August 16, 2012

A glimpse into the drug world

Working in a retail setting is a love/hate relationship.  I love the public, yet I hate the public.  But one thing is for sure... the public sure does make my job (very) interesting.  Everyday is a new adventure.  And just when I think I’ve seen it all, there is always someone who acts stupider than I ever thought possible surprises me.  My next project is to write a book on being a retail pharmacist... I guarantee it’ll be a New York Times bestseller... guaranteed.  

A young man comes to the counter needing to check out.  Due to HIPAA regulations, I can’t tell you this man’s name, but if I could, it would make this story 100 times funnier.  The conversation at check-out went something like this:
Man:  (swipes his debit card)  It tells me to enter a PIN number.
Me:  Ok, you’ll need to enter your PIN number on the key pad.
Man:  Ok, what’s that number?
Me:  (Seriously?)  Your PIN number... you know... the special code to use your debit card.
Man:  How am I supposed to know that?
Me:  (Is this card stolen?  You’ve never used a debit card before?  You are my age, this is something I would expect from an 85 year old.)  Your PIN number... the special four digit code that your bank sends you to use your card.
Man:  Oh, is it these four numbers on the back of my card? (referring to the printed numbers on the back of the card)
Me:  No.  
Man:  (He tries them anyways)  That don’t work.
Me:  Have you ever used this card before?
Man:  Yeah, but I ain’t never had to enter no PIN number.
Me:  Is there someone you can call that might know the number?
Man:  Hold on.  (He makes a phone call, comes back with the number, and all is good.)
My tech:  (who was standing at the drive-thru with her back to me)  I wanted to turn around so bad, but knew as soon as I saw your face that I would pee my pants from laughing.  How did you not laugh?
Me:  It’s a special talent that takes a lot of on the job training.

Mylanta and Maalox have been on recall/backorder/shortage/discontinued (I’m really not sure which one, but these manufacturers really need to get their ish together... how can there be a drug shortage on meds that have been around since the Flintstones drove cars with their feet?)  We haven’t had either of these meds (which are basically the same thing for those unfamiliar) in months, and never realized how popular they were until the public outcry started.  So when we received five bottles of each this week, I felt like we had found gold... so we kept them in the pharmacy.
Elderly man comes to pharmacy:  I can’t find your Mylanta or Maalox anywhere.
Other pharmacist:  (speaking to me)  Wait, didn’t we just receive some?
Me:  Yes, I put it on the back shelf.
Pharmacist:  We have some, just a second.
Man:  Where do I find it?
Pharmacist:  It’s back here in the pharmacy.
Man:  No, I want the stuff you can buy out here in the store.
Pharmacist:  This is the same thing, we are just keeping it back in the pharmacy because we didn’t receive very much.
Man:  Oh, okay.  I want your brand... the generic.
Pharmacist:  Do you want the Maalox or Mylanta?
Man:  I want the generic.
Pharmacist:  I have the generic, but do you want it as Maalox or Mylanta?
Man:  Don’t you have your brand?
Me:  (under my breath)  Just pick one for him...
Pharmacist:  Come to the register.
Man:  Is that the Dollar Store brand?  (BTW, we are not the Dollar Store)
Pharmacist:  No, this is a different generic brand.
Man:  I want your Wal-Mart brand.  (BTW, we are also not Wal-Mart)
Pharmacist:  This is a different generic brand, but it is the same thing as Maalox.
Man:  Why isn’t it in a green bottle.  Your brand was in a green bottle.
Pharmacist:  We’ve had a shortage, so this is a different generic they sent us.
Man:  But I don’t want the brand name.
Pharmacist:  This is a generic brand.
Man:  I don’t want it.  That’s not the right stuff.  I’ll just wait until you get the stuff you sell out here.
Pharmacist:  This is what we sell on the floor.
Man:  I’ll come back later.
Me:  (laughing uncontrollably... with tears... possibly snorting)
Other pharmacist:  (laughing... hard)
Third pharmacist:  (laughing really hard)
Me:  (five minutes later, still laughing)

And then these are my favorite one-liners and questions that we’ve had recently:

*Do you know who invented vitamins?
Are you at home playing Trivia Pursuit?  Or Jeopardy?  Am I your lifeline on ‘Who Wants to be a Millionaire’?  There are a bazillion drugs on the market and I have no idea who invented any of them (well, except penicillin).  

*What do you mean I can’t wait in the drive-thru?  It’s just a lotion.  All you have to do is put a label on it.
Yep, I already have a pre-made label with your name on it because I’m psychic and knew you were coming in with that prescription.  And you are my only customer.  Would you like some fries as you wait?

*I think it’s ridiculous that a doctor has the right to tell you what medicine you have to take.  I’m the patient and I should get to choose whether I want plain oxycodone or Percocet.
I think it’s ridiculous that those words even came out of your mouth.  Does the doctor give you a menu in the waiting room so you can pick out the drugs you want to order?

*You need to call my doctor.  My prescription says to take it every 12 hours, but he told me I can take it twice a day if I needed.
????????  I have nothing.

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