Monday, January 2, 2017

A Lust for Lunesta

The phone rings. I answer.

"Do you take the Good Rx card?" the caller asks.

"Yes," I reply, reluctantly. When someone calls all over town to save a couple of bucks, they're pretty much establishing themselves as a problem patient from the start.

"I'm calling to confirm the price given to me by Good Rx for a quantity of 30," he says. Then, with attitude: "Are you going to help me or not?"

Now we've definitely established that the caller is a jerk. We've got a cheap ass and a jerk. So I try to explain it to him.

"First of all I can't tell you the price until I process a prescription, which I don't have here. Secondly, Good Rx bases their quoted price on the generic that they think we have in stock, and the third thing..."

<click> He hung up on me.

Five minutes later the phone rings. It's a physician's office wanting to call in a prescription. I have to put them on hold because I'm alone (We're all about customer service here at Goofmart so management always makes sure we have enough tech help) and I have several people I'm trying to help. I put the office on hold then see the red light go out as they decided not to wait and hung up. Oh, it's ok when I call the physician's office and have to wait up to 15 minutes just to get routed to voicemail but they can't wait a couple of minutes when they call here!

Five minutes after that I'm still running around trying to help everyone all at the same time when cheap ass jerk is there at the window. He wants to know how much the Lunesta is that was "sent over" for him. 

"Sent over" has a specific meaning to me (e-Script or fax) and it's not the same as "called in." I fiddle on the computer. I have five new prescriptions in the queue that have been "sent over" electronically but none are for him. Nothing is on the fax machine. I tell him and he steps away from the counter. It occurs to me that maybe that was the physician office that called while I was busy, but I'm certainly not going to volunteer that info.

Ten minutes later he's made his way back to the head of the line to tell me that because I wouldn't answer the phone that his physician had to leave a voicemail. (Oh, the Humanity of it all!) He's unreasonably angry. Mind you, before I was able to help him this second time he's seen me answer the phone and put callers on hold TWICE as well as check out three people AND take two new prescriptions.

I go get the voicemail. I come back and get his $2-saving Good Rx card info and put it in the computer. It's more than the Good Rx quote to him on his fancy app... about $5 more. Now he's even more angry and wants to know why it's more. 

"As I tried to tell you before you hung up on me, the price Good Rx gave you is based on the generic they think we have in stock. There's about nine different generics for Lunesta and we must not stock the generic they used to create this price. The other thing is..."

Cheap ass jerk cuts me off again. His face has become red and his eye twitches with anger. He looks like an ugly Richard Dreyfuss in the movie What About Bob? 

"I'll just pay the $5 more," he says, loudly and angrily, eye still twitching. I'm thinking, "Baby steps... baby steps. Baby step to the last bit of bad news."

"And that's the THIRD thing I wanted to tell you before you hung up on me... this script is for the 3mg which I don't have in stock. Had you not hung up on me I could have told you that."

I have to admit to you I really, really enjoyed saying that last line to him... more than you can imagine.

I swear to you that I thought he was going to explode. I'm serious. His face became all red and he swung his fist in the air at some imaginary punching bag. He shook like a leaf and I genuinely thought he was going to stroke out."

I fiddle diddle on the computer and find him another Goofmart with the 3mg in stock to go pester. 

Thank you, once again, Good Rx card.


Anonymous said...

It always makes my day when I get to push buttons on a-holes!!

Crazy RxMan said...

A comment was added this morning, then later deleted. But I'm reposting it without the author's name as it is relevant:

"Hum I think you are both wrong You should be pissed off at your employer because they are the real assholes. You can't meet expectations because of headcount not because of the customer. It's not the customer fault which you keep pushing blame on to but in reality it's because you are working alone. I bet you are a millennial. You do have valid points about the doctors' offices, etc. PS the person not a cheap ass because he wants to save some money it the cost of drugs and you even making that remark tells me you are young.So please write about your employer being an asshole and a cheap because that is the issue here. And for you think it funny to see someone upset that could cause a stroke I would NOT want you filling my scripts."

And here's my reply:


That's the sound of this blog post going completely over your head. You missed the fact that this was all taking place within a time frame of minutes. It was unreasonable for the guy to 1. Not listen to me, 2. Hang up on me, 3. Show up within minutes of the physician's office calling. Further, it's an unreasonable expectation that medications, especially controlled substances (Lunesta is Schedule 3), to be ready for pick up within minutes of being phoned in, whether the pharmacist is working alone or not. For this guy to get overwhelmingly angry over something so completely trivial is funny... BECAUSE it is so overwhelmingly incredulous and cheap.

What pharmacists provide is HEALTHCARE. It's a profession, not a garage sale. If you want to barter over the price of a used trampoline, by all means go to a garage sale. That has no place in a professional environment. Griping about a difference of $2 or $5 is really ludicrous, especially when most people doing the griping are holding a $5 Starbucks in their hand. If you truly think pharmacy is about counting tablets and sticking them in a bottle, then I truly feel sorry for your pharmacist... the one that's carefully checking your prescriptions to make sure they're accurate, appropriate, and don't interact with your other medications. We keep people safe and alive DESPITE physicians and the patients themselves. Until you understand that then there's just no way you'll ever understand a blog post like this.

But I'm not surprised that you don't understand the point of the blog post since you incorrectly assume I'm a millennial. My nephew and his kids would have a good laugh at that one. No, dear lady, I've been around the block a number of times and that's how I know the difference between someone really trying to save money and a cheap ass.