Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Presumptive Snoots in Snootyville

My illustrious pharmacy, the inspiration for many a pharmacy blog story, exists in Snootyville. This is quite a town, for it is filled with the biggest presumptive snoots in all the world.

It's hard to take at times. Sometimes I feel like taking out a rope and making a loop right there in the middle of the pharmacy and doing a "Brooks" like in the Shawshank Redemption.

Not that bad, you say? Oh ho ho ho. You just don't know. Here's some of my many examples:

1. It's a busy Monday morning. A lady "appears" at the pick up window. "I'm here to pick up the medication for little Jackie Bucker," she says. The tech looks in the will call. Nothing is there.

"Oh, I just left the doctor's office five minutes ago," she says.

The tech looks at me. He wants to start tying up a rope for himself. I step up to the window. 

"First of all, we haven't heard from little Jackie Bucker's doctor yet," I say, patiently... "And even if we had, do you really think it would be ready in five minutes?"

Little Jackie Bucker's mother looks AT ME like I'm the insane one. Such is life in Snootyville.
  

2. Dude with a cute little girl in one of those Catholic plaid skirts steps up to the window. "I'm here to pick up the medication for my daughter."

"Ok, what's her name?" I ask, patiently.

Dude's phone rings. He answers it. He starts in on a conversation about how some guy on the other side of town needs two of his guys to do some manner of work. I'm sure it's really important because Dude now ignores me completely. I wait, patiently, at the pick up window for two minutes. 

Since Dude is ignoring me, I try to talk to the little girl to find out her name. She just looks at me. I'm sure she's been told not to talk to strangers, despite the fact we're in Snootyville and everyone is friendly here. Dude pretends not to notice that all I'm trying to do is find out the patient name.

I give up with her. I've got lots to do because the techs haven't arrived yet and I'm in Snootyville. The people who actually spent time typing in their Rx numbers the previous night and heard the computer tell them that will be ready at 1pm... well, it's now 8 am and they'll be in any minute. (You'd be amazed how often that happens).

I give up waiting. I go back to the filling area. Dude is on the phone at least ten minutes before he gets off. Once I find out the daughter's name and look it up on the computer... THEN I find out she's not in our system nor is there any record of a new script for her plaided Catholic-ness. 

I explain that to the father. Clearly he's in the wrong pharmacy or the doctor hasn't called yet. But instead of that, he's chosen to make me the bad guy. "I don't have time for this crap. I saw the doctor put it on his iPad thing and send it over. You guys [meaning me, since I'm the only one here] must have screwed up."

Yes, out of all the possibilities in the world, that's the one that makes the most sense. Such is life in Snootyville.

3. I have a tech called out for illness and another tech on break. I'm running the show for 30 minutes or so by myself. Unfortunately, word got out and everyone decided NOW is the time to run down to the pharmacy. I have people waiting at the drop off window and people in line at the pick up window. I'm doing my best to keep track of who's next, but I'm not perfect.

Of course, the next person in line is 88 years old and wants to write a check. I gave up a long time ago on trying to get these people to use their debit cards. They exist in 1950 and things are not going to change. So he's writing the check and this poor fellow, 88 years old, is taking forever. People are trying everything they can think of to somehow pressure me into making it all go faster when there's nothing I can really do about it.

Suddenly a guy races up to the window. "My daughter can't breathe. She's having a hard time breathing! What can you give me to help her breathe?!" he yells at me.

Everyone is startled, including me. "Where is she?" I ask, thinking she must be on another aisle in the grocery somewhere. 

"She's at home!" he blurts back at me. "What do you have here to help her breathe?! HURRY!" he yells again. And now he's pointing his finger at me.

If your child is having an emergency, do you run down to the pharmacy? Honestly, was this guy hit with a stupid stick? I tell him he needs to call 9-1-1 or take her to the emergency room.

I'm not kidding here: The man started swearing at me, gave me a one finger salute, and marched his way out of the grocery swearing all the way.

Such is life in Snootyville.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

The crux of all your misery is that you work in a retail pharmacy where corporate douche bags could care less about you or your techs psychological well being but worry incessantly over customer satisfaction. How pleasant your life would be if only you could tell those snooty patrons to "Piss off!" and refuse them service or better yet to hold their scripts hostage until their attitudes improve. Hopefully this blog serves as a release valve for all the anger and aggression you have to swallow each and every day. I worked retail before there was such a thing as the internet, and I dealt with it by growing a really thick shell of indifference.

Jim Stephens said...

You have my respect and greatest empathy. I worked for 30 years in hospital pharmacy; the last 6 years of those 30 years were a clean and sober period. Then, I moved to "community" pharmacy. After working in retail for about 1 year, I resumed drinking. After working at a Goofmart pharmacy for another 7 years, I had devolved into a severe alcoholic. Now, having retired early, I have now been clean and sober for 1.5 years. The authorities created an environment in which
customers (patients to me) could readily and frequently be abusive and disrespectful toward the pharmacy staff. Addicts would complain to corporate about the pharmacists and techs and, consistently, NOT back the staff AND always assume the customer was always right. Many pharmacist blog sites joke about using alcohol for stress relief. I did and it required expensive and lengthy rehab to become clean and sober again. My quality of life was greatly impacted by intense work-related stress precipitated by callous, uncaring management.