Tuesday, April 16, 2013

You Running Late?

It's Sunday morning and I'm opening the pharmacy. I'm always on time. But no matter how many years we've been here, people have it in their head that we open at the same time on Sunday as we do the rest of the week. We don't. We open TWO hours later. It's posted at both windows, on the front of the store, our business cards, and if you call the automated line it will tell you when we open too.

But it happens every Sunday I work. Either someone is there at the window waiting for me to pick up or someone wants to hand me a script thinking their going to get it filled in 3.5 minutes. "You running late?" is something I hear quite often. No, I'm not running late. I'm actually early, you dolt. But I can't say that. I just try to remind them that we open two hours later on Sunday.

The last time this happened a guy set his prescription on my cash drawer. I was carrying a bunch of stuff including the cash drawer and although it would have taken me maybe 30 seconds to open the door and put down the stuff, he couldn't wait that 30 seconds and set it on the cash drawer I was holding. I told him yes, I can fill it in 3.5 minutes but I'm going to need 10 minutes or so to fire up the ancient Windows computers and enter 47 passwords to get to a filling screen. That's why I'm there at least 15 minutes early. Keep in mind that's 15 minutes I do NOT get paid for. I'm giving the company a free 15 minutes because their computers are not right ready to go at the opening bell. 

Sometimes I'm lucky and get into the pharmacy before someone is there, but then the next thing that happens is someone knocking on the window. It happens every Sunday I work without fail. Knock knock knock... "Are you in there, Danny Boy? Jack is here and I need my prescription pronto!"

And come to think of it now... pharmacy is pretty much like The Shining  in a lot of ways... Let's explore this further:

* Pharmacists really don't have Shining, -- but prescribers and patients just expect us to be able to read their minds and hear their thoughts. 

* When Wendy interrupts Jack, it's just like when a patient interrupts us counting their medication. We want to say, "Let me explain something to you. Whenever you come in here and interrupt me, you're breaking my concentration. You're distracting me. And it will then take me time to get back to where I was. You understand?" And just like Jack loses his mind by constantly getting interrupted, we pharmacists slowly lose our minds every time we're interrupted.

* The grocery is pretty much just like The Overlook... "We've got canned fruits and vegetables, canned fish and meats, hot and cold syrups, Post Toasties, Corn Flakes, Sugar Puffs, Rice Krispies, Oatmeal... and Cream of Wheat." And as the pharmacist, we're expected to know right where everything is!

* When a patient asks us to do something illegal or immoral, we feel like getting angry just like Jack and yelling, "Do you have the SLIGHTEST IDEA, what a MORAL AND ETHICAL PRINCIPLE IS, DO YOU? Has it ever occurred to you what would happen to my future, if I were to fail to live up to my responsibilities? Has it ever occurred to you? HAS IT?"

 * If I dare to think I can get out of this hell hole, Grady will set me straight. "I'm sorry to differ with you sir, but YOU are the pharmacist. You've ALWAYS been the pharmacist!"

* And don't even ask me about trying to run prescriptions on insurance for twins!



Marci said...

Alright--that was truly brilliant and hilarious. Great comparisons and nice jolt of very funny humor at the end! Way to go!

bcmigal said...

Never thought of "The Shining"...quite good!
I am no longer surprised by folks who show up just as we a locking up and are shocked that we are closing "early" on Saturday or Sunday. We have had the same hours since 2001. Duh!

Sue said...

Great post -- and I love the gif.

Sue said...

great post -- and I love the gif!

Anonymous said...


And, sadly so true.

Unknown said...