Time To Prescribe Some Common Sense

| CT, USA | Extra Stupid, Health & Body

(Our pharmacy automatically substitutes a generic for brand name medication when a generic is available. The exception is if the doctor writes “brand name only,” or the patient specifically requests brand name. Of course, the generic names aren’t as well known, so the customers will sometimes be confused as to what prescription they have until we explain that the medication is a generic and does the exact same thing as the brand, though at a lower cost. The information about the drug is also printed on a pamphlet, including the brand names, in case they don’t believe us.)

Me: “Hello, [Pharmacy]. [My Name] speaking. How can I help?”

Customer: “I didn’t get [Brand Sleep Medication]. I got it with something extra! I just want the regular type.”

Me: “I’m sorry, something extra?”

Customer: “Yeah I got [poorly pronounced Generic] instead, and you guys gave me extra.”

Me: “Ma’am, that’s the generic name of [Brand]; there’s nothing extra in it.”

Customer: “I don’t want the extended release, just the [Brand].”

Me: “Ma’am, that IS the regular strength. That’s just the name they use.”

Customer: *finally getting the point* “So, this [Brand]?”

Me: *giving up trying to explain generic* “Yes, ma’am, it is [Brand].”

Customer: “So there’s nothing extra in it?”

Me: “Right. Here, what’s your name, so I can look it up?”

(She gives me her name and DOB so I can verify she does in fact have the generic.)

Me: “Okay, I looked it up, that is the [Brand], regular strength.”

Customer: *finally getting the idea* “Okay, thank you!”

(I get off the phone, and the pharmacist, who has been listening to my call the whole time, is trying not to laugh as he’s talking.)

Pharmacist: “So she DIDN’T have ‘extra stuff’ in her medication?”

Me: “No, she didn’t. It was just [Generic]. Why don’t they just read the information labels?”

Pharmacist: “That would take away half of our job description.”


Better ‘Watch’ Out

| LA, USA | Crazy Requests, Time

(A woman comes up to the in window.)

Customer: “I’d like to get these filled, please.”

(We are going to close soon, but we aren’t very busy and she’s getting an important medication, so I can get it ready for her if she needs it tonight.)

Me: “Sure thing. Did you want to get this tonight or come back tomorrow?”

Customer: “Oh, I need it tonight. When will it be done?”

Me: “Well, we close at six, so before then!”

Customer: “Oh, you can’t get it ready any sooner…?”

Me: “Uh… It’s 5:45 right now.”

Customer: *in a snippy tone* “Well, how was I supposed to know?! I’m not wearing a watch!”


A Healthy Customer Interaction

| CT, USA | At The Checkout, Health & Body

(I work in a pharmacy. A youngish woman approaches the counter.)

Customer: “I’m here to pick up my daughter’s prescription.”

Me: “Of course. Can I get her name and DOB?” *She gives it and I look it up* “I’m sorry, but we don’t have it here.”

Customer: “The doctor should’ve called it in two days ago. It’s all right, though, I can use my DEA to call it in.” *a series of numbers and letters used to identify doctors*

(I’m a little surprised. She doesn’t really look old enough to prescribe.)

Me: “Ma’am, are you a doctor?”

Customer: “No, but I have a DEA.”

Me: “Well, that might not be necessary. It might be on hold at drop off.”

Customer: “All right, I’ll check there first.”

(She goes to the other counter, and I lose track of her with my own customers. About 30 or 45 minutes later, she comes back to pick up her daughter’s prescription.)

Me: “Oh, glad she got her [prescription].”

Customer: “Yeah, it wasn’t over there, though. Glad I could take care of her and call it in without having to call the doctor. ”

(It’s late on a Sunday afternoon, when most doctor’s offices are closed.)

Me: “It must be reassuring you can always get her medicine. You could do it too if you had an NPI [other set of identifying numbers, necessary for calling in narcotics].”

Customer: “Oh, I have one of those, too, but I don’t really use it. I work at a women’s health clinic, so I’ve never prescribed those.”

(I work in a pharmacy in an area known for prescription drug abuse, and where narcotics are given out like candy. This was reassuring on her part.)

Me: “Oh. Here’s her prescriptions ”

(We do have a few patients that are doctors, and write their own prescriptions, and occasionally for their family that are also our patients. They’re usually arrogant, however, and argue prescription prices, drug types, etc. She was extremely nice, though. It made my day a little bit better.)


Should Be Prescribed Some Manners

| The Woodlands, TX, USA | At The Checkout, Crazy Requests

(A woman, aged around 40, comes to pick up her prescription. I ask for the last name so I can find her in the system. It is a long complex last name, and our system requires full perfect spelling to bring it up. She spells it out slowly and condescendingly. I brush it off and get her prescription from our bin. When I walk back to the counter she throws a coupon at me. I had noticed her prescription was already billed to insurance AND coupon, so I ask her what’s it for.)

Woman: *rudely* “If you read it, you’d know.”

Me: “The reason I ask is because there is already a coupon applied.”

Woman: “Oh, well, it must’ve been automatically applied.”

(That isn’t possible; we bill them like insurance and it is somewhat a long process, especially when it’s a coordination of benefits. I say nothing to that and ask her to type in the last four digits of her phone number as one of our verification methods. Rudely again, she snaps.)

Woman: “Why would I do that?”

Me: “If you want your prescription, you must verify your number.”

Woman: “Well, that’s an invasion of my privacy.”

Me: “It’s to ensure the prescription goes to the correct person.”

(She reluctantly agreed and she dramatically covered the PIN pad all while grumbling as it as if it was a debit pin. Her prescription was in my hand and it contained her full name, address, and the full phone number she partially typed. She then began to make small talk as she handed me her cash. I gave her the change, and she stood at the counter staring at the receipt and recounting her change for literally 15 minutes. Since I was fairly new, my coworkers explained that she was notorious for being rude. When she comes through drive-thru, apparently she doesn’t speak a single word. She just throws her credit card into the drawer and expects us to know that she’s picking up.)


A Stamp Of Disapproval

| Peachtree City, GA, USA | Bad Behavior, Popular, Wild & Unruly

(I work for a very large pharmacy/convenience store that has a very specific return policy. If it’s an item of our brand, it can be returned no matter what: empty, destroyed, no receipt, anything. However, it’s returned and you’re given a ”money card,” which can be used on anything in-store except for prescriptions and cigarettes. A woman from the neighboring trailer park knows this and this occurs almost daily. Today is my last day working.)

Me: *currently restocking the candy in front of my till when I hear a loud cough and see the customer standing three spaces away waiting* “Ma’am, may I help you?”

Lady: “About fucking time. I have a return. I demand you help me now!”

Me: *I walk back to my till, grabbing her items on the way, and start the return by scanning her receipt, noting that she paid with food stamps for her purchase* “Okay, this shouldn’t be an issue. Do you have the food stamp card used? I just need to scan it to reimburse you.”

Lady: “It’s not a food stamp card, you assumptive piece of s***! It’s just for us folks who don’t have a rich daddy to pay for s***. And no, I don’t have it with me.”

(She proceeds to grab the receipt from me.)

Lady: “Just give me one of those d*** cards, okay? God, you take forever.”

(I cancel out the return and begin a return without receipt, which requires my manager to okay that I am activating the card.)

Me: “Okay, this should be just fine; just give me one moment to get my manager to activate the card.”

Lady: “Of course. Hurry up; I don’t have all day, Princess.”

(At this point, I’ve had to deal with her so many times that I am almost joyfully taking my time. I knock on my manager’s office and let him know who it is and what’s going on.)

Manager: “Ma’am, this will just take me a quick moment. Can I ask why you’re returning this?”

Lady: “It’s f****** disgusting. All your products are. Just give me my card finally.”

(My manager tells her how to use the card and gives it to her with a printed balance.)

Lady: “I’m just going to use it now, you f****** idiot. Princess, can you finally get off your fat a** and get me a carton of [Cigarette Brand] and two lighters?”

Manager: “Ma’am, I have already told you that you cannot buy cigarettes with this card.”

Lady: “I don’t care! Bad enough you can’t give me my money back. Let me get my f****** cigarettes.”

(At this point, I’m completely shocked. Usually, telling her gets her to go to a different store.)

Manager: *speaking to me* “Did her original receipt show food stamps again?”


Me: “Yes.”

(At this point, my manager asks for the card so he can “fix the issue” and hands it to me.)

Manager: “Can you please dispose of this for me? As for you ma’am, I demand you leave. This is the fifth time you’ve tried to get cigarettes with food stamps and I cannot take this.”

Lady: *completely irate* “No! I demand my god-d*** f****** cigarettes, you f****** c***!”

(Knowing this is my last day, I look at her completely stone faced and snap the card in half.)

Me: “You need to leave. Now.”

(She later came back that day with a police officer, claiming that we stole from her. My manager took the officer into the room, explained the situation, and showed him both the returned product and the snapped card. She was arrested for food stamp fraud.)

Manager: “You can go home early today. When you’re at college, do something not to end up here.”

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