Types of Patients, part cuatro-o!

Again, my own:

  • The Gang Banger: Comes out in full gang gear. Probably is packing more firepower than the coast guard. Makes you start to reach for the guns and the panic buttons. Then when you consult with him, you realize that he’s a really nice guy and that your store has been taking care of his mother for the past 30 years.

  • The Boob Rester: Always a very large, very ugly woman. Comes mouth-breathing into the pharmacy. Decided years past that bra’s were the devil, so her boobs sag to her waist and gently bump into each other as she waddles to the counter. Upon reaching the counter, she plops her mommy-bags down making a large “kerplop” sound. During the winter months (when you have the heater on) she starts to sweat making two puddles where her hidden midgets lay. Always has to show you whats growing under them. You hope you find a rare indian head penny or maybe some gold dab-loons tucked away under there but alas, only angry red under-boob-skin.

  • The Senile Old Fart: Should of gotten a dose of cyanide instead of a medicare card, this person comes in confused, confused, and wait, more confused. Decides it would be a good idea to put all of his/her medication in a big bowl for easy grabbing, only to forget what goes with what. Always calls in stuff 3.5 weeks early, and is always 5 months late getting things filled.

  • The Bagger: Person comes in with either a dirty plastic or paper bag and just hands it to you. Has about 200 bottles from 20 different pharmacies ranging from last week to that refill of Reserpine before it was taken off the market (like 25 years ago!) All the bottles have a film of yuck on them, and you ask your techs to read you the numbers. Gets angry when their Rx’s aren’t filled in 2 min’s or less.

  • The Nasty Tube Lady: This woman brings in a tube of miconazole vaginal cream (why must it always be vaginal creams!) that looks like the life has been sucked out of it. This tube is 1000% empty, and the label is clear from some sort of grease that has gotten underneath it and coats the first 2/3rds. You have a good idea where she stuck this tube to get the label nasty, but have no idea how she got every square ounce of cream out of it. Best handled with gloves, a clothespin or a tech you dont like. Resist the urge to smell the tube, you really dont want to know where its been.

  • ViagraMan: This happy fellow brings in an Rx for 20 viagra, then has you do a price quote for every damn quantity from 20 to 1. Then to make matters worse, he takes his Rx back and gets it filled someplace else.

    From Natalie in NY (shes got some good ones)
    The New Customer
    you have all seen it. the one who shows up at the pharmacy because they had their doctor fax over to you and is APPALLED to find that you do not have their information on file
    The Technology Nazi
    usually old, but not necessarily. the ones that call up and say “DON’T YOU HAVE IT IN YOUR COMPUTER” because we have some maaagical computer that tells me which “pink pill” you want refilled out of HCTZ, celexa, and ISMO. and by “pink” you actually mean “white” or “orange” because you are not currently taking anything pink.
    The Lonely Elder
    oh yes. my favorite. the old people that live alone and when they get the call from you to tell them their script is ready, they keep you on the phone for the next hour and a half telling you about their neighbor, the weather, their in-home nurse, the economy, the president, their dog, their cat, their slippers, their doctor, their teeth, their arthritis, their kids, their grand-kids, their GREAT grand-kids………..you get the point.
    The Wait-n-Stare
    almost always old. those that drop off their scripts and continue to stand at the drop-off watching you. you tell them it will be a few minutes and they continue to stand and stare, as if they haven’t heard a word you said (and most of the time, they really haven’t).
    The Old
    yes, they deserve their own category. those that still think pharmacists are druggists and they are all male. those that think that mercurachrome is still on the market somewhere. those that want some obscure herb supplement because their neighbor told them about it. Those that need to bring their 60-year-old children in to help them walk to the counters and explain in a loud voice EVERYTHING to them. those that can’t see, can’t hear, can’t walk and still pull out their car keys when walking away from the drop-off. those that wonder how long it could possibly take to “slap a label on a bottle.”
    The Large Purse Woman
    this is the woman that comes to the counter, says she has a prescription to turn in, puts her ungodly huge purse/sack/carry-on luggage on the counter and starts rummaging through it, pulling out things that dont even belong in a purse to find her script. papers, receipts, about 4 wallets, umbrellas, small pets and children….only to find a small wallet jam-packed with assorted money, papers, receipts, credit cards, pictures and has to sort through another mess for the next 3 minutes to find the script all while saying “i know its in here somewhere” because that will make me feel like standing here watching you is a great use of my time.
    The Space Invader
    now, our drop-off counter is about 2 and a half feet wide. it’s kind of hard to get in someones face over a 2 and a half foot counter, but people DO. those that decided that sprawling on my counter, putting their dirty greasy hands all over my counter, leaning over my counter to talk or to hand me a script is okay. its not. my counter is a no-touchy zone and y’all need to back off.
    The Know-It-All
    found most often in insurace issues. those that KNOW their copay is only $2 and that it CAN’T be anything different. we must be WRONG. those that know that the OTHER drug store had a lower copay (at which we just throw up our arms in dispair, give the script back, and let them go). those that will not admit when wrong.
    The Screw-Face
    you all know it. those that give you *that look* when things aren’t going their way. ie: we have to call your doctor to verify your script, your copay is more than $1, your 5-month-old script for amox is expired because you’re on medicaid, your wait time is more than 30 seconds (apparently the time it takes for you to slap a label on a bottle)
    The Valley Girl
    the 15-year-old gum-chewing, short shorts wearing, hair-and-makeup professionally done gal there to pick up her birth control or valtrex. usually found talking loudly on a cell phone about “OMG lyke did you SEE what she was WEARING”
    The Generic Hypochondriac
    yes. those that believe that their doctors told them NEVER EVER take a generic. the ones who need the spotted vicodin, the ones that have “bad reactions” to generic drugs (all of them). the ones who make you special-order Mevacor, Zestril, and Ventolin because the “other ones” just dont work.

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  • 12 Comments

    1. Rebecca says:

      what about the “last-minuter”?
      the pharmacy closes at 9 pm – which means that i want to physically leave the pharmacy at 9 pm. you start to clean the bench and turn off the computer at 5 minutes till closing, knowing in your heart of hearts that you won’t be able to accomplish a battle with insurance, filling a prescription, and ringing the thing out plus counseling in the next 5 minutes. this person comes tearing into the pharmacy at 2 minutes until closing, breathlessly exclaiming that it’s an “emergency”. really? your birth control script from a month ago is an emergency? screw off. then you get the dirty hateful blank stare when you tell them you are closing and it will be ready for them tomorrow morning. if you’re lucky, they will threaten to tell your manager. if you’re unlucky (like me) they will send a fax filled with many correctly spelled words describing you in filthy terms. now, why was it again i should stay late for your self-created crisis? because i want to help people? yeah – people with real problems. it’s not my fault you couldn’t drag yourself here in a reasonable amount of time.

    2. Nikki says:

      The Drop and Runner~
      The patient that sees there is 4 people ahead of them in line at drop-off, 7 people in line at pickup and the line at drive thru is wrapped around the building. They take their Rx out walk past everyone else after standing in line for about 11 seconds and butt in front of everyone, say “Ill be back to get this tomorrow” and walks briskly out of the store.
      Sucks for them when they come back in the morning and hear “Im so sorry maam. you didnt leave your date of birth! if you want to wait 30 minutes we can get it ready for you”
      Then she (always a she) says “why will it take so long for you to slap a label on a bottle of Xalatan??”

    3. Julie says:

      I have a stupid customer complaint…
      non-perscription customer
      The jerk that walks up to the counter and it will be any race, gender, or age and they throw the whole store on your counter while you are in the middle of counting 300 Ascol. People expect you to stop everything just so you can ring up their diet pills and 4 bags of hershey kisses, as well as kitty litter, goya coffee, and crossword puzzle books. Then they have the audacity to ask stupid questions about a stupid sale that you know nothing about because it is a pharmacy not the rest of the store. Then they decide that they want to pay $3 by check, then $15 by credit card, then the remaining $7 with a gift card. true accounts in my everyday life :)

    4. CeeKay says:

      Here’s a good one for you.
      The One that Won’t Go Away-This lady (who used to be an LPN) has been my customer since opening the store 15 yrs ago. Always checking prices and trying to make me match W***World. Finally told her years ago that if I don’t make money I will close and she will have to use W*****World.
      See her in Sam’s on my day off. I have to avoid her because of a requiring a bathroom. She follows me into the bathroom, yells at me to hurry up and stands there talking to me while I’m sh***ing. All to tell me some gossip when I’mm done. Ever wonder why Michael Jackson is so nuts?

    5. Kelly says:

      I had someone tell me that they are allergic to sertraline the generic form of zoloft…I just kinda stared at her a min…and she made us change it back to the brand name…I still cant believe that…words do not describe my frustration…damn customers

    6. Kristen says:

      One way to teach the customers who think it only takes 30 seconds to slap a label on a tube of cream or to put some pills in a bottle: With the person still standing at your drop-off window, go to the nearest drug bay. Stand in front of the drug bay, facing them. Reach your arm around behind you (don’t even turn around) and grab a random bottle/tube of cream. Ask them if they’d like the one you have just grabbed. Of course, they’ll say no. They’ll tell you they want the ones the doctor ordered. But they will NEVER tell you to just put a label on it and/or put some pills in a bottle again.

      • Tech says:

        Love this blog. Had a horrible weekend shift where one of our regular patients just went completely batsh on me and was out for blood the minute they stepped to the counter (Surprising, right?) Reading all the stuff on here makes me feel a bit better.

        I had a pharmacist who did the exact same thing to a very nasty patient (the ones that hate the place with a passion yet still never hesitate to come back) back in the day when they still were able to get away with responding to customers like that (nowadays the district supervisor is all over customer complaints so he has toned it down a bit.) In response to the typical 15 minute wait-time the patient was told, his response was, “Well, how long does it take to slap a label on the bottle?”

        The pharmacist reached around, grabbed a random bottle, dumped it out into a bottle, and slid it across the counter. I’ve never seen a patient look so dumbfounded and then ask how many refills he had left/how to take it. The pharmacist responded “Since you wasted my 15 minutes I could’ve spent making that label for you, that’s another 45 minutes for you.” and made him stand there for 45 minutes until he felt like verifying it out.

    7. Sarah says:

      How about the “wait until you have finished ringing and bagging everything up before getting out the checkbook and proceeding to take 10 minutes to write it” people? These are always the people who ask, Should I make the check out to “Big Box Chain” or “Big Box Chain Pharmacy?” When I always recommend “Just Big Box Chain” is fine, they glare at me suspiciously and proceed to write out, oh so slowly, “Big Box Chain Pharmacy.” Meanwhile, the 15 people behind them are aiming their plastic at the back of this person’s head and wondering how much damage they can inflict. And of course they always have to ask you to repeat 2 or 3 times what the total was (and it’s never an easy amount, like $15). ARGH!!!

    8. betty ann says:

      The ER RX: The patient who brings in an ER RX with 3 prescriptions on it, one being a narc. You fill all of them AND as you attemp to ring them out they then tell you they don’t want the other two but just the NARC. Then Bitch at you because they think you’re bullshitting them and then threaten you. Are you fucking kidding me, I dont know about other states but here you have to buy ALL of the RX’s on the ER script not just the NARC. Fucking people.

    9. Amy says:

      Men shout into cellphones too, but only rich ones. It’s always about their high-powered job or their latest promotion. They know exactly how loud they’re being; they’re just starved for validation as Superior Beings. Very sad.

    10. heather says:

      what about the early birds

      the ones that are sitting in drive thru when you open the windows at 8 and are pissed cause the managers havent brought the drawer back. want to wait in drive thru while your fill their narcs. or swear to me their dr sent it over yesterday ” i saw him phone fax type somthing on his computer/ the secretary said it would be here and only got 3 dollars. the internet said there was a generic”
      better yet, the people that leave the drs office and b line it straight to my register and wonder why its not ready, or we havent received it yet. these people are almost always new customers with a 1000 dollar rx well have to order after we enter you into our system the insurance rejects it we spend three days asking the dr to prescribe something else or put a prior auth in place that is ultimately denied by insurance. now i am stuck with this super expensive unnecessary med it my pharmacy praying i can return it next month or ill eventually get to dispenss it

    11. Bitch says:

      You people are all assholes. You know there are some people out there who get out of the hospital with a real problem and come straight to the pharmacy to get their medicine. Then go home to put their feet up and rest cause they feel like crap. Quit being so judgemental and mean. You people have no idea what it is like to live around real addicts who push heavy drugs. So shut the fuck up. Yes some people have their problems but instead of making fun of them why not try to help them. You people need to make some changes in your life and start caring for people. What the fuck is wrong with the world these days.

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    Types of Patients, part three-o!

    Yes! More!
    First my own:

  • The Bait and Switcher: These patients usually call in a laundry list of maintence med prescriptions that all appear to be on time. However they sneak in their pain pills that are 2 weeks early hoping the’ll get ran through by accident with all the other medication. When you fail to refill said pain pills, they get upset and dont want to pick up any of their other medication.
  • The Bullshitter: These people waltz in with a new Rx for Soma or Vicodin thats 2 weeks early, and start off their conversation with “You see, heres what happened” or “Okay, i can explain”. At this point my brain shuts off and I really dont hear anything else they say other than “blah blah blah, excuse excuse excuse”.
  • The Mistery Caller: This person calls you up, says “I NEED MY PAIN PILLS REFILLED” then slams the phone down without giving a name, and Rx number or anything. Then proceeds to call 1 hour later yelling at you because they arent ready yet. I knew I shouldnt of fell asleep during that mind-reading class.
  • Worst Luck Ever: This poor soul has had their medication stolen, burnt, blown up, vaporized in an auto accident, impounded, mugged, lost, dropped in toliet, vacummed up, taken by ex-boy/girlfriend, etc. This person also has a family member die every week, and for some strange reason it only affects their pain pills or soma/valium! It never seems to happen to their blood pressure medication, or diabetes medication! Amazing! This poor soul also gets very upset when you dont take pity on him/her and demand a police report or some verification that this indeed really did happen.
  • Lost Soul: Similar to “Worst Luck Ever”, this person cant seem to remember where they put their medication! Commonly with birth control or prenatal vitamins (that are given in 3 month bursts), this person expect you replace the lost medication at no cost to them. You know, because life works that way. I lose a pocket knife so I expect the store that I bought it from to replace it free of charge. Usually pharmacies do replace the birth control, because we dont need idiots like these reproducing.
  • The Mouth Breather: 5’2″ and about 300 lbs comes storming in gasping for air demanding the 4th albuterol MDI she’s gotten in 2 weeks. Then she proceeds to mouth-breathe her ass outside where she lights up a cig and talks on her cell phone for 3 hours. All on your tax dollar. Also seen bringing in Rx’s in for ‘ensure’ because she cant eat normal food that doesnt start with Mc or Jumbo Bacon.

    Heres some from Dean from NY:
    I just want to say that you are awesome, and you have pretty much tacled every topic that i bitch about, however, there is one that I am not sure if you have…..The fuckin’ Drive-Thru!!!!!!!
    Dude, I don’t even know where to begn with this one. They drive up to the window (half the time, they go to the pick-up window for drop-off and vice versa) then they either slam on the call button as soon as they pull up, and most of the time somone is standing right at the window waiting on an in-store customer, or some of them aren’t even smart enough to know what the call button does, and they either rev their engine, or honk the fucklin horn for 5 minutes til someone answers them. Even when you do answer right away, they tell you “I’ll be back in 5 minutes”. On what fuckin’ planet am I going to fill 10 scripts in 5 minutes?
    Another thing is the old foolks in the drive-thru. They pull around the corner, and almost slam into the divider, then when they finally do get up to the window, they are 10 feet away from the drawer and proceed to either give you a stupid look, or yell at you that the drawer isn’t going out all the way. I usually just look at them and say that it’s as far as it goes, but really I want to say that maybe they shouldn’t be on the road if they are going to be that stupid.
    Then after the 5 minutes have passed, these people roll back up in, just like you say, a huge ass SUV, or a more expensive car than Hugh Hefner owns, then proceed to argue with you about how they are on Medicaid and they shouldn’t have to pay their fuckin dollar co-pay because they gave all their money to their kid, yet the kid is in the passenger seat saying “No you didn’t, Dad.” Or they sit there for 10 minutes while you finish, or hit the button 50 times because their insurance was wrong because they haven’t been to the pharmacy in 10 years, and they expect you to know that it is different. Then the people that are behind them are honking their horns because they don’t want to wait 2 minutes, then they proceed to burn out in the drive-thru, then come into the store and say that drive-thru is for FAST service, and how we are wasting their gas.

    From Robin:
    Heres my most annoying type of patient.
    Patient: My dr faxed/phoned in my prescription 1/2 an hour ago.
    Me: I don’t have anything yet.
    Patient: yes you do, I watched them send it. Its here.
    Me: (trying to figure out how to pull a rabbitt out of my ass) I really don’t have it. No faxes, no messages.
    Patient: I know its here. This translates into “you are a lying sack of shit who just doesn’t want to fill my prescription.”
    I think in the future I’ll just tell them it came in but I threw it out because I just didn’t feel like filling it.
    Keep them coming folks!!!

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  • 10 Comments

    1. Crystal says:

      “Worst Luck Ever: This poor soul has had their medication stolen, burnt, blown up, vaporized in an auto accident, impounded, mugged, lost, dropped in toliet, vacummed up, taken by ex-boy/girlfriend, etc.”
      Add “stolen and eaten by bears” to the list – we had a guy call in with that one over the summer. Now whenever something goes missing in the pharmacy, we blame the bears.

    2. Richard says:

      “Sad Soul: Idiot who tries to act like you don’t know what his antibiotic’s are for. The strength tells all.
      Man, guess he should have not done that one. STD’s don’t wash off with soap and water. Chlamydia is just a little payback for an idiot.

    3. Michelle says:

      I must confess the posts have been hard to read this week. I have a cold and you see laughing only makes me cough more. HE HE HE!!!
      The doctor is alway right!
      Patient:The doctor called in my refill yesterday.
      Me: I am sorry but we do not have an approval on your refill yet but I will call the doctor again.
      Patient: But the doctor said they called it in
      Me: It does not benefit the pharmacy to not fill your medication. (you can say that when you know your patients)
      Patient: Can you loan me some I only have three left and my blood pressure will go over 200 if I do not have the medication
      Me: you have enough med to make it through the rest of the week. Would you like me to call you when the doctor calls in the approval?
      Patient: But, I am going to have to find a new heart doctor and I will not be able to get a same day appointment.
      Me: And this is what I would like to say “How is that my problem?” After all it IS my fault your doctor cannot respond to four phone call in three days”
      How often have you faxed or called the doctor for days and when you finally reach someone they say we called it in a week ago. So often I would love to respond, ” I get orgasmic pleasure when I continue to fax/call on something you CLAIM you called in because I have NOTHING better to do”

    4. A'mee says:

      That goddam drive-thru is the reason I quit Walgreens. One day I took in a few through the drive-thru and asked the woman when she wanted to pick these up. She says “I’m gonna wait.” I said (as politely as I could) “You can’t block the drive-thru. You can come in and wait.” She gets all pissed off, “I thought this was a DRIVE-THRU pharmacy!” I was finally pissed and said, “Yeah, you DRIVE-THRU and drop it off then you DRIVE-THRU later and pick it up!”
      And the other one was people pulling up and asking “Can you get my photos and a gallon of milk for me too?” Drive-thru PHARMACY people.

    5. Megan says:

      I agree with Dean. I HATE the button in the drive-thru. They treat us like brainless fast food workers (not saying fast food workers are brainless, but they’re treated that way) just because you offer us the convenience of a drive-thru. Bastards.

    6. Neena says:

      I love it how when I’m on the phone in the pharmacy, somebody would walk up to me and just start talking to me, as if they don’t see I’m ONE THE PHONE trying to fix an insurance problem!
      Or how about when they’re on their cell phones and put up their hand motioning YOU to be quiet?!
      My favorite was a customer who DEMANDED free Ambien because “it took too long” to fill. Sorry bitch, this ain’t Domino’s! We don’t have a ’30 minutes or it’s free’ guarantee.

    7. Medicaid Mike says:

      I’m a Medicaid eligibility worker, and I can identify with some of this. Not all Medicaid clients act like this, but many do.

    8. Terry says:

      I have been on vicodin for almost 3 years now my Dr. changed it to Norco 10/325 with the usual Soma and Ativan for anxiety i never had a problem getting my meds but it was Saturday morning and my regular pharmacy was not open yet and i was going out of town so i took the rx to walgreens the pharmacist an asian lady looked over it very carefully and i told her i would wait she called me to the counter and said she will have to verify this because the phone number does not match and will have to wait until monday what they have on file for the Dr.is different i showed her my receipt from the Medical clinic and my next appt card all with the same phone number i told her i take these meds every month and to just give me back the rx i will take it to my regular pharmacy she did not want to give it back she said ok it will be 40 minutes then she stuck it some kind of fax machine well she filled it and when i was ready to pay she said do you really need all of these meds 120 each except the ativan only 30 i said yes she said what do you have some kind of injury or something because this is a lot of medicine are they allowed to do this its only a 30 day supply i never had a problem getting my meds filled before i felt like a criminal that stold a rx pad and wrote it out my self by the time she was done with me and she asked me my phone number at least 3 times and asked when did i go to the Dr. when the date is on the rx. what is the fax copy machine for what happens to the paper rx after the rx is filled. i will never go back to walgreens i will take my empty bottles to another pharmacy next month to get refilled transfered or whatever the dr left the refill areas blank what would stop someone from circling some of the refill numbers.

    9. TERRY says:

      i am new to this post is there anyway to ask the Angry Pharmacist a question i know she reads all posts before putting them on the site i just want to ask some questions that are un available to the public i know the public is sick and crazy peoplethats why they need meds. you should be happy you have a clean job i want to be a pharmicist but i was told it takes 8 years to get degree of Dr. of pharmacy so you are basicaly a Dr, but not a M.D. and people treat you guys like crap they dont know about all of the education you have to have to be a Pharmacist.

    10. Michelle says:

      I had a question for the pharmacist, but I’ve never posted before…and now reading alot of his “types of patients” commentary, I think I already know what may have been going on in my case. I was in a bad car accident a few months ago and was given a prescription for Lortab 7.5. This was about 4 months AFTER I had liposuction and the plastic surgeon (obviously a different doc.) had given me the same thing, except his was for 10 mg.). The latest script was for 60 tabs and had 2 refills. When I used my first prescription up, I called to have it refilled with the “automated refill line”, which said it would be ready after lunch. Lo and behold, I go to pick it up and the Nazi lady working at the pharmacy looks at me and says, “There’s no prescription for you here”. I’m confused, and said, “The recording said it would be ready”. She smirks (I mean it, she really did…and this is a new lady I’ve never seen before) and says, “Your last one was filled on the 28th and we gave you a 30-day supply”. I was evidently TWO DAYS EARLY!!!! Not two weeks like you were complaining about….TWO DAYS!!!!!!
      What’s the deal here? I had to go back home and wait in pain all weekend (it was already Saturday and I couldn’t call the doc) until Monday. I live in Georgia, and she invoked Georgia Law at me (which a friend later told me was a bluff and she was just being difficult because she thought I was hoarding pills or something). At first I was confused: If I was hoarding pills, why would I need them in the first place? But then I saw your posts about patients making up stories and I thought: can she seriously take me for someone with “A Problem”? I told her I was in an accident but she just acted like her hands were tied and went to busy herself with a phone call. Do I even need to defend myself and tell her what they’re for in the first place? I’d appreciate any light you guys could shed on the problem. Thanks so much.

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    Types of Patients, part duex

    Thanks to all who have written! Here are some more customer types:

    From Rebeccah in a ‘college town’
    The Overprotective mother (or OPM as we call them). .These are the ones that call in pretending to be the patient (who happens to be college aged and SHOULD be able to function on their own). They call in their daughters birth control pills or bitch us out because little tommy cannot swallow pills and how dare we give him a swallow tablet..They also call every 5 minutes to make sure susie’s doctor called in her prescription, because somehow little susie cannot possibly open up her cell phone to check on it herself. And half the time little susie is on her cell phone when she comes in to pick up the rx.
    The no refills/expired RX patients. Those who believe that expiration and no refills do not pertain to them. that refills and new expiration dates are automatically entered in the system with an unlimited amount of time and fills regardless of whether or not they actually see their doctor. One patient came in the other day (on her cell phone) drops off her rx, I politely tell her that we need to contact the MD to get more refills, she says okay and walks away. I overhear her say into her cell phone “I just dropped off my birth control at CVS and the girl there says I have no refills. I know I have more refills, she’s just lying to me!”
    the Plan B crew. We dispense a TON of plan B (and by a ton, I mean I need to keep at least 6 packs on the shelf per week). Now this wont be as applicable come November 1, but we get a lot of people who think we are lying about needing an Rx to get plan B. “I know it’s over the counter, I cant believe you are telling me I need to get an Rx for it, I never needed one before.” And not to stereotype, it’s the Asians who get really insensed when we tell them you need an Rx in order for us to dispense it.
    we also have a lot of what I call “Counter Hoverers”. These are the types when you tell them it’ll be about 10 to 15 minutes to fill their prescription, they say okay (as if it’s a reasonable wait time) and then go to the pick up counter and just stand there. They play with the counter displays and the magazine rack and occasionally will look up at you every few minutes. You tell them to have a seat so they aren’t blocking the pick up line (because at this point there are 5 people behind them) and they just look at you like you’re nuts. Then when you say “Please move so I can take care of someone else in line who is picking up their prescription), they move, but give you an irritated glare..

    From Count By Five
    The early riser-
    They beat you to work. They’re waiting for you, and they are pissed as hell that today isn’t the day you mistakenly showed up for work an hour early. How dare you?! Get to work slacker.
    Oh guess what? The script was dated for 2 months ago. YOU HAD ALL THE TIME IN THE WORLD! I can remember the last specific day and time you were last in my pharmacy, and this Rx is older than that.
    The supervisor-
    Fuck you. When you interrupt me checking my email for the 57th time today, and I say your prescription will take a couple minutes, that is not an invitation for you to hold up your end of the counter and stare into my eyes. Go walk around, go check out the merchandise, and let me check my email. This ain’t fast food. Lets take our time, make an event out of it. Nevertheless, let me do my job. I want to do it right, and do it under my clock, not yours, so go take a look around.
    But you my friend, you are a double edged sword. You can be the best part of my day. Why? Because I can be the worst part of your day very easily. You are ready to go, you want to get going, but, oops, I can’t just quite read what your physician wrote. I think I’ll give them a call. Whoopsie daisy, I had to leave a message. Get your fucking hands off my counter and call back tomorrow. Thanks with a smile.
    Fucker.
    The completely clueless-
    This one is pretty simple. They are their own self-written joke. What are you here to pick up? What is it for? What letter does it start with? What does it look like?… I dunno. Even asking them what their name is results in a pathetically long pause. The truly sad part is, they aren’t drunk, they aren’t high, they are just dumber than rocks. Part of me feels really bad for them, but then again, my feet hurt and I don’t really like standing longer than I have to while they figure out if they want to form an intelligent thought or not.
    Shit, I wish Aricept actually improved memory and made people smarter. Suddenly I would be making a shit ton of mis-fills.
    The spelling bee champ-
    “Hi, pick up for Davis, D – A- V- I- S.”
    Me, “N O F U C K I N G S H I T”
    Tell me where my fucking car keys are in the morning if you want to help me out, but the next time you tell me how to spell a common, American last name, I am going to punch a baby. Apparetly you think a pharmacy degree can be obtained by buying enough boxes of Cap’n Crunch and sending in for it. Apparently you think the job is limited to putting pills from a big bottle into a smaller bottle. Wait… anyways, the fact that I am upright and breathing should prove that I can spell your damned name. Thanks for the tip asshat.

    From JN:
    Hopefully I didn’t miss this in your entry, but I always get the customer that doesn’t want counseling about their new medication because “I’ve been taking it for years, I could probably teach you something about it” (I think this overlaps with the pseudopharmacist), only to have them return in 2 hours wanting a refund because I screwed up and gave them the generic when they wanted the brand (even though their MD wrote for the generic its still my fault).

    Keep them coming! Im dying over here!

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    5 Comments

    1. pete says:

      Actually, Plan B is available OTC to women age 18 and over, as of August 24, 2006…after quite the long proceedings. There are several more strings tied to it, however, as described by the FDA: http://www.fda.gov/bbs/topics/NEWS/2006/NEW01436.html

    2. Wrath says:

      In defense of the spelling bee champ, even the simplest names get screwed up beyond recognition sometimes. As a journalist, I ask EVERYONE how to spell their name, even if their name is John Smith or something equally as basic. Because the one time you don’t ask, you get a Davis or Smith with a silent “j” or “cz” in there somewhere.

    3. A'mee says:

      I’m also a big fan of the RNs:
      They think they know EVERYTHING. They try to call in their own rxs, and don’t want counseling because “I’m an RN, I already know.” One of my best friend is an RN and she will be the first one to tell you, RN’s don’t know jack about pharmaceuticals, and most of her co-workers are idiots in the bargain.

    4. Fellow Victims of Moronic Customers says:

      We absolutely love your rantings. We would post your examples of patients all over our front desk if we could get away with it. It is so satisfying to have other pharmacists understand how horrific life behind the counter can be!! I was reading your latest rants about patients and not even ten seconds later I was lucky enough to experience at least 5 of them (i.e. spelling bee, the wait-n-stare, the screw face, etc.) We have shared your recountings with our families, friends and fellow pharmacists and techs. So thank you so much for saying what we are all thinking!!

    5. wrecksall says:

      How about “The Royal Doctor” who comes in and expects to be handed a prescription pad so he/she can write an RX to be filled immediately even if it is obvious many people are waiting. And no I don’t have my medical license or any other form of ID but you should know me just by my name and face even if there are 2,000 other physicians in this town and I have never been here before. I had one fat sawbones even refuse to come to the cash register to pay. I had to walk to him to get the cash. (he was later kicked out of a hospital I worked at for writing to many pain meds for his exclusive medicaid clientel)

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    Types of Patients (see what I deal with?)

    These are the people that make pharmacist drink heavily. Enjoy!

  • The Waiter: This person loves to sit there and ask you or the staff every 2 min if their Rx is ready yet. If their Rx is not immediately taken down from the ‘waiting’ basket area, they bitch and complain as to how long its going to take. They think that having you respond to a question every 2 min (and break your train of thought) will make their Rx magically be ready sooner than just shutting up and sitting down.
  • The Starer: This person sits there at the counter and stares at you. Makes you feel like you’re in a zoo, or have a booger hanging out of your nose. Upon looking up, you find this person intently staring as if he/she can see behind the counter at everything you are doing. Also feels that by staring at you it will make your Rx magically get filled faster. Whoops, wrong.
  • The Inconsiderate Mother: Usually around age 16 with 2 children already, this patient sits patiently as her kids tear your shelves to pieces. Upon being yelled at, she half-assed disciplines her children and then continues to do nothing as they proceed to tear your store apart. This patient is usually getting OTC shit filled from the ER because she enjoys wasting taxpayer dollars with ER visits for free OTC Tylenol and dimatapp DM.
  • The Accident Waiting to Happen or The Liability: See “The Inconsiderate Mother” but have the two children be twins, with a names that only differ by 1 letter. Thats right, they have the same birth date, but one has an M in their name when the other has an N. Of course she gets offended when you get her children mixed up, because everyone should be able to pronounce Latafishina and Latafishima correctly. The saving grace is a different middle name, but you know that it wont be that easy.
  • The Palendrome: Usually found with Asian names, is the first name the last? Or the last name the first? No comma, they don’t speak English to ask a birth date, and both exist in your computer! Guess? Sure! Its only their lives and your license! Oh, and if they do have a birth date, its almost always 6/15/xx.
  • The Crackhead: Almost always seen 2 min before closing (when all of the doctors offices are close) with an Rx for any/all of the following: Some hydrocodone product, valium, soma, codeine containing product. Their profile consists of any/all of these medications and nothing else for the past 20 years. If they are on-time to get their dope..er..prescriptions filled (from your store), your computer magically tells you via their insurance company that they got a month supply 2 days ago from some chain down the road. Upon which the patient goes through the following stages:
    Denial: “Nu-UH! I did NOT get my Vico-DANS filled there!”
    Anger: “What do you MEAN i cant get my SOMAS filled!”
    Acceptance: “Yeah, I did, but see I take 9 a day because i’m in pain!”
    Bullshitting: “Call my doctor! He told me i can get them filled early! He’s not in? Well I guess you’ll just have to fill them and call me in the morning”
    Bargaining: “Can I get them if I pay cash?”
    and finally, Rejection: “Gimme my Rx back! Im going to Walgreens!!!”

  • The Mind Reader: This person loves to call in “All my monthly medications”, then proceeds to call and yell at you that you either forgot a medication that he/she got 5 months ago (that you’re supposed to magically know he/she needs now) or that you filled a bunch of shit he/she didn’t want and doesn’t want to pay the copays for. This person is the cause of most substance abuse among pharmacists.
  • The Pseudopharmacist: This person was either a Nurse or some medical person 100 years go, and somehow has the ability to know more than you do. He (but usually a she) knows ‘her body’ and ‘what her body needs’ (a kick in the ass) and will argue with you until closing that she doesn’t need that high blood pressure medication. Loves to use big medical words that really have no application in what he/she is talking about, but makes her look smart. Who needs to go to college to be a pharmacist, obviously this ex-nurse back in the 50’s must know vastly more than you do.
  • The ‘Is It Due Yet?”: This person will call you every day asking when his/her pain pills are due to be filled (See “The Crackhead”). This person unfortunately lacks the basic brainpower to realize that if you take 3 pills a day, that 90 pills will last 30 days (or 1 month). 90/3 is too hard to comprehend as well as a month has 30 days; so he/she must call you and check. This person really flips out in February when the month has 28 days.
  • The Closing Shopper: This person (who usually is on the state system) sat on his/her ass all day, but must come into your store 2 min before closing with a handful of Rx’s (that he/she wants right now). Either this, or they call you 2 min before closing with the phrase “Wait up for me, i’m on my way!”. What did you do all day asshole? Obviously not work! Must be nice.
  • The Mystery Name: These people will respond to any name you call saying their Rx is ready. Almost always are people who don’t speak English. If you shout out a name, they will come up to get the Rx regardless if its them or not. Quite a sight to see a name being called out and half the store come saying they are that person. Pretty sad when you need to interrogate your patients to get the proper name from them.
  • Whats Your Name?: These people have “ethnic” or “heritage” names that are unpronounceable by the human tounge, yet when you ask them how to say it they get offended as if you should of known. See “The Race Carder” below.
  • The Race Carder: “You wont fill my narcotic prescriptions early because i’m (enter race/color/creed/religion/etc here)”. Yes boys and girls, people still do play this shit. It doesn’t matter if the entire store is filled with the same race as him/her, or if some of your employees are the same race as him/her; he/she thinks you’re a bigot. These people end up pissing off the staff, and are usually booted from the pharmacy.
  • The Insurance Chode: This person appears in two forms: The first form is not having any insurance card, then getting upset when you cant fill their Rx’s with said insurance. Also gets mad when you refuse to sit on hold for 30 min to get their ID number when they live 2 mins away and can drive.
    The other form gives you an insurance card, but allows you to do 30 min worth of guess work (and asking them 30 times if they have any other cards) before giving you the correct and current insurance card.

  • The Frugal Shopper: This person asks for the cash price of all the Rx’s he/she brings in. He/she is okay with the prices and gives you the OK to fill. When you are finished, he/she sees the total and wants all but 1 returned to stock and the not-filled ones transfered to a mail order pharmacy because he/she gets “3 months for 1 copay”. This person also thinks that pharmacists work for free, the power that runs the lights for free, and your staff works for free. Obviously time has no value to them since they are either: old or retarded. They also think that $15 is too high for a $400 dollar Rx and decides to argue with you about it. These people should of not gotten a Medicare card upon 65, but a gun to blow their brains out with.
  • The Baby Momma: This person is like “The Inconsiderate Mother” but all of her children are named after their fathers so she can keep track of which one goes with which baby-daddy. Ouch!
  • The Cell Phone Shouter: This person comes in talking on the cell phone. The cell phone never leaves her (its always a her) ear, and she must always shout into the cell phone at 100x normal speaking voice. Its like the cell phone is a can connected by a piece of string or the person she’s talking to is across the street. She also gets rude and obnoxious when you ask her to keep it quiet or to use the phone outside. When you are explaining her medication to her, she continues to blab on the cell phone about the most pointless drama you’ve ever overheard. Makes your mind boggle as how someone on the state system can afford the luxury of a cell phone with unlimited mins.
  • The Blinger: This person is driving a car thats nicer than yours, wears clothes thats nicer than yours, has a 24k gold tooth ‘grill’ and/or gold chains and rings, and also has a state welfare card that copays are lower than your own private insurance. All this and not having to work a day in their life! Some people have all the luck!

    If you know any other ones that I missed, email me at druglord@theangrypharmacist.com and i’ll put up a part duex.

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  • 13 Comments

    1. Met says:

      Aaaargh. I’ve seen many of these before, but my personal most hated is the Mystery Name. While working as a clerk for the chain of K’s, I ran into one of these who picked up some diabetes medication. She even ripped open the bag and looked right at the label, and didn’t say a word about it. I got bitched at so badly for it by the rph that I went home crying, after calling her back and apologizing profusely while sorting it out. It’s made me extremely wary of any patient with an accent that I cannot understand.

    2. tomato says:

      how about people who refuse to understand that prescriptions do expire. just because s/he has taken the atenolol for the past 3 decades doesn’t mean they don’t need the rx renewed by the doctor at least once or twice (depending on the state) a year. coincidently, they always come on a weekend and won’t appreciate if you offer to advance them a couple tablets until you get an approval from the md.

    3. BigQid says:

      I was wondering what type of hours do pharmacists work. There are kids who make $90k a year right out of pharmacy school. Is that off of a 40 hour work week? I know This has nothing to do with your post, but you seemed like a good person to ask.

    4. Pharm Student in Toronto says:

      Haha, I saw a “race carder” while waiting in the dctor’s office this week. She was upset that the doctor looked at a patient who had arrived at the office earlier because her appointment was actually earlier. She was telling the secretary that she can’t run the office that way, and said, “It’s because I’m not Chinese, isn’t it?”

    5. Pharm Student in Toronto says:

      Oh yeah, the woman who said that was white. I think only white people have the guts to say that crap (sorry for the stereotyping).

    6. Stephanie says:

      LOL Actually no it’s not always white people. When I was working at Kmart a woman came in with a fat stack of prescriptions and her expired insurance. She stormed out saying we wouldn’t fill her prescriptions because she was black. She came back a few hours later and wanted them filled, then decided she didn’t want them and was taking them somewhere else. She said she talked to the “big wigs” at her insurance and they said her insurance was valid. Of course they did, she never asked about the PRESCRIPTION insurance. So anyway, she stormed out again saying “you ain’t gotta fill mah prescriptions cuz im black! you ain’t gotta see me again cuz i’m black! i ain’t comin back here cuz im black!” Every sentence that woman uttered had “cuz i’m black” attached to the end.

    7. Exactly what is an ear suppressor?

      What would be a day off is no longer a day off, and what was a short Tuesday shift is no longer a short shift. It seems like we’ve lost a tech, and so I might be going into work earlier on Tuesdays for a few weeks, and covering a 3 hour period …

    8. A'mee says:

      Oh, that goddam cell-phone shouter. I had one just the other day that was dropping off an rx for her kid, had never been there before, and after every question I asked (phone number, address, birthday- you know the frivolous stuff) she sighed into the phone, rolled her eyes, said “Hang on…” into the phone and stated the answer in a tone that says I clearly should have been able to glean that information out of the clear blue sky. By the time I got to allergies I was sick of her and I shoved the rx back across the counter and said “When you’re done with the call, I’ll help you.” and walked away. That bitch had the nerve to complain about me to corporate and say how rude I was!

    9. Tim Redman says:

      My name is Tim Redman.In reference to the automated dispensing machines,I have seen 3 types.Baker cell (sucks),Scriptpro (Rite Aid has this monstrosity-too slow and takes up too much room), and Parata (which we have).By far Parata is the best-very effecient and takes up only the space of a back-to-back bay (approximately 2 feet wide and 6-7 feet long).Filling the cells is easy but must watch for dessicants and product information packets.I highly recommend this machine.It is a little aggravating at the start,but it is worth it in the long run. Tim Redman,RPh Pharmacy Place-Port Huron,Michigan.Phone is (810)989-3455 if you want more info.No,I am not a rep for this company,only a staff pharmacist who has been working in a pharmacy since 1959.Your site is excellent!

    10. nicole says:

      how about the sunday birth control girls. these are the girls who come in on sunday night 5 min before closing and want a refill but did not call it in and took their last pill yesterday. now they dont have a number, their pack or bother to look at their pack to see that they have no refills. they look at you shocked when you say you can’t fill it with out a refill or a prescription. “but they get it all the time.” “can they just pay for it” no dumbass, its a prescription. call your doctor tomorrow and double up. next time pay attention to the label on your pack when it says no refills allowed authorization required.

    11. Not Your Long Lost Daughter says:

      My personal favorite is the non-stop talker. It’s not that they are bad people. It’s just that they don’t know how to end conversations in a timely fashion. They are usually older and the rest of their family is either dead or has long since learned not to talk to them anymore. At the pharmacy where I work, us techs will usually try to work it out so that whoever had to listen to their story at the drop-off window is not the one to ring them out.

    12. ticked off tech says:

      Absolutely love your blog. A visiting pharmacist told me about this site, and I enjoyed it so much I think I’ve read all archives in about 3 days. Now I recommend your material to ALL pharmacists I know.
      How about this one… I had a patient(retired MD) insist he count the tablets of his four prescriptions (full year supply for all) because he recently read an article about pharmacies ripping people off. I was stupefied, and told my pharmacist that I would (out of sheer curiosity) humor his request. I provided him with a spare bottle, a tray and spatula, and an area of counterspace to execute his madness. Instead of the spatula, he used his shaky and uncooperative fingers (good-god).. His nose was running and dripping on the tray full of tablets and my counter, but he was unphased (A-f’n-mazing).. Instead of the spare bottle, into a small cardboard box go the tablets (this is a joke right?).. He:”I lost count, did you follow my count by chance?” Me:”I’m sorry you were mumbling to yourself mostly.” He:”Oh…two,four,six”.
      To wrap this up he only got to around 200 on his first med before he conceeded that he could “geuss that they look okay”.
      Everyday it occurs to me that I have not yet “seen it all”.

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