Thursday, July 1, 2010

When Will Other Businesses get their act together and run like a pharmacy?

When you think about it, retail pharmacy is sort of a unique undertaking, and after a long day filled with customers' inattentiveness, strange requests, weird questions, lack of information, non-English speaking interactions, half-believable stories and total guesswork as to what THE HELL they really want I keep wondering what other retail businesses would do if faced with our average day.

For instance, I tried to imagine, the......

TOP TEN THINGS OVERHEARD IN A FURNITURE STORE THAT RUNS LIKE A PHARMACY

1. "I need to get a dining room chair -- well, maybe more of a bar stool or a recliner.... I got one a while ago, it may have been blue or green, but it's some sort thing you sit on, anyway, made by company starting with 'S' or "W".....could you check your computer to see if I've ever bought anything like that before and can I get another one? Go ahead, read me the list and I'll see if anything rings a bell."

2. I talked to someone in your Chicago store who said they would figure out what it was and then call you and have you put it aside for me. I don't know who I talked to . Can you call them?

3. if I describe my dining room to you can you tell me what I might need or what's missing? -- and then how much it (whatever it is) will cost?

4. I have a discount coupon for some kind of chair or table but I didn't bring it with me. Can you look me up on your mailing list to prove that I did get one in the mail so you can give me the discount price? Or, can you call my wife/husband at home and they will read it to you? How long will that take?

5. My neighbor's' going to pay for it. You'll have to call him to get his credit card number.

6. I think I bought a sleeper sofa back in 1989 that was only $200. Why is it more now? It's always been $200.... or maybe it was a desk......anyways I know I bought it here.

7. I'm having company tonight -- can you give me a couple of chairs to get me through the weekend and I'll (maybe) come back next week and get the rest.

8. I need six of them, but once you get it loaded in my car and the paperwork is totally complete I'll probably change my mind and only decide to take three.

9. I lost that lamp I bought 2 days ago... is there some way I can get another one without paying for it again?

10. You know what? ---maybe it's actually a rug I'm looking for......


And remember, furniture can't kill you. I think the average furniture store employee would walk away from this pretty fast, but in pharmacy it's just another day.

22 comments:

Grumpy, M.D. said...

Damn, that's a good post.

Grumpy, M.D. said...

Frantic, I stole this and put it up at my place. It was too damn good not to share. I credited you.

Anonymous said...

Every profession has its share of moron clients. Pharmacies aren't so damn perfect either. My mother needs 6 prescriptions each month, the SAME six, all on automatic refill. I'm supposed to get an automated call telling me when they're ready. Despite several requests not to trigger a call until all 6 are ready, I get "the call" when some random number of them are ready, never the same number, so I can't just wait until I've gotten the sixth call say to pick them all up. Every damn month I go to pick up her meds and they're invariably short by one or two prescriptions. Meaning a second or third trip to get them all. Yet, I've accepted this as unfixable and don't complain, even though I have many better things to do that make several trips at the beginning of each month to the pharmacy. The trouble with making blogging so easy is that people in various professions believe they are more beleaguered than any other profession and now have a forum for whining about it. Despite Grumpy's opinion, you do not have the worst job in the world.

Pharmd Biker said...

You forgot this little gem-- I am sure all of us, including Dr. Grumpy have experienced it.

Biker- "Damnitol Furniture store how can i help you?"
Idiot- "what time do you close?"
Biker- "at 7pm, which is in 5 mins."
Idiot- "ok, I have 3 chairs, a love seat and table i NEED to pick-up, and I have a coupon from 3 weeks ago for a dryer that I will need too. I am on the freeway, and will be there in 20 mins, can you wait for me?"
Biker- "...."

Anonymous said...

Ever worked in retail? Some of this stuff is actually fairly common. Sadly.

jillian

endlessquestions said...

That sounds a lot like the bookstore where I used to work: "Do you have that book, you know, the one that came out last year?? I think it had a tree on the front..it was about that famous woman with brown hair...? Well can't you just look it up in your computer? I talked to somebody on the phone last week and they said you had it!"

Anonymous said...

The average furniture store employee doesn't make 6 figures a year. That's why we get paid what we do... This was a stupid blog. The whole point to going into this field was to provide people who don't know what they need with guidance/medical advice. Let me put it in a way you might understand. If you were a furniture salesman you would not want to give a lady with back problems a bed with improper support.

Fun read.

Anonymous said...

Seriously funny stuff. Well done.

pharmacy chick said...

LOL PRICELESS! this is your best post yet!

MJH, CPhT said...

11. "Yeah, I have some piece of furniture in my living room. I don't know what it's for or where it came from or when I use it, but I really need another one. Today. I'm leaving on vacation right now. I think it's white? Or like a pastel color of some sort?"

McFury CPhT said...

I thought this was great. This will probably be hung in the pharmacy very soon.

science girl said...

To Anonymous that posted about the problems picking up his mother's prescriptions: have you ever thought about calling the pharmacy to make sure all 6 prescriptions are done before going there? Usually, every pharmacy has some button you can press to speak to someone when you call. Automatic refill computer systems are not human and can be as dumb as every other computer system. Alternatively, you could call in the prescriptions manually every month. You have options.

Seriously, just because a pharmacist complains about aspects of their job, or describes things about their job that are funny in a blog, does not mean that they think they have the worst job in the world. I worked in science and now I'm in pharmacy. Each side had its benefits and its drawbacks. But I can tell you one thing: many people have no idea how a pharmacy is run and expect us to work miracles. People pull the same stuff in this blog post in other retail areas, but they think that because their health is in potential danger, we should cater to their every whim, even if their problem is due to their own error.

Anonymous said...

To: Frantic Pharmacist: I say Amen...and Amen. Thank you for saying aloud and online what we all endure....day after day. May God bless you with a day or seven off with pay and no phone calls...

To Anonymous: Auto Fill is a stupid idea that totally excuses lazy patients/caregivers and their even lazier doctors/staff from DOING THEIR JOBS. Pharmacies DISPENSE PRESCRIPTION MEDICATIONS IN ACCORDANCE WITH A PHYSICIAN'S ORDERS. When did the idiots decide that the pharmacy staff should be the ones who are responsible for getting YOUR medication refills? I am not your wife, your lover, your secretary or your mother. Grow up and be responsible for yourself!! Most of you cannot take one pill, once daily for 30 days without screwing it up. Does your local gas station call you, reminding you, that based on Timmy's soccer game schedule and Sarah's dance classes that your vehicle should need more gas by tomorrow AM? Did your grocery store call and remind you to buy bread, milk, peanut butter, jelly and frosted strawberry pop tarts this week? Oh, and you are low on Bud Light too...Better pick some up for the weekend...friends may stop over...

Really, people..please put on you grown up undies and show the ENTIRE world that you are capable of taking care of yourselves. If you are wearing Garanamils...Transformers..or other action figure undies....just go drown yourself...Otherwise...be an adult.....

Carol said...

I need my pills.
okay, which ones?
you know, my pills.
I see you are on quite a few, which ones do you need?
You know, MY PILLS
what are they for?
I dunno, my PILLS
what colour are they?
I dunno, MY PILLS!!
what do you take em for?
I dunno, I NEED MY PILLS

That is a typical day at stores Ive worked. And I refuse to do the "fill everything on my profile it looks like I need" cause invariably they want to know why they didn't get something or why they DID get something. and want to return it. which is illegal....

The Redheaded Pharmacist said...

Please put a warning next time Frantic when you are about to post something this funny! Seriously, I almost spit my drink all over my Samsung computer monitor and I really like that monitor! LOL, great post. Retail pharmacy is really a unique business isn't it?

Anonymous said...

"Thanks for calling frantic furniture how may I help you today"
"I need to replace my furniture"
"Ok, what kind?"..........................................................................................................here it comes........................................................................................
"All of it!"

arzt4empfaenger said...

I just found this article at Dr.Grumpy's blog and really enjoyed it. People are insane and your way of putting it makes it a bit more "digestible". :)

Anonymous said...

Carol completely agree then when they pick it up they start yelling that they didn't get their xanax or ativan. Well I didn't think you needed it, since we filled it 2 weeks ago for a month, sorry. Oh wait the insurance won't pay for it, b/c its too soon. Whats that your doctor told you to take more, well then tell your doctor we need a new script. No I'm not paging him on saturday night at 6:30 pm.

This is too true of a scenario from my pharmacy. I also notice that the majority of the need to contact doctor for more refills come in on friday nights when we can't get a hold of the doctor. Well sorry, I will spot you the maintenance meds but will not spot you any controls.

Seriously though, would someone go to the gas station and say, i don't have enough money for gas but if you spot me 5 gallons I will come in on pay day and pay for 10 gallons but only get 5 again?? Why is it that way in pharmacy? If you need a service you pay for the service. I know some people can't always afford their prescription, but talk to the doctor about trying a cheaper alternative.

Brings me to another point, Medicare Part D, more seniors are on name brand drugs, then when they hit the donut hole they flip out wanting generics. Call the doctor and they will change it, well why not start them on the generic in the first place?

Pauline Sw said...

'Excuse me, can I barge to the front of the queue? Yes, I know you have all been waiting in turn but I'm double-parked outside, and all I want is a set of chair cushions. It won't take a minute. You all don't mind waiting a bit longer do you? Hurry, I don't want to be booked by the traffic warden'.

Brilliant post, so true :)

Andrea said...

I've got one more for your list:

- What do you mean that drop-side crib has been recalled? Why can't you get it? ugh, you guys are always out of this.

quixote said...

I'm on the customer side of the counter, and I thought this was hilarious.

The closest I get to this stuff is relatives who want me to figure out what side effects some new Rx might have. (I'm a biologist so, obviously, I must be better at using wikipedia.)

It's just the same. "What's the drug?" "Begins with a "C." "What's the rest of the name?" "It's a funny shaped red pill." "Why don't you go get the bottle and read off the name to me?" "Oh, it's upstairs, but it's that stuff that was on the TV a week ago." "I don't have a TV."

And so it goes.

I don't know how you survive dealing with that oftener than once or twice a year!

Anonymous said...

I printed it out and hung it up on my Dr. Horrible's Sing-along blog calender, covering Nathan Fillion. That's a compliment since his pic was the reason I got the calender. Possibly the only one of its kind haning in a pharmacy.

Also kudos to Science Girl. "Why don't YOU call ahead?"...ah, if only.