Banning Cell Phones

Is there some sort of paint you can line pharmacies with that will block cell phone reception?  I am seriously sick and tired of people talking on the cell phones while in the store.  Not only are they LOUD but distracting towards both myself and the other people waiting for their prescriptions.  Heres what irks me:

  • People feel the need to shout into their cell phones like there is some sort of string attaching one to another.  Although you may feel like the condition of your baby-daddy’s heroin OD is mighty important; I, for one, don’t really care.  Now going into detail about how you pleasured some random guy in a bar-bathroom is a different story, and on more than one occation the entire pharmacy has ground to a halt just to listen to a saucy cell-phone conversation.  However, I especially love it when you look at me funny as I’m standing there snickering at the absurdity of your 35-going-on-14 high-school drama that you are broadcasting for everyone to enjoy. That snicker is really pharmacist-talk for “You’re a grown woman, grow the fuck up”.  Usually you think you’re all-that and a bag of chips as you pick up your Differin cream (medication does wonders, but it’s not going to fix butt-ugly) and storm out because someone was “all up in your shit” or however that saying goes.
  • I don’t like getting a cell phone shoved in my face with the line “HERE, ITS MY DOCTORS OFFICE TO OK MY PAIN PILLS”.  Riiiiight.  I’m sure its your “doctors office” and not your female friend who worked for a doctors office a few years ago.  At this point I tell them that I get zero cell reception in the back “where I am at” (a lie) and inform them to call the pharmacy line.  Usually people assume we have Caller-ID so that stops some phony call-ins right there.  Whats absolutely precious is when they say “HERE, ITS THE DOCTORS OFFICE FOR MY LICE-MEDICATION”.  Thanks but no, I’m not going to put a phone that has been up to YOUR EAR for a new Rx for LICE MEDICATION.  Please stand behind the counter, thank you.
  • I still have not gotten used to the whole bluetooth headset fad/craze/obsession going around.  When those things first came out, I had one, and people made fun of me when I wore it in public.  It seems like now you aren’t cool unless you have one.  Bluetooth really makes picking the schizophrenics out of the crowd hard because everyone seems to be talking to themselves.  It pisses me off when I go down to consult someone and are talking with them to find out they are really saying “uh huh, yeah, ok” to someone on their headset and not to me.
  • When your cell phone rings, its supposed to be a RING tone.  It is not a SONG-TONE or a CRAP-TONE or some distorted PIECE-OF-SHIT-TONE that sounds wonderful through a tiny tinny speaker.  Tiny cell phone speakers are not designed for bass, so why play rap songs through them which have…………. LOTS OF BASS?  It sounds like shit, you should know it sounds like shit, and if I need to put up a neon sign saying “YOUR RING TONE SOUNDS LIKE SHIT” then so be it.  If you still wish to have ring-tone that sounds like a mouse thrown into a blender, then please turn it down to a human-tolerable level.  DJ Sag-Ur-Pants (or whoever) would slap the shit out of you if he were walking down the street and heard his song blaring out of a shitty cell phone speaker in some random pharmacy 300 yards away.  Oh, and please when your phone exudes shit upon receiving a call, DO NOT DANCE TO THE FUCKING RING TONE, ANSWER THE FUCKING PHONE!!!!!  Yeah, that look on my face is the “I cant believe this dumb fat bitch is dancing to her ring-tone instead of answering the call.”  Booty-shakes are for clubs, pimps, and guys who smell like weed.  Not pharmacies.

Now that I have gone over what NOT to do.  This is how you properly answer your cell phone when it goes off in the store.  First, regardless of your choice of ring-tone, you silence it by either picking it up or hitting a button.  You then politely walk outside and answer the call.  You STAY OUTSIDE until the call is done, then you come back in.  If I am giving you a consultation and your phone rings, then either silence the call or if its important then let me know and when I get a free moment will finish your consultation after you are done.  If you have a bluetooth headset, then remove it from your ear before asking me a question.

See? Simple!

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46 Comments

  1. TAP, you make my morning. I had to be up for my 6:30AM internship and this totally woke me up for class.
    I also hate when some teenagers have their ipod blasting out of their headphones when I’m trying to give them consults. I can’t concentrate w/ the music on dang it!

  2. Richard S says:

    why lie to patients?
    i think its really unprofessional for pharmacists to be talking on cellphones while at work (and in Ontario, its all the rage, since you can get a call offering you $gajillion/hr to work relief at any given moment).
    i also don’t want to be pressing my ear/head/mouth near something that my sick patients have been talking on, or, worse, leaving in their boner/compressed jeans.

  3. Just keep a list if these people and next time they come in for a cancer sore just recommend Annusol instead of Ambusol. That should help shrink their mouth up so that they can’t talk so loud.

  4. Nhat says:

    Only in a perfect world…

  5. geekgirl says:

    TAP – yet another saga of how not to raise children, the perceived right to be rude in public, and the continued degradation of US societal mores… Keep it coming!
    Technically, cell phone jamming is illegal in the US, although a quick Google will get you build-it-yourself plans and ready-made devices. See also the 2600 Magazine website.
    Remember to account for quad-band GSM (ATT, T-Mobile) and various CDMA frequencies (Sprint, Verizon, US Cellular). Prepaid cell phones generally use airtime resold by carriers like ATT or Sprint, so you should be covered.
    Personally, I do use a headset, as putting a smartphone up to your ear is like talking on a brick. However, I leave my phone (my cell phone is my mobile, home, and work phone) on vibrate, and refrain from making/taking calls in retail establishments and other public places.
    People – There are reasons your cell phone comes with voice mail, caller ID, text messaging, email and/or internet service (for web mail). Use these handy tools to prevent unnecessary rudeness, incidental situational embarrassment, and similar stupidities.

  6. nodrugs4u says:

    I hear ya TAP! I work just off campus next to Stanford. I cannot believe some of the stupid things I get sometimes. Just last night, I had some freshman coed get her daddy on the line trying to tell me that I need to give her all of her medication in one copay. Uhh… sorry but no. It’s not my fault your insurance only allows half the amount per 30 days. Getting your MD daddy on the line will not change anything. Now if your daddy works for the insurance company and can override the restriction…… Same person has 2 prescriptions (1 C-II, 1 C-IV) on the same prescription blank. Well, the prescriber marked on the prescription that only “1” medication prescribed on the blank. Hmmm… you think I’m going to ignore the law just because your daddy is a MD? At least the MD daddy had the sense of not trying to ok it.
    Word to children of MDs. Your daddy/mommy is not god/goddess (contrary to popular belief). If I told you I can’t, I can’t. Get me immunity from the President or the Governator, then I will THINK about it.

  7. This is the greatest pet peeve of mine when I am working at a pharmacy. I may work in a chain (Safeway, or better known as Slaveway), but this is perhaps the one big thing that really pisses me off. I actually told somebody when I was working in Great Falls, VA (rich white folk area) that it was inconsiderate that she was talking on her cell phone. She tell me that I was inconsiderate telling her that and complained to the store manager. I haven’t worked there since but I do work in Bethesda, MD. I’m in my fourth year and trying to figure out what to do after graduation, but right now, I’m leaning away from retail somewhat.

  8. MrHunnybun says:

    May I recommed a cell-phone jammer. Slightly illegal depending onn your jurisdiction, but unlikely to cause any problems.
    I keep mine in my jacket. Then if someone starts talking rubbish I can simply reach into my pocket, turn on my machine and cause mayhem….Customers loses signal and call is diconnected. Trys to redial, doesn’t work, trys to get a signal, waves phone in hair trying to get signal. Frowns, eventually gives up.
    For $100 or so it’s well worth it. What could give you more pleasure for $100 (besides a hooker!)

  9. annalisa says:

    Hi,
    This is the first time I read your blog and thought the “Banning cell phones” piece was just hilarious! Thanks for the laughs…
    Also, I thought this would be a great comedic monologue to use for my acting class, if I could…
    Kind regards.

  10. Ryan says:

    Buy a cellphone jammer (just google for it… they are everywhere online) and put it behind your counter. You can have it on all the time but that might piss off your employees. I’d recommend having it accessible so you can turn it on just when you need it.
    Remember tho, while they are legal to possess, they are illegal to use. However, they are almost impossible to track and people won’t know they are being jammed. We use one in our building strictly for security.
    Well worth the risk IMO.

  11. Another laugh-out-loud funny and frighteningly realistic depiction of life in the service industry in the burning home of the brave. Carlin said it best. This nation’s full of dumb.ass.motherf***ers. Nothing but nitwits and ass**les. Have you seen these people? We all have.
    The one true fact certifying we’re not part of the sheeple is our presence amongst the blogs. If you read blogs with any meaningful message, chances are you’ve got your shit together.
    With regards to phones; if I become a pharmacist I’ve going to petition my store to get a jammer in place. I can’t take it anymore. I don’t even work near these people. My office is as quiet as a library. Yet I still hear the noise of voices encountered over a weekend out on the town up to five days after, resonating like an echo in the back of my head. I couldn’t imagine how bad it is for you guys.
    Keep it simple. Talking on your phone? No service. Walk away from them. They’ll learn. And f**k the ringtones. What better an indicator of a nation in free-fall could you ask for? *BOOM SIZZLE BOOM* “that girl is so DANGEROUS……that girl is SO DANGEROUS…THAT GIRL IS SO ..DANG/ER/OUS!” BOOM CLAP BOOM sizzle***
    My phone rings once every 2 seconds, for a polite but clearly audible *BEEP*. I either don’t answer, or walk out of people’s respective personal zones before answering. Often I leave it at home or in the car. God I hate them.
    I hate cellphones and I hate Americans. I love TAP. War on the perverts, war on lower Americans, war on the bums, and war of the MTV culture.
    /rant over

  12. I really wish that cell phone jammers were legal to use in this country. They should be installed in all pharmacies, clinic/doctor’s offices, hospitals and movie theaters. I would also like to mount one in my vehicle (and in my ambulance) to turn on when necessary to jam the calls of drivers who lose all common sense when their phone rings. And if someone dances to their ring tone then it should be completely acceptable to reach out & smack them upside the head.

  13. I bought a jammer.
    They’re very illegal, and mine cost 600 bucks. I can turn it on and off with the flick of a switch. It fits in my pocket and causes cellular death to every instrument within 200 feet of my right pants pocket.
    I hear a phone ring followed by, “hello,” or “waz up dawg” — I say goodbye. Someone approaches my counter with a phone in their ear or a blue tooth on — I say goodbye person I can’t talk to.”
    I kill the call. Then I laugh in triumph as the person fucks with their phone trying to call the person back. It’s as if they “lost their signal…” Muahahaha.
    For some reason, my pharmacy is a “DEAD ZONE”
    I used to have problems with techs text messaging as well, even after I told them to stop. Not anymore. No one knows of the hazing potential I have in my pocket.

  14. getting angry pharmacist says:

    Completely agree!! I have gotten to the point that I absolutely will not wait on a customer until they are no longer talking on the phone. I just stare at them and dont’ respond until they hang up. I especially love the ones who throw the Rx at me and try to just walk away cause they are too busy with their conversation and then have the gaul to get all huffy cause *gasp* I need their birthdate.
    On a side note, our pharmacy tried to institute a “No cell phones at the counter” policy (okay…it was just a sign that we made and put by the registers) and we actually have some crazy biatch tell us that this violated her rights and she was going to sue us! The worst part…our store manager made us take down the sign cause she didn’t want to get in trouble! Thanks for sticking up for your employees…

  15. IAPHRMR says:

    You could always do what I did…when someone comes up and is on a cell and wont shut up…turn on the cell phone jammer I have under the counter….hehehehehe

  16. t-money says:

    “sounds like a mouse thrown into a blender”
    ROFLMAO!!!!

  17. canadotornado says:

    They don’t sell paint however cell phone jammers are relativley cheap. They are small and can be easily misconstrued as a piece of office equipment. We also long ago rectified the my doctors on the cell phone problem. We use legal liability(everybody’s favorite HIPPA) and tell them we only accept doctor calls through the pharmacy phones. On a personal note I out right refuse to wait on any patient who is on a cell phone. I’ve waited on aline of people around the person with them getting pissy with me until they got the clue.

  18. I am absolutely cackling out loud!!! A couple of weeks ago we had a lady talking on speaker on her cell phone to a person who was trying to explain how to stop the call from being on speaker. Make sense?
    Every time I asked her to step outside the pharmacy, she just kept bending over (because we all know that moving six inches creates a sonic barrier).

  19. Google Account says:

    We have signs posted at both drop off and pick up saying “Please refrain from using your cellphone when dropping off/picking up your rx” We will deny helping people if they are being incredibly obnoxious..
    One person actually had the gall to ask why he could be on the phone (and he was on the phone at the time and he asked in such a snotty tone)..so I replied that he probably wouldn’t want such private information to be let out and that it was just plain rude..
    but yes, when a person comes into the pharm with phone on, we will say ‘I can help you when you’re off your phone..”

  20. james says:

    That “its my doctors office here is my office!” shit is the WORSE! You just sort of stare at it awkwardly like,”Oooookay… somehow etiquette is a concept foreign to you…” It is always that desperate lunge as they cross the counter into your “safety” zone right at you, after the phone has been all over there face, covered in their perspiration/tears (tears for the addicts). And the first thing you want to reach for is a kleenex when you actually consider TAKING this random person’s cell phone and answering it because they have been there forever bothering the shit out of you and talking LOUDLY on there phone trying to get that prescription. But of course, senses return and you say,”Lady, I am not going to take your cell phone. That is your cell phone. I have a doctor’s line, and they can call it and say “I am dr. so and so, this is a prescription.” I liked the “riiiiiight… or your friend?”

  21. intern2010 says:

    Nothing drives me more up the wall than trying either get information out of someone (usually insurance information) or trying to counsel the person on their new doxycycline script and why they can’t take it with a big glass of milk. Some days I just want to grab the cell phone out of their hands or rip the headset of their ear and toss it out the door. Even better would take all the cell phones and use them as a substitute for clay pigeons in skeet shooting. Probably would be very therapeutic.

  22. K-pharmD says:

    I tell my patients that i’ll help them when they are done on the phone because of HIPAA violations. Technically its true because if they are talking to their wife and picking up the viagra they are cheating with, the wifey wouldn’t be too happy about overhearing our convo at the out window. I know its a stretch but i just can’t stand people talking while i am trying to get their date of birth, allergies, address, etc… or even or during counseling at the out window. If you get pregnant cause you didn’t hear me tell you to use a back up method like condoms while you are taking antibiotics with birth control then don’t come crying to me because you didn’t hear my warning while chatting up on your cell~!!!

  23. We actually had a problem with cell phones in my district (CVS)
    someone came to pick up a prescription and was on a cell phone and we ask the usual last name, first name, birthday. and the tech made a mistake as well telling them the dob and first name instead of asking for it, but the patient was like yeah yeah yeah and went home and realized it was some old guys boner meds instead of her vicodin. we now have signs in the pharmacy saying that it is for their safety to not be on the phone. and when they ask i tell them the story (minus the boner meds) and that its for other patients safety so your friend on the phone doesnt get to hear their health info.
    Most people get ticked off. but some actually love the idea of it. People also get pissed off when we tell them we dont get service back in the pharmacy either, but oh well.
    personally i dont mind people being on the phone. I’ll be rude to them to get them to tell me the date of birth and first name and how many prescriptions. I dont care.
    and if there was jammer in my pharmacy I’d die. Texting save my sanity most of the time.

  24. ADHD CPhT says:

    I don’t help folks with cell phones, as it is my understanding that patient cell usage in a pharmacy is a violation of HIPPA (technically).

  25. OLE’ APOTHECARY’S CELL PHONE 101
    I’ve never written all this stuff before, so, TAP, I feel inspired to do so now for everyone who wants to become thoroughly bored.
    I keep my own cell phone on vibrate almost all the time. It’s clipped to my belt, anyway, so I can handle calls with minimum disturbance. And, if I do decide to turn on my ring tone, it’s a clucking chicken. I have this tone for three reasons: it’s funny as all hell; it is unique so I don’t have to wonder whose phone is ringing; and it is gentle on the ears of anyone who is listening. Some of these folks have a ring tone that has to be rivaling the volume of the record player I had as a kid, and sure, I like to be entertained by an explosive rhythm in the middle of an important meeting or conversation with someone.
    If I am driving and it rings, I do peek at the external screen to see who’s calling, and let them leave a message, but I NEVER talk on it while driving.

  26. karrirx says:

    Oh TAP…how you are my pharmacy soulmate! Cell phones are my BIGGEST pet peeve. At my past pharmacy (more middle/high class) the cell’s were a BIG problem. I finally put up a “Please End Cell Phone conversations b/f approaching the pharmacy.” There was one guy in particular the sign was aimed for. We finally broke him of the bad habit! I had alot of people applaud my sign..wanted to steal my idea!
    Guess what? The DM came in and made us take the sign down b/c it “radiated negative energy”.
    At the new pharmacy, more of a poor area..cell phones not so much of a problem. We pretty much just ignore people until they get off the phone.
    What happened to common courtesy and manners????

  27. VaTech says:

    You hit the nail on the head, TAP…and I spent most of this entry nodding my head in agreement. Just the other day, we had a patient who spent the entire time at the register talking on the phone in a completely different language. She didn’t have a prescription for diabetic testing strips and did not know what kind of meter she had at home..so she alternated between screaming in the phone and screaming at me different types of strips. Finally we decided on one, I reminded her that they could not be returned and asked if she was sure, she just nodded…stayed on the phone…paid me and left. She came back 45 minutes later screaming at me that I shouldn’t have charged her for them because medicare covered them and why didn’t I ask her that? When I reminded her that I did, in fact, ask her for verification several times, she turned to the rest of the surrounding onlookers and started bad-mouthing myself and the pharmacist
    Nevermind that I certainly did ask her that, but she refused to pay attention because she couldn’t get her ear unglued from her cellphone.
    It boggles my mind that when you interrupt their precious phone calls to ask for important information like birthday, allergies, etc., they act like you’re inconveniencing THEM. It’s times like these I wish I had a switch behind the counter that when flipped, lay waste to all cell phone reception in the immediate area.

  28. Google Account says:

    my favorite line of the day is “medication does wonders, but you can’t fix ugly” thanks for the laughs after a hard day of work at the pharm.

  29. WAGslave says:

    I totally agree … cell phone use has become another shining example of our utter and evergrowing disrespect for each other. But I have to ask, and hopefully someone out there knows the answer .. why are cell phone jammers illegal?

  30. They actually have cellphone jammers (not legal in US) that depending on the output, blowout all communications in a certain wide radius. I’m looking to get one for the movies!!!
    I hate people chatting it up while you try to work. It’s like having a nice lunch at a cafe, outside, and some douchebag lights up a cigarette at the table next to you; ruins the experience.
    BAN CELLPHONES
    Ihatepharmacy.com

  31. joan says:

    I love reading your comments. I have
    a question for you..
    I submitted a claim for suboxone, got
    a paid claim, almost let it out the door
    then remembered that the doctor has to be
    licensed to write scripts for this drug. I
    called this dr’s office and they replied “oh,
    he doesn’t have a suboxone DEA”. Why did’nt
    the insurance company reject the claim?
    also 2 hrs later- same dr different patient
    on Medical Ass came in for methadone 10mg #540,
    6 every 6 hours- had to call to get override
    for increase in dose and the claim went thru-
    why? Don’t you think a pain specialist should
    write for these doses or ideally cancer doctors?
    just like the parrot on tv ” I can’t take this,
    I can’t take this, not another day”
    Who am I to say this 20 something kid who had to “run” outside to go smoke a cigarette really
    needs the medication… Bad me- maybe retirement
    is sooner than later for my future

  32. southeast cat says:

    I have been irritated by this cell phone crap for a loooonnnnngggg time. If it didn’t violate the patient privacy that I have sworn to uphold I would totally be telling people about the Valtrex they are picking up for their ‘situation’ before they turned off the phone. If the person on the other end of the call is so important, then they should be allowed to peek at the personal health of their good friend. Unless that’s where it originated…….

  33. thetwitchytechnician.wordpress.com says:

    I hate cellphones. They make my head hurt.
    As well, I apologize for any mistakes in the trackback.

  34. OH TAP! You are so wonderfull and witty! I’m your fucking cyber groupie and everything you do is just the creme de la creme of ranting.
    A cell phone rant- BRILLIANT!!
    You know why your blog is so popular TAP? 1) Pharms have the personalities of mules and your infantile rants please their inner young adult that never got to grow cuz they were busy stuffing their heads with pharmaco-dynamic reactions of an oxyhydrocock base, and 2) you write good shit
    But your fans are sycophants and they are starting to piss me off. and I don’t get angry any more.
    “Oh TAP, it’s true, so true, you are the greatest!”
    YOU’RE THE LEADER OF THE FUCKING PHARMACISTS? ARE YOU KIDDING ME? YOU WORK AT A FUCKING PHARMACOPIA-CHAIN-TACO BELL? DO YOU HANDLE CRASHED OUT TRAIN WRECKS? DO YOU BACK ME UP AND WORK ON CODE TEAMS? HOW FAST CAN YOU GIVE ME A 250CC BOLUS OF 2MG EPI/1 GM CALCIUM BITCH? DO YOU MIND IF I START THIS FUCKER AT 0.1 MCG’S A MIN CUZ THIS BITCH IS DYING ON ME!!
    No TAP, you’re pissed about cell phones.
    Just don’t fuck your groupies, dude. Don’t shit where you eat my friend.

  35. Juniper says:

    Now I feel sorry for the pharmacists at the pharmacy I use. It happens to be in the hospital district, and a lot of their customers are doctors who carry pagers in case of emergencies. Imagine the fallout from blocking the page summoning a customer to the ER two blocks down the street or the ER 3 blocks up the intersecting street. I bet these pharmacists wouldn’t dare block cellular signals no matter how stupid some of the customers get with their cellphones…

  36. Miriam says:

    This is my first time reading your blog, and I totally hear you!! I will usually pick up my rx at weirdest hours, in order to avoid all the people you describe here. I don’t know what it is about some people that makes them feel so damn righteous, like if the pharmacist owes them something. These people really annoy me!

  37. Google Account says:

    WHY is it that patients with FPACT, CAMED, and city run health plans all have the FANCHISEST SCHMANCIE$T cell phones???
    ‘cuz i’m sitting here (recent grad) with my 4 year old motorola with a cracked screen.
    I’m just saying.

  38. Bill says:

    Well, I guess I can’t donate one to you without breaking anonymity. However there are many powerful and cheap cell phone jammers available. Yes, the feds get pissed of you publicize that you are using one, but battery powered ones can fit in your labcoat… As a loyal reader, I’d probably be willing to donate one gratis if you wanted one.

  39. sandi says:

    Fuuuuuuuck! Love the blog. I’m crying tears of laughter. So true!

  40. cvstech says:

    i have absolutely no problem at all staring blankly at a patient on a cell phone, and whne they stare back and finally say something, i look at them and say o sorry i can’t help you till you are off the phone. and then go back to staring or typing on the computer or even closing the drive thru window and hvaing a convorsation with some other coworker. I actually had one customer (whom i presume works in a dr office/hospital because she was wearing scrubs and had a hospital id tag) ask me why she had to get off her phone. to which i replied it part of HIPPA privacy laws. and she actually said to me what’s that? thats not part of the law. again staring blankly at the idiot i said well i can’t help you until you are done.
    Another instance where someone (a frequent annoyance at the pharmacy) came through the drive thru on her cell phone and i just stared at her waiting, telling her i couldnt help her till she got off her phone. the pharmacy phone happened to ring at the exact moment i said that to her and i picked it up because this moron was still on the phone and i felt the need to help the “kind and patient” customer on the phone. the girl at the drive thru on her cell finished her phone convorsation and then kept saying hello hello. i just put my finger up and whne i was done looked at her and said now didnt u think that was rude? good i felt the same way. she has never come back on her cell phone again

  41. cheryl says:

    Hey, I’m feeling you on this one. Not sure what is a solution to it though. People just don’t think and I believe over the years their rudeness has gotten worse. You know you get sick and tired of hearing day in and day out from your district manager “it’s not about us, it’s about the customer”. Easy for him to say because his ass is not in the pharmacy day in and day out. Personally I’d like to take a couple of those cell phones and shove it up a couple of customers asses. A girl can dream, can’t she?

  42. http://openid.aol.com/cptnfknsunshine says:

    what you want is a faraday cage. line the walls of your pharmacy with conducting material. since i can’t do this myself, i usually just ignore anyone who is on the phone. minimum wage is not enough for me to compete with a conversation

  43. Mark says:

    I once had a gal at the pickup window tell a funny story to whoever she was yapping with. When I chuckled at it, she got all prissy and said “This is a private conversation!” To which I replied “Then perhaps you shouldn’t be having it IN PUBLIC!”

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