The Pharmacy Chick

Flying the coup in retail

You want what?

Filed under: Uncategorized — pharmacychick at 10:59 pm on Friday, October 10, 2008

It was a tough day at work. Everybody who came in seemed to have a chip on their shoulder and dared me to knock it off.   With the decline of American civility and courtesy, there seems to be more of these kind of days than nice ones.

Then Sophie came in.  Sophie is a kick…and very unique.   “I need some pricks” she said loudly.  Here, take some of mine, I am thinking…..I know what she wants, but my tech doesn’t. ” You want what?!?”.   “PRICKS….you know…for my fingers” she said.

Lancets…for the more genteel.

A delightful lady, gifted with a nice personality but not great intelligence, probably as a result of a lifetime of seizures and seizure meds. Her  handwriting is reminicent of a child learning cursive: big loopy letters. Her innocent choice of words was always a source of entertainment.

She switched HMO’s a while ago, but she still stops by and always says hello.   

If she ever fills prescriptions with us again, I’ll have LOTS of pricks for her.

My favorite prop–the giant needle

Filed under: Uncategorized — pharmacychick at 9:27 pm on Monday, October 6, 2008

October is officially Pharmacist’s month (whatever that means), but after living thru thru several Octobers as a vaccinator, it should be renamed  Stampede-the-pharmacy-and-get-your-flu-shot Month.  In the past several days,  over 200 shots have passed thru the walls of Pharmacy Chick Pharmacy.  Most of them are the regulars who check to make sure the Chick herself is wielding the needle.  Its flattering indeed if not exhausting.  I have been given NO extra labor to help with this added work, but I try not to let the customer see the frustration.  They just see the happy face of Chick.

A few years ago, I found a little treasure on the internet: A Halloween prop-a 24 inch plastic syringe that looks like it belonged to Frankenstein.  It goes with me to every flu clinic I give and when I feel particularily feisty (especially around men), I bring it out.  I’ll come out and say “I hope you dont mind, I am out of my regular needles, I’ll have to use this (and bring the prop out from behind my back).  Guffaws usually follow and everybody is relaxed and smiling.  Or I’ll say “You better behave or you will get THIS one” (whipping out THE needle). 

I possess a rather sarcastic sense of humor sometimes. It keeps me sane at work. I have learned over the years that you cannot take yourself too serious or people think you are no fun.  This prop has gotten a lot of mileage over the years and even those who have seen it before love to see it brought out.

Our job sucks…alot of the time. We take crap for stuff that is out of our control and not our responsibility to bear the blame.  However,  there are some times we can have some fun.  

This one thing is my avenue.  What is yours?

No, but I stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last night…..

Filed under: Uncategorized — pharmacychick at 9:30 pm on Sunday, October 5, 2008

Mr Chick was out of town this weekend. 

1. He locked his keys in the car   2.  He left his alarm clock in the motel room  3.  He contracted food poisoning and puked in the bushes 4. He was late for his tee time and got a 2 shot penalty. 5. It rained all weekend.

He stayed at a Holiday Inn Express….I think he should ask for a refund.

What I don’t need…

Filed under: Uncategorized — pharmacychick at 7:47 pm on Sunday, October 5, 2008

There are a lot of things that the Pharmacy Chick needs, some I get, some I don’t.

Lately I have been thinking about the stuff I don’t need…its just as interesting.

What I don’t need:

1. Buttheads who whine about their copays: Its your insurance, not mine.  Either pay it or walk out empty handed. I don’t care…really.

2.  Corporate Brass (rhymes with ass) who wear a suit and not a white coat who think they know how to run my department better than I do.

3.  More reports to print, initial, date, and file away…reports nobody will look at again.

4. Another policy or procedure to make CMS happy.  Screw them..

5.  More shifts short staffed.  (pay better and you’ll hire first…not last…)

6.  People who think I should do their work for them. Its YOUR insurance, YOU do the footwork.

7. Any more recall notices. Make it right the first time!  If I make a mistake can I “recall it”?  Nooooo…

8. More phone lines.  Why do I have 6 anyway?

9. Lazy Dr’s.  Just write the damn prescriptions, quit telling your patients to “just have the pharmacy call”   unless you put in a dedicated line right to your ear.

10. Drug Seekers…nuff said.

11. Trash.  I don’t care what color it is, if you CAN work, and you DONT work, and you are living off the dime of those who do, you are trash.

12. Being open on holidays.  Geez, give us a break. 

13. One more person who tells me how he pays my salary with the money he spends at my pharmacy. Unless you pay cash, you aren’t helping much with that AWP-40% + 10cents your PBM pays. You’d be embarrassed if you knew how little we make off your drugs.

13a  People who use the term “rich pharmacists”.  Yea, I make a living, but I’m no Sultan of Brunei and if I was rich, I’d surely not be wearing the white coat anymore.

14.  Any more prior authorizations. 

15. Loyalty cards. Coupons…  If you want the rebate, mail the thing in. quit wasting my time trying to get Solodyn free.

15a. Split billing ANYTHING-If you’ve got 2 insurances, count yourselves lucky. There are millions who don’t have even ONE, so quit copping an attitude when I can’t double bill.

16. Insurance cards without enough information to process a claim.

17. Prescriptions on generic blanks.  Look, businesses won’t take checks unless the customer information is pre printed on the check, why do we continue to take blanks without Dr info pre printed on them? 

18. Price Matches

19. Gift card promo’s

20. predatory pricing by  mass retailers who prostitue their “pharmacies”.

Any contributions? What don’t YOU need anymore!

Say a prayer for Jim.

Filed under: Uncategorized — pharmacychick at 3:15 pm on Friday, October 3, 2008

Our pharmacy friend Jim Plagakis hasn’t posted in a while and I’ll bet it has much to do with the influence of Hurricaine Ike in his life.  He lives in Galveson.  Say a prayer today (to whatever diety you may choose, I personally choose the Christian Lord) for Jim and his family that whatever happened to his home is fixable and he can get back to normalcy soon.  All the crap we put up with all day is no comparison to having your home messed up, or worse yet, no place to GO HOME. 

Jim, I prayed for you today.

Pharmacy Chick.

Why I needed to drink my dinner.

Filed under: Uncategorized — pharmacychick at 10:18 pm on Thursday, October 2, 2008

Right out of the chute this morning comes this prescription:  Bactroban Ointment 19gm.  yada yada yada.. Of course I filled it with Mupirocin Ointment 22gm.  I found humor in the prescription because the Dr wrote for a tube size of 19 gm.  Where did she ever get the idea to write for 19gm?  Why not 15 or 30 gm? Did she actually think I was going to dispense exactly 19gm?  And, why 19?

Its weird enough that it comes in a tube size of 22gm.  I’d love to get inside the head of the guy who decided on 22gm was the appropriate size for this tube of ointment.   

Then came the Effexor XR 100mg Rx.   Sometimes one glance at a prescription tells you that you are gonna have a problem.  You are NOT going to dispense XR 100mg capsules because it is not MADE.  You aren’t going to mix and match to make XR 100mg either.  Joe customer wants to wait for it.  That’s not going to happen either. 

 I wasted time to call the office,  the patient had to leave and come back, the nurse had to chase the Dr. down, then somebody had to call me back. 

October 1 meant that the entire planet thought they needed to get their flu shot…at Chick’s pharmacy…today, and thanks to a brilliant ad campaign that told people to Just Walk In,  they did…in droves…and all the promised extra help?  nope,  not there.

The real head-slapping moment arrived with the C-2 without a signature.   Its bad when the signature is unreadable.  It sucks bigtime when I have to hand the script back to the patient because its not signed. The situation was made worse because it was a discharge pain med,  the family had to go back to the hospital and chase down a doctor who likely wasn’t there anymore.  I dunno,  they didn’t make it back before I closed. 

After 11 hours behind the counter, I had enough.  I didn’t need any more problems. I was behind on my work, I had 3-4 flu shots waiting, and my sanity was declining fast. The Coke had worn off, and my stomach was gnawing at me. Then Mr Lexapro came in.  His profile consisted of two cash transactions for citalopram $4.00 rx’s.  I am guessing since he had insurance now he could afford the fancy stuff.  Problem is, he handed me the wrong card.  “Can’t you just GIVE me a few til I get it straightened out? The other pharmacy does when they don’t have enough..”  no, I am not going to give you a few.  I will SELL you a few. I have enough medication, you are the one with the problem. Then this brilliant brain trust asked Can you (my emphasis) call my insurance company? I have their number.”  Wrong thing to ask this very tired pharmacist.  I wrote down the following on a piece of paper: ” bin:  Pcn:   GroupID:   ” “I have absolutely no time today to do this, everybody you see here is waiting for something from me RIGHT NOW.  You may call your insurance and get those 4 numbers for me. If you get them,  then I can bill your insurance.  Make sure YOU get them right.”  I’ll bet his wife was on the phone for 20 minutes before she presented me those 4 magic numbers and 10 minutes later he was out of there with is $25 Lexapro.  He wanted to know what the difference was.  “Honestly?  about $21” 

It was a hard day. It took me about 45 minutes after closing to leave the pharmacy presentable for My Man Friday who was working the next day. He was going to be one person short tomorrow.  I felt for him.   Tired as I was,  Pharmacy Chick doesn’t like to leave work for the next day’s staff. She does think her life expectancy  was cut short by a few years today however.

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