Monday, February 15, 2010

My Phone Avatar

There are many times when I pick up the phone during a really busy day and instantly regret it. I wish I could time-travel back 10 seconds and not pick it up. I wish I could instantly change places with a virtual representation of myself, who had plenty of time to take the call -- an avatar, if you will. I want my avatar to handle the following calls:

The historian.
Someone who wants to give me a long, leisurely story about anything that pops into their head -- long-ago prescriptions, surgeries, doctor visits, family issues, etc. etc. leading up to ( I assume) a question, if they would ever just get to it.

The number reader. Someone who just wants to give me a list of prescription numbers to refill, perhaps with a little extra information about each ("You'll have to call the doctor on that one") in case I am unable to figure that out for myself. They don't want to use the automated refill line, which was created specifically so I would have time to actually fill those lists of prescriptions and not have to be on the phone all the time.

The non-English speaker. After about 10 minutes of back-and-forth on the line, I've been able to ascertain your name and date of birth. Now we're gettin' somewhere.

The salespeople. This one really gets me. What in God's name makes you think I have time to listen to you?? Without identifying themselves, they ask to speak to the 'owner.' When was the last time you worked in a pharmacy with an owner ??? For me, I think I was in pharmacy school and did a rotation in the last independent pharmacy left in the state. Then, they ask to speak to the administrative assistant (??) or whoever does the buying. Strike three, buddy, can't help you. Or it's some drug company rep wanting to give you a long scripted spiel 'just to let you know' about some product and what tier it's on with such-and-such insurance and would I feel comfortable now recommending it? I hate being rude to these callers, but have any of them been in a pharmacy lately? Do we look like we can deal with these calls?

Please hold for my avatar.


Fries With That said...

If it makes you feel any better, I end up coming across as a total dick to drug reps, I'm afraid. The last one I dealt with was the Astepro woman, who was not able to answer any question besides "Is Astepro 0.15% awesome?" I was specifically curious to see if they had tested it head-to-head against Astelin. Of course they hadn't.

Oh drug reps!

Grumpy, M.D. said...

I refused to get caller ID for the office. If I did the staff would never answer the phones. And rightfully so.

Qex said...

Sales Calls who ask for the 'Owner' are easy to deal with:

Tape up by the phone(s) the Corporate 'Contact Us' Number.

When a sales call come in asking for the 'owner', just say "For the owner, you will need to call 'Corporate R Us' at $number. Have a good day'. Hang up immediately.

Andrea said...

Drug rep: "can we count on you to stock this uber-expensive, no AB-rated generic, not covered by insurance, wannabe-awesome version of diclofenac?"

me: "We have a one-day turnaround, so I can easily order it in when I do get a script and when someone wants to pay the ungodly price for a drug that will be not much better than the alternatives, or when I receive a single coupon for a "free 7 day trial" and I can't find another store that does have any in stock."
(usually everything after the first line stays in my head)