Tuesday, July 26, 2011

This One's for the Girlfriends

In my job we're allowed to dress fairly casually under the lab coat or jacket, or whatever we choose to wear as the 'white' layer on top of the street clothes. If I'm going to be running around for 9 or 10 hours like a maniac, then I am bloody well going to be comfortable. I never want to look like a slob of course, but in the summer we're talking semi-dress pants or khakis, and a blouse or polo shirt -- nothing binding or restrictive.... pretty basic stuff.

I have grown to hate shopping for clothes. I 'catalog' a lot of it, but there are some things you just have to try on. I hate wasting a precious day off trudging around some mall looking for something which should be easy to find, but somehow isn't. And I have my limits on price --- I'm not gonna wear anything expensive to work and end up sending it to the dry cleaners in order to remove the amoxicillin stains/printer cartridge ink/pen ink/Sharpie marks/spilled lunch/spilled coffee stains etc. etc....

Anyways, after today's shopping outing I have confirmed a couple of things:

1. Just when you're feeling pretty good because you've toned up and lost a couple of pounds, it
is not a good idea to stand in front of a department store dressing-room mirror. It can be a
soul-crushing experience. Also, it allows you to crush your soul from several different

2. You find a GREAT fitting pair of pants. They not only fit well, but they don't shrink in
the wash or come out looking like a used Kleenex. You head back to the store to get
another pair, perhaps in a different color. Even if they are no longer sale-priced, you are
excited at your find and will definitely buy more no matter what. We know what happens, though. The different color doesn't fit 'quite' the same. What do they do, change the pattern when they change the color?

Am I right or am I right? Maybe scrubs are the way to go, after all.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Just Gotta Get it off my Chest

Sorry. This topic has been covered by me before, but I really feel the need to vent. I am shopping at Walgreens this morning, perusing the 2-for-1 vitamin sale, in earshot of the prescription counter. My ears perked up when I heard the technician say to a waiting customer something about "putting a rush on it". The customer then says, as if speaking to a small child, "Now, I'm going to run ONE ERRAND. When I come back, it SHOULD BE READY."

I've been getting a lot of this lately. I call it "The Challenge." The customer decides for ME
how long it should take to render this professional service. They give me a time limit and throw down the gauntlet.

"I'm going to make an appointment, then I'll be RIGHT BACK." Or, as they slap the prescriptions down, they state, "TEN MINUTES?"

They come back, badger the technician, who (I know) is trying to be nice and who assures, "It's almost ready", or "the pharmacist just has to check it."

I am SO goddamm SICK of this. Actually no, it's not almost ready. When I am satisfied that the prescription is correct and safely ready to go down your gullet, THEN it will be ready.

I continued my shopping trip at Home Depot. They have an area where they mix paint colors for people. Unlike a prescription, no one dies or is injured from the wrong color paint.
Yet, people seemed quite OK with the fact that it will take AS LONG AS IT TAKES to get the right damn paint color mixed.

I came to retail pharmacy after a number of years in hospital, and I was probably guilty of allowing customers to run me around like a little rabbit for a long time. One of the things I came to appreciate from fellow bloggers is how upside down that is and how completely brainwashed we can get. At work recently we had to submit some professional 'goals' as part of our evaluation, and one of mine was that I am going to take the time I need to safely render my service. And when there are interruptions, and people gabbing, and phones ringing and distractions everywhere, that is when I'm going to protect MYSELF and my license, and I don't give a crap how long anyone thinks it should take. Probably not the kind of 'goals' they had in mind.

Again, I am just venting here. We're all familiar with the many factors that have allowed pharmacy services to be so devalued.

I don't know why this is grating on me so much lately, but... it is. Must be the heat or something.

It Speaks for Itself

Another reason to ban cell phones in the pharmacy?

MANSFIELD, Massachusetts (AP) — A judge on Monday increased bail for a rock band bassist accused of stealing prescription painkillers from a pharmacy just hours before a show.

Attleboro police said Coheed and Cambria bassist Michael Todd showed a Walgreens pharmacist a note on his smartphone Sunday afternoon, saying he had a bomb and demanding prescription drugs.

The 30-year-old Todd of Anaheim, California, fled with six bottles of Oxycontin, taking a cab that dropped him at the tour bus at the Comcast Center in Mansfield, where his band was to open for Soundgarden that night, police said. He was arrested before the show, and the band played without him.

Really. A note on his smart phone. Any maybe it's time to take OxyContin out of retail pharmacies, too.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Subliminal Advertising?

So I saw a commercial last night for CVS, with the friendly CVS pharmacist (forget her name) standing in front of the requisite shelf full of drug bottles at the pharmacy. There, at eye level, are what I'm SURE are four 500-count bottles of Mallinckrodt's generic Vicodin.

Just sayin'.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Driven to Distraction (Re-Visited)

I, and others, have written about the cell-phone curse --- trying to communicate with customers who are in the midst of cell-phone conversations or texting and regard us as a minor annoyance that is interrupting their important communications with the rest of the world. It is something that everyone hates, and everyone in the public arena has to deal with this.

I recently returned from a trip to a big east coast city. (Really BIG.) Now, I'm not exactly from Podunk-ville, but I was floored by the number of people walking the street with their noses in their cell phones -- in fact, the majority aren't even talking on them, but rather texting or tweeting or just reading stuff. I saw cops looking at their phones. I saw security guards and doormen looking at their phones. I saw a TSA agent talking on his cell phone as we lined up in front of him, and the conversation, which I could hear clearly, didn't sound work-related. The taxi driver was on his cell phone. The guy behind the counter at the bank was glancing at his cell phone, the guy selling us tickets... and on it went.

Maybe some of these people do have to use a cell phone for work-related communications, I don't know. Or, maybe they're actually breaking the rules of their job. But I was really blown away by this level of absorption in these devices. How are you an effective security guard when you're reading your phone half the time? A high-school kid I know works in a fast food restaurant and they are absolutely FORBIDDEN to have their cell phones with them while working. If it's good enough for the hamburger joint why isn't it good enough for the TSA?

I've written before about my problem with pharmacy employees being distracted by their cell phones. I work with people who regularly make and take cell phone calls from home while working, and it really bugs me. Remember the good old days, when if someone needed to reach you they called your work number? --- better yet, you called them on your lunch break?