Saturday, July 18, 2009

Women Really Hate Each Other

Retail pharmacy is slowly turning into a woman's profession. I don't think there's anything wrong with this at all. Woman make just as good pharmacists as men. However, in my experience (and generally speaking of course), women tend to bring MUCH more drama into the workplace than men do.

I spent two days in a row last week as the only man in the pharmacy surrounded by 5 women. I'm a quiet person by nature. I tend to just go about my business and let everyone else talk. And talk they did!

First there was the hour long conversation about how their pansy husbands refuse to stand up to their "wretched" mothers. Granted I'm a little rusty on my relationship linguistic abilities, but I'm pretty sure by "standing up" to their mothers, they really meant that they should do whatever their wives say and tell their mothers to go to hell at the slightest hint of a disagreement. It's all about control I think. They want to be in control of their husbands, and their mother-in-laws represent a huge threat to this control.

(As a related side note- Ladies, a good guy loves his mother. Therefore, if you married one of the good guys, don't be surprised that he doesn't always immediately take your side whenever you happen to disagree with his mother. I'll lump myself in with one of the good guys here. We spend the majority of our lives giving our mothers the utmost respect and obediently following their orders. Do you think that immediately changes just because we marry or enter a long term relationship with someone? You women should learn that even though we might love you more than anything in the world, we'll always respect (and fear) our mothers because their influence played an integral role in making us the good guys that we are. Therefore, you have to understand that we're not going to take your side every time you disagree with our mothers, and you'd be better served picking your battles carefully to avoid needless frustration... for both you and us.)

Then, after one of the women left work, this gave the other girls a wonderful chance to talk about the other girl behind her back. "I can't stand it when she does this." "Did you hear what she said to me yesterday?" "Oh my god, did you see what she was wearing?"

This is the pattern every single time I work. All the girls act friendly to each other when they're working together, but they're nasty when their backs are turned. I just don't think women can coexist with each other peacefully. At least I've never seen it.

I think back to college and my ex...

She had a bunch of different roommates, and she couldn't stand most of them. She got into huge fights with her first roommate over how they wanted to arrange their dorm room furniture. Sounds trivial, right? I thought so, but apparently this was such a HUGE deal that she had to request to switch roommates after the first semester. Miraculously, she got along with the next roommate. Then, she moved into a quad where her and 2 of the other girls ganged up on the 4th girl because they all decided they didn't like her. That girl didn't even make it a semester before she transferred out of the quad.

Contrast that to my college experience. I lived in a triple with the same roommates for 4 years. During that time, I can't remember us having a single disagreement larger than not agreeing on which dining hall to eat dinner. Basically, our existence consisted of going to class, coming back to the dorm, watching Sportscenter until lunch, going to lunch, going to some more classes, then watching Seinfeld until it was time to go to sleep. Maybe throw in some basketball a couple times per week, and repeat that for 4 years straight. No drama. No arguments. No problems at all.

Even at work, there still are some rare times where I'll work with all male pharmacists, and those days go so much smoother than days when all women are there. We don't partake in useless gossip. We talk, but it's mostly about sports or to make the occasional wise crack. Otherwise, we just focus on our work and get the job done.

Men, in general, seem to not have the same kind of animosity towards each other that women do. I can't explain why woman have so much more trouble getting along then men do. All I know is that if you stuck 10 women in a room together for several hours, there's a high probability that they'll walk out hating at least one person in that group.

If you stick 10 men in a room together, there's a high probability you'll come back several hours later and find them playing poker and watching some sporting event on television.

I think that pretty much sums up the difference between the sexes. Sure, I'm generalizing as it's certainly not the case for ALL women. Just the majority it seems.

I Hate Liars

One of our regular customers called up looking for a refill on her Vicodin. Let me give you a little background on this woman. She's been getting a month's worth of Vicodin every single month for as long as I've worked at the store. It's the same deal with her husband, except he gets Vicodin ES every single month. She always comes to the counter with a big smile and very conversational. For the first few times you meet her, you think she's one of the nice customers. However, every once in a while she'd leave a little clue that she was completely full of shit.

This just happened to be one of those times. She was about 10 days too early to get her Vicodin refilled. I told her I couldn't fill it due to it being too early, and of course, she tells me that she's leaving for vacation early the next morning and would run out before getting back.

Those wonderful words start a long process of getting an early refill approved for her. I called the doctor's office. As always, they didn't care if she was asking to have a whole year's worth filled at one time. Next, I called the insurance company to see if they would approve the early fill. Well, they only sort of approved it. Her plan had some kind of plan limit where no matter what, she could only get a certain number of tablets within a certain number of days. Therefore, instead of getting her usual 90, she'd have to settle for 75 this time.

I informed her of the plan limit only to have her respond with, "can I pay cash for the other 15 tablets?"

If the stink of bullshit wasn't strong enough before, that question made it unbearable. I told her that she had more than enough tablets to get her through her vacation considering she still had 10 days left from her last fill, and now was getting another 25 days worth. I would not allow her to pay cash for the rest of it. Of course, she argued with me for a few minutes, but after realizing she wasn't going to get anywhere, she hung up the phone.

About an hour later, she showed up at the pharmacy to pick up her Vicodin. One of our techs waited on her. She was lively and conversational as always. I was busy behind the counter filling prescriptions, but I could hear every word she was saying. After she paid for the prescription, right before walking away from the counter, she mentioned that she was going away to the technician. The tech inquired, "Oh, that's nice. How long are you going?"

"Just for the weekend." Then she said bye and walked away.


Let's recap that. She had 10 days of Vicodin left before calling in this refill. Then upon filling a 25 day supply for her early, she bitched about not being able to get the other 5 days due to her insurance's plan limit. This gave her a 35 day supply of Vicodin.... SO SHE COULD GO AWAY FOR 2 FUCKING DAYS!!!

These are the kind of people that I wish would just die. Seriously, it would have made my day if she got hit by a bus and died in a fiery crash on her way home. I have no concern for people like that. I think they deserve whatever misfortune they get. To me, she's the scum of the earth.

Therefore, outside of hoping that she dies a painful death due to acetaminophen induced liver toxicity (which I'm sure won't happen because it's never the fucking lying Vicodin addicts that end up with liver problems), she can be sure that she will never get her Vicodin a day early ever again. She'll have to bring me a goddamn travel itinerary to pull off that one again.

Let this be cautionary advice for anyone on long term opioid pain medication...

Pharmacists understand that your pain may increase in such a way that you would want to take more tablets than directed by your physician. If you work with us and your doctor by telling us that your pain is not being well controlled, we can help improve your medication regimen in hopes of getting better pain control. We know that not everyone who takes opioids is a drug addict. Hell, we know that the vast majority aren't addicts.

However, if you lie to us in order to get your pain medication filled early, whether you have a legitimate reason or not, you will go to the very top of our shit list. Well, at least you'll go to the very top of mine. I can empathize with people who really have pain issues. I can even empathize with people who have developed an addiction. If you're upfront about it with me, I will help you. If you lie to me, I'll hope you fucking die.

I can tolerate a lot of things in retail pharmacy, but I can't stand liars.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Tonight Was a Shining Example of What I Was or Could Have Been

Tonight, I had a summer league basketball game. It's a men's league. It's ultimately meaningless, but the spirit of competition is strong in this league. Moreover, the talent level is pretty high, so it's a great outlet for my competitive drive.

We played the best team in the league tonight. This team has won this league for 4 years in a row. It's made up of a bunch of former all-state players, some stand-out athletes (one actually played major league soccer for a short time), and some guys who currently play in college.

One player on that team is generally considered the best player in the league. He graduated from a prep school a few years ago and went on to play for one of the best division 3 college basketball teams in the country. He's a 6'3" point guard who was a McDonald's All-American nominee (which isn't quite as spectacular as it sounds, but you still have to be a pretty solid player) in high school. He averaged over 20 points per game during his prep school days, and now starts for his college team.

He's a very good player. Very fundamentally sound. Good shooter. That said, anyone watching the game tonight would have said that I completely outplayed him.

Let me break that down: I'm a 5'9", 27 year old pharmacist who has chronic pain in his feet and ankles which isn't helped by spending 10 to 12 hours standing up at work. He's a 6'3", 20 year old, high level division 3 college basketball player who presumably keeps his conditioning up in the off-season in order to be ready for his college season. I outplayed him.

This wasn't a fluke either. I've played him before, and he simply cannot guard me. Granted, if I were to cover him, I wouldn't be able to guard him either because he has a lot of size on me. He'd just post me up all day. However, he's supposed to be a college point guard. He's supposed to be able to defend other point guards. I'm sure he's asked to guard the other team's point guard in every game he plays in college.

He can't guard me though. I'm too fast for him. Again, I'm 7 years older than him with a job that pretty much laughs in the face of anyone who tries to maintain a high level of fitness, and I'm too fast for him.

I scored 29 points tonight. I hit 7 three-pointers, most of which were the quick catch and shoot variety. I even got a chance to talk a little trash to this college player. I came down the right side of the court one time and realized I had a whole side cleared out. I crossed over hard to the left, and he bit on it. Off of the left cross, I quickly put the ball back through my legs to go right. He recovered a little bit, but he was completely on his heels, so I pumped the ball through my legs 2 more times really quickly as he kind of stammered backwards before finally just blowing right by him to the right. The only thing he could do was reach out and grab me so I wouldn't get an easy layup.

After that play, I just looked at him and proclaimed, "he's too slow," and I just repeated it a couple times for emphasis. He tried to talk trash right back to me, but what could he really say? I could get by him any time I wanted. He knew it. I knew it.

We ended up losing the game in overtime, but we really had no business being that close to that team. They're better than us. However, I'm so pleased with the way I played that I sort of consider it a moral victory.

You know... Maybe it is completely meaningless. You'll never find a stat sheet for this game. There's no media coverage of a men's summer league basketball game. There are no record books in this league. People will forget about this particular game within a couple of weeks.

It's not meaningless to me though. I knew I was never going to play in the NBA, and I chose my college for it's pharmacy program without regard to whether I could play basketball there (and for the record, I wouldn't have had a chance. I went to school at one of the best division 1 college basketball programs in the country). Even if I could have played college ball somewhere, I wouldn't have because I knew I had to build towards a future career. However, this shows me that I could have played at a higher level than high school. It shows me that the thousands of hours I spent dribbling a basketball when I was a kid weren't a total waste of my time.

Even if ultimately, whether I'm a good basketball player or not doesn't change my life in any meaningful way, I figure most other people spend plenty of time on meaningless endeavors. For example, how many people play golf in their spare time? How many of those are on the PGA Tour? Yet, they still all go out there trying to improve on their scores each time. People draw, paint, write, knit, and do countless other things to occupy their time. Do they not try to do as good a job as possible even if ultimately it won't get them anywhere?

Why should basketball be different? If anything, it's better than all that stuff. Basketball is a physically demanding sport. How many 27 year olds do you see that can go toe to toe with current college basketball players? Most of my friends have reached the age where they're starting to give up on basketball in favor of playing softball, which basically amounts to hanging out for a few innings just waiting to drink beer after the game. I, on the other hand, am still too fast for a college point guard. I can shoot a basketball as well as anyone, and I can dribble a basketball better than pretty much anyone.

It's something I'm proud of. I worked really hard and sacrificed a lot of time when I was young developing these skills. My basketball skills are obviously not readily apparent to people just meeting me. That's why I like it when people I know come to watch me play. It's a part of my personality that goes mostly unnoticed, but it's such a huge part of who I am. Sometimes, I feel like you can't truly understand me until you see me with a basketball in my hands. Some guys want to show off that they can play an instrument or cook well. I want to show that I'm a good basketball player. It's a form of self-expression to me.

Anyway... I rambled on for long enough. I'm just excited that I played so well tonight. Felt like sharing. Unfortunately, the virtual masses are my only audience at the moment.

Friday, July 3, 2009

A Personality Flaw

I know, I know... You're all saying, "which one?" Yes, I have quite a few character flaws. However, this one recently came up, so that's what I'm going to write about.

Quite some time ago, I was talking to someone, and she commented that I liked to be right all the time. I responded, "doesn't everybody? Who wants to be wrong?"

She didn't even hesitate when she said, "But I feel like you just NEED to be right." I thought about it for a little bit, and realized that she was 100% correct. I have this overwhelming desire to be right about everything.

Now, that doesn't mean that I'm someone who thinks he's always right. There is a subtle but important difference between thinking you're always right and constantly wanting to be right. People who think they're always right don't listen or take into consideration what other people say. All they know is that they're right, everyone else is wrong, and they don't want to hear anything else.

I don't think I'm always right, and I certainly don't always think everyone else is wrong. However, I have this incredible desire to be right. Actually, it might be more appropriate to say that I have this need to know what is right. For example, if I'm talking to someone about a drug, and the other person thinks a drug works by one mechanism of action, while I think it has a different mechanism, I will stop whatever I'm doing to look up the answer and find out for sure whether I'm right or wrong.

I hate being wrong. In fact, I hate being wrong so much that I will pretty much never talk about a subject in which I'm not well versed. I will sit quietly for hours listening to other people talk until the conversation turns to a subject that I know well. Only then will I contribute.

However, if I do say something, and you happen to disagree with me, you better have a good argument or evidence to support your claim. I like to argue, and I will defend my position with every bit of logic and evidence I can come up with. Note, that I do not dismiss other people's thoughts or opinions, but I will make people defend them. If you make a comment or observation about something around me, I will question it, especially if it's something I don't agree with. If you choose not to defend your opinion or fail to come up with a logical or fact based argument in favor of it, I will dismiss it. However, if you push back at me as much as I push you to defend your opinion, I'll more than give you the proper credit. Moreover, I'll probably incorporate your thoughts into my own beliefs.

I don't really consider myself a strong person, but I believe I hold strong opinions about things. I also believe that most of the time, when I choose to say something, I'm usually right. Some people have told me that I can come across as arrogant and lacking modesty. A coworker once told me that it's like I know that I'm smarter than everyone else there, and I do nothing to make people think otherwise.

I can see how his would be annoying to people. However, I don't believe I'm arrogant at all. I'm also one of the most modest people you'll ever meet. I deflect flattery of any kind like it's a deadly disease. I shy away from praise. You can't say anything remotely nice about me without my face turning bright red in embarrassment. However, there's no such thing as modesty when it comes to being right or wrong. If someone says something that I know to be in error, I will correct it. I'm not going to just sit back and let people spread false information and uninformed opinions, especially on things that really matter.

Somewhere in all this rambling is an actual point. I'm not even sure I know what it is anymore. I guess what I'm basically trying to say is that a have a personality flaw where I feel like I always need to be right, and if I feel strongly enough about what I'm talking about (whether it be a clear-cut fact or a well thought out opinion), I will defend it. Therefore, in order to get along well with me, you have to be strong in your opinions and not afraid to argue with me to defend yourself.

In fact, when I was using eHarmony, I listed that as the most important characteristic for a girl to have. I tend to find myself attracted to girls who challenge what I say and aren't afraid to tell me when I'm being stupid (which is quite often). I'm one of the only people on this earth that doesn't want to be drowned in flattery. I don't want a girl that tells me how great I am. I want someone that can point out all my little flaws because then I know that she's really paying attention to me. Moreover, only through realizing my deficiencies will I be able to improve upon myself. Anyone who can make me realize something about myself that I don't already know is someone worthy of my admiration.

I have no idea how I ended up talking about what I desire in a woman. This post is a shining example of how stupid I can be.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Confirming What I Always Knew

Tip of the day...

If you're going to be late to work, it's probably best not to be seen online on Facebook 10 minutes before you're scheduled to be at work when you have an over 30 minute drive.

See... Your coworkers all pretty much knew you were full of shit all those times that "traffic" made you 20 minutes late. Now, I have proof.

Don't worry though. I won't say or do anything about it. Even though I hate how you're constantly late AND how you take a hundred mini breaks all day long AND how you'll stand around and do absolutely nothing but talk about your boring fucking life unless specifically told to do something, I won't voice my disapproval.

You see... I hate confrontation so much that I'd rather quietly fume about it all day at work until I can come home and vent about it on this blog than to address the issue and fix the problem. Basically, I'm a wuss.

But I already knew I was a wuss. Just like I already knew you were full of shit. This just gives me something more to complain about, and what's my life if I don't have something to complain about?