 30 mpg, it would cost you $100 per day to drive to work. A lot of people don't make much more than $100 per day at work. Our towns and houses are so spread out that public transportation is literally impossible to implement. What would we do? We'd all have to go back to living within a couple miles of where we work, so that we could either walk or ride a bike.

That brings up another thing... what will happen to our jobs??? I'll talk about my job. I work in a pharmacy. We get drugs and other pharmaceutical products that are made all over the world. First, the drug companies require cheap energy to power their research facilities. They also need plastics for their research equipment. Once they've researched a compound, they need machinary in order to mass produce it. Once the drug is mass produced, it needs to be packaged and shipped to distribution warehouses using ships, trucks, planes, etc. From there, they need to be transported to my pharmacy in order for me to dispense them.

The pharmacy is entirely dependent on our computer systems. We use the computer to keep track of patient profiles, to order meds, and pretty much everything else. This all runs on electricity provided to us by cheap oil. Imagine if oil goes away or becomes prohibitively expensive. Drug companies wouldn't be able to research new drugs. They wouldn't be able to continue making their present drugs due to the cost. If they can't make the drugs, then what am I going to dispense. What will happen to my job? I have no idea.

Think about how much we complain now about present gas prices. It's over $3.00 per gallon now, and everyone is going nuts. Let me put it to you this way... I just filled up my tank for about $43 the other day. My car has only been averaging about 21mpg (even though it's supposed to be getting 30 hwy mpg). Even with that less-than-stellar gas mileage, I can drive 300 miles on 1 tank of gas. For $43, I can travel 300 miles. Think about that. That's really really cheap. Think about how long 300 miles is. That gets you almost 1/3 of the way down the east coast line... and we think that's expensive. The documentary I just saw put it in these terms. 1 cup of coffee can cost about $3 depending on where you go. 1 cup of gasoline, even by today's prices, costs you about 20 cents. Gasoline is less expensive than bottled water right now. It's essentially the least expensive liquid we have, yet we complain about how ridiculously expensive it is. In 10 years, depending on how far along the downward slope of oil production we are, gas could be $15 per gallon.

What kills me is that NOBODY IS TALKING ABOUT THIS!!!! We hear about global warming every damn day, but no one even mentions how we're a little over 20 years from being completely out of econimically feasible oil. If something isn't done quickly, our lives are going to change dramatically. There are 6 billion people on this planet right now. It's estimated that without fossil fuels, the planet can only support 1.5-2 billion people at most. Without cheap oil, we cannot produce enough food to feed everyone. We won't have enough jobs to employ everyone. There's going to be another great depression that brings about starvation, rioting, and panic. BILLIONS of people are going to die because our way of life is just completely dependent on oil.

Technological advancement will come to a halt because we won't have enough cheap electricity. In actuality, technology will digress. Planes will be a thing of the past. Microchips, computers, televisions... they all are only possible because of how cheap energy is. Without cheap energy, those can't be produced. Our great cities will have to shrink down to a more manageable size. The suburbs will be completely decimated because they will be too spread out and far away from grocery stores and businesses. All the things that oil is responsible for that we take for granted will go away.

This may sound very much like a doomsday prediction. That's because it is. We've had our heads up our asses (or perhaps more appropriately up the oil companies' asses) for so long that its probably too late to solve the problem. We've never invested any time or money into alternative energy sources because oil was so abundant that it was practically free. Now we're faced with trying to find enough energy to power our modern day of life without using oil. The alternatives we have our bleak at best.

Wind Power- wind farms are starting to pop up in the midwest. However, wind is inconsistent, and even the biggest wind farms produce an amount of electricity that can only be described as a drop in the Pacific Ocean of our current and future energy demands.

Solar Power- While it is very true that the total amount of solar energy that falls on our planet in 1 day is 20,000 times more than the amount needed to power our civilization, we've yet to find a great way to harnass that power. Current solar panels only convert about 12% of solar energy into electricity, and that is under absolute ideal conditions. Obviously, you can't make solar energy in the absence of sunlight, so we'd have no electricity at night or on cloudy, overcast days. The deserts of the southwest USA are ideal for collecting solar energy, but unless we develop some way to transport all that electricity to every other part of our nation, it won't be enough. Solar panels are also very expensive to make, so as long as there is cheap oil, no company is going to invest the money to research and develop better ones.

Hydrogen- This is the big one everyone is talking about. "We'll use hydrogen to power our cars." Well, there are a lot of problems with that. First off, unlike oil, there is no hydrogen just laying around our planet. In order to isolate hydrogen, you need to separate it from water through electrolysis. As implied in the name, electolysis require electricity. Therefore, it requires electricity just to create hydrogen. Right now, we actually spend more electricity in oil to create a hydrogen fuel cell than we actually get back from using it. That's not going to help us. Even if we somehow do perfect this process and make it more energy efficient, we have the whole transport process. We have no infrastructure to transport hydrogen. We have no easy way to store it. In addition, it's nowhere near as good of a fuel as gasoline for our vehicles because hydrogen is such a small molecule that it will actually diffuse through our storage tanks even when we aren't running the engine. If you let a hydrogen fuel cell powered car sit for one week then tried to run it, you'd find that it would be out of fuel.

Biodiesel- Global warming people love this option. "We can substitute biodiesel for gasoline." In short... no, we can't. For one, it requires a lot of bio-products to make biodiesel fuel. It's absolutely impossible to make enough biodiesel to replace the gasoline that is required by the 700 million internal combustion engine automobiles that are in the world. Secondly, it requires a lot of oil just to make a gallon of biodiesel fuel.

Ethanol- See biodiesel. Currently, it takes 3 gallons of gasoline to produce 1 gallon of ethanol fuel. Plus, we'd have to have a cornfield the size of the US to get enough ethanol to power our country.

Nuclear- Other than the safety and environmental issues regarding nuclear power, I'll say this: In order to meet the world's current energy demand using just nuclear power, we'd need 10,000 of the largest nuclear power plants built. With all those power plants, we'd burn through the earth's supply of Uranium 235 in 20 years. 20 years is obviously not going to help us.

As you can see, no single alternative even comes close to replacing oil, except one... Coal. We have tons of coal reserves. Probably enough for a couple hundred years, infact. However, if we use that coal, then you'd really see global warming speed up at a catastrophic rate. Therefore, it's really not a viable alternative.

So... as it stands, we are a little over 20 years away from full-on oil crisis, and we don't have a single option that will even come close to meeting our energy demands. In other words, everyone should enjoy their cars, computers, and comfortable way of life while we have it because in our lifetimes, the shit is going to hit the fan, and everything we took for granted is going to come crashing down.

Perhaps if we started making preparations 20 years ago, we'd have a fighting chance of evading disaster. Even today, nobody is thinking about this. Car companies are still putting out 300 horsepower family sedans. Electronics companies are putting out all new gadgets. Everything is going on as if the problem doesn't exist. Our leaders are aware, but instead of spending money to develop the technology that might save our future, we're going into the middle east to fight wars over whatever oil there is left. Believe me... Iraq has absolutely nothing to do with terrorism. It has nothing to do with Sadam Hussein. It even has less to do with providing freedom for the population. We want to set up a democracy there, and in the middle east in general, that will allow us to have access to their oil. As oil becomes more and more scarce, you can expect us to be involved in more and more conflicts with whatever countries have reserves.

In the end, it all goes back to oil... and when you really look at the writing on the wall, we're all fucked.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

George Carlin on Religion

I wanted to make this post for a couple reasons. For one, I've been listening to George Carlin standup comedy for the last few days and laughing my ass off. I haven't listened to a Carlin act in a while, and I almost forgot just how fucking funny he is. This clip is from "You Are All Diseased," which I think is his best one. Other noteable parts of "You Are All Diseased" include airport security, cigar smoking, angels, germs, and the advertising lullaby.

The second reason is that I can't possibly explain my view of religion any better than Carlin did right here. There's really no need for further ellaboration.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


When I stepped out the door of the pharmacy today, my vacation began. I don't have to report back there until Tuesday the 23rd.

Of course, today had to be a crazy/busy/frustrating day. I knew there was no way I was going to get off easy. We worked short staff for most of the day. We're really pressing for good help in our pharmacy. Too many of our employees are students or have other jobs that prevent them from working a lot of hours. The ones who are able to work a lot don't know shit about the job.

There's this one women I work with who is as dumb as a brick. She's almost 70 years old and works whatever hours she can get in our store. She used to work as a front end cashier, but someone had the bright idea of putting her back in the pharmacy.

Don't get me wrong... she's a very nice lady. She's just stupid. She never owned a computer, and is entirely incapable of learning how to use one. Therefore, she needs help doing the simplest things. What irritates me the most is that she cannot even do a task as simple as pulling a script out of the bin and ringing a customer out without asking for a pharmacist's help half the time.

Here's how her average customer interaction goes:

customer: I'm here to pick up a prescription for John Smith.

dumb lady: Michael (she always calls me that, and it irritates the shit out of me)... Do you have anything back there for John Smith. There's nothing in the bin.

Me: Did you check the computer???

dumb lady: (runs to computer, looks up profile) It says it was filled yesterday.

Me: What's the medication?

dumb lady: Lipitor.

Me: That's done. It should be there.

dumb lady: I looked. It's not. I'll check again. (looks through bin again and comes up empty)

Me: (I stop doing whatever I was doing, go to the bin and pull it out in 2 seconds).

dumb lady: (exasperated) Michael!!! Where was that???

Me: In the "S" bin, exactly where it should be.

dumb lady: Ohhh... I was looking in the wrong bin the whole time. hahahahaha

This freaking exchange or some variation of it happens all goddamn day long. She can't help it. She's just a moron.... and I know that it sounds like (and is) an insult, but it's the truth. I don't hate her for it. I don't think her a bad person. I don't yell at her or make her feel bad. She's just not very bright. Again... she's extremely nice. She's just stupid.

She's one of those people that made it through her whole life because she was cute. You can tell that when she was young, she was really good looking. She probably had guys lined up that would do anything she asked. She's very personable and pleasant. Her good looks and pleasant personality got her wherever she wanted to go in life despite her being so stupid.

She makes my day frustratingly difficult though. The worst part of it is that I'm her favorite. She asks me before she asks anyone else, so I'm the one that has to deal with this shit all the time. She's so inefficient that it almost feels like her presence subtracts an employee instead of adds one. Therefore, on a day where we were already short staffed, she makes it seem like we're down another person because I have to do her job for her and always pay attention to what she's doing in case she screws up.

Whatever though... I'm on vacation!!!! No pharmacy frustration for nearly 2 weeks.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Someone game me flowers

Well... someone gave the pharmacy staff flowers.

Apparently, there is one person in the entire world that knows it is Pharmacist Appreciation Month. Hell, I didn't even know until a customer showed up with flowers a couple days ago. She was the daughter of one of our most frequent customers. Her mother is generally a nice person, but her advanced diabetes has caused her vision to deteiorate significantly, so she can get confused and irritable sometimes. The daughter told us she was giving us the flowers as a way of saying thanks for taking such good care of her mother. She said she knew her mother could be a handful, but she knows we do our best for her.

Having one customer like that makes me feel my job is worthwhile. Most (not quite all) of our pharmacy staff works very hard do give each customer/patient the best service and care possible. Often, with all the incessant complaining about wait times, prices, what is and isn't covered by insurance, and plenty of other things, it seems like people don't appreciate us. This one customer showed us that we are appreciated.

I've been at this store for a year, and now I really feel like I've gotten to know a lot of our regular customers, and they've gotten to know me. I feel almost like part of a community, and that's how it should be. Afterall, it's called "community pharmacy." Most of us have gotten into the habit of calling it retail. I think that's the wrong attitude to take. We should be taking advantage of our opportunities to interact with the general public.

That's really the key to advancing this profession. Fuck residencies and all the other clinical bullshit that pharmacy schools try to shove down the throats of pharmacy students. We don't need to vie for the respect of other healthcare professionals. We need to be more respected by our customers. We need customers to feel comfortable calling us for advice. We need customers realizing that we are the medication experts, and if they have a question about one of their meds, we are more qualified than anyone else to answer it.

It doesn't take much... A change in attitude can go along way. You have to be always be willing to go that extra mile to help someone. Instead of just pointing a customer to aisle 20 when they ask for benadryl, go out and show them where it is and talk to them about it. Show the customers that their questions are welcomed and not an inconvenience to you. Just show you care.

That's the most important message I can give anyone going into community pharmacy.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Here goes...

This was originally intended to be a pharmacy blog, but it has morphed into a diary of my thoughts and feelings that I don't tell anyone else. Since it's anonymous, it's pretty much the perfect place to just get things out without too much worry. In this post, I'm going to open up a bit more than I ever have before.

I'm hurting... bad. It's been a sudden onset thing. It's something that I didn't really expect. Nothing really brought it on. It just hit me like a ton of bricks. I'm anxious. I'm restless. I'm just not in a good place right now.

Basically, I'm horribly lonely. I have friends, but they're not like me. They don't value the same things. They don't like the same things. Even my best friends that I grew up with really are more acquaintances than close companions. I developed those friendships because I was a good basketball player, and that made me acceptable to the "cool" kids in school. The problem is that I was never a cool kid. I'm one of the nerds (even though I never studied). I like books. I like science. I like to have philosophical discussions. I like debating current issues. Basically, I like using my mind, whereas my friends just aren't at that same level as me. I'm not a partier. I don't go to clubs. I drink, but I don't really enjoy it. I do it because I have nothing better to do, and going to the bar is really the only social activity I do these days.

I don't have the "skill" to pick up girls at a bar, and quite frankly, I have no desire to. While most of my friends (and let's face it, most guys in general) look for a good looking girl and hope her personality is acceptable. I'm the exact opposite. I look first and foremost for personality and intelligence. I just hope that the smart girl with the great personality is a cute one. For me, a girl who I don't really pick out as being particularly cute when I first me her can become really attractive if I like her personality.

That's the way it was with my ex. She doesn't jump out at someone as being hot. She was really small (4'10" 82 lbs). Her teeth weren't really straight, and her face isn't beautiful. I mean, she's not unattractive. No one would say she's ugly. She just doesn't jump out at you. However, after becoming friends with her and really getting to know her, she just became unbelievably sexy to me.

I digress...

I'm just dying to have a connection with someone. I've been single for 2 years now, and for that entire 2 years, I wanted to get back with my ex. I still do. I still love her. No question about it. I also know that it's over for good. There is no going back. She doesn't want what I want. We've been through it dozens of times. She was adamant about it. It hurts. I can mask it for a while, but it always stays right under the surface, and the slightest little event can bring it out.

I went to a wedding last saturday and spent the entire night miserable. I was miserable for so many reasons. First, the last time I went to a wedding, I was still with her. Secondly, I saw the bride and groom and wished I could find someone to love and who'll love me that much. Third, I saw my friends dancing, smiling, and having a good time and wondered what stops me from being that way. A bunch of us got a hotel room to party at after the reception was over, but I left early. I just had to get away from there.

I don't want to be desperate, but I almost am. I have options now. I know a girl who likes me a lot. She's a pharmacist that's about the same age as me. There's a lot of things we have in common, and since she's a pharmacist that works for the same company as me, we have a lot of things to talk about. Overall, she's not my type though. She's very religious, and I'm about as far from that as possible without being disrespectful to others. She can be pretty annoying too. Despite the incompatibility, I'm seriously considering asking her out. I just feel such an overwhelming need for a companion right now that I'm just about ready to take any opportunity that comes my way.

I resubscribed to eHarmony. A lot of people don't like the way eHarmony does it's matching. They think the people on the site are too conservative. Well, you know what? I'm conservative... not in my political views, but in the way I go about doing things. I'm a simple guy who's idea of a fun time is dinner and a movie. I don't want to meet a million people. I'm not looking for someone to hook up with. I'm looking for someone I could potentially have a long term relationship with. That's just who I am. I'm just a nice guy. I'm quiet, reserved, non-confrontational, respectful, fiercely loyal, honest, and all those other nice guy things.

All I know is that I can't just sit around hoping that someday my ex will miraculously come back. It's not going to happen, and the longer I wait and hold on to that last sliver of hope, the more miserable I will be. I haven't made any effort to meet anyone in the last 2 years. I keep thinking that I'm young, and I have plenty of time to find someone and settle down. However, one by one my friends and coworkers of similar age are getting married, and I realize that I don't want to wait until my mid 30's to get married and start a family.

Therefore, starting today I'm at least going to forget whatever embarrassment I feel from online dating and just give it a chance. I really don't have any other way to meet someone, and I don't want to be lonely anymore. I'll think of this as an investment in my own happiness.

One thing is for sure, I can't keep going through life like I have been for much longer.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

I think I have some sort of disorder

I don't know exactly what kind of disorder it is, or if it even has a name. All I know is that I realized why I can't have fun in large, noisy groups.

Last night, I was at a friend's wedding. I was having a good time, talking, eating, drinking, all that good stuff. Then, the music started to get louder and the dance floor started filling up. All of a sudden, my happy mood turned into one of unrelenting stress. It ruined my mood for the rest of the night.

It kind of sounds like Social Anxiety Disorder, but the number of people isn't really the problem. What happens is that once the music gets loud, the bass starts thumping, and people are all over the place dancing, my mind goes on high alert. I keep catching movements out of the corners of my eyes, and I have to look to see what it is. Any time I hear a noise, my attention is immediately drawn there. I spend the whole time looking from place to place to see who's doing what and where. My senses get overloaded, and I'm just unable to focus on anything, whether it be dancing, having a conversation, or even eating.

My inability to focus makes it sort of like Attention Deficit Disorder, but the only time it pops up is in a very noisy place with a lot of people moving all around. Secondly, I'm almost 100% sure that even in that situation, if you gave me a test, project, or somthing else I have to focus on, I'd be able to block the rest out. It's just when I have to participate in what everyone else is doing that my mind enters alert mode.

All that being said, even if it was some sort of weird disorder, I would never even consider taking drugs or seeking professional help for it because it really doesn't affect my life all that much. It just pops up at weddings, parties, noisy bars, clubs, etc.

Actually, that's not entirely true. It pops up in the pharmacy too. When the phone is ringing, there's a long line, and lots of other things to do all at the same time, I have a hard time focusing. I end up bouncing from place to place trying to take care of everything. For example, I could be in the middle of typing a script, and I hear the phone ring. The ring sounds like a blaring siren to me. It completely interrupts my focus. I look around to see if anyone is picking it up, and if no one answers by the second ring, I have to answer it myself. I just can't stand to hear it ring anymore.

It also pops up on the basketball court for me, but instead of being a detriment, I think it helps me. Being a point guard, it's very important to know where everyone on the floor is at all times. Since I have this intense need to know who is around me, where they are, and what they're doing, I'm able to keep track of all the players on the court. This helps me pass the ball. It helps me dribble through defenses. It even helps me find openings to get my shot off.

Actually, now that I think about it, it affects most of the things I do. I'm the same way driving, which is why I've never had an accident or gotten a ticket. I'm intensely aware of what other drivers are doing. I even spot things on the side of the road that might have the potential to run out in front of my car.

In any case, it's an interesting observation.... to me at least. It sort of bothers me that I can't have a good time at bars, clubs, parties, or weddings, but that's not really my scene anyway. I much prefer more quiet get-togethers.