Thursday, December 31, 2015

It's all about Money, Stupid.

The Curiosity of Management

Goofmart pharmacy pushes flu shots like mad. During this time of year it's like everything else gets pushed aside momentarily and the sole focus of our existence is flu shots. 

Goofmart Pharmacy is run by Goofmart Grocers. At the retail level, we're just minions for a never-ending chain of managers. We have the Goofmart Pharmacy manager, a regional manager over us, followed by a director for the state, district managers, a multi-state manager, and on and on all the way to the top where there are vice presidents and ultimately a president. 

I often picture the company president sitting on the iron throne like in HBO's Game of Thrones.

On occasion the multi-state manager will do a walk-thru of the store. We're told in advance of his arrival so the store can be neat and tidy (apparently just for him, not the customers) and so we can all have on our bright smiley faces when he arrives.

What's curious is that I have observed on numerous occasions district managers and the multi-state manager making comments as they walk by the pharmacy about the pharmacy, apparently unaware that their comments actually travel a distance where we can hear them. 

One day I was doing a flu clinic. I had a table set up with signs and balloons and a nice bowl of pretzels provided by the store manager (the directive from corporate was to provide a treat from the bakery, but pretzels is what my store manager provided). Anyway, the store manager was doing a walk-around with the multi-state manager and walked by our table as I was giving a flu shot. 

The store manager asked his superior, "Are you going to get a flu shot?" 

The reply, "No, what a waste of time. Those shots don't work anyway."

Laughter ensued as they walked away.

This comment tells me several things:

* Management really has no respect for health care, immunizations, or pharmacists
* Flu shots are not about health care for the customer, it's only about money
* Management has little regard for the health of their own employees

So flu shots are only about money for corporate. Health care, if a consideration, is way, way down on the list.

Seriously, until corporate figures out some simple concepts, the pharmacy is always going to have problems with corporate. See You Have a Customer for another example of what I'm talking about.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

The Concept of Time

"The doc JUST sent it over."

"I JUST left the doctor's office."

"I JUST entered the Rx number on your phone line."

These are a few of the strangest things you will hear at the pharmacy. Why is it strange? Because people apparently no longer have any concept of linear time.

Dear Patient,

We live in a three dimensional world traveling through a fourth dimension. That fourth dimension is time. I know this is a hard concept for people to grasp, but at any one point in linear time, time must go forward to complete a task.

Think of it this way: Suppose you're sitting around in your Snuggie on Black Friday with your Starbucks in hand and ordering Christmas gifts on Amazon. You click the purchase button. Does the package magically appear at your doorstep? No, of course not. It takes time to complete your order.

Now here's the real stretch: I know this is going to blow your mind, but it's the SAME THING in pharmacy! Just because your doctor typed in a new script for you at his/her office, it doesn't magically appear out of thin air at our pharmacy! I know, crazy, huh? WE NEED TIME TO FILL YOUR PRESCRIPTION.

Now here's the best part I want you to think about. WHEN you appear at the pharmacy before we've had a chance to complete the filling process, it takes MORE time to stop and talk to you about why it isn't done. By not giving us time to complete the task, you're actually increasing the time before it will be ready for pick up!

I know these are difficult concepts. But I know you can figure it out if you put your cell phone away for a good fifteen minutes and think about it.

Thank you,

Every pharmacist, everywhere.

p.s. If you wonder why it takes time to fill a prescription, check out this LINK.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Hold out your Hand for their Cell Phone

So I'm doing something new now. So far, people just think I'm funny but it must just be the delivery. They must not know or pick up on the fact that I'm seriously annoyed.

It's probably happened to you. A patient steps up to the register to pick up a prescription. Their cell phone rings and they take the call. Somehow in our society of self-gratification, the rudeness of this has escaped common sense.

When it happens, and it happens more and more, I reach out my hand. People look startled, confused, bewildered. I shake my hand a little, gesturing that they should hand me their cell phone. To date, three people have handed me their cell phone.

I say the name of the patient and "will call you back." Then I hang up their phone and hand it back to them.

Bold, yes. But I do it like I'm delivering a joke. So far, there's been no bloodshed and only laughs. But I'm making my point, and if I have to do it one cell phone call at a time, I will.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

More Craziness from the Foil Hat Society

Foil Hat Lady was in for a Z-Pack.

I tell her that she should take the medication with food or milk.

"I don't drink milk," she says, "for religious reasons."

She pays for her meds and pushes her cart away. Another satisfied customer at the Goofmart, I think to myself.

After about 15 minutes, she's back at the register to ask me another question. I see in her grocery cart she has not one, not two, but three cartons of ice cream of various flavors. ICE CREAM, I think to myself, IS A DAIRY PRODUCT that contains MILK.

But I don't say anything. She asks a few questions. I don't recall the conversation nor did I bring up the ice cream, but she did. It was then that she made it very clear that the ice cream is for her.

I resist the urge to ask what religion is ok with milk in ice cream but not drinking milk. Milk is milk, right? But I resist.

So I still don't know what religion it is, exactly, that is ok with eating dairy products in cheese, yogurt, and ice cream, but prohibits the drinking of milk.

All I know is that Foil hat lady will eat ice cream but not drink milk. "For religious reasons."

Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas!

The Crazy RxMan wishes
you and your family
a very Merry Christmas!

Please enjoy some Christmas Memes:

Thursday, December 24, 2015

There's always ONE guy

I've done several Flu Shot Clinics now over the years, and for the most part they go pretty smooth... but there is something that happens at every clinic...

What we do is arrange to go to a small business of 40+ employees and line them all up and shoot 'em. We give each employee a consent form and have them fill it out and then line up. It seems reasonable on our end, but at every clinic there is always ONE guy... 

The ONE guy I'm talking about leaves out the pertinent information on the consent form. Oh, something like a correct address or a good phone number. The reason is always the same, they don't have active insurance coverage and want to just blend in with the herd and get a free flu shot. Somehow it never occurs to them that we're at the place they work and can TRACK THEM DOWN.

This year a guy not only wrote down insurance that expired in 2011, he ALSO wrote down a bogus date of birth. Yeah, like we're just not going to be able to figure that out. Good try.

I wonder what the employers think when we call them and explain the situation to them...