The Pharmacy Chick

Flying the coup in retail

Of Funnel Cakes and Bratwurst.

Filed under: Uncategorized — pharmacychick at 11:16 pm on Saturday, August 30, 2008

The advancement of the calendar into late August means different things to different people. To the parents of children, its a celebration that soon they will return to school.  To these kids, its mourning that same fact. 

Pharmacy Chick’s pharmacy is at the tail end of its Dog Days.  Once school starts, the business regains the momentum it lost during the summer.  My vacations are over and once again the flu season looms, along with all the extra work with vaccinations. 

However, not all the rites of summer are over.  For this Chick, late summer means Fair season. County fairs, State Fairs, I don’t care, bring ’em on.  I cannot say what it is about the fair that draws me to them but I can tell you this: it brings me back to a simpler time in my life.

When Pharmacy chick was a mere kid, the state fair was in our home town every year, and we went several days over its 10 day run.  Held in late July, we could count on unbearably hot dusty days, an occasional thunderstorm to cool things down, a miraculous drying out after the rain, then fun in the evening at the fair.  My parents would buy weekly passes to all the concerts ( usually county music has-beens), and my brother and I would have free reign of the fair grounds provided we were at the appointed place when it was time to go home.  Every year we’d get fresh squeezed lemonade at the same stand where a half dozen teenagers were squashing lemons as fast as they could.  We’d also get a free yard stick from a local insurance company.  Brother loved the rides,  the Chick, not so much.  I loved the exhibits (and still do).  I could get lost in the crafts building. Because I did handwork, I appreciated the hard work.  I also loved the merchantile building.  Selling everything from Ginsu Knives to find-your-own-pearls, I always enjoyed seeing what I could get for free. We didn’t get much money to spend so “free” was what we were after.

Fast forward 30 years.  I still love the fair, but the culture has changed.  The livestock barns used to be literally bursting with cows, pigs, goats, sheep, rabbits, ducks, chickens, horses, with a few exotics just for show.  We’d wander up and down looking at cow butts, admiring the Budweiser Clydesdales (they are beyond big), watch the piglets play while the sow sleeps.  Now, the barns are half full at best.  I guess its a hassle and a big commitment for farmers and ranchers to bring animals to the fair. It just may not be worth it for them anymore. 

In my youth, the kids wandering around the fair grounds tended to be pretty tame.   You could tell the city kids from the rancher’s kids pretty easy:  rancher kids wore Wranglers, cowboy boots, and plaid shirts with pearl buttons,  city kids wore Levi 501’s, sneakers and T-shirts.  Today things look a tad different.  For one thing, our trend towards obesity is never more evident than at the fair.  Perhaps I missed the “Fat people get in free today” sign, I dunno. 

 We came onto the fair grounds at the Carnival entrance-It looked like the trailer trash party scene.  I don’t know where to begin: I have never seen so many tatoos and body piercings in one location in my life.  Grossly obese people zooming about on scooters almost ran over my toes.  The Carnies didnt even try to get me to play their games. They just stood around looking bored, waiting for their next victim, er customer. Not being interested in the rides, we just skated on thru.

I made my usual rounds: looking at cow butts, the big horses, the cute bunnies, the craft building and then the food.

Oh, the food.  Mr Chick loves the ice cream.  Its the same ice cream he could buy in the store, but somehow it tastes different when purchased off the back of a trailer and handed to him by cute (but sweaty) high school girls.  He also likes the philly cheese steak standwiches.  Mrs Chick, on the other hand has her own agenda.  Bring on the funnel cakes and Bratwurst.  Too much work to make myself, funnel cakes are a wonderful treat of fried batter sprinkled with powdered sugar.  I cannot imagine the calorie count of the cake I ate that filled an entire plate.  Before the cake, I had a spicy brat with mustard and sauerkraut that couldn’t be beat.

Yea, I guess they do taste better off the back of a truck.

I hope the fair never passes into Americana History. The buildings are old, there is much discussion about who has to pay to keep them up.  They lose money every year.  Attendance is flat. Lots of reasons….

So. Go the the fair, look at the bunnies,Eat some fattening food, buy a Ginsu knife, Get a henna tattoo and talk to the vendor who sells the habanero jerky. Then, go back to work and tell all your friends what a great time you had.

Peace.

The day before holidays–Get me outa here

Filed under: Uncategorized — pharmacychick at 11:45 pm on Friday, August 29, 2008

I am pretty sure I have written about this before, but second to the day AFTER a holiday, not much sucks as much as the day before a holiday.  Today was no exception. I hate working the day before a holiday and the day after sucks just as much…and we don’t even close for the holiday.

 For instance, Pharmacy Chick had just opened the door, and we hadn’t done much more than empty the que of all the rx’s that people had called in over night.  I seemed manageable enough: #27 on the list..  We are, after all in the dog days of August and are filling about 30 fewer per day than usual. It may seem insignificant , but 30 fewer is about an hour LESS of work we have to do.  This guy came to the counter and asked for his prescription.  He said he had punched it in “early this morning”.  I knew the name only because I had run it thru the que but nothing had been counted yet.  “But I called it in early this morning”he whined.  I had to explain to this brilliant brain trust that I opened at 9am and 15 minutes is not enough time for me to do his (and 26 other) prescriptions.  He gave me “the look” and the sigh and walked away after I told him to come back in 20 minutes.

The day was full of “waiters”, people whose lack of planning or self-serving desire made them plant their carcases in my waiting room, or pacing around wondering “is it ready?” Heres a secret to you non-pharmacist readers:  If you ask me “if its ready” BEFORE the time I tell you it will be ready, YOU WILL WAIT EVEN LONGER!  Today was full of these people. I’d say 20 minutes, they’d show up after 10. I’d say half-hour, they’d come back in 20 minutes. 

The Jerks:  you’d think somebody hung a sign outside that said, “give Pharmacy Chick crap today”.   You see, I don’t care if your car is packed and you are heading to your cabin. I don’t care if you have a cooler full of food. I don’t care if you want to get out of town ahead of traffic.  I also don’t care if Uncle Ernie’s barbecue starts without you.  You dropped of 3 refills behind 6 others who beat you to the counter and unless you are bleeding profusely, you will NOT get the “rush” treatment. You could have done this 2 days ago..but you didn’t did you?

The senseless Seniors:  They aren’t going anywhere, they never do.  They are retired and have no timetable. Everyday is a holiday.  So, why in the name of whatever diety you worship, did so many of them come and require personal assistance from PC today? And, why did it have to be between 4:30 pm and 6 Pm?

The transferring travelers:  Need I say more? Who  packs their bottles with 1 pill in the vial and heads out on vacation?  Apparently too many.  I get some kind of perverse satisfaction when I am handed a vial to transfer and its for a drug I don’t have.  Its like a Monoply Get-out-of-Jail-free card.  Mr Traveler wants it now, not Tuesday…buh bye.

The weird drug search.  Its Friday, Its 5pm, the script comes in for some weird antiprotozoal.  I had to dig deep to remember how to spell it because the nurse spelled it wrong. However its spelled, I do not have it.  12 pharmacies later, I still have not found it. Looks like the customer gets to stick close to the pot all weekend.

The mind-changers:  I’d have be taken away in handcuffs if I didn’t get away from the counter soon. Lady called up and wanted 3 months of birth control. We filled the prescription.  THen she called back and wanted one month only.  We changed it. She came to pick it up and asked “can I get two more?”. “Two more what?”   “Two more of those…” (pointing to the birth control I am holding).  Fine, come back in 20 minutes.   So, 20 minutes pass. The rx is now done for the 3rd time today.  She comes back to pick it up and there is a line behind her.  “Do I have any refills on my Allegra?” “What is the copay for 3 months?” “how about one month?” “Can you fill it?” “Another 20minutes?” “why do you have that bat?

The whiners:  Oh the whiners–you’d think the holiday weekend was a prison sentence: “I have so much to do, can’t you do it faster?” ” $188 for Viagra?  How come so expensive?” well if you are gonna pay for sex, it might as well be worth it.  “I dont have a coupon, can I have $30 gift card if I fill this prescription? I need some groceries” you are kidding I hope.  “How can my 6 bottles of insulin cost $200? I paid only $45 last month” Ok. lets review: Different Insurance, Different HMO, Different State.  50% copay now.  Are we on the same page now?  “Is Lipitor on the $4 list?” Sure, how far can you make 1 tablet stretch?  How can I get my bandaids paid for on insurance?”  pray? cuz it certainly won’t happen here on earth.

This was priceless: ” I need a vacation supply, I am going away for the weekend” we just filled it 6 days ago for a 30 days supply, you will still have 20 days left after this weekend?” :”So, can I get it?” No. Care to guess the drug?  yes…Vicodin.

And just for the scumbag who wanted the “10 pack of U-100’s”  I hope you OD in the park and nobody finds your body for days.

Here’s hoping your Labor day is lots of “day” and no “labor”.

Peace.

Stupid Medicare Rules part 2-precision eye drops

Filed under: Uncategorized — pharmacychick at 10:16 pm on Monday, August 25, 2008

 If you are a pharmacist and you have had the pleasure of filling prescriptions under some third party, you understand the nightmare of “days supply”.  Its a hot issue right now and one under which a third party payer can play “gotcha” and take their money back. Make it too short and risk an audit, make it too long and you may have to call for a refill-too-soon override.   Regardless, the Chick tries to be rather generous on the days supply of 3 groups of medication:  Insulin, eye drops and inhalers.  For obvious reasons, you cannot have a stock days supply on these groups of medications.   Some D plans seem to have decided that they can indeed desginate a hard and fast days supply on eye drops.

The Chick was doing her thing filling a Cosopt rx for a new D patient.  This woman fills this rx on a pretty regular basis, every 30-35 days.  When I fill this rx, my own computer assigns it a 50 day supply but I override it to 30 days.  I have all the documentation I need to support the days supply I transmit because of her past schedule.  I filled the Rx only to be given a “rejt-invalid days supply–plan limits exceeded” by the insurance.  At first I thought I had transmitted something wrong but after a check, I realized it wasn’t me at all. I had to call the insurance, something I REALLY dislike doing.

After being on hold for way too long I finally get their representative who wants me to verify all kinds of information (just to be sure I am not some identity thief I suppose) that I had already inputted before she finally came on the line. Name, DOB, Rx number, NPI, Cardholder ID, Favorite color..etc before she finally relented and asked me what I need.

I explain the problem with the eye drops and she drops this little bombshell on me: Her plan limits her to 1 bottle every 56 days. AND according to THEIR charts, it should last 60 days. What the hell?

So lets do the math.  If you have the perfect dropper you (in theory) can get 20 drops per ml. A 5 ml bottle of eye drops have 100 drops in the bottle. IF you use 1 drop in to each eye once daily, AND never miss the eye, and have perfect technique, you will get 50 days out of the bottle.   Ms Representative would have none of my arguments.  Plan limits might as well be scripture carved in stone.  She wasn’t getting this filled as a 30 day supply.  It was also clear that when she runs out in 35 days that she was going to have to pay cash or beg for a sample til her D plan coughs up another paid claim.

Personally, I suck at eye drops.  If I get 1 drop in 3 in successfully, I dance for joy and all is right in my world. Usually the job falls to Mr Chick, holding me down, prying my eye open and promising me jewelry if I will sit still. So, If Pharmacy Chick-Pharmacist extraordinare cannot get eye drops in properly, what makes this D plan think that they can legislate that some 65+ yr old retiree with glaucoma and shaky hands will successfully negotiate eye drop insertion 100+% of the time.

You see my point?  Well you are the only one because this scenario has repeated itself several times over already. One man purchases Travatan out of pocket every other refill for this reason. Another purchases her Lumigan every other time for the same reason.  Its unbelievably pathetic because I cannot help.

Its a sorry state.  To all those people screaming for socialized medicine:  Heres a taste of what you’ll get.  Granted, our system is flawed, grossly flawed, but please.  Put the government in charge of your health care and you might as well say goodbye to your freedom of choice…and apparently the ability to calculate days supply.

Oh, and better start practicing on your eye drops now,  you’ll need to be pretty good at it.

Don’t touch that jar!

Filed under: Uncategorized — pharmacychick at 8:49 am on Friday, August 22, 2008

Some days are more interesting than others. I am used to being brought all sorts of things to look at, usually things ON the body: rashes, sores, cuts and scrapes, blisters and bug bites. This trumped them all.

I was working the counter one day when this lady approached the counter.  I had been a pharmacist for less than a year.  She had a jar in her hand but it looked empty.  She lifted the jar onto the counter and I noted that it contained several strands of hair.

Obviously distressed, she almost spat out “is this HEAD LICE?”.  I picked up the jar and confirmed  that yes, it was head lice (and a pretty nice case of it by the looks of it).  Was she satisfied with my affirmation of her suspicion? Apparently not because she said “Are you SURE?” as she began to unscrew the jar….

There was nothing more than instinct at work here honestly.  Before you could say ‘boo’ I had slapped my hand over hers and fiercely said “DO NOT OPEN THAT JAR!” 

Sheesh, as far as I was concerned, she might as well have had small pox in that jar because the last thing I needed was my own case of lice.  At the time the only solution was Kwell.  It was long before the OTC treatments were available.   Whomever owned those strands of hair was either going to the doctor or was getting a major hair cut.

She tried to leave the jar with me.  I made her take it with her.

____________________________________

I was reminded of this story when last week a gentleman came to my counter and wanted “clean” shampoo.  I had never heard any brand name called “Clean” and I told him that any shampoo would get his hair clean.  English was not his first language. As we worked thru this conversation, he made his intent evident.  “Dere are leetle animals in my hair…”  Allrighty Then, lets step over to the lice shampoo. :

Problem solved. I am confident that his leetle animals are gone by now.

If I have to listen to one more price complaint…

Filed under: Uncategorized — pharmacychick at 8:53 am on Thursday, August 21, 2008

I need to check the calendar–is it a full moon? Is Jupiter aligning with Mars? Did a comet zoom by and spray us with radioactive dust? Because I have had to put up with some of the most assinine whining about the price of prescriptions this week, more so than their usual rants.

Over the years, my compassion for listening to complaints about pricing has plummeted and is directly proportional to 1)how much they have to pay and 2) the importance of the prescription. For example:

Son comes in and picks up Ma’s Vicodin and Xanax.  He brings $8 because thats what Ma gave him.  The copays are $4 and $7.26.  The copays have been $4 and $7.26 for 5 months and there is no price match or deals on controlled drugs.  “Shouldn’t they be $4?”  Nope.  He huffs away to get more money.

Guy comes in with a transfer for Viagra from my own chain.  I call only to find out is has been transferred already to a nearby competitor. Great, a wasted long distance phone call. I call the competitor and bring it over. Its been 6 months and its gone up about $40. Well it is what it is, not covered.  He wants to know what it costs and when I give him the price, he launched into a diatribe of how he walked away from Big Box because they were expensive and my price was $2 higher.   Being just a little cheeky, I just said “Do you want me to transfer it back?” I couldn’t resist.

Son comes in for his elderly fathers medication.  Doctor had left this message. “Cancel Lunesta order for #10 and fill it for #30, one daily at bedtime for sleep wandering/agitation. OhhhKaaay.  The Son didn’t want the Lunesta last week because it wasn’t coveredand “$50+for 10 tabs is ridiculous” so I cannot imagine that he will want 30 of them today for 3x the price.  Sadly he took it and 2 days later it was changed to Remeron. **Flush** $130 down the tubes.  I kinda felt bad for him but in all honesty I did try to tell him of other alternatives before he laid down the cash.

Lady comes in to pick up her rx.  I had filled it for cash because the 100ct price was better than using her insurance for 3×30.  At the register the tech walks back to the computer ( a HUGE pet peeve of mine) so I ask why. “She wants to use her insurance”. I tell her “its cheaper to get 100 than to use the insurance, LIKE IT SAYS ON THIS NOTE”.  But NO,  customer pipes up and says ” I’m just curious”  So this lady stops traffic like the chick in the VISA check card commercial who wants to pay cash.  My tech doesn’t use wisdom and ask her to move aside. We reverse the claim, re run the claim for 30 (her max allowed), just to prove a point.  #30 is 9.79 and #100 cash is 13.97. Valuable time wasted and we will probably do it again in 100 days. Customers have lousy memories.

International Man comes in and wants his “Veepetor” (Lipitor) filled. He has Medicare D and a copay of $38.  He brings me a discount card issued by AAA.  My man Friday explains that it won’t help him, but IM doesn’t believe it so we waste more valuable time running thru his discount card. Its over $150.00. He completely balks. Friday explains that this card is not insurance. “Can I use both?” no. “So why did they send it to me?”.  Cuz there is a sucker born every minute?”

Mr Barrel Chest comes in to pick up his bag of goodies.  He’s in the donut hole now and knows it. He does not however miss out on the opportunity to complain about the injustice and tell me that the NEW PRESIDENT WILL FIX THIS MESS blah blah blah, sure he will…   Never mind the fact he has all tier 3 type meds where some well chosen generics might do.  I make mention of this fact only to be shut down with “I think my doctor knows what he is doing”  Then shut your mouth and open your wallet. I am done with ya.

It seems like a good time for a reminder for any reader who might not be a pharmacist:  Insurance is a contract between you ( the customer) and your insurance company.  I agree to bill the plan but I don’t write the contract. Your copays and plan limits are set by THEM not ME. If you don’t like the price, then complain to them, not me.  If it were up to me you could get 360 days worth of your meds, then I’d have to see you once a year instead of 12. I’d never have to request a Prior Auth for non-covered meds, or a vacation override. Every drug would be $1 and everything would be covered…..and while I am at it, I’d like a pony too.

Vaccinations: just do it.

Filed under: Uncategorized — pharmacychick at 9:51 am on Saturday, August 16, 2008

With apologies to the shoe company with the swoosh logo, I am sending out this challenge to all you pharmacists who CAN vaccinate:  DO.

About 5 years ago,  the state I live in  decided to allow pharmacists to vaccinate.  I was slow to jump on the bandwagon by one year.  I took the wait-and-see stance before I plunged a syringe into somebody’s arm.  One year later found me in a class learning proper technique (which I already knew from my nurse-mother-who-needed-allergy-shots-for-years.  Somehow I knew that this would be a good thing for my business and profession.  I was right.

I started out with flu shots.  I was nervous as a cat at my first clinic.  I was convinced that some yo-yo would faint on me.  Nobody did, and 10,000 shots later, nobody has fainted on me yet, although a few smart alecks ask me if they need to “bend over”  Uh, no thanks.

A surprising thing happened however–customers looked at me different.  I ceased to be the pill-counting machine they thought me to be.  They discovered I had hands that did something different  than just fill prescriptions, ring up sales and hand them the bag.  They touched the patient!   They discovered I had a lap that sat next to them, even if its just for a minute.  They found out they could have my rapt attention when they had an appointment for a shot. No competition for the phone/pill tray/cash register/and every other customer.  One on One for a few precious moments, eye to eye, sitting next to them in a chair.  This was something they had never seen me do: sit.

They also discovered that I could provide a service that had been previously monopolized by the Dr’s office. I was soon vaccinating pneumococcal, TD, Hep A, Hep B, Meningococcal, and others. 

How I was perceived by these people changed.  An interesting observation:  Joe hands me a prescripiton for DrugX and asks how long it will take.  I tell him 15 minutes and he balks “THAT LONG?”    Steve comes in and inquires about a Tetanus shot.  He asks how long it will take: 20 mintues “THATS ALL?”  It seems that all it takes to increase the respect quotient, is a sharp needle.

Vaccinations are also a cash cow, if you pardon the expression.  For the most part, vaccinations are a cash transaction.  For the few insurances that pay for the vaccine, we charge an administration fee.  “Unless you’d like it to be self serve” I jokingly ask..So far no takers. Its one of those rare instances where we get paid for the service aspect of this profession.  As you all know we give out our advice for free, something no other profession does.  When was the last time you walked in to Dewey Cheatham and Howe Law firm and asked them for free advice?  Or,  walked into Cutter and Stitch Health clinic and got free advice about that rash on your leg.  They’d just hand you their rate sheet (or worse yet, laugh at you and tell you to come back when you have an appointment).  We dont get that luxury.

I do some walk up vaccinations.  Treated like a prescription, they are qued like every other.  However, when fall arrives, all vaccinations are done on a purely appointment basis since I am doing flu shots all day as well.  I can schedule 2 shots every 1/2 hour around my regular work in the pharmacy.  The advantage to this is many-fold.  First off, you know your work load. Secondly, the patient knows exactly when he/she is gonna get their shot.  Thirdly, the patient learns a new habit (scheduling an appointment with the pharmacist).  Yea, we do our walk up clinic twice a year, but over the years, I have seen more and more people eschew the clinic for the appointment basis because they no longer have to stand in line. 

If you are a young pharmacist,  Pharmacy Care is your future. If you are an older pharmacist Pharmacy Care is your chance to do something different.  Your techs can do everything but actually stick the needle in, so they learn something new also.  It would seem that mine actually argue over who gets to fill the syringes in the morning.  note to self: apparently there is a cool-factor in syringe filling…

Actual Story repeated over and over:  Pharmacy chick is used to interruptions.  Most come from people with blinders on “Can I ask you a question?” they ask as I am clearly helping somebody else and many get indignant if I tell them I will be with THEM when I done HERE.  Take the same situation, but with a tray with a needle in it.  “Can I ask you a question?” “I will be with you as soon as I am done here–I am about to give an injection”.   “Whoa, Sure, no problem, take your time”.

Its good to be the holder of the needle.

But in all seriousness,  vaccinations help your patients, and help your business.  They also improve your visibility and your credibility as a health care provider. Lastly they are actually fun. And we need a serious “injection” of fun into our profession don’t we? (ok, bad pun).

Radio Ads

Filed under: Uncategorized — pharmacychick at 7:14 pm on Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Mr and Mrs Chick took a few days off recently to get some needed home maintenance done.  Actually we are doing a kitchen gut and redo and we decided to be our own paint contractor.  (note to self: painting a ceiling is harder than it looks).  ANYWAY,  this required spending some quality time at home with the radio on.  Normally I don’t listen much to the radio.  I catch the news and traffic in the morning, and listen to all of about 10 minutes of Christian music on my way to the store each day. 

When we were painting, the radio was on for hours at a time.  I began to detect a trend in the ads that repeated themselves throughout the day.  I have deduced that the quantity of the ads seem to be inversely proportional to how much I need what they are trying to sell me.  Hang on with me here and you will see what I mean.

There seems to be an abundance of 4 kinds of ads on the radio lately: 3 of which (to me) are virtually worthless.  Here they are in no particular order:  supermarket ads, new car ads, mortgage refinancing ads and mattress ads.  

 Now I can understand supermarket ads–we need to eat food daily, and unless you are a survivalist who grows your own food, you probably visit a grocery store at least weekly, if not more.  Its a competitive market out there and they grasp for every sucker…er customer…they can get.

Its the other three that I don’t understand very well.  I have a car, a mortgage and a bed.  These are not things that I replace weekly, monthly or even yearly!  I have driven the same car for 8 years. Mr chick has had his for 12 years.  They work fine, they are paid for and I am in no hurry to buy something newer EVEN IF I GET 0% financing and free oil changes for life or what ever else they are promising me.  I hate shopping for a car, as most  car salesmen are weasels dressed in a cheap suit. ( Forgive me if there are any honest car salesmen…all 2 of you).

Secondly,  my mortgage rate is fine thank you.  I wasn’t stupid enough to purchase a home I couldn’t afford and I made sure that I always knew what my interest rate would be, and I didn’t lie on my application about my income to get a loan too big for my britches.  I’ll bet I hear a dozen ads every day telling me what a GREAT TIME it is to refinance my home and get money for that great vacation or home improvement. What a crock.

And lastly, I have to wonder,  what is it about mattress companies that requires them to run 100 ads every single day on the radio?  Are they trying to convice Americans that mattresses need to be changed with the sheets? It would seem so.   “Replace your old mattress with a NEW SleepComfortTempurPostureNumber Bed! You’ll sleep so well, an atomic blast will nary stir you!”   When we moved a dozen years ago, we decided to “invest” in a quality bed.  To date it has served us well and by all accounts I still sleep comfortably in it without any pain or discomfort. 

 The only thing I would change?  Get a double KING so the dogs would leave ME a place to sleep.

Throwing away the pages of history.

Filed under: Uncategorized — pharmacychick at 8:23 pm on Sunday, August 10, 2008

The coming of fall always makes Pharmacy Chick wax nostalgic to her college days. Already I am seeing Back-To-School ads and kids in the store haggling with their parents over backpacks (why do they need a new one every year?)  I have to be honest, it took me a good 5 years after graduating before I got over the feeling that I should be GETTING READY for fall classes. 

I remember my early days in pre-pharm:  agonizing over whether or not I would get the classes I needed (back then we had something called Arena Scheduling:  we were let loose in the gym like a stampede based on our last names into a giant arena with tables that corresponded with departments.  If you were smart you would rush to the classes you wanted/needed the MOST to sign up–first-come-first-served.)   If I was lucky enough to get the classes I needed, I would then hike it over to the bookstore to load up on the books. It was important to get there early for two reasons: 1) the used books sold first and 2) sometimes they ran out of the books.  If I had to buy new, it cost me more, if I didn’t get the book at all, I had a major problem.  Then at the end of the quarter I’d rush back to sell it back to the bookstore, for if they had enough they’d quit buying them back.  What a racket–they’d pay us squat then sell them for a lot more.

However once I got into Pharmacy school, 2 things changed: 1)  my books cost a hell of a lot more and 2) I couldn’t sell them back!  I had to keep them “for reference”.    This stunk on a whole bunch of levels.  Selling my books back helped me pay for the next quarter of books, and not doing so hurt my budget big-time.  In addition, there were seldom used texts I could buy, and it seemed every professor would pick some new edition  that would require the purchase of a NEW book. 

What pharmacy student didn’t have Goodman and Gilmans- The Pharmacological Basis of Theraputics?  I even had to buy a NEW Remingtons because I was “lucky” enough to be a student when they had a new edition.  By the time I graduated I had hundreds of pounds of books, from Chemistry (medicinal, general, bio, and organic), Theraputics, Pharmacology, Anatomy and Physiology, Law, kinetics, the Merck Manual, Grey’s Anatomy, Microbiology, pathology, and whatever -ology else I had to take.  I even had to buy The Principles and Practice of Medicine (as if you could condense it all in one book).

So, Pharmacy chick graduated, and along with her diploma, hauled all these books to her first apartment, then to her first house…then to her second house.  Once a year or so, I would visit the library upstairs and dust off the books. I didn’t however ever open them.  There was no reason to.  Every piece of information I would ever need in practice was accessible from reference texts at work.  But for some reason I couldn’t ever get rid of them.

Until one day.  Mr Chick and I decided to paint the Library.  It involved clearing the shelves and for the first time in many years, I had to handle every single book I had ever placed on the shelf.  At that time I decided to “thin the herd”.  Not only did I pitch some old books, but I cleared out a bunch of other stuff as well.  Goodbye went all the chemistry books,  the micro and path books, Grey’s anatomy, dosage forms (I think I got that one pretty well covered).  I have no idea what Goodwill will do with these books, but I thought donation was better than garbage. 

I have to admit however, I still have some.  I still haven’t opened them, but for some reason I still cannot say goodby to the select few.   Its kinda pathetic–how is it I cannot part with these few?  I wonder–does Ole Apothecary have some if his books molding in his bookcase?   Does TAP and TAestP have a secret stash of text books from their college days? Does Mike ever reference his old texts?

Well if they don’t, and they ever need to read up on Theraputics, I have Goodman and  Gilman’s….still.

I need something to whine about today so I chose this.

Filed under: Uncategorized — pharmacychick at 10:15 pm on Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Pharmacy chick logged in today to see that blogpharm as changed its format. Because I am a major techno-phobe, I dont appreciate having changes made to my computer stuff or my internet experience.  I mean, its taken me months just to figure out how to put a picture on my blog and now everything behind the scenes has moved.   Did anybody ask me?  They should have since I am one of only about 5 bloggers that use Blogpharm.  Harrrumph!  I cannot find squat on the composition pages.

I am the same way at the pharmacy.  Change some policy, some procedure, or move some of my stuff and expect some fall out.  Occasionally I won’t comply at all but don’t tell anybody about that.  Every evaluation I get has some comment about my “resistance to change”.  You’d think after 16 years they would give up.

Its been really bad lately in PC’s Pharmacy–We are being micromanaged to death.  Somebody at corporate is trying to justify his job. Every little movement is tracked, monitored, evaluated, then “improved”.  I suspect I couldn’t even pass gas without somebody offering a better way to do it. No longer is the end product the important issue, its all about the PROCESS–and uniformness.  After I unloaded a particular diatribe on the boss,  he exasperatedly asked “Why do you do this?”  I said.  ” I find it much more satisfying to complain than to comply without question. WHY do YOU keep doing this to ME? ”  ( it IS all about ME you know..heh heh) Lets put it this way: The sun rises in the east, sets in the west and the Chick hates change.   Except one.

Give me the winning lottery numbers and I’d be happy to CHANGE my employment status,  CHANGE my residence,  and make some major lifestyle CHANGES!

Til then, don’t mess with my stuff!

PC is checking out for a few days- time for some R&R with Mr Chick in the mountains, hence no computer, no posting, no email!

Blind mine eyes! Put some clothes on!

Filed under: Uncategorized — pharmacychick at 10:21 pm on Sunday, August 3, 2008

What is it about summertime that turns people’s brain to chowder when it comes to fashion sense? Since Pharmacy Chick sees a bazillion people every day, I’d thought I’d share some of my own observations of shoppers who passed by in recent days. I swear some people get dressed in the dark…

1. Fat chick in Tube Top: Unless you are 6 years old or disappear when you turn sideways, leave the tube top at home. In fact, why not turn that thing into the rag that it is? I cannot believe anybody ever thought that taking an elastic cylinder of fabric, wrapping around a woman’s midsection and calling it fashion was a good idea. One rogue brat with an attitude and we’ll have the mother of all wardrobe malfunctions! PS Nice rose tattoo by the way

2. Same Woman, bottom half: Form fitting skin tight spandex looks really good on models in fitness magazines…and prepubescent teens . It looks especially scary when I can see the polka dotted underpants underneath.

3. Bra’s serve a useful function. Use one during all four seasons. They come in all sorts of fancy colors and fabrics now. They are practically artwork. Nobody wants to see your flabby breasts. This lady came in and to say that she is big-boned would be an insult to big bones everywhere. She was F.A.T. She heaved her flabbiness on my counter (too tired to stand up?) to ask a question. She had on a stretchy tank top (see previous observation) and nothing else underneath. I have no recollection of the conversation, but I’ll never get over the view.

4. Short-shorts. Lets add just a few more inches please. I’d rather not see your cheeks under your home made cut-offs. AND, Mr Mid-life Crisis, those running shorts from the 80’s looked great 20 years ago when you actually ran. Now that you are flabby and 50, you just look goofy. Buy some bermudas or cargos.

5. Muscle shirts: Unless you have been recently selected for the cover of a fitness magazine, chances are you aren’t the hottie you think you are. You are all sweaty and stinky and I am grossed out by all that shoulder and back hair sticking out. Jane Goodall would hand you a banana. Put a T shirt on.

6. Bikinis in the pharmacy? Wear your beach wear at the beach. Pharmacy Mike might not agree with me on this one (heh heh) , but then again he might especially since all that pizza you ate during the winter resides comfortably on your hips right now.

7. Nylon hose under shorts? WHAT?….and WHY?

8. Socks OR Sandals, not both…unless you live in Montana where I understand socks are usually worn with Birkies.

9. Miscellaneous faux pas: Dark dress socks with tennis shoes. Shorts with dress socks and loafers. Boxers or briefs? I dont care, just keep them INSIDE your shorts please. And if your stomach protrudes more than 3 inches over your belt, kindly have a shirt long enough to cover it up. AND, speaking of shirts, wear one when you come inside the store.

10 Bare Feet. I am sorry, perhaps I come from another era where ” no shirt, no shoes, no service” was on the door of most places, but it seems that I see an awfully lot of bare feet running around. Not only is it unsanitary but its unsafe. There’s a lot of nasty (sharp) stuff that ends up on the floor of a store and in a parking lot. If you cannot stand the idea of shoes, flip flops will do. Once I heard a shriek down the aisle. For some odd reason a lady shopper gave her toddler daughter a big can of tomatoes to hold. She didn’t hold them for long and dropped them directly on the foot of her mother (wearing only a flip flop) Cut clean thru the big toenail. I bandaged her up as best as possible and sent her to urgent care. 2 hours later she came back with rx’s to fill and said “The dr said you did a good job with the bandages”…yea me.

Any other visual offenses YOU’d like to share this summer?