September 25, 2012

And the "Idiot of the Year" award goes to...

I returned home from vacation Friday night and was at work Saturday morning only eight hours after my plane landed.  I stood on my feet for the next 32 hours... and after sitting my butt on the beach for a week, I realized how physically taxing my job can really be.  I was leaving work yesterday afternoon after working the weekend and I was exhausted, stressed-out, uptight, and had body aches galore... and I was already needing another vacation.  As I was walking out the door to head home to a nice warm hot tub,  the phones were ringing off the hook.  The sound of a phone ringing is like nails on a chalk board to me... I just wanted to go home, but I grab the phone just to make it stop ringing.

Me:  Hi.  This is the pharmacist.  How may I help you?
Other end:  What is your phone number?
Me:  (WTF?)  It’s the number you just called??
Other end:  Oh, ok, thanks (click)
Me to the staff:  And that, my friends, is my final good deed of the weekend.  I’m going home and no one better bother me for the next 48 hours.

Then I get home and do a quick Facebook check only to see this picture in my newsfeed.  And I laughed out loud.

My initial thought for this blog was to break down each of these six categories, starting with “what my friends think I do.”  I did a quick google search of “pharmacist pay” and the first thing I came across was a post written by the winner of the “Idiot of the Year” award.  This idiot is probably best friends with the lady in my waiting room this weekend who made a scene by screaming:  “This place is horrible.  I can’t believe they said it was going to be twenty minutes.  Twenty minutes to put ten pills in a bottle?”  So instead of breaking down these six hilarious scenes above... I need to address this idiot poster.  Here are his/her Princeton educated thoughts:
 (Pharmacists) have a grueling course load in college and they do have a lot of information they need to be aware of.  But come on, they make six figures for a job where they pretty much stand around all day and just fill prescriptions.  They don't even have to diagnose anything, just fetch the prescription!  Not to mention if someone asks them a question about the drug, they can just look it up in the computer.  What do they do that is so special?  They aren't the ones prescribing the medication.  The doctors are the ones who are doing that. They are simply just fetching the order, similarly to a McDonald's drive thru employee, you place an order and they read it and get what you ordered.  Should we pay McDonald's employees 100k a year because they might be responsible for us having a heart attack if they give us too many hamburgers?  Not too mention, their schooling is not specialized in the sense that they need to go to a specific college for it. i.e. Harvard Law for law students. They do not need to go into graduate school either. They can go to a public college, enroll in pharmacy school and not pay a dime more than someone going there to become, say, a teacher.

I don’t know where to even start with this... but here I go.
** I didn’t need to go to a specialized school?  I wish someone would have told me this before I spent seven (apparently needless) years in college.  I spent three years in undergrad, took an admissions test called the PCAT (twice), sat for interviews, got totally stressed out, and had at least three nervous breakdowns.  I hoped and prayed that I would be one of the 80 students admitted out of the 500+ applicants (about a 17% acceptance rate).  During my (apparently needless) time in pharmacy school, I spent three years sitting in the same seat (that probably still has my butt print) learning about drugs and the body, and how drugs affect the body... and then one year of on-the-job training.  I can’t believe they made me go to school for seven years when all I do is just stand around and “fetch prescriptions.”  It apparently took me seven years to learn to count by fives, and I’m pretty darn good at it.  And hey, they even gave me a doctorate degree for it, too!

** “and not pay a dime more than someone going there to become, say a teacher.”  Google is your friend... use it.  Google "tuition rates" and you will discover that pharmacy school costs just a hair more than a bachelor’s degree.  Again, using the University of Kentucky (a public college) as my example, four years of pharmacy school will cost a student today $104,902 (note: this does not include the undergraduate coursework required prior to admission).  In comparison, four years of undergraduate work to receive your bachelor’s degree will cost a student today $39,824.  So, yes, you clueless poster, pharmacy school will cost someone more... but not much, only $65,078.
** The last time I checked, giving someone a double cheeseburger on accident when they actually ordered a grilled chicken sandwich will not cause them do die tomorrow of a heart attack.  In fact, they will probably be very grateful you screwed up because deep down they really wanted to cheeseburger anyways.  However, if I accidentally gave someone hydroxyzine (a medication used for itching) when the prescription was written for hydralazine (a medication used to lower blood pressure), there could be serious consequences that could possibly result in a hospital visit.  So please don’t compare the wrong medication to pickles left off a hamburger.
** The next time your doctor writes a prescription for your child in teaspoons when it was supposed to be dosed in milliliters (five times the dose), don’t expect me to catch the mistake, because according to you, that’s not my job.  I actually spend a good portion of my day calling to verify prescriptions for illegible handwriting or incorrect drug/strength/directions/etc.  But I’ll stop doing that from now on... thank God.  Now I will have more time to sit around and check Facebook.
** The other “little” things I do, like give vaccinations, check blood pressure, check cholesterol, and recommend over the counter products have now been taken off my list of job duties.  It didn’t fall in the category of “fetch prescriptions.”
** In case you missed one of my previous posts, feel free to read here about all the different occupations I take on during the course of my day.  When you come to pick up your prescription and I tell you I can’t print a label because my printer is broken, don’t expect me to lift a finger to try to fix it.  That’s not my job and interferes with me “fetching the order.”
** You are correct... I do have to look a lot of things up in the computer.  A lot.  Know why?  Because there are currently 6,038 medications that are approved by the FDA.  6,038!!  Maybe if the cook at McDonald’s had to memorize 6,038 condiments, he would get paid more too.

Thank you, idiot of the year.  Thank you for making my job much much easier now.  I am now definitely the top right guy in that picture above... hallelujah!  And if your doctor doses your Viagra incorrect and you are in the hospital with priapism... don't blame me... I just fetched the order.

September 23, 2012

Dogs don't have last names

Sometimes I feel like a broken record.  Other times I feel like I am on a merry-go-round going full speed.  I have so many conversations that make my head hurt that I’ve stopped counting.  But they make for great entertainment.  Seriously, I don’t even have to watch Chelsea Handler anymore to get my laughs... I just replay the conversations that I had that day, and that’s 100 times funnier than Sarah Colonna and Fortune Feimster could ever be.

Man dropping off prescription to be filled:
Me:  Have you had prescriptions filled with (drug store name) before?
Man:  No
Me:  Ok, what is your birthday?
Man:  January first
Me:  (waiting for him to give me the year... but he just stares at me)  And the year?
Man:  1970
Me:  I’m pulling up a match with an Apple Lane address?
Man:  No
Me:  Have you ever lived on Apple Lane?
Man:  No
Me:  What is your current address?
Man:  2000 Green Court in Summersville
Me:  Okay, do you have any allergies?
Man:  Why are you asking me all of these questions?
Me:  I need to get you registered in our computer system
Man:  I should already be in there... I just had a prescription filled here last week
Me:  You just told me you’ve never had prescriptions filled here before.  I’m not finding you with a Green Court address
Man:  I know.  I just moved... I used to live on Apple Lane
Me:  (am I speaking Greek?)  You just told me you have never lived on Apple Lane
Man:  Oh... I haven’t been listening to you

Man picking up prescription that was called in by a prescriber:
Me:  What is the name you are picking up for?
Man:  Buster
Me:  Buster?  Is that the last name?
Man:  That’s the only name
Me:  (confused)  What’s the last name?
Man:  Buster
Me:  So, the name is Buster Buster?
Man:  No, the first name is Buster
Me:  Ok, so what’s the last name?
Man:  There is no last name
Me:  There’s no last name?
Man:  No, the name is Buster
Me:  But I need a last name
Man:  Ma’am... this is a dog... dogs don’t have last names
Me:  Ok, I understand.  What is your last name?
Man:  Why do you need that?
Me:  I need a last name that we would have filed the prescription under
Man:  There is no last name
Me:  As the owner, what is your last name?
Man:  Smith.  But that’s not Buster’s last name.  Whoever heard of a dog having a last name?
Me:  (pull out prescription for Buster Smith)
Man:  Lady, this is not correct.  His name is not Buster Smith.  His name is Buster.  Period.  Dogs don’t have last names.
Me:  I have to have a last name listed
Man:  Why?
Me:  (is this the Spanish Inquisition?)  I just do.  Is it okay to use Smith as Buster’s last name, or would you like me to use a different last name?
Man:  (heavy sigh)  Dogs don’t have last names, but use Smith if you have to
Me:  Thank you (thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you)

Recent conversation with my sister while on vacation last week.  We were watching the hotel’s live nightly show, and the show opened with an exotic dancer from Venezuela:
Me:  She’s absolutely gorgeous
My sister:  Yes, yes she is
Me:  I don’t think I’ve ever seen an ugly girl from Venezuela
My sister:  When have you ever seen any other girl from Venezuela?
Me:  The Miss Universe pageant 
My sister:  Right, ‘cause that’s where you will see all the ugly girls from Venezuela
Me:  I really wish I could dance like her
My sister:  Hell yeah, I do too.  It doesn’t matter what your face looks like, if you can move your body like that, then you’re not going home alone.

September 14, 2012

A pharmacy quickie before vacation

Two funnies from this past week...

Probably one of my most favorite phone conversations thus far:
Lady:  I’m confused about my son’s Singulair
Me:  Sure, what’s the question?
Lady:  Well, he got a different kind this time... M-O-N-K-T something
Me:  Yes, Montelukast is the new generic for Singulair
Lady:  Well, these directions say to chew and swallow
Me:  What strength did he get?
Lady:  It says “5 milligram chew tab”
Me:  So, he got the chewable?  And the directions say to chew and swallow?
Lady:  Yes
Me:  I’m sorry, but what’s the confusion?
Lady:  He’s supposed to chew and swallow it?
Me:  (as opposed to what?)  Yes, chew and then swallow.  Is this not how he did it in the past?
Lady:  No, before he just chewed it
Me:  (I can’t make this stuff up)  He didn’t swallow it after he chewed it?
Lady:  Not the whole tablet
Me:  So just to make sure we are on the same page and he takes this the right way, he’s supposed to chew up the tablet and then all the little chewed particles in his mouth are to be swallowed, though some will dissolve in his mouth.
Lady:  Ok, that’s how we’ll do it from now on
Me:  (Still not sure how the kid’s been taking this medicine)  Please call back if you have anymore questions.

One of my pharmacist co-workers said it best, “People like that are the reason why we have to put ‘UNWRAP and insert one suppository’ on the label.  You would think they know to take it out of the aluminum foil, but you wouldn’t believe the amount of people who shove the whole thing in, wrapper and all.”

Seriously?  You want me to put a puzzle together in order to fill your prescription?

September 8, 2012

How to lose a girl in 10 days

All the cool kids have seen the Oscar award-worthy performance by Kate Hudson in the blockbuster thriller “How to lose a guy in 10 days.”  Some of us more than others... fortunately there’s no rule on how many times you can watch Matthew McConaughey in one day.  This movie spotlights a beautiful Andie Anderson (in the most gorgeous yellow dress I’ve ever seen) as she exploits all the embarrassing shenanigans that girls employ to cause a guy to sprint in the opposite direction.  You learned not to nickname his valuables “Crow the Warrior King”... and not to buy his/her matching Burberry shirts... and not to move your tampons into his medicine cabinet too soon.  We all learned how Andie the girl can lose a guy in ten days... but what about Andy the boy?  What mishaps can Andy do to lose a girl in ten days?  You’re about to learn now.

Day one:  You’re at a local bar.  It’s loud, you’ve had a drink (or five), and you’ve met at least fifteen people in the last hour.  You have a better chance of remembering a Calculus equation from 1999 than remembering someone’s name at this point.  But then the smokin’ hot girl from across the bar that you’ve been watching all night has finally started mingling with your posse.  Lesson:  pay attention and remember her name.  What if you didn’t hear her name the first time?  Then ask her to repeat it... ten times if you need.  As Whitney Houston said years before she declared crack is whack:  “My name is not Susan, so watch what you say.”

Day two:  After meeting this girl, and finally realizing her name is not Susan, you decide to phone her the next day.  In an attempt to compliment her during the already awkward phone call, you ask her, “Why is a girl like you still single?  What’s your story?  You’re divorced aren’t you... what happened to your husband?”  Don’t be shocked when she replies to your insensitive question with a curt, “He died.”  You asked a stupid blunt question, you’re going to get an honest blunt answer.  At this point you’ve already dug yourself a hole, so if you want there to be a day three, please don’t follow up with, “Well, look on the bright side... if that didn’t happen, you would have never met me last night.”  (true story)

Day three:  During a texting conversation, you mention that you had lunch today with an old friend... your ex-girlfriend of five years to be exact.  Lesson:  don’t tell this to a girl you just met.  There are always circumstances where an ex-relationship can turn platonic, but this isn’t a conversation you want/need to have on day three.

Day four:  She agrees to meet you out at a Tapas bar for your first date.  Everything’s going better than expected and you give yourself a high five.  Slow down there, speedy... things aren’t going as well as you think.  When the waitress brings you the bill, NEVER, EVER, EVER, EVER say, “So, do you want to split it?”  (Especially when you asked her out!)  I know we live in 2012, and I’m all for women’s rights and equality, blah blah blah.  But this is your first date and you are supposed to be putting your best foot forward to impress the girl.  You don’t want her thinking you’re cheap from the get-go.  Based on cultural stereotypes, men are supposed to be the knight and women the princess.  We don’t need to start reinventing fairy tales here.

Day five:  You call to thank her for a great date.  She mentions spending the upcoming weekend with her sister, and you immediately ask where her sister lives.  Problem with this is that you have already asked where her sister lives three times.  So what does this mean?  It means you aren’t paying attention to a damn thing she says.  Pretending to pay attention doesn’t earn you brownie any points.  How hard is it to listen?

Day six:  She tells you that she has a very busy weekend planned with her sister, and lets you know that she will call you when she gets a chance.  When she doesn’t call you the first night she’s gone, please don’t send a text message that says, “All righty then, I guess I’m not going to talk to you tonight.”  Yeah, probably not tonight, or tomorrow, or the next day.  That’s too controlling, needy, creepy.  Yes, I’ve had that exact text sent to me.  And no, he did not make it to day ten.

Day seven:  You finally get to talk to the girl, and she excitedly tells you about her girls' trip to the SEC basketball tournament that is quickly approaching.  You are not a Kentucky fan, not even a basketball fan... so under no circumstances whatsoever should you be vacationing in the same city that week... let alone, in the same hotel... it’s a little hard to pull that off as a coincidence.  Once again, that is way too controlling, needy, and especially creepy.  Slow down, lay off.

Day eight:  Texting has completely ruined correct grammar.  But that doesn’t mean all of your text messages are allowed to be incomprehensible.  U dng nethg 2nte?  If she has to reply asking you to translate that into English because she can't find the words in Webster's, then maybe that should be the first clue to not use text slang and act like you are educated.  Oh, and BTW, that above text was supposed to ask “Are you doing anything tonight?”  

Day nine:  She comes to visit and you both spend all day on the lake.  After the lake, and before dinner, she attempts to take a shower at your house.  You had a two day warning that she was visiting, yet your bathroom has mold growing in the bathtub, the sink is covered in three years worth of toothpaste deposits, and you have NO CLEAN towels available.  You knew she was coming two days ago, and were so thoughtless that it didn’t even occur to you to have clean towels.  She has to grab one of the dirty towels off your floor and barely pats herself dry... and forget about wrapping a dirty towel around her clean hair.  She stays the night and at bedtime it was guestimated that the bedsheets had not been washed since George W Bush was in office.  She can’t get out of your house fast enough.  

Day ten:  She’s finally packing everything up to head home, making sure she doesn’t forget anything because she does not want to step foot in this house ever again.  So as she walks into your bedroom, there you are standing... wearing her camisole and underwear.  That’s it... day ten.  Buh-bye.