I had a prescription ready at the counter and called the customer's name. She walked up to the counter with her nose in her phone. Of course, that's not unusual. She reached the counter and still didn't look up. I waited a few seconds.... still no eye contact. Normally I would walk away, but I decided to play a little game and see how long it would take her to look up while I stood there waiting. I waited, and waited, and with only about 3 feet between us it probably took her a good 45 seconds to allow me a moment of her time -- and only a moment. Yes, we've got a sign asking people to turn off their cell phones. What a joke that is. It often occurs to me that there is a whole generation of toddlers and pre-schoolers who, when they think of their parents, will picture them staring at their cell phone. Until the kids get old enough for their own phone, that is.
Every once in a while you get an elderly customer who is a breath of fresh air. They are polite and respectful. They don't have cell phones. When you talk to them they listen, and are appreciative. They come from a generation who didn't run to the doctor with every minor ailment. A trip to the doctor's office was a responsibility they took on to maintain a good state of health, or it was because they had a medical concern or condition that they felt required a doctor's attention -- in which case it was probably pretty significant to them. A prescription is a big deal and they look at a pharmacist as someone providing a professional service. I love those folks, and I will spend ANY amount of time with them, no matter how busy it is.
What is it about standing in line that makes people behave like first-graders? When we have a bunch of people lined up, some picking up refills and some waiting for new prescriptions, we've got to be fair.
The people who have been waiting for new prescriptions for 20 minutes may get called up ahead of someone who just walked in to pick up a refill. We'll get to everyone, people. I can't count the number of times I've felt as though I'm in a schoolyard.... and by the way, just because you're a regular customer who comes in ALL the time does not put you at the head of the line.
I feel vaguely guilty selling people Mucinex. Expensive placebo? I always tell them to drink lots of water with it. In fact, just drink the water, skip the Mucinex.
I still do a slow burn when someone walks up, slaps down 2 or 3 prescriptions, and the FIRST words they speak are "how long will it take to fill these?" I always wonder if the first thing they say to the doctor when he/she walks into the examining room is, "How long will this take?" Or when they check into the lab, or X-ray, or lay down on the gurney in pre-op --- are they asking this same question?
I wish I knew of a response that might convey a reminder that this a professional service, and not a sub shop. Or at least a response that wouldn't get me fired.