The Pharmacy Chick

Flying the coup in retail

Apparently I am a babysitter also.

Filed under: Uncategorized — pharmacychick at 7:59 am on Saturday, March 14, 2009

It started today at at about 10 am with the phone call. ” I need a refill on my birth control”.  Its friday and SHE has no refills. The Dr’s office is a huge clinic not known for their speedy replies.  I tell her she has no refills AND to call the office to explain her situation if she needs it before Mon/tuesday of next week.  After all, the Dr is accountable to her, not to me.

She apparently did not do this….but showed up around 2 pm wanting to know if it was ready..and of course, it was not. It was then that she decided to call the doctor, at my drop off window.  I could hear her plead her case, and it was falling on deaf ears because her replies were full of “ifs and butts”.  “But I need it today” “If I had known I was out of refills…” “But, can’t you do it now?” Click.

And then the blame shifted to me.  She said it would have been nice if somebody had told her she was out of refills.  Both The Chick and  Tech Extradordinare reminded her that her refill status is printed on every label that goes out on every prescription.  She throws that away.   She just kept at it..yada yada yada…it would be good customer service….not too much to ask….would it be that hard?…I’m a teacher and if I feel my students need special instructions, I give it to them…(did she just compare her mental capacity to a child?)

I was having no part of this.” Not to be disrespectful” I replied “but because we provide clear information on every label about your refill status, we do not feel it is necessary or our responsiblity to specially point it out to you.”   She didnt’ like this very much.  I guess I am supposed to be a combination babysitter and personal assistant. Besides, I don’t think of refill status as ‘special instructions’.

I have a pretty thick skin after all these years, but she really ticked the Chick. Not only had I faxed the Dr WITH a note that she wanted it today, but I gave her special instructions on how to improve her chances, something she chose not to do until she was at my counter.  Her failure of personal responsiblity became my fault.

We don’t provide our labels in secret code. The number “0” is never confused with any other number that I am aware of.  If you throw it away, well, thats your problem.  Rx labels tell you quite a bit about the past, present and future of your rx–  Past: When you got it and who gave it to you. Present: What it is, what it should look like and how you should take it now. Future: how many times you may continue to get this and when it expires.

She was offensive to me. (see my recent posts on rudeness). I had to stop what I was doing (working on a prescription for a person AHEAD of this lady) and listen to her rant about how awful we were.

 Despite it all,I brushed it off, and took care of business, doing the stuff she will never see, know about or acknowledge: calling the dr at 4pm and 7pm (clinic closes at 8), to check on its status: calling the pharmacy across town (where she wants it now) to alert them what is happening over here: and then finally calling her to keep her updated.

I still did all these things but the motivation for doing so was vastly different.  Instead of trying to move Heaven and Earth because she’s a nice lady and I’m trying to help, I did them to get her out of my face.

How different this scenario might have gone if she had said ‘geez, I sure screwed up, anything you can do to help me sure would be appreciated’. 

Nope, she had to make dr’s office mad, make me mad and still…the refill sits in my box, unfilled.

We were promised a Saturday morning refill since the Dr had friday off.  Between you and me, I think they are holding it on purpose.

Ya know what? I wouldn’t blame them.



Comment by chris

March 14, 2009 @ 8:53 am

I hate to say, but this is another example of someone getting “above and beyond” treatment because they are being an asshole. If this was me, especially as she now wanted it across town, i would have wanted to just wash my hands of her.
A follow up: The Dr didn’t call back today either, even tho I did check on it…she threw a fit at the other pharmacy AND she called the office on her cell phone and screamed at them at THEIR counter also. She walked (or stomped, as the case may be) away empty handed.


Comment by CT

March 14, 2009 @ 9:47 am

I feel the same way as Chris. I would tell her to go to the pharmacy where she wants it, and have them give us a call, and then THEY can call/fax for that refill you don’t have yet.

But you’re clearly a better person than I am =) I would consider her “out of my face” when she was literally out of my face, haha.


Comment by Pharmacy Mike

March 14, 2009 @ 4:03 pm

I actually got a customer to say, “I really screwed up, huh?” recently. She was looking for her refill of Carbatrol. The doctor hadn’t gotten back to us yet.

“But I haven’t taken any in 2 weeks!!” she proclaimed.

I asked her why she hadn’t taken any in so long, and she replied that she just kept forgetting to call in her refill. I told her that she really can’t do that with a medication like Carbatrol and that she has to do a better job staying on top of things. That’s when she admitted she screwed up.

It was the first time I ever heard that from a customer. It shocked me. Of course, it didn’t change the fact that the doctor hadn’t called in her refill yet.


Comment by sickofstupidpeople

March 15, 2009 @ 9:36 am

The “good” patients almost always apologize to me when they’re asking for a loan of a few tablets to get through til the doc calls back. The “bad” ones almost always blame it on me that they didn’t know it was out of refills…


Comment by New Pharm.D.

March 16, 2009 @ 4:02 pm

I’ve had several really “bad” patients recently who came to us from elsewhere (and not even for giftcards!). It’s gotten to the point that when someone has a history of multiple local transfers, I get that “uh oh” kinda feelin’…

We recently had a guy who came to us from [big regional chain] and wanted us to do the impossible (with a med I consider to be a “lifestyle” drug and under state aid insurance where he pays NOTHING). He had my techs and I working like crazy on it for days for him, and then when we couldn’t make the impossible happen (i.e. fill this drug early because of overutilization), he had [another local chain] call us to transfer out the same day.

In my state you can only transfer a control once, so.. sadly (sniff, sniff) we couldn’t transfer it out. Rats.


Comment by New Pharm.D.

March 16, 2009 @ 4:07 pm

And speaking of loans – I love it when I get approached for a short supply (which our policy is VERY lenient on; I almost always provide these) and then look in the computer to print out a label I can use for this little gesture of goodwill… only to find the patient has refilled maybe ONCE in the past 3 months. Um, if you’re not taking it regularly, you WILL be ok until the Dr’s office faxes back. Really, you will. You won’t? In that case, I have two letters for you: ER.

Heh heh.


Comment by The Ole' Apothecary

March 16, 2009 @ 5:56 pm

Imagine what life is like for the significant other. And, considering her mental age, he could be charged with statutory rape.

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