Monday, December 1, 2014

Mandatory Conference Calls

We had another conference call. No, let me rephrase. It was a MANDATORY conference call. On that date you have to dial into the conference center 30 minutes before the pharmacy opens and listen to the precious gems of wisdom for the day.

What I've noticed about these conference calls is that the subject matter is basic, every day information that could be sent out via email. There really is no reason for a conference call. To explain how simplistic these calls are, I shall compare it to running a kitchen in your home:

"Thank you for calling in for the conference call today. We have some very important announcements and procedures to go over, so if you could please mute your phones to eliminate background noise, we'll get started."

About 5-10 people do not mute their phones... background noise continues...

Marybeth, RPM: "First up is the refrigerator. It is IMPERATIVE that you CLOSE the refrigerator when not in use. It has a door which you OPEN, then after you remove something, you CLOSE it. We're keeping track of how many times you keep the door open and for how long. Emails will be sent out telling you when you're over your limit for time allotted to keep it open. Does everyone understand?"  

No response from the crowd, but you can hear a pharmacist whispering to a tech even though her phone is supposed to be muted.

"Please mute your phones so we may continue. Joe, what's next?"

<beep down> Someone hangs up.

Joe, RPM: "Next up is the food. Please do not cook and dispense expired food items. These need to be quarantined and removed from the other food items."

<beep up> Someone joins the conference call late.

"Also remember not to order too much food to cook before the end of the year. We want to have our kitchens lean by the end of the year. We need to close out our books on December 31 with as little food as possible in the kitchen. Does that make sense to everyone?"

No response from the crowd.

<Beep down> <Beep down> <Beep down> Three people hang up.

"Ok, Bruce, what's next?"

Bruce, Pharmacy Director: "You folks have both stoves and microwave ovens. It is critical that you use these devices to HEAT food BUT use the refrigerator to keep food COLD. We can't overemphasize that enough. You will be receiving sign-off sheets on this which both the pharmacy manager and staff pharmacist will need to sign every day acknowledging this. Please create a new binder to file this paperwork. The company will be sending out auditors to check these binders on a random basis. Are there any questions?"

A pharmacist speaks up, "Will we need separate binders for the refrigerator and the stove/microwave?"

Bruce: "Corporate hasn't decided yet. As of now, let's have everyone keep two binders. Ok, go open your kitchens. Good discussion, everyone."

<beep down> <beep down> <beep down>... Everyone disconnects...


Anonymous said...

Pretty much sums it up. Mine are usually in the middle of the day when I'm the only pharmacist on duty. And they tell you not to put the call on speaker.

bcmigal said...

We always have ours at 2pm, right after "lunch" so that we can verify while we are listening to the babble. And, yes, there is no other pharmacist on duty. There have been times when I gave up on listening so that I could counsel and give flu shots. What a way to check prescriptions accurately!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like those calls are the work of a manager who can't write, who believes his subordinates can't read.