The Pharmacy Chick

Flying the coup in retail

All Kidding aside.

Filed under: Uncategorized — pharmacychick at 5:23 pm on Saturday, November 17, 2012

Its pretty safe to say that most people like a good joke.  And depending on the person, some jokes go over better than others.   I love a good joke and I can take a lot of kidding.  If there is one thing I have developed over the years is a pretty thick hide.  We often joke around in the pharmacy.  We are all good sports and take our ribbing well.   ” If I had a pharmacist worth a damn, all the DUR overrides would be done and I could keep filling rx’s” is one of my tech’s favorite line.. so I respond in  kind . ..”if I had a tech worth a damn, I wouldn’t have to spend so much time at the cash register”. We know we depend on each other and we’d all be up a creek without a paddle without each other. We also show our appreciation to each other on a regular basis.  If they do something extraordinary, I make sure they know  ” YOU ROCK!”

Customers can give me a bad time also ” Keeping those prices high so you can afford golf PC?”  ” YUP, I got my eyes on a new driver. I  need to raise some funds and you looked like a perfect lamb to fleece”.

I have this one customer however  who I had enough of because I cant figure him out.  Either he is just insanely unhappy and sarcastic, or he just has no idea how bad his sense of humor is.  His remarks ( that he thinks are funny) are humorless to me because he often seems to infuse a threat in to his humor.  He calls me Grumpy, a moniker I particularly dislike because I am not grumpy at work.  He regularly” threatens” to leave the pharmacy and transfer elsewhere  when his stuff is not ready.  He makes frequent reference to ” I keep you in business”,actually you would need to  bring me about 3.5 million dollars worth of business each year to KEEP me in business, but thanks for what you actually bring… and ” you on vacation AGAIN?  you are never here”  well no, I dont work 7 days a week, but trust me, I work more hours than I am paid for. He finds it humorous that I have to eat while I am standing at the computer ” Snacking on the job?  Ill tell the manager you are slacking off” sure go ahead, but I think he is at lunch at the moment, something I dont seem to have the privilege of taking each day. To be honest with you, I have trouble determining if he is being serious or funny because his demeanor is demean-ing to me.

You see my point?  One day he was particularly irksome because he came to pick up some scripts for his wife and himself.  Two of them had just been sent over by the office and were in the filling line.  I think he had about 4-5 total rx’s .  After addressing me as GRUMPY again, I told him that we were still working on the last 2 and it would be about 20 more minutes before we’d have everything all finished up. Among other things,  I heard  ” I dont have all day”  ” I am not wasting gas going home and coming back” ” somebody should crack the whip on ya’ll” ” and I guess I’ll just have to transfer my stuff elsewhere”.  All said ( supposedly) in the name of “fun”.

I said ” Jon, I really am doing the best job I can, given the circumstances, we aren’t trying to waste your time or your gas, but we are super busy today”

He seemed taken aback and later on his sweet wife called me up to ask a question and then added ” Jon thinks you are mad at him”.  I told her ” No , I am not mad at him, but I’ll be honest with you, I really cant understand Jon’s sense of humor sometimes, I cant tell when he is joking or being serious…and being addressed as Grumpy and being told quite often that I waste his time and he should transfer away sends me mixed signals”. ” we love the long standing relationship you two have had with us, but I have trouble telling if he is being serious or funny”.   I asked her not to tell him what I said, but I knew she would.  If I didn’t expect it, I wouldn’t have told her.

After that day he has become a much more subdued man.  I am sure his wife told him what I said.  Maybe she read him the riot act, maybe she told him what a biachi she thinks I am, he has never said.  They still fill their prescriptions with me.  She hasn’t changed a bit, but he doesn’t seem to like to look me in the eye anymore.  Perhaps I am oversensitive, but its been said that sarcasm is  truth hidden inside a joke.  I don’t waste anybody’s time. He can fill his prescriptions anywhere he chooses..there are a lot of options out there nearby.  I am not grumpy..he is a neurologist blogger somewhere.  I probably hurt his feelings, which I didn’t mean to, but at the same time, he routinely stepped on mine but I doubt he knew it.

Whaddya think? should I have kept my mouth shut?




Comment by Petopa

November 17, 2012 @ 8:10 pm

Duh…doesn’t he know Grumpy is really a Mongolian yak herder?I highly doubt it. but I was quite shocked to see a comment to this posting when I thought it was in draft mode…I just finished the story…

Comment by Dani

November 18, 2012 @ 9:26 pm

I am a tech at a big chain. I delight in knowing my customers personally. I have my favorite customers. (Don’t we all?) There is one gentleman that comes in, and gives evvvvveryone a hard time, but me. He just adores me… Which is fabulous, but sometimes I don’t know how to take him. So I tell myself, he’s joking and smile at him.

Comment by Sue

November 19, 2012 @ 5:30 am

PC – I think what you did was appropriate & done very kindly. With corporate giving you less hours to work with, but expecting more (flu shots, MTM, etc), to have someone always “joking” around with the bullying (Grumpy), and threats to take their business elsewhere, he’s lucky you just didn’t snap at him. You are a Healthcare Professional providing a medical service to them – would they treat their own physician like that? You are not a fast food restaurant – “Do you want it fast – or do you want it correct?”

Comment by Susan

November 19, 2012 @ 9:47 am

I think that you were right to speak up, both in the moment and when his wife called to talk with you later. If someone in that house didn’t want him to modify his behavior, she wouldn’t have called. I’d give him credit for actually changing how he’s acting around you, even if it’s coming across as subdued. I know some guys who would view the feedback as incentive to be even bigger jerks.

Comment by Erin_Tech

November 19, 2012 @ 10:38 am

I think you were right to speak up, PC, especially because you have a longstanding relationship. Just because we work in a customer service-oriented business does not mean we have to allow ourselves to be treated badly. I have a few customers who have been nasty to me time and time again, and if a situation presented itself for me to let them know they were being rude, I have let them know. The vast majority actually were quite a bit nicer afterwards. For example, I have a customer who has several children by different marriages. The kids all have different last names, and all of them are covered by multiple insurance plans (mom’s plan, and their respective father’s plans). She ALSO searches for discount coupons online for her kid’s scripts. So for one transaction of three children’s meds, I might have to bill as many as 6 insurance plans and 3 coupons. Then, I have to bill them in reverse order because SOMEHOW they are all considered primary, and I have to find the cheapest co-pay or face her wrath later. This is getting to be too long. . . anyhow, you can see how this is confusing and stressful. She is one of those customers who demands the price up-front, and she stands there and glares at me like I am incompetent the whole time. Fun. Once, two of her kids plans weren’t working. While I was on the phone with the insurance company, mom stood there yelling at me the ENTIRE time. Finally, I put the insurance company on hold, and gave mom a piece of my mind in the most professional way I possibly could. She has actually been a lot less rude since then.

I suspect that this man now can’t look you in the eye because he is ashamed of his OWN behavior.
Good for you for standing up for yourself!

Comment by ti

November 20, 2012 @ 5:51 pm

I have a customer who is always with the rude/joking comments (not so much when his wife is with him) who asked me the other day is I was looking at porn on my computer. I told him only if porn and serious drug interaction mean the same thing. Jerk! I cringe every time he comes in. I absolutely think you did the right thing in speaking up to your customer. Enough is enough.

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