Thursday, January 15, 2009

I Abstained from Writing About Her For So Long

I spent a wonderful day with Betty, who I've not-so-lovingly called the Horrible Pharmacist several times before in this blog (although I'm not sure if those posts are still published or not). She annoyed me to the point of frustration today, so I just have to vent.

When I have to work with her, I have to not only do my job but also make sure she doesn't screw up her job. Anything thing that's more complex than putting pills in a bottle is an adventure for her, which then becomes an adventure for me. Customers universally complain about how rude she is to them. Even medical assistants have gotten into the habit of asking to speak to the other pharmacists when calling in scripts. These are people who only know her through 30 second phone conversations.

Knowing that, it's not hard to imagine just how freaking annoying she is to work with for 8 hours straight. Actually, no... It's actually very hard to imagine how annoying she is. She's easily the most annoying person I've ever met. She's so annoying that I try to avoid all conversations with her. When she's there, I make an effort to not make any jokes or make any comments on any issues. For one, her laugh is like nails on a chalkboard to me. Secondly, she has a habit of repeating everything you say if she thinks it's funny or otherwise noteworthy. Or even worse... she'll make you repeat it to every single person in the pharmacy that may not have heard it the first time.

It goes something like this...

Me: (Semi-funny/sarcastic remark.)

Betty: HEHEHEHHEHEHEHEHHEHAHHE... That's a good one!!!! Did you hear that Joe??? Joe?? Did you hear it? Go ahead Mike, Tell Joe what you said!!

I honestly can't take her for more than 5 minutes. After an hour, I want to bash my head onto the counter repeatedly in attempt to get her voice out of my brain. By the end of the day, I'm totally fried.

I would love her to just shut up and not say a word all day. The problem with that is that if she likes you, she will not stop talking to you all day. In fact, if she notices someone has gone longer than 30 seconds without speaking, she'll comment, "Sally is being quiet today!"

On the other hand, if she doesn't like you, she won't say a single word to you all day and avoid all contact with you... which sounds nice until you realize she stops doing half her job in an attempt to be spiteful.

I don't know which is worse: The happy Betty or the bitchy Betty. I suppose the happy Betty at least tries to be helpful, even if she's borderline incompetent about a lot of things.


The thing that sent me over the edge today was her insistence on trying to send our techs home early. All day long it was "maybe we can get so-and-so out by 4," or "maybe we can let so-and-so go home now."

And that's fine. If we're really slow for some reason, and a bunch of techs are just standing around, if one wants to go home early and miss out on a couple hours of pay, I don't really mind. Betty's problem is that she insists on running all of this by me... as if I outrank her in some way.

I don't outrank her. I'm not a manager. We're both staff pharmacists. We both have the exact same job description. We have the same responsibilities. She does not need my approval to do anything in the pharmacy. Moreover, I don't want to have to spend the entire day making decisions about things which I have no more authority over than her. If the techs ask her any question that requires her to make a decision of any kind, she refers them to me. Even a question like, "Can we give someone a couple Cymbalta to hold them over?", she tells the techs to ask me. I think it's just her way of keeping all the blame away from her if something goes wrong. Ironically, when a mistake is made, her initials are usually on it.

Soooo... No one was asking to go home early, but she kept on suggesting it to the techs. If there's one thing I know, it's that if you suggest the possibility of going home from work early, most people will start to get their hopes up about it. It wasn't long before people started asking if they could go home. When they asked, she referred them to me. "Ask Mike," she'd say.

Hold on one second here... Not one time did I say one word about anyone going home early. She was the one that spent all day talking about it. She was the one that put the thoughts in their minds. Then, when they finally do ask to leave, she tells them they need to ask me first???? What the fuck is that about? Maybe if the final word was going to be up to me anyway, she shouldn't have even mentioned anyone leaving early without talking to me first about it. That would have been the mature, logical thing to do.

On the topic...

I don't understand this whole leaving early thing anyway. It's a fucking epidemic at our pharmacy. Everyone wants to skip lunch and go home early. Everyone wants to leave an hour early in the afternoon. Then these same people complain when their hours get cut by corporate. How can you complain about hours when you don't even want to work your whole shift anyway?

Maybe it's because I actually work hard when I'm in the pharmacy, but I actually enjoy our rare moments of peace. We don't get them very often. Every once in a while, some miserable weather will keep people away for an afternoon. During those times, I grab a stool, take a seat, get a magazine, and simply relax (after I have everything else done of course). We spend so much time being stressed out and going crazy, I figure it would be nice to actually get paid to just sit there and do nothing for a little while.

Ok... I'm sort of rambling all over the place now, so I'm going to stop.


pharmacy chick said...

I had my own "betty" only she was at tech. Thankfully she has moved on. Monica never shut up. From the moment she walked into the pharmacy to the moment she left it, her mouth was moving and some sound was coming out. That girl needed a mouth filter. It was like every thought that entered her head needed a verbal exit. If I ever blew up and told her to SHUT UP for a while, then she would clam up and stomp around in silence (which was actually good except for the stomping part). Then she'd turn passive agressive.
Sometimes I think a bit of Zyprexa might have gone a long way with her.

The Ole' Apothecary said...

Mike, we need to use Betty as our profession's canary in a coal mine. If SHE gets fired, then we can say that the pharmacist shortage is over.

new marvel said...

I was going to say she's probably overwhelmingly "in-your-face" when she's in a good mood because she realizes no one likes her and she's trying desperately to get some approval (by flattering everyone and making them feel like they're funny -- all day), but after reading the rest of the post, I think she's probably just a little off her rocker. I don't get why she'd suggest that people leave early, maybe cause I work at a pharmacy that is constantly busy and no one ever leaves early. Hopefully you don't have to work with her too often.

Anonymous said...

There are just people like that, and after you get away from them, it's as if an enormous load off the tightened muscles in your neck, shoulders, etc.

Three years after the 2.5 yr sentence was handed to me, I still rankle at the thought of how this one crazy co-worker still makes me feel, with the passive-aggressive interaction 10-hrs every shift.

One night I got back from a hairy CODE--the guy was bleeding in all his guts from end-stage alcoholic-hepatic failure, and we had to ice his stomach and put some sort of weights on something that was bleeding from the outside, and here this crazy tech is pouting and carrying on as if I had some personal issue with her, and I just wanted to send her away, lock the door,and finish the shift by myself.

When I was trying to hurry and finish a bunch of orders, she'd sit at her terminal and gab, and complain if I didn't respond, and when I sent her to do some compounding, she'd close the door and turn the radio so loud she 'couldn't hear the phone',

But, I was in a bind--it was a pretty difficult to find someone to cover that shift, and because this gal volunteered--she was God's gift to the director!

Anonymous said...

u're a good man for being so patient. i would've blown my top after one hour with missy bettay. did you ever try talking to the manager about betty?

Deazy said...

damn right- i wish there was a perfect polite phrase equivalent to "shut up and work", I just haven't found it yet

by the way- federal laws MANDATE a 30 min lunch for hourly employees (techs)- so the skip lunch, leave early if an illegal crock of shit- isn't the last hour of their shift usually an important one (ie 9-5 or 6, 5 or 6 pm being rush hour)

Anonymous said...

You should date Betty.

Anonymous said...

I always thought you were the manager. Do you have a manager who actually staffs? ....Off subject - How do you deal with insurbodinate techs in an environment where technically the manager indirectly encourages it?