Saturday, July 26, 2014

Some People Refuse to be Pleased

When I first started at my current Goofmart Pharmacy location, it took awhile to get to know the names of most of the patients. There's a few people that no matter how hard I try, I just can't remember their name, ever. Other people I had down right away. It's probably because I'm crazy. I don't know.

But there's one lady that started harrassing me about a month after my arrival. When I had to ask her name, she would belt out, "DON'T YOU KNOW MY NAME BY NOW?!" So then the next time she came in I remembered that she made me feel stupid, so I became stupid and couldn't remember her name again. So then she shamed me in front of all the technicians and other patients when she said, "I CAN'T BELIEVE YOU CAN'T REMEMBER MY NAME!"

That started some issue in my brain and now all I can remember is that her last name starts with W. So when I see her I just go to the letter W and look for her name. It's better than getting shamed again. It seems to work. But that's not Mrs. W's only issue. At one time we went through the automatic refill blues, ranging from "WHY DON'T YOU HAVE MY BLOOD PRESSURE PILLS FILLED?! I THOUGHT THEY WERE ON AUTOMATIC REFILL!" to "WHY DID YOU FILL MY BLOOD PRESSURE PILLS?! I'M SWIMMING IN THEM AT HOME!!"

The recent issue with Mrs. W is her husband's medications. She's not happy that she has to come by the pharmacy twice per month to get his medication. "WHY DO I HAVE TO COME DOWN HERE TWICE? WHY CAN'T I GET THESE MEDICATIONS AT THE SAME TIME?"

It took me a couple of months working with the automatic refill dates, realizing that there would be some surplus in supply at her home, but I was able to get the three medications filled on the same date. So when Mrs. W came in to the pharmacy the other day, I went to the letter W, found her husband's medications, explained that one would have a surplus because she picked it up not long ago, but that NOW she can pick them up all on the same date! Voila! I am the Master of the Pharmacists. Crown me with your appreciation!



I almost had that cone of shame off, but no, Mrs. W didn't realize that she had been paying for each medication separately and now since she was GETTING them all on the same day, she would be PAYING for all of them on the same day.

What's your "take home" pearl for today?



Pharmaciststeve said...

ask her how much she paid before and put one of them back on the shelf and charge her what she wants to pay.

Anonymous said...

Tell her its 80.00 for 1 trip for all 3 or she can go back what she paid before and make 3 trips....her choice. And I wouldnt accept "cone of shame" she can kiss my rear end...I refuse to put up with rude matter what upper mgmt says..I dont get paid enough...unless they want to tack on hazard duty pay then I might reconsider

Anonymous said...

I have the same problem with some patients. There's a few I can't remember their names to save my life.

What you should do is cover up your name badge really quick and ask them what your name is. They won't know, either.

Map112 said...

I work as a pharmacy technician in one of the national grocery store chains. I have a similar problem remembering people’s names. I usually cover for myself by telling them that I’m required to ask for their name every single time. Generally, I don’t have to explain that this verification process is for security and patient safety.

Another technique is to ask if they are picking up for themselves, their spouse, one of their kids, etc. That usually reminds them that you still need a name even if you know each other pretty well. Realistically, it’s impossible to keep track of which family member currently has something ready.

However, my biggest reason for asking is the fact that I want to keep my job. Our district manager has said that our company essentially has a zero tolerance policy for any errors in the pharmacy. Apparently, a lot of negligent cashiers and technicians (in other stores) have been making a lot of bagging and pickup errors. I could understand this policy if people were failing to make any effort to verify their work.

Now I’m so paranoid that I do a “second” visual verification both at bagging and at the register. I even ask people to verify their address and sometimes phone number. I get strange looks but my company would love to replace me with someone that has far less training/experience at a lower pay rate. Judging by the chronic under staffing, patient safety is their last concern.