Monday, April 22, 2019

The No-Win Scenario

It's inevitable. At some point in your pharmacy career, you will be faced with the no-win scenario... your own Kobayashi Maru.

It happened to me recently. I muddled through it, but the consequences have yet to be determined. At some point I'm sure this will reflect negatively on my career. 

But there was nothing I could do. There was no way to win. 

Let me explain the situation...

Patient Number One: An elderly, dignified lady there to pick up medications for her and her daughter. She happens to be black, and that's part of the story.

Patient Number Two: A complete jerk about age 40, never ever happy with pharmacy service at our pharmacy. One time he came to the pharmacy when I was sitting IN A CHAIR typing scripts and tech was sitting IN A CHAIR taking a break. The jerk wasn't happy that he wasn't helped within five seconds and made a complaint with upper management. The next day all the chairs disappeared from the pharmacy. I should also add that this jerk has made a number of racial slurs on occasion.

The Scenario: The elegant lady steps up to the counter to get her medication. She's clearly next in line as we have a workflow direction from start to finish... a "start here" sign AND an "exit here" sign. Only an imbecile of epic proportions would ignore the signage.

Seconds after the lady steps up to get her medication, Imbecile Jerk steps past the "exit here" sign and stands right next to the lady. I mean he's RIGHT NEXT to her, invading her personal space. She then looks uncomfortable because it IS uncomfortable. He's trying to push his way into being first or bully her.

In a split second my mind considers the possible outcomes of this encounter. 

* I tell the lady that Imbecile Jerk is next and that I'll be with her in a moment. Then she'll think I'm a racist when she was clearly next in line. This will affect all future interactions with this lady. I'll be branded as a racist when I'm not and race relations in the United States will continue to decline. 

* I tell the Imbecile Jerk that he needs to step over to the "wait here to protect patient privacy" which will infuriate him. He will think I'm putting her ahead of him. And HE WILL complain. In a normal world an upper manager would listen to my side of the story and dismiss the complaint. But we don't live in a normal world. We live in a world where upper management is also populated by imbeciles that accept any complaint at face value despite how preposterous it is.

* The lady and Imbecile Jerk interact and argue over who was next, causing Imbecile Jerk to throw out racial slurs and the whole thing will just be horribly ugly and at some point in the future I'll end up signing another warning letter because upper management will say it's all my fault.

I'm not Captain Kirk and I have no way of reprogramming the situation. In the split second my pulse quickens and I feel sick knowing there is no way to win. Oh why, or why did I choose a career working with the public? Why? Why have I chosen this constant daily punishment? 

In that moment of dread and fear I decide to do the only thing I felt I could do. I lied. I broke a commandment. Angels in heaven recorded it. Satan smiled as he prepared a special room for me in hell.

I told the lady that I was still working on filling her prescription and that I'd have it ready in a few minutes. She looked a little disappointed but mostly relieved to get away from Imbecile Jerk standing next to her.

I quickly grabbed the jerk's medication off the shelf. It's a zero co-pay because he's on Medicaid and he's off without saying anything (or signing our signature capture device because he refuses every time). Thank the old gods and the new ones in Westeros because Imbecile Jerk is gone.

When the lady returns I apologize for the behavior of the man that stepped up right next to her. I told her that the guy "has issues" (which isn't a lie -- he's a total psycho) and doesn't understand personal space. She was understanding and nice about it.

So did I win the No-Win Scenario? Maybe. But based on the bad luck I've had so far in this job I'm sure there's something about this encounter that will bite me in the butt eventually.


getahobby said...

You did well my friend

Anonymous said...

The thing that is insane to me is... management wouldn't back you on this one. Presumably there are cameras, and if the workflow is as clear as you say (also I presume electronic tracking of times for scripts anyway), the lady being next should be clear. This is not a he said/she said scenario, there is actual physical evidence that should be available.

backgroundremove said...

You did just an wonderful job. Great to see.

backgroundremove said...

I want to avoid facing no-win scenario in my pharmacy career. Thanks anyway for the nice information.