Friday, March 6, 2009

You Coffee Drinkers Are Crazy

I don't drink coffee. I have never drank coffee. I don't have anything against it really. I just don't like the taste. Moreover, I try to limit my intake of caffeine, so I don't drink it.

I must say though, you coffee drinkers are hilarious to us non-coffee drinkers. Everyone else at work drinks coffee. We used to have this great little coffee shop right across the street from the store. They used to stop there before work to get coffee. If we were slow, they'd send someone there for an afternoon coffee run. People coming in for an evening shift would call the pharmacy to take coffee orders and pick it up on the way in.

About a month ago, that little coffee shop closed down. This created a crisis situation in the pharmacy that is seemingly on the same level as our current national economic downturn. All day long it was, "Where are we going to get coffee now?," and "I'm going to have to start getting up earlier in the morning to make coffee before I come in," and "Where is the next closest coffee shop?"

Finally, the coffee problem grew to such epic proportions that they went out and bought an $150 coffee maker for the pharmacy. Did that end the coffee discussion? NOOOO! All new issues popped up.

"The coffee isn't as good as that shop's."

"It's too watery."

"It's too strong."

"I can't figure out how to use the machine."

"It takes too long to make it."

After a month of trial and error, they finally found a blend they like and the proper way to prepare it. Then the conversation turned to "Who wants coffee?" and "When is a good time to make coffee?" It still takes a little bit of time to make the coffee, even with the machine, so sometimes people don't get their afternoon cup. You've never seen more cranky people than my coworkers when they miss a cup of coffee. In fact, all they talk about is how cranky they are because they couldn't have their coffee.

Occasionally, a customer will walk by and ask us what happened to the coffee shop across the street. This causes one of our technicians to wax poetic about how much she loved their coffee and how we all dearly miss them.

All day long, all I hear is coffee, coffee, coffee. It's just a little annoying. It's like we have a bunch of drug addicts in the pharmacy, and the drug is coffee. It really is an addiction. Their desperate search for coffee is like drug seeking behavior. When they don't get their coffee, they go through withdrawal symptoms. It's crazy.

Anyway... I just figured I'd tell all you coffee drinkers how silly you look.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

OK... Sometimes It IS the Customer That Pisses Me Off

This scenario repeats itself a dozen times per day.

Customer: I'm picking up prescriptions.

staff: OK, I have 3 prescriptions for you.

Customer: No, there should be 4.

staff: Well, I have these 3 here. Which one are you missing?

Customer: I don't know which one it was. I just know there should be 4 for me.

Pharmacy Mike in his head: AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!

You have no idea how much I hate this. My first instinct in this case is always to respond, "Well, if you don't know what it is, then I don't know what it is. Sorry." Of course, that would never go over well. Apparently, we're supposed to be mind readers among all the other tasks we have to do. We're supposed to keep track of what ALL of our hundreds (if not thousands) of patients need to have filled at all times.

In my dream world, my official policy would be that anyone picking up prescriptions at the pharmacy is responsible for knowing which prescriptions are being picked up. If one is missing, and you don't know what it is, tough luck.

The other thing that always makes me cringe is when I hear someone come to the counter and say, "My doctor was supposed to call in a prescription for me."

Is it just me, or does it seem like 90% of the time a customer says this, the doctor has not called in the prescription? Upon learning the office never called, the follow up question is always, "Can you call my doctor?"

HELL NO!!!!, I want to scream but never do. I hate calling the doctor's office in this case. Quite frankly, I think it's rude. Maybe the office staff just hasn't gotten a chance to do it yet. Maybe instead of it being 5 hours ago that the patient left the office (like the patient said), it was really 5 minutes ago. There could be any number of good, acceptable reasons why the prescription was not called in yet. I feel calling them on this issue is kind of like rushing them. I don't want someone calling in to rush me when I'm doing my job. Why would I do it to them?

Furthermore, I believe my responsibilities begin once I get a prescription. From there, I'll check it for accuracy, check for interactions, do whatever I can to get it to go through the insurance, and make sure it is filled correctly. However, I don't feel it's my job to track down a prescription that hasn't been called in yet... and this refers to a doctor calling in a new script or a customer calling in a refill.

If your doctor hasn't called in a prescription yet, YOU call the office. If you don't know what prescriptions were supposed to be filled, YOU go figure it out. Those are the customer's responsibilities. My responsibility (when it comes to prescriptions) is solely to fill every prescription I'm told to fill safely (I include counseling here) and accurately.