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Good Luck Scaring Someone Who Works Retail

, , , , , , | Right | May 17, 2022

We have a patient whose employer did not activate his health insurance. The patient is on the phone with his employer and the final resolution was the employer saying that if the insurance coverage did not go through, the employer would reimburse the patient for the full cost of the medication.

For those unaware, the pharmacy has no control over insurance coverage. All we do is send an electronic claim to the insurance, and the insurance either comes back with a copay (aka, what we charge the patient for the medication) or a rejection (patient not covered by [x insurance], medication not covered by insurance, pharmacy not in network, etc.).

The patient informs us he’s paying cash price without his insurance since this insurance isn’t going through. I let him know what the total cost is for all his medications – it’s less than $50, so not even that bad.

Patient: “I’m glad we got that figured out. If I had to come here again, it would be with a gun.”

Me: “…okay, so your total cost is [total]. We’ll ring you up at the register to your left.”

Patient: “Doesn’t that scare you? That I might come back with a gun?”

Honestly, yes, but he’s clearly looking for a reaction.

Me: “Nah. At my last job, patients would bite me on a daily basis.” *Actually true.* “This job is much less scary.”

Patient: “Oh…” *Walks off in disappointment.*

No Use Calling The Cops Over Spilled Milk… Or Something Like That

, , , , , , , | Right | CREDIT: Electronic-Pie-6645 | May 13, 2022

About fifteen years ago, I am working the cash register at a pharmacy with a corner store attached.

A customer comes up with a gallon of milk. I ring him up and inform him his total is something along the lines of three dollars. He goes from “normal human person” to “incensed screaming ape” in the span of a breath.

Customer: *Screaming* “You’re ripping me off! You must have changed the price!”

Now, fifteen years ago, I am a “novice” retail person at best. All I really know how to do is say, “But the register…”

After a moment to get over this person going demonic on me, I realise what is going on.

Me: “Oh! Sir, I see. The milk is on sale. Two for $5.00 — or one for $2.80.”

He then thrusts his finger into my face.

Customer: “That’s illegal! You have to sell me the one for $2.50!”

Me: “No, sir, I’m sorry, but the sign clearly says—”

He then screeches at me and pulls out his cell.

Customer: “I am calling the police.”

Hearing these magic words, my manager arrived and escorted the man aside — to await his removal from our store by the very police he called.

Moral of the story: don’t call the police over a matter of thirty cents. You will get hauled off.

When The Needles Are Covered, But You’re Not

, , , , | Healthy | May 5, 2022

To prepare for medical procedures, I sometimes had to give myself a shot of heparin every day for ten days prior. The medicine was packaged in 100-ml syringes, but my daily dose was 90 ml, so I had to be careful to only inject the right amount. After using it, each syringe had a safety cover that snapped out and locked, covering the needle.

Ten days of preparation, ten syringes.

The last time I did this, I picked up the package of syringes at the local pharmacy. That evening, I found only nine syringes in the package. I called the pharmacy.

Me: “The package you gave me has only nine syringes. I need ten because I have to give myself a shot every day for ten days.”

Pharmacist: “That’s right. You need 90 ml every day. You have 900 ml total in the nine syringes. 90 ml times ten days is 900 ml.”

Me: “Let me get this right. You want me to give myself a 90-ml shot every day for nine days, and then on the tenth day, give myself nine shots to use the 10 ml left in each syringe. From syringes which have already had the safety covers locked shut.”

Pharmacist: “Oh. Er. Um. Come in and we’ll give you that tenth syringe.”

Your Other Left

, , , | Working | May 2, 2022

I’ve quit smoking and am using nicotine patches to help me through the post-quitting phase. My local pharmacy keeps the nicotine patches, gum, etc., on a shelf behind the cashier station.

Cashier: “Hi, can I help you?”

Me: “Yes, I’d like a box of [Brand] nicotine patches, please.”

The cashier turns around so she is facing the nicotine products, with her back to me.

Cashier: “Hmm, I don’t see any nicotine patches. We have nicotine gum and lozenges.”

From the cashier’s point of view, facing the shelf, the nicotine patches are to her left, and the gums and lozenges are to the right.

Me: *Pointing to her left* “The patches are there, to your left.”

The cashier doesn’t turn around to see where I am pointing. Instead, she moves further to the right.

Cashier: “Where? I don’t see them. All I see are gums and lozenges.”

Me: *Still pointing to her left* “No, right there, to the left. See where I’m pointing?”

Cashier: “Where? I still don’t see them.”

Still not looking at me, she moves further to the right, away from the patches.

Me: “They’re to the left. No, your other left. There.”

I point more emphatically.

Still not looking at me, she moves even further to the right.

Cashier: “I don’t think we have them.”

Me: “No, to your left. I’m pointing right at them. You have to look at me to see where I’m pointing. That’s… That’s how pointing works.”

In the end, she never turns around or moves to her left, and she can’t figure it out. Finally, she has to ask one of her coworkers for help. The other cashier finds the patches right away.

Cashier: “Oh, there they are! They were to the left. I didn’t see them.”

Me: *Facepalms*

The American Healthcare System, Everybody!

, , , , | Right | April 25, 2022

I work for a major prescription benefits manager. We have several government contracts including for current and former military. I take escalated phone calls when the member has asked for a supervisor. This gentleman is unhappy about his copays at his retail pharmacy.

Me: “This is [My Name];  I am happy to assist you. Is this Mr. [Member]?”

Member: “Yeah! Why is my medication four times as expensive as it was last month? Is this how you treat veterans?!”

Me: “I can certainly assist you, sir. I see that the medication you are calling about has a retail refill limit. Your plan only allows you to fill it twice at a local pharmacy before requiring you to switch to mail order. This would be your third fill, so you are being charged a penalty.”

Member: “You guys f***ed up my orders last time! I’m not using your d*** mail service! Now fix it!”

Me: “I apologize, sir, but after researching I see that [Insurance] does not allow us to override this. I can have us request a prescription from your doctor and let you speak to a pharmacist, but we cannot override your cost.”

This goes back and forth several times, before finally…

Member: “We’ll see about this! I’m calling my congressman right now!” *Hangs up*

I wished I could have told him this plan was voted on and approved by a congressional vote as it is for the military. I wonder how that call went.