Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Highlights From Today's Pill Counting Action.

Holy bejesus I hadn't been cut off in traffic like that in years. A full-scale, California-style I'm not gonna look cause you're gonna stop cutoff. The kind of thing I did all the time when I drove a piece of shit. This person was hellbent on getting somewhere in a hurry, and I began to fantasize about following them to find out what could possibly be so urgent. And to beat the shit out of them. My fantasy was becoming reality with every turn however, as it gradually became apparent that the piece of shit was desperate to get to......my own little happy pill room. When I saw him waiting for me to unlock the gates, I did what I normally do in these situations. I went to Starbucks and was 15 minutes late.

Turns out he was a tweaker looking for some Sudafed. God I miss the days when heroin reigned supreme. Heroin addicts are much better drivers, even if they do tend to be a bit slow.

The label printer started the day printing everything about a half an inch below where it should be. My keystone tech tried valiantly to fix things, but seeing as we were already 20 prescriptions behind, we didn't have the luxury of being able to do a full-scale printer takedown. I suggested we call our corpo-pharmacy technichal support desk and we both had a good laugh.

People from the corporate mothership were here to help though. Some dude in a suit was leading the store manager around making her write things down on a clipboard. They got to some little shelf-thingy next to the pharmacy register and suitman wasn't happy at all. "Drugmonkey, didn't we get the end piece for this display in our last order?" nervously asked the store manager. "I'm pretty sure we did."

"I don't know" I replied. "I don't pay attention to that stupid thing" and I think I heard suitman audibly gasp. I learned later he was some sort of Vice-President. Evidently in charge of little shelves.

The label printer was now printing everything half an inch above where it should be. "Can't you just go back and undo half of what you did?" I asked keystone tech. Her look told me to back off now.

The next customer at the counter handed me a piece of paper on which a Nurse Practitioner had written these words exclusively ...."Needs malaria pills" I assumed the Nurse Practitioner was stupid enough to think "malaria pills" were over the counter. I was wrong. The Nurse Practitioner charged the patient $30 to write out a note the Nurse Practitioner intended the patient to give to her doctor. Who would then probably charge the patient another $50 to write out another note the patient would then give to me so I could sell her some Malarone and be reimbursed by her insurance company for $5 more than the Malarone cost me.

At least the customer wasn't on welfare though, Because getting the shaft business-wise from Medicaid is way worse than getting the shaft from a private insurance company for some reason. Plus then I would have had to notice what kind of car she was driving. It's some sort of requirement that drug store employees take careful notes on the type of car everyone on public assistance drives at all times. I'm glad Malarone lady had Blue Cross, as I was too busy to follow her out to the parking lot.

Michael Bolton came on the store radio, and I knew it was a sign my label printer would soon be working good as new. Even though I had just heard my keystone tech cuss for the first time ever.

"Take 1 capsule at bedtime" read the next prescription. USE SPARINGLY was in caps and underlined. It was made out for 45 capsules with 5 refills.

Later on, I filled a prescription for a child whose actual first name was "Rum".....and the printer alignment gap narrowed to about a quarter of an inch. My keystone tech was defeated. She dialed the number, incorrectly it turned out, for tech support on the speaker phone......

"LIVE.....HOT......LOCAL.....LADIES!!!!!!" blared out of the speaker phone for those in the waiting room to hear. I made a note of the incorrect number.

I also came across another way cool disease name today. Sick Sinus Syndrome. I think it would be cool to go around telling my friends that I had Sick Sinus Syndrome. Or maybe name my band "The Sick Sinus Syndrome"

Half an hour before closing time the labels started to print correctly. The next to last customer at the counter asked me how much they should feed their new cat. I was able to answer her. The last asked if I had to go to college. That's the absolute best way to be my friend. Ask me if I had to go to college. I said no just to fuck with him.

If I remember correctly the shelf thingly got fixed way before the printer. Release the scotch.


sickofstupidpeople said...

Too bad the malaria patient wasn't on medicaid - then you could have had a good rant about how a medicaid patient can afford to go on an international vacation. Cuz we know they weren't at risk of malaria here! Seriously, though, I have filled travel-related scripts (Malarone, Vivotif) for medicaid patients - they had the nerve to be pissed off that medicaid wouldn't cover them.... Hello? If you have the money to go to Central or South America, or Africa, then you can afford two damned scripts!!!

Anonymous said...

LOL.. I love these. You pick out the funniest moments. Why don't people realize that when you work back in the pharmacy, you are pretty much oblivious to everything in the store that isn't an OTC?

Anonymous said...

Sounds like you had a fun day - definetly scotchworthy in my books!

Love yer blog Drugmonkey!


Pharmacy Technician
RDC '06

Anonymous said...

somehow...after reading these...I still pursue pharmacy school, and stupidly look forward to the day I can fuck with the dumbass customers with dumbass questions.

Anonymous said...

I may have dialed that same wrong number, or else I am just imagining that I did. I did if your corpo begins with "S" and ends with "y"....

Kristi said...


If I was a Pharm Tech, I'd totally want to work with you!

That NP? Wow. Nice.

A former R.N.

Anonymous said...

"Or maybe name my band "The Sick Sinus Syndrome""


Made me think back to pharmacy school....After the wonderful chemotherapy class some guys in my class wanted to start a band called 5-FU and they title track would be FdUMP...sorry....had to be there!

RxForDisaster said...

for 5 days...FIVE DAYS...we could not use one #1 sato printer. the first day i logged a help-desk thingy, they did not call until we logged another one on Day 2. when they called it was "push this, lift that, move this, twist that" which all in all made it worse. Day 3 we actually gave up and called the helpless desk and turns out being able to put labels on prescription bottles is not a priority and since it was a friday, help was not going to come....until...monday, it turns out.
this little ditty just reminded me of that.

asian friend said...

Look, another article about your favorite topic..


Don't discriminate against the people who discriminate. Apparently, it's unfair.

Anonymous said...

My last patient today angrily refused my non-Xanax treatment and tore up his rx in front of me. I sent a "cancel" order to the RPh with a note reading "Pt refuses all non-Xanax treatment - please cancel prior rx."
I wouldn't have been that bitchy til he said to me that he didn't need my drugs, just a break, so he was taking his kid with him to Bermuda.
Did I mention that this is a Medicaid patient?
It's not that I don't think people on Medicaid should never go on trips, but this isn't like a trip to visit family - this is a tropical vacation, straight out, and, uh, what exactly is this dude vacating from?

dave said...

"telll mee hoooow am i suppoooosed to liiive withouuuut youuuu" does always seem to right the ship

Angela said...

Wow, either you have the same help desk as me (which I don't think you do as I don't think you're in a chain within a grocery store) or multiple pharmacies have help desk numbers very similar to sex hotlines. 1-800 vs. 1-888 vs. 1- 866 makes a difference between "Hi, this is the help desk" and "Hi, I'm Tiffani, are you looking for a good time!" Who knew?

Madam Z said...

I am soooooo glad I'm not a pharmacist. And I am sooooooo glad that I discovered your blog.

tmfw said...

My pharmacist loves me. O order my refills 2-3 days in advance. I have good insurance and I don't ask inane questions.

The last-and only conversation we have had in 6 months on a subject not weather or sports related-was the conversation we had was when I was picking up my Effudix for skin cancers. He saw me as I was leaving and said, " Whoa, whoa, whoa! I'm glad I caught you. You and me need to talk about this."

But I can only assume that he gets his share of morons as well. This is all very interesting.

Blaze LaFlame said...

here's an FYI for your tech - if you ever get on the phone with the "press your number" menu, just press 9 (or anything other than O) repeatedly. Apparently that makes the menu go nuts and connects you with a real person. Of course, stating your preference to pseak to a real, live person works - sometimes.....