Wednesday, June 4, 2014

A Rock and a Hard Place

Ok, so I'm your pharmacist. We're your pharmacy. We know all about your medication profile and a little bit about you. We probably know what you do for a living and your other family members. 

But that doesn't work the other way.

We have a patient, Michael, that just doesn't stop with the personal questions of me and the other pharmacy staff. Here's some gems he's asked lately...

To one tech, not married, with a 7-year-old son... "So, does your baby daddy give you money to raise your son?"

To the pharmacy manager... "Where do you live? How much is your home worth?" and "Do you take Viagra?"

To another tech... "I see you have a tattoo. Do you have other tattoos you can't show me?" 

To me, "How old are you?" and "Do you have high blood pressure?" and "Do you take Viagra?"

None of these questions asked to any of us are any of his business. But here's the rock and the hard place: You can't just tell a guy like this off without repercussions at Goofmart Pharmacy. The company is so overly concerned about not offending any customers that slapping this guy down (even as gently as possible) could generate negative feedback. The Authorities could care less what the topic would be... they would only care that a complaint was made.

So for now we endure the interrogation with various methods of avoidance. Every time he approaches the pharmacy everyone scrambles to find something "really important" to do because no one wants to help him. And yet I feel like one of these days he's going to ask something way to personal and I'm going to lose my temper and...



Unknown said...

you could always give him 'that look' you know the one you give your kids that silently says 'not another word or face the consequences'...the one that strikes fear in most kids, lol. Otherwise...I have no qualms telling Mr Creepy none of his business. I'd probably then spend some money for an attorney letter to corporate letting them know my staff and I are not putting up with harrassment and hostile work environment from Mr Creepy and any retaliation from corporate (something like that) to cover our butts. IMHO If he did that at the docs office, I bet the doc would tell him to go elsewhere and wouldn't care about if he offended the guy or not.

was1 said...

I like to answer questions like that with a question. "Why do you want to know?" If he persists, tell him it would be a HIPAA violation to discuss it with him.

pharmaciststeve said...

Read your policy and procedure manual.. does it say that the corp will not tolerate a hostile work environment ?... unless it specifically excludes customers/pts.. it INCLUDES them.. If management gets on you about telling the "nut case" that it is none of his business.. then inform HR that management is violating the company's P&P.. You could tell "numb nuts" that company policy prohibits you from discussing your personal information with customers ... HIPAA violation...

Anonymous said...

Honestly, Crazy, with your vivid imagination and penchant for sarcasm, I'm surprised you haven't strung this guy along with some tongue-in-cheek responses.

"That new tech? Oh, we don't like to talk about her... see that guy ahead of you in line was a US Marshall keeping an eye on her. He is her handler. Oops, sorry, I wasn't supposed to say that. She might have to be relocated soon thanks to us...."

"Viagra? Haha you're cute. Pharmacist actually have access to a secret stash of medicines reserved exclusively for Congressmen and Senators. Uh-oh, now I've gone and said too much again."

I would have a blast with this guy. Lowball your age and when he expresses disbelief, claim you use a Dr. Oz product religiously.

C'mon, Crazy... just imagine the possibilities!! :D

Anonymous said...

Ah, the unkindest cut of all, making fun of "Dr. Oz!"