The Pharmacy Chick

Flying the coup in retail

Salmonella…its not Italian for “Salmon”

Filed under: Uncategorized — pharmacychick at 10:43 pm on Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Monday started out like any other day with the exception of the fact I woke up feeling like  my legs were shaky.  I went on my morning walk with my neighbor and even commented to her that my legs felt weak. I also had a bit of diarrhea..(!?!)  I had to work that day at 1 pm so I had some lunch at noon then went off to work.  I didn’t feel all that great, but  that wouldn’t have been the first time.  When I got out of my car to walk into work I felt down right crappy and upon going into the pharmacy at 1 pm ( to find them buried under work) said “man, of all the days to feel lousy..I don’t feel my best guys”…and went about checking rx’s..

I sent my partner to lunch…and a few minutes later that hot nausea overtook me and I said..”BATHROOM TIME” and marched out. Lunch made its appearance again shortly thereafter. What the heck?  I had gone from feeling crappy to officially ILL.  I called the scheduler and told her that I think I needed to leave.  I returned to the pharmacy redfaced and looking worse for wear..  “what happened to you?” asked Tech extraordinare?  “Um, puked..I think I am sick” was about all I could say.  I hoped it was over.

It was shortlived.

My entire body was falling apart.  My hands were shaking, my legs barely held my weight and my stomach was performing gymnastics maneuvers.  My last phone call took all my energy.  I hung up, put my head on the counter and said. ” I think I am going to die right here”.

My Man Friday blessed me by saying “Go home, I’ll finish your shift, Ive been there”.  My techs, afraid I was contagious, practically threw me out of the pharmacy.

The next 12 hours found me wearing a path in the carpet between the bed and the cool tile floor in the bathroom.  God bless that cold porcelain bowl. I think the last 3 meals found their way northward…everything else went southward faster than a Minnesota snowbird!

I only got about 3-4 hours of sleep and blessedly, I had the next two days off. Tomorrow I go back to work.

The verdict?  Salmonella.  The guilty party?  Sprouts.  That little veggie substitute for lettuce and precisely what I enjoyed with my dinner Sunday and lunch on Monday.  I knew that Salmonella had been reported in alfalfa sprouts, but CLOVER sprouts were supposed to be better.  NOT TRUE. 

And the cruel irony of all this??  In the Tuesday newspaper…front page…and article about the contamination of both clover AND alfalfa sprouts with salmonella.  Apparently the growing process to produce sprouts is the perfect media for growing salmonella AND it cannot be washed out. 

Day late and a dollar short to spare me.

I survived…but I can tell you this ABSOLUTE truth. The sun will burn out before  sprouts of ANY kind will ever pass my lips again.

This pharmacists advice? Dont tempt fate…dont eat sprouts.

Customer Comment of the Day Jan 22 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — pharmacychick at 9:11 pm on Saturday, January 22, 2011

( mindless chit chat at the cash register..)

Ms Chat:” Did you go to This State University?”

PC: ” No, actually I am not from here. I am from Califlorida, I moved here in 1988.”

Ms Chat: ” REALLY?  Do you know John Smith??? He is from Califlorida!”

PC:” Um, no haven’t heard of him” (smile politely)

Ms Chat (surprised look on face) “Wow, really?” (takes receipt and off she goes)

Califlorida has a population of several million people….and I haven’t live there in 22 years…and she was genuinely surprised I didn’t know John..

I had to chuckle…


Filed under: Uncategorized — pharmacychick at 9:19 pm on Wednesday, January 19, 2011

I dont twitter so this is my best shot:

Hemorrohoids hurt… me on this one. Don’t know how I got it but sure am in a hurry to see it go.

Yea, a bit of an overshare..but hey, none of you know my name! LOL

The new definition of “emergency” I guess…

Filed under: Uncategorized — pharmacychick at 6:56 pm on Monday, January 17, 2011

Today, like always, Pharmacy Chick was doing her little thing in the pharmacy (filling prescriptions..what else) when this guy came in with a script from the Hospital emergency room. On it was a Z-pak and some cough syrup. Not surprisingly, he wants to know how long it will take, to which I reply “20-30 minutes”. He said “I just want to get home, I had to spend 6 hours at the ER today and I have this terrible sinus infection”.

Puhleeze. He lost me at “sinus infection”.

Lets review: He didn’t go to the walk-in family clinic..he didn’t go do his PCP, or an urgent care, zoom-care, immediate-care, or zippity-do-dah minute clinic. He went to the HOSPITAL EMERGENCY ROOM….for a sinus infection. This is the same place that you bring a dude wheeled in on a stretcher whilst somebody else has a bag or cooler  carrying one of the dude’s appendages ripped off in a car accident. This is also the same place you bring somebody who has had a heart attack/stroke/SAH or the like. But give me a break…

It just irritates me that we have become a people that uses an ER like a daily fee clinic. I feel really bad for these ER people. You have drunks on a binge, (filled one of those detox Librium 25mg scripts today too.. he was drunk by the way at the time he filled it too). You have people with colds, sinus infections, a rash, or whatever that decide that NOW they have an “emergency” and need to be seen so they haul their sorry butt down to the ER, and get in line.

Mr Cough Syrup didn’t understand why he had to wait 6 hours. I didn’t elaborate much other than to say that if they had somebody more URGENT than himself, they would take them first..thats how it works in trauma. I guess he thought his sinuses were world class trauma.

We have no less than 6 centers around the 10 mile radius of my store that specialize in ‘walk in’s. That is their core. they dont take just come in and wait.  We get lots of their scripts…90 percent of them are one of three groups.  Pain/muscle relaxants, Antiobiotics, and Cough syrups.   You slice your finger on the bagel?  Go here.  You AMPUTATE your finger?  Go to the ER.    You sprain your ankle playing basketball?  Go here.  You  shred your ankle on the riding mower?  ER.   You bump your head and need a couple stitches?  Go here.  You slam your head on the pavement and you think you are Napoleon?  ER.   Your back is sore because you helped your neighbor move that huge couch?  Go Here.  You can’t move from the waist down?? ER.

Do you get the gist of what I am saying?  Maybe we need to better define what EMERGENCY is..

I might just add that it is also NOT an emergency that I rush your prescription so you can take your daughter to dance class and NOT be late…but thats another day and another post.

Happy Monday!

Naughty Naughty!

Filed under: Uncategorized — pharmacychick at 11:07 am on Thursday, January 13, 2011

Imagine you are a huge drugmaker…and you discover that one of your products doesn’t dissolve properly. You decide to secretly remove all the product from the shelves throughout the US by hiring people to go into stores and secretly buy all the product off the shelves and explicitly NOT allow them to explain why they are doing it….to avoid having a full recall. One of your “buyers” gets a little uncomfortable with all the secrecy and alerts the board of pharmacy in the state he/she happens to live in. Whups! The men in suits at J&J may want to file this under ” maybe this wasn’t such a good idea after all”….

Here is the story:
(RTTNews) – Health care products firm Johnson & Johnson (JNJ: News ) was sued Wednesday by the Oregon State Attorney General John Kroger related to the “Phantom Recall” of defective over-the-counter pain relieving drug Motrin. J&J is alleged to have attempted to secretly buyback defective supplies of Motrin from store shelves instead of notifying retailers and consumers and an immediate public recall.

“Companies that break the rules and put consumers at risk will be held accountable,” said Attorney General Kroger. “This lawsuit is another example of how the Oregon Department of Justice is a national leader in combating health care fraud,” Kroger said in a statement.

The civil lawsuit filed by the state of Oregon reveals that the public disclosure of the problem was delayed for more than a year to avoid negative publicity, before finally conducting a official public recall in February 2010.

According to the lawsuit filed in Multnomah County Circuit Court, J&J units, McNeil-PPC, Inc. and McNeil Healthcare LLC, discovered in late 2008 that supplies of Motrin sold in 8- and 24-caplet containers were defective, and it allegedly hired contractors to go into stores in early 2009 to secretly buy the product without telling wholesalers, retailers or the public.

Inmar, a supply-chain management company, was reportedly asked by the drug maker to visit stores and buy any product found, without communicating anything to the store personnel.

It was in July 2009 that one of the personnel hired by Inmar in Oregon became concerned about the secrecy of the phantom recall and reported it to the Oregon Board of Pharmacy, which in turn notified the U.S. Food and Drug Administration or FDA.

The company has been charged of exposing additional consumers to defective supplies of Motrin for more than a year as a total of 787 eight-count containers of Motrin sold by Oregon retailers remain unaccounted for despite the secret buying.

According to J&J’s documents filed with U.S. FDA, tests conducted on defective product indicated that certain Motrin caplets failed to dissolve properly, and consumers might not have received the expected dose of ibuprofen, which would have led to a worsening of pain, fever or inflammation.

The lawsuit alleges multiple violations of Oregon’s Unlawful Trade Practices Act or UTPA, including employing unconscionable tactics, making certain false or misleading representations, or failing to disclose certain information. Each of these violations of the UTPA carries a maximum penalty of $25,000.

J&J’s OTC drug unit has been plagued by a series of recalls this year, involving some its most popular OTC brands such as liquid Benadryl, Motrin caplets, Zyrtec, and Tylenol for children, primarily due to consumer complaints of a musty or moldy odor that has since been linked to the presence of trace amounts of a chemical called 2,4,6-tribromoanisole or TBA.

would you fill this mess?

Filed under: Uncategorized — pharmacychick at 1:54 pm on Sunday, January 9, 2011

Would you fill this mess?

what you are looking at is the back of a prescription…the front was too clear to post. It was disgusting, and looked it it had been used as a car floor mat for a while.. Written for Vicodin #10, it was dated November 2010 from an urgent care center. I couldn’t believe the guy had the audacity to hand it to us to fill. I decided that a call to the clinic was in order. They must have been slow at the time because they addressed my issue immediately. I told them about the rx and the condition it was in. They pulled the transaction number and the visit was for a spider bite over 2 months ago. “Cancel it” was the decision.

She even wanted me to phone pix her with the rx. I am sure it made the rounds…so to speak.

An open letter to the whiner. (WHY,YES I am mad…)

Filed under: Uncategorized — pharmacychick at 7:56 pm on Saturday, January 8, 2011

This is an open letter to whomever whined all the way to corporate about having to wait in line longer than you wanted to:

So..I am just terribly sorry that you had to stand in line to wait for somebody to ring up your junk. I already know you didn’t have a prescription because your letter of complaint said you “finally” went up front…and that we basically SUCK. Let’s review a few of your details. You felt we were out of line because nobody helped you. Well unless there has been some cultural shift in the U.S., when you are in a line that usually implies 2 things…first ..there are people ahead or you… and second…you wait your frickin turn.That is just how we do things in this country. Pushing and shoving yourself to the front may be culturally ok in certain countries, but THIS is not one of them and… to date invisibility has not been achieved so I can only assume that you saw these people ahead of you.

Secondly, you said I was “visiting” with the customers at the counter.. based on some of your details I happen to know the exact moment in time that you were in the department and I can tell you that my “visiting” was a counsel on a brand new medication for a Parkinson’s disease patient. I took him out side of the pharmacy for my “visit” so I could 1) have some privacy and 2) free up the cash register for the next person to be waited on. I realize that you don’t give a rat’s whisker about that man but he cares enormously about his health and his medications and because I happen to WANT my license to remain on the wall I answered all of his questions to his satisfaction. I do this for all of my customers because that is my job.

You also said “She sat down to visit”.. That is a bald face lie. I never sat down..get your facts straight.

I do however GREET and Say HELLO to nearly everybody when they are ringing out because its POLITE….Just because we are busy doesn’t mean I cant be POLITE and say a greeting…sorry if that upsets you.. I also happen to have worked at this store for over 15 years so I actually KNOW most of these people as my friends also.

You just didn’t understand why I didn’t talk to you after I returned to the pharmacy while you were STILL in line. I might explain to you that is is rude for me to start speaking to the people in line while somebody is still addressing (and waiting on) the person at the counter. The person at the counter deserves 100% of our attention until he/she is done. Once that customer is done, then the next person will receive the same treatment. No body is to be rushed or hurried from my department, and that would have been you if you had stood around long enough, but since you didn’t..well whatever…

I dont particularily like long lines either. But as you could see, I have one cash register and I have no control over who comes to the counter when. If I did I wouldn’t have a long line at any time…but hey. If I had that kind of control I wouldn’t have to work for my money anyway.

We were extremely busy at that time and nobody was goofing off..I know…I was there..and at the time you were there YOU knew I was about to get off work and YET I was there for another hour helping out. ( you heard me tell somebody I was about to get off) Maybe I should have left and really given you something to bitch about…”she left while everybody was still busy…” Funny..I didn’t do that.

Lastly, your threat to take your business to Big Box is really ok with me because it was clear that you didn’t already DO your business at Chick pharmacy so I guess I really wasn’t missing out on anything anyway. Its too bad that you didn’t see the big picture. A busy pharmacy taking care of AND CARING FOR each person and treating each person like they were the most important person in the world…Because to THEM..they are.

Perhaps someday you will emerge from the cocoon that you live in and see that this planet doesn’t rotate just to serve YOU.

Mr Chick’s computer II

Filed under: Uncategorized — pharmacychick at 7:53 pm on Friday, January 7, 2011

I often wonder if people used their energies for GOOD instead of BAD how different this world could be.  Our computer whiz-bang removed the creature that had infected our computer but not before it had changed the registry to its own devices.  Sadly  it will require a clean install of the OS.  Thankfully Mr Chick’s computer is mainly his toy and will have its important stuff saved and he will get a “new” fast computer, but sadly, it costs us about $200 for the priviledge.

They get more and more clever, teasing the user to think they have something wrong with their computer and tricking them into clicking on stuff they shouldn’t.  This is the first time that we have had to deal with this because they systems we have in place to prevent this kind of thing has always worked for us..Unfortunately they cannot stop “user brain fart” from clicking on naughty stuff. LOL.

Hopefully we will bring home the  patient tomorrow and begin the process of putting his favorite programs back on..I however will oversee his progress and will install his security software!

Not Mr Chick’s best moment ever…

Filed under: Uncategorized — pharmacychick at 10:51 pm on Thursday, January 6, 2011

A word to the wise…If you are going to ask if you should click on a pop up that shows up on your computer…its really best to do it BEFORE you click on it.

Case in point:  Mr Chick (to me)  “Honey, should I click on this thing on my computer? It says I need to install this security software packet…”

Me (to HIM)  ” NO NO NO, do not do it..its probably a scam ..never click on a pop up!”

Mr Chick.  “but it says Microsoft….”

Me (to him) “do you think they say they are viruses and scams??  Just close it….I mean it..dont click on ANYTHING!”

Mr Chick…”Um..what if I already did..”

Me…(silence)…(more silence)….”you didn’t did you?…you funnin’ with me right?”

Mr Chick:  (silence).

One completely highjacked computer , and a trip to a knowlegable geek and $xxx.xx dollars later….we have a much smarter Mr Chick who probably won’t even turn ON his computer without me over his shoulder…


Customer comment of the day…The winner!

Filed under: Uncategorized — pharmacychick at 10:24 am on Thursday, January 6, 2011

Tech extraordinare was checking out a customer who didn’t like the price of his eyedrops.  Without blinking an eye the customer complained:

“Well, it just SEEMS TO ME that is you have INSURANCE you get to pay a lot less than if you DON’T…”

Um yes…that would be true…

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