I don't know if it's Zen or apathy, but a peaceful calm overcame me when the customer asked me if it was normal that his albuterol inhaler didn't work. A few weeks ago I would have felt the need to point out to the Einstein, that no, the plan generally is for albuterol inhalers to be manufactured in such a way that they are functional, and if his was not, then that would not be normal at all. As it was I simply reprinted a label while Einstein was going into great detail about how when he pressed down on the canister nothing came out, and by the time he was ready to take it out of the box and show me I simply handed him another without a word. He looked disappointed that I had cheated him out of some of his planned bitching time.
The next customer at the register complained that there was only one of a "buy one get one free" item on the shelf and instead of following my employer's incredibly bureaucratic rain check process, I just told Supertech to ring it up as half off. Who am I kidding. It's definitely apathy, and the irony is it allows me to provide a superior customer experience.
Not at all like the good mother who came in to pay for her son's prescription. She definitely wasn't apathetic. Her 24 year old son by the way. An age when I had a pharmacy license and would never have thought to ask Mommy to help run my life. They stood there together, mother and man-child, as Supertech asked for the patient's date of birth. The date of birth has to be put in the register so it can check that you're selling the prescription to the right person. The man-child mumbled something that no one could hear. When Supertech asked him to repeat it Mother exploded.
"WHAT!!!!!!! IT'S FOR HER??? YOU LIED TO ME! HOW MANY TIMES HAVE YOU LIED TO ME???? PUT THAT BACK ON THE SHELF!!!!!
"SHE CAN DIE!!!!!!!! DO YOU HEAR ME???? SHE CAN DIE!!!!!!!"
There really aren't any size capital letters than can properly convey the volume of Mother's yelling. She left the store with man-child three steps behind. I wanted to see how heartless this woman was and went over to see the prescription. It was for Ambien. No biggie. I went back to being apathetic.
We have a pharmacist who comes in periodically who is a stickler about having instructions on prescription labels read exactly as the doctor wrote them. She worked the other day, as evidenced by this phone call I took:
"Is this the pharmacist?"
"I got my Viagra prescription filled the other day and it says to take as needed for ED. Who's Ed?"
I was hoping that maybe the man thought we had given him someone else's prescription and not that we were questioning his commitment to his partner or Ed's attractiveness. Being apathetic makes these situations easier because all you have to do is explain to the nice customer that ED stands for erectile dysfunction. I should have become more apathetic long ago.
A man asked me the best thing for the pulled muscle in his back and I said Aleve. I always go with Aleve for muscle pain because I know that it has actually been shown to work better for menstrual pain than other NSAID's, and since woman pain has to do with muscle cramping, you might as well go for it when other muscles are involved as well. I'm not sure if there's any evidence to back that up, but it's a plausible enough theory, and probably more clinical thought than you're gonna get from the average "doctor" of pharmacy working a retail assembly line.
"Cause I'm here working up on the roof and I kinda felt this twinge while I was going up the ladder"
"I'd try the Aleve"
"Yeah? Cause by the time I got up there I could feel this knot"
"I think the Aleve should do the job for you"
I decided to make a game out of how many ways I could suggest he try Aleve. After awhile I boiled it down to just one word.
A final confirmation was still required.
That would have really bothered me at one time, but apathy is freedom.
Later on I came up with an idea that might just be a game changer for retail pharmacy. What if insurance companies started gathering the information required to file a claim, and printing it on some sort of card, like a driver's license, that a person could carry around with them and have ready to show when they needed health care services? Imagine it, I mean who would want to just spout off whatever bits and pieces of random information that pops into their head or write a few numbers on a postage size piece of paper to carry around if they had this "card" option? Customers would overwhelmingly make the choice to make their life easier if only they had a way.......
OK, I'm going back to being apathetic now. Because thinking about stuff like that is a sure ticket back to depression.