Everything is my problem

A really frustrating part about retail pharmacy is that everything seems to be “my problem”.  Now I went to college for 7 years, got my PharmD, yadda yadda yadda.  I know about drugs.  I am trained in drugs.  Ask me about a drug and I will tell you everything you need to know about it.

However:

  • I am not your fucking insurance agent.  I don’t know how much your fucking deductible is because ITS NOT MY INSURANCE.  I can guess, but its only that, a guess.  Its YOUR job to know about your insurance, not MINE.  If YOU dont understand something, talk to your insurance company; not your pharmacist.
  • I am not the keeper of your insurance card.  If you go to the store and want to buy something but don’t have your credit card, do you ask the salesperson to call VISA and ask for your credit card number so they can finish the transaction?  NO.  Keep your fucking card on you, and when you get a new one don’t make me fucking ask you 100 times for it before you say “Oh! Yeah! I got this new insurance card last month”.
  • I am not the welfare office.  If you bitch about your $3.10 copay and whine how the government hates the poor, let me charge you the fucking cash price of $150 and see how much you fucking whine.  All the welfare programs have done is create a bunch of fucking ungrateful bastards who think the F in Pharmacy stands for FREE.
  • I’m not your mother.  If your medication got lost/stolen/etc its YOUR job to call the doctor to explain how you are not a fucking addict, not MINE.  If I call I’m going to say “Yeah, he/she lost his medicine.  He told me a story but to be honest I wasn’t paying attention.”  Keep your pills where you can find them, and if you lose them expect to pay cash for the replacements.  Insurance companies do not pay the copay on stupidity.
  • I am not a drug company rep.  You can whine to me day in and day out how pricey the medication is in this country, then turn right around and ask me to sign something on a class action lawsuit over Avandia or Vioxx or something.  You know why medication costs so much in this country? Stupid bastards who sue over side effects inflicted from taking a controlled poison.  Lets sue Clorox because my kid drank bleach and died.
  • And last but not least.  I am not your fucking personal bitch.  I am here to help you, and will do so with a smile on my face, but I am not your bitch.  I am your pharmacist, and if you treat me like your child or someone you think you can just boss around I am going to pee in your promethazine with codeine and shit on your Soma.  Treat me with respect and you will get the same in return.  Treat me like shit and you’ll be waiting 4 hours for your Rx’s at the Walgreens down the road.

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29 Comments

  1. Brenden says:

    “All the welfare programs have done is create a bunch of fucking ungrateful bastards who think the F in Pharmacy stands for FREE.”
    Greatest quote ever!

  2. Pharmacy Hell says:

    Hahaha!
    And it’s NOT MY problem that you are calling on your way to the airport to leave for a 6-8 week vacation, and you’re stopping by in 5 mintes to pick up your Norco and Xanax and wait for me to fill your fentanyl patches. It’s Friday night, and oh, of course, the Norco and Xanax have no refills and all three will require vacation overrides. You can afford the vacation, but God forbid you should have to pay cash for your Rx’s! You made the reservations weeks ago, but remembered you need more drugs hours before your plane leaves, and now you think it’s my problem.

  3. Jenn says:

    Because you are the magic genie of the drugs, you should know it all. Keep up the good work…

  4. Gary says:

    the only sad thing about this post is that…its so very true

  5. agetrph says:

    my thoughts exactly!

  6. PittPharmD says:

    This is a terrific website. As a new R.Ph, I can completely relate. Keep on posting!

  7. DanTech says:

    Pharmacists did not go to pharmacy school to learn about insurance. That is why as a tech I try to learn what I can about health insurance. I figure that if my job is to assist the pharmacist then the best thing I can do is to help patients with their insurance issues.
    I do agree with you that insurance should be the patient’s responsibility, but some of our patients are easily confused. My time is limited, but I do what I can to help them understand their options, and what is going on with their insurance.

  8. one_angry_tech says:

    AMEN!!

  9. Nasty says:

    Dude I am in Canada and although some of the insurance stuff is different, we have the same dumbass customers you have. I read this every week with the drinking I do to keep my sanity. Fight the power!

  10. john says:

    How about the dumb fucks who complain because the color and look of the pill is different. They can’t take generics because they are allergic to generics.

  11. Melody says:

    You state: Now I went to college for 7 years, got my PharmD, yadda yadda yadda. I know about drugs. I am trained in drugs. Ask me about a drug and I will tell you everything you need to know about it.
    Okay–I’m asking about a drug: INSULIN. Tell me everything I need to know about insulin . . . about older OTC natural animal insulins versus the rDNA synthetic human insulin that is “just like the human body makes.”
    And while you are at it, I would like to know why pharmacists–whose years of education supremely qualify them to serve as an intermediary between patients and the FDA–have NOT stepped up to amerliorate the dysfunctional adverse events reporting. It has been shown that patients talk to their pharmacists 7 times more frequently than to their doctors. Ergo, you hear more tales, more quickly, about adverse events; and yet you obviously have opted to stay out of the mix, count your little pills, place them in bottles, and ask patients, “Do you have any questions?” Your education and position qualify you to do much more. Why don’t you?
    In other words, what YOU perceive as your STELLAR qualifications could–and perhaps will–be supplanted by a comprehensive PDR software program, automatic pill-counter/dispenser, and voice-activated computer that can spit out prescription inserts “on demand.”
    It sounds to me like you should be working at a mail-order pharmacy where patient contact is minimum. That should take care of your ‘anger’ issues. Then, of course, without those stupid, sick, suffering patients–and yes, sometimes thoughtless or clueless patients–you wouldn’t have a job.

    • pharmacygirl2007 says:

      One really important question? How do you know what role the pharmacists play in the reporting of adverse reactions? Did it occur to you that we do what we are allowed to do? And as far as my education qualifying me to do more, I could if I had the time or worked in the hospital. My day starts out like this: patients waiting at the pharmacy 15-20 mins before it opens, so once it opens we are running nonstop. If there is only one pharmacist on duty(which is most of the time) that means every prescription is checked by me every doctor call is taken by me, every medical question is taking by me, around 12 I realize I am hungry, but I don’t get a lunch break so someone has to go get something for me. Between talking to doctors, customers, checking prescriptions(trying to concentrate), getting cursed out, I may get 3 bites of my sandwich between noon and 5pm. By now my head is spinning and we have 30 people who called in prescription to be ready at 5pm, that does not include the people who are dropping off and can’t understand why their wait is 30 mins -1hour because they don’t care that other people have called in and dropped off their prescriptions. Now consider that everyone of those people who wants it now, also wants to talk to me to yell about not being able to get their drug. Keep in mind as I am being yelled at, I have 3 doctors calls waiting, 2 patient questions, and the voicemail light is blinking. So while I am being yelled at who is checking the prescription. Also keep in mind that I have had to use the bathroom since 12 and it is now 6pm. Just as I go to finally get a prescription checked, a customer is yelling about their insurance. By the time the 12-14 hour shift is done, my sandwich is still have eaten, we are behind becuase people don’t get when you want to speak directly to pharmacist about your lipstick color, why don’t I have your insurance information(because you didn’t give us a card), why didn’t your doctor call back(we called him, but we are not psychic, you know your doctor better than I do, unless I am his patient). In a 12-14 hour day I count it as lucky to get half that sandwich eaten, to not have any mistakes(since we can’t check a prescription without being interrupted and your concentration breaks), being cursed out 5 times instead of 10(concerning issues that I have no control over), to leave within an hour of the pharmacy closing, and to have made it to the bathroom once(and pray that my kidneys are fine), not have my stalf walkout due to stress, and to have the majority of the prescriptions for the day done(please note that there are at least 50-100 that we couldn’t get to). I count it as successful. I know it doesn’t mean much to you, but it is nice for us to have a place to come and let off some of that steam with people who understand. I can see you being upset if while in my store I called you stupid and told you your issues were stupid. We don’t do that. We put on that brave face and a nice smile(unless you start screaming or using profanity). We do our best to make you feel important while mentally we are thinking the next 10 customers are going to be mad(because how do we explain well I haven’t finished your prescription yet because I had numerous questions not related to pharmacy). We can’t, so we just smile and apologize to the next person. Are you saying that after you get off work you don’t vent? Besides not to be ugly, but come talk to me after someone tells you they hope you die, roll in your own s@#t and burn in h@ll because you told them the wait was going to be 30 minutes(and you were really being generous in the first place, considering we were hours behind). And that is just a small sampling of what people say to us. I’ll bet none of the pharmacy staff tired, hungry, and beat up have ever called you a b@t*h or whore, or cursed your mother, or told you they would be waiting for you in the parking lot. You have no idea how many people have made my staff cry because the customer forgot to bring new insurance card or the insurance didn’t cover their medications and they curse out my people (who pay way more and really can’t affort their own medications and they work for a drug company). So please don’t judge me and mine for doing what comes naturally (looking for an ear to let off steam so it doesn’t actually interfere in our work).

  12. Nate Rph says:

    Anything the blog world mentions insulin Melody is there to rant about a bunch of crazy stuff including why animal insulin si better than rDNA and how the medical world is a bunch of inept fools

  13. Chris B says:

    The lady above is obviously a disgruntled housewife in the Oprah Book club. It’s not our fault your angry for having nothing to be angry about.

  14. Chris B says:

    I mean, why do you feel the need to ruin our fun? The only place we have to vent from the stress incurred by a long day?

  15. rph3664 says:

    Not to mention, no pharmacist would ever mention the PDR except for its use as a doorstop.

  16. Tom says:

    Hey, looks like we’ve been making fun of the wrong people. We should be ashamed of ourselves for being so insensitive to people’s need and suffering. Oh, the poor people of the world. You have made me see the light.

  17. Melody says:

    Sorry I interrupted your fun. Seeing the comments after mine, I can only assume that like the drug reps over at CafePharma, those who enjoy this blog are self-centered, narcisistic “professionals” who get their jollies by poking fun at the ‘uneducated’ masses who dare question them. Instead of corporate kool-aid drinkers, it appears that folks here are ‘professional’ kool-aid drinkers. Enjoy the brew!

  18. e says:

    Oh Lord and the PDR is back! I should really get me one of those cause I can clearly not do my job without it! I think I love DanTech! I fully appreciate the work that good techs do. My pharmacy would not run without my techs doing their job so I could do mine!

  19. MidwestPharmer says:

    I think “Melody” needs to unwrap and insert…

  20. Nvincible says:

    Amen brother. This is my day, every day. It’s so fuckin ridiculous the lack of responsibility people have. It’s not our job to know why your copay is $25 dollars this month vs. $20 dollars last month…. uhhh, maybe it changed the first of the year? I mean these are grown adults that live in society… poor planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part. My favorite is when they drop off 20 new Rx’s from being discharged then want to bitch about the 20 to 30 min. wait time I quoted them…. nevermind that it’s 5 PM on the first of the month. Don’t get me started on welfare retards that roll up in the Escalades either or pester the shit outta me for sudafed to make hillbilly smack either.
    Who the fuck are you Melody? To pass judgment on RPhs if you are not one? Sounds like to me that your comments were typed over verbatim from an article in a magazine (that nobody reads). Also, a little background research never fuckin’ hurt either. Before you read an article that gets you all fired up, maybe you should dig deeper before you make such generalizations as RPh’s only count our little pills and put them in little bottles. MTM anybody? That’s bullshit and I invite you to come shadow me for a 12 hour shift with no lunch or break and see if you could hang after that. I would love to see how much more you think you could do. Go look up the insulin shit yourself. Here: http://www.google.com

  21. alberta71 says:

    I actually told an insurance phone rep that he should send me part of his paycheck for all the “work” I do for THEIR customers! He laughed and agreed with me.

  22. Vlad says:

    Hi guys, I’ve just stumbled upon this site, and found it amusing. I’m a certified technician, 20yearold male in Massachusetts, originally Russian and with a SHORT temper at times… which obviously makes my job really fun and exciting lol, to the point that i’ve had patients literally want to fight me.
    Anyways, that was a little into. Melody, sweety listen: You want a pharmacist to talk with you about your prescriptions, and tell you everything they know about the topic, right? Hun, do you want a cup of tea to go with this nice conversation also? No, fuck you, the reason WHY NOT (as you asked) is because of the following typical scenario:
    You are a pharmacist working on a busy day, with 3 techs. One of them is over 60, the other is new, and the third one is doing the best he/she can to help things run smoothly. there are three calles on hold – 1 with a senile 80 year old, the other with a i’m-king-of-the-world MD, and third with a mental retard. There are 20 prescriptions on the fax machine waiting for you. There are 30 already-made prescriptions waiting to be checked. You have numerous pissed off patients waiting for their meds: which include, but are not limited to: a person yelling at you in Spanish, a person yelling in Russian (i know both languages, so guess who is the one that has to put them in their place), a soccer mom on antidepressants, a drug addict, and well… you get the point, right baby?
    THAT’s WHY

  23. pharmacystinks says:

    Melody,
    Please refer to my comment left on the recent post “What?Medwatch?I’m confused.” Go mind your own business and stay out of ours. I care a great deal about helping the patients I have, but some of the public has just gotten nasty to deal with and they come in the pharmacy with a chip on their shoulder ready to pick and argument with the pharmacist over stupid ass things. I don’t have to put up with it. I work my butt off to make sure your rx gets filled accuratley in a reasonable amt of time, but do not give me a blank stare when I tell you it might be an hour to fill your 10 refills you could have called in the day before. Have a little courtesy, do unto others, and maybe we wouldn’t need a website like this to vent on.

  24. D money says:

    “4 hours at Walgreens!” I love you man but enough with the rips on Walgreens…were both Pharmacists putting up with the same bullshit day in, day out! Not all us chain stores are drug mills!

  25. http://openid.aol.com/booksrme78745 says:

    Pharmacy student… I worked in a pharmacy for the summer, and this seriously was my day. So true!!

  26. IowaPharm says:

    DanTech–will you marry me? Or at least come work in my pharmacy?
    The comment about unwrap and insert is priceless, I plan on using that at least QD in a conversation.

  27. Done With Retail says:

    One more thing to add –
    I am also not a fucking cashier/coupon expert. Not sure where you work TAP, but my employeer accepts competitor’s coupons. If I see another one, I’m going to slit my fucking wrists with it. I’m tired of getting yelled at because the coupon we loaded onto their “shoppers card” isn’t showing up. I literally told 2 customers yesterday, “This isn’t my department – I didn’t make this program nor did they teach me this in pharmacy school.”
    I really wish the Board of Pharmacy would not allow coupons to be used in this industry. I know drugs are expensive, but this isn’t helping with patient care – it’s making it worse – telling patients it’s OK to pharmacy hop.
    Is there a pharmacy out there that cares more about patient safety and counseling than sales and money? Not in retail…
    Thanks for letting me vent. Love the website!

  28. Jeff says:

    this was absolutely hilarious to read…i am studying to become a pharmacist eventually and this was just awesome to read….but im not lookin too forward to the people that are like this…but it was hilarious and uplifting to say the least, ha…keep it up!

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