A sound elicits a response. No matter where I am in the house (but especially if I am in the kitchen) the crinkling of plastic wrap causes my dogs to make a bee-line from where ever THEY are to the base of my feet. It doesn’t matter what kind of plastic I have, whether it be around a magazine or a bag of chips, my dogs have a pre-built in response that “treat” might be in order. And so it is THEIR response to this sound.
The Pharmacy is no exception. Not all responses to sounds are visual. Everytime a customer drops off a prescription and says “AND how long is THIS going to take?” I have a certain response. It is somewhat unpleasant not because of the question, but generally because of the TONE in which it is offered. It is not unreasonable for a customer to what to know how long the wait is, but the tone in which the question is asked makes all the difference in the world. My response is internal, an immediate dislike of the request…and if the tone is accusatory, you can bet that my wait time has just increased by 10 minutes.
I had such a request last week. Some lady with her fancy Coach bag and Cole Han shoes dropped off a prescription an 2:45 pm. She was doing this for somebody else. “And how long is this going to take?” (twenty minutes is our minimum wait time..I dont care if I am filing my nails, twenty minutes is the proper response). I told her “twenty minutes, tops”, as we had a few waiters a head of her at that point.
“THAT is not going to work for me, I have to be downtown to pick my child up from school at 3:15. It was at least a 15 minute trip. If she shut the F-up and let me fill the rx, we could get to work on it, but NOOO, we had to sit and discuss why it takes so long to fill a prescription…and I had to hear HOW important her 315 appointment was. So I stood there. There was just me and 1 tech. She was at the other end at the cash register ringing up sales.
Mrs CoachyColeHan went on and on. And I stood there. After she exhausted her diatribe, I (as politely as I could) said in essence “in the amount of time you just spent telling my why it SHOULDN”T take me so long to fill this, I could have been actually doing it and getting you out of here to make your appointment”. Perhaps a light flickered in her dim bulb brain. She left me to fill it. By 3: 05 I had it done, paged her back and sent her on her way.
She might have had it 5 minutes sooner if not for her diatribe at the counter.
There is that burning feeling inside of me when I get those kinds of statements/questions. I used to fall over myself trying to be all things to all people and found out that usually I ended up being nothing to everybody but a door mat. I have had to learn what is “enough”
“My dr said he JUST called it in 10 minutes ago.. its not ready??” burn….
“THAT LONG?” burn…
“THAT MUCH??” burn…
“do you price match” after I have already filled it..and presented it to cashier.. burn…
“oh, here is this card my dr gave me to make this cheaper”..like above..rx done and at register.. burn..
“can YOU”….. “Will YOU…do what I really should be taking care of myself“…more burn…
I am tired and have a lower boiling point now than I ever used to in my early days as a pharmacist. Part of the problem is me, I am older and have used up my patience-allotment. Part of is is the changing culture of patients, and what they think is valuable. Who cares if it works..it is cheap? that is what I hear when somebody disses my recommendations because it may cost a few bucks more.
Its not very often that anybody ever knows the response that goes on in my body when I hear these things. While my patience-0-meter is at an all time low, my ability to put on an oscar winning performance to hide it is at an all time high. And while I still try to do my best for all these people, I have also learned to accept that my best is all I can do and if that isn’t good enough….tough luck.