All I See Is Tennessee

, , , , | Right | April 23, 2021

I’ve got a little over an hour left in my shift when a gentleman comes to the counter. He’s pleasant but insistent throughout the interaction.

Me: “Hello, sir, how can I help?”

Customer: “I’m here to pick up my meds. I got a call saying they were ready, but I’ve got new insurance. I wanted to see if it was cheaper than the coupon I’ve been using.”

Well, that’s easy enough. I do that at least ten times a day, feels like. I enter his card information and go to see where his prescription is. Unfortunately, it’s not in my system.

I just kind of sigh at this point, because I know what comes next. I pull up his full profile and, sure enough, it’s been sent to one of our sister stores. This happens frequently, as we share a road with another store, though I don’t recognize the number on this one. I start to look it up for him while letting him know the situation. When I open my mouth, though, he interrupts me, asking if the price went down.

This happens about four times before he lets me finish.

Me: “Sir, I can’t tell you yet. Your medication is at another location, and I can’t alter their files. I’ll have to call them to send the script to us so I can fill it, or you can drive there if you prefer.”

Customer: “Oh. Okay. Where is it?”

I glance down and see “Villages” in the name. I groan at that because that location is a few hours’ drive away. I start to tell the gentleman. Then, my coworker walks by, recognizes the number, and taps me on the shoulder.

Me: “Yes?”

Coworker: “You’re gonna wanna check that again.” 

I double-check and realize that the doctor has somehow sent the prescription to a location in Tennessee! I go a little slack-jawed at that, given that this patient has gotten this same medication, from the same doctor, at my store before. More than once. We’re in Florida.

Me: “Oh… Um, I’m sorry, sir, it would seem your prescription is in Tennessee.”

Customer: “How far is that?”

Me: *Pauses* “The state, sir.”

Customer: “Oh.”

Fortunately, we still share a network, and it’s a medication that, while he may want it, he can go without for a day without any issues.

Me: “Okay, so my coworker is calling right now. Once I get everything, I’ll figure out the price. If you’d like, I can have everything ordered in tomorrow?”

Customer: “I wanna know the price first. I gotta compare others to [Competitor]. Y’know?”

Pharm hopping. Great.

Me: “Okay, I just got it; it’s $20. Pretty good, given your coupon was over $100 more, eh?”

Customer: “Oh, yeah, definitely. Can I wait for it?”

Me: “Err, I don’t have enough in stock for a full fill, sir.”

It is a fairly hefty script, and we are waiting on a supply order.

Patient: “Well, I need some now.”

Me: “I’ll check with the pharmacist, but I can probably get you enough for a day, and then you get the rest tomorrow?”

Customer: “What if I just get it?”

Me: “I… don’t follow?”

Customer: “Well, my girlfriend is in town. We’ll just get in her car and go get it at the pharmacy it was filled at. It’s just down the road, right?”

I don’t know if he forgot what I’d said, or if he forgot what Tennessee is, but I decide not to push it.

Me: “I’ll just… get you the loaner. You don’t want to make that drive.”

I hand him the loaner amount and he then complains that the doctor sent the wrong script!

Customer: “Yeah, that’s why I’ve gotta talk to him in a couple of weeks. He gives me the wrong amount. I’ve been taking five a day, not four!”

I just take a breath.

Me: “Well, I can’t help you there. The doctor’s word is kind of law back here.”

Customer: “Uh. Can you just put that back, then? I’ll get it tomorrow.”

Frustrated, I pass the bottle back to my coworker, apologizing.

Customer: “Yeah, I’ll just get it tomorrow, if it’s cheaper. I’ve got about three days left, anyway.”

I waited until all other patients were out of earshot before I just started laughing like the Joker, hunched over.

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