"This is a medication I can't be without. Can you give me some medication until my doctor calls it in?"
This was uttered by a man who had called in a refill for his Effexor XR late on a Friday afternoon only to realize he had no refills left. He was all out of his medication that he "can't be without."
"Yes, of course we can give you some to get through the weekend, and we'll call the office for you on Monday to get the refill authorization." That's what I politely told him. I work for a corporation, and that's what I have to say to people.
However, I really wanted to have a conversation with this man. "You need it? Oh yeah... What would happen if you don't get it?" I really wanted to inquire. If he missed one weekend of Effexor XR, would he die? Would he get very depressed? Would he get really sick? I really wanted to know. If he needs it, does that mean he'll be taking Effexor XR for the rest of his life? What happens if the company decided to stop making Effexor XR one day? That would force him to use the generic, and every crazy person knows that those generics just aren't as good as the brands. What would he do? I guess he'd just cease to exist.
Moreover, if he "can't go without it," then why didn't he call it in really early? If he "can't go without it," why wasn't he on top of how many refills he had left? Why didn't he call the doctor's office directly instead of just leaving it up to us? If I couldn't go without something, I would do whatever I had to do to make sure I didn't run out of it. It would probably get my undivided attention.
Alas, I can't say these things. I have to remain friendly and helpful or risk losing a customer.
"This IS my correct insurance card. It's the only card I ever used at any pharmacy. They never sent me a new one, and nothing should have changed. Can you call the insurance company to find out what's the problem?" This was in response to a filled after coverage terminated rejection. She stood at the counter glaring at us making no indication she would move from that spot until someone called the insurance company. So I fucking called them and acted happy to do so.
I would have really loved to make a wager with her though. "I bet you the cash price of this prescription that you have a different insurance card." How do you think she would have handled that one? I think I wouldn't have a job today if I proposed that bet to her. My district manager would have fired me on the spot probably.
I was right though. I usually am in these situations, especially dealing with customers who don't know what the fuck they're doing. I've recently been called arrogant because I stated that I'm smarter than most people. You want to know what arrogance really is though? Arrogance is a customer coming into my pharmacy and basically telling me that I don't know how to do my job. I told that woman that her old insurance coverage is expired and that we needed to see her new card. She told me I was wrong. Is that not the ultimate form of arrogance for someone who hasn't got a clue to argue with someone who, for all intents and purposes, is an expert?
I wasted of 5 to 10 minutes of my time, and what did I get out of it? Nothing. She ultimately didn't take her prescription because her insurance didn't work.
I get paid roughly a dollar per minute. Therefore, I propose that in situations like this I should be able to get out a little timer and inform the patient that I will make the call to the insurance company for her. However, if I'm right, she will have to pay me one dollar for every minute I waste confirming something I already knew to be true.
It makes perfect sense, but it could never happen because god forbid we just might piss off a customer. Instead, I waste time and money doing pointless shit all day while smiling and acting friendly. I have to wait until I get home to say "FUCK YOU!"