Tuesday, December 18, 2018

The Milk Emergency

I'm checking out a lady at the register. I do a lot more of that now since the new software requires me to check off a box that says I've counseled the patient on a medication they've had since 1986. Upper management has forced us into this behavior as a method to try and pressure us to discuss vaccinations with each and every patient like we have all the time in the world to do that.

I'm patiently waiting for the lady to push her credit card into the machine for the $1.24 purchase. My mind instantly wonders who comes up with these crazy co-pay numbers. Is there like a committee of three or four people at the pharmacy benefit manager that argued the merits of charging $1.24 instead of $1.20? I'm sure all these pennies must add up somewhere and it makes all the difference in world.

Of course the lady can't figure out that the chip end of the credit card goes in first so the machine barks at her. When I prompt her to turn the card around and she does so then it just sits there waiting because she hasn't pushed it in all the way. "Is it done yet?" she quibbles, angry with me. "Push it in a little more," I say, instantly turning our interaction from PG to PG-13.

At that point a lady walked up to the counter, violating all privacy laws everywhere and spit out, "WHERE'S THE MILK?!" I'm already tired from the day, looking for comic relief, and replied, "We don't drink milk in the Tri-County area," at which my patient at the register giggled.


So I merely pointed to the back of the store and the words left my mouth before I could stop them. "Milk is in the back of EVERY grocery store in the nation," but it was too late. She had whisked away on her extremely urgent milk emergency. 

The sound of the POS machine (That's point-of-sale, not what you were really thinking) starts barking at my patient to remove her card and of course she's just standing there, apparently not hearing it. I'm certain she is now wondering why this whole thing is taking so long.

I look at the clock to see how much time until my shift is over.

Only eight more hours. I can do this.

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