Out-Of-Controlled Substance

| Pittsburgh, PA, USA | Working | March 30, 2017

(A few years ago, I was with a friend at a local pharmacy. She was looking for water-based lubricant, but could find none on the shelf. I told her that she should ask the pharmacist, since they would know if they stocked the item, and if not they could call other stores to find out. She expressed nervousness that the pharmacist would judge her, and I assured her that it would be entirely unprofessional to do such a thing, but that if it bothered her I would go and ask in her stead. After waiting in line the following exchanged took place.)

Me: “Hello, could you tell me if this, or one of your affiliated stores, carries water-based lubricant?”

Young Pharmacist: “What?”

Me: “Water-based lubricant.”

Young Pharmacist: *looks uneasy* “Why do you need it?”

Me: *confused at the question* “Personal use.”

Young Pharmacist: *becoming irritated* “I need to know exactly what you plan to do with it!”

Me: “Why?”

Young Pharmacist: *suddenly looking upset* “Because it is a controlled substance!”

Me: *thinks he is joking* “No, it’s not.”

Young Pharmacist: *more upset* “Yes, it is!”

Me: *now getting irritated at this very unprofessional behavior* “No! It’s not!”

Young Pharmacist: *now irate* “Yes, it is, and unless you tell me what you plan to do with it I will not sell it to you!”

Me: *now very irate* “For f******!”

Young Pharmacist: *now suddenly pale and uneasy looking* “What?”

Me: *still upset* “For f******! Probably with sex toys involved as well! Anal and vaginal fucking! Now, do you have it or not?!”

Young Pharmacist: *looking very uncomfortable* “I’ll need to get my manager to approve that.” *runs to the backs and has a heated sounding conversation just out of earshot*

(At this point, an older woman who is clearly the head pharmacist comes up to the counter, looking clearly annoyed to be pulled away from whatever she was doing.)

Older Pharmacist: “Hello, I am the head pharmacist here. Would you explain to me what you need the controlled substance for?”

Me: “F******! Sex! Fornication! Probably involving sex toys since certain ones melt if you use the wrong personal lubricant.”

Older Pharmacist: *looking confused* “Personal lubricant is not a controlled substance…”

Me: “That’s what I told him!” *points to Younger Pharmacist* “But he refused to believe me, then demanded to know what I was using it for, then dragged you up here, and now here we are!”

Older Pharmacist: *looks at Younger Pharmacist* “Seriously? You seriously dragged me up here for this?” *turns to the computer* “What kind were you looking for?”

Me: “I need a water-based lubricant; nothing fancy. Do you or any other store in the chain close by carry it?”

(The older pharmacist types for a while, and the younger pharmacist looks uncomfortable.)

Older Pharmacist: “I’m not seeing anything; you probably have to get it online.”

Me: “Thank you very much for all of your help.”

(As I turn to walk back to my friend I hear this exchange between the Older and Younger Pharmacists.)

Older Pharmacist: “If you are going to work in this field you have to stop being this way about sexual and reproductive items or you will not last long.”

(I went back to my friend, informed them of the outcome, and we left. I am so happy that they dealt with me instead of her, as she would have left the pharmacy in tears with no answers.)

Out-Of-Controlled Substance, Part 2

| WI, USA | Working | March 30, 2017

(I am at the pharmacy, picking up several medications. To pick up any medications, you have to give the address they have on file. Further, one of the medications is Schedule II, which means I need to have my ID. I pull out my ID and have it ready, waiting for the pharmacy tech to ask for it.)

Tech: “All right, your total is [price]. You can scan your card now!”

Me: *thinking they may have forgotten one of my medications* “Um… is my [controlled substance] in there?”

Tech: “Oh! Yeah, it is! I’ll need to see your ID.”

Me: *hands over the ID*

Tech: *finishes ringing me up, and starts handing me the bag, before pausing* “Oh, what’s your address?”

Me: “[Address].”

Tech: “All right, here you go!”

(As I left, I remembered I’m usually supposed to give my date of birth as well. Kinda takes the “controlled” out of controlled substances when I could’ve gotten it with nothing but a name… I’m just glad I caught it before the person got in big trouble.)

The Customer Is Sometimes Right

| Toronto, ON, Canada | Right | March 29, 2017

(I’m the customer in this one, calling into the store. I have worked in customer service for years and as such I tend to get a lot of “oh, thank heavens!” reactions from staff. This is one.)

Me: “Hi, I’d like to get a refill on [X] medication.”

Pharmacist: *in trepidation* “Uhh… let me just check if we have your three-months’ refill.”

Me: “No worries.”

Pharmacist: *sounding even more worried* “Ma’am, I am so sorry, but it doesn’t appear we have the full supply. When do you need them by?”

Me: “I’m out as of tomorrow, but that’s no problem; it wouldn’t be the first time I get a week’s supply and come back for more when you have it.”

Pharmacist: “I can try calling another… Do you think… Wait, what? Really?”

Me: “Sure. Happens at least half the time. You only have a few customers on this medication and apparently we all like to refill at about the same time.”

Pharmacist: “And you’re not… You’re okay?”

Me: *laughing* “I’m not cranky-customer-type. My goal is never to be the one you go home complaining about!”

Pharmacist: “Ma’am, you are my favourite customer today. Possibly this month.”

Deleted Defeated

| USA | Right | March 25, 2017

(It’s already been a long day as I answer a patient’s phone call.)

Me: “Thank you for calling [Store] pharmacy; how can I help you?”

Female Customer: “I want you to delete [medication] from my file! I don’t want it to ever be filled there again. I get my medications in the mail now, and I don’t want you to screw it up.”

Me: “Okay, ma’am, I’ll leave it here in your profile but we won’t fill it. We will only fill it if you ask us to.”

Female Customer: “No, I want it deleted!”

Me: “Okay, I will delete it.”

(I don’t delete it because patients who get their medications in the mail always run into a problem sooner or later and need to get a few pills from us until their order arrives from the mail.)

Female Customer: “Great! Oh, and can you fill [supposedly deleted medication] for a few tablets? My mail order will be late this month.”

Suffering From Prescription Dysfunction

| Canada | Right | March 15, 2017

(I am helping a customer whose prescription for Cialis 20mg has expired. The customer only has Cialis 5mg still on file, which someone has filled for him instead of the 20mg.)

Me: “Were you wanting to wait until your doctor faxed back about the 20mg Cialis?”

Customer: “No, I’ll just pop four of the 5mg. Although I really want the 20mg ones since they do the work!”

Me: “Do you only take one of the 20mg Cialis?”

Customer: “OH, YA! Except if I’m at a crazy party, and then I pop a few.”

Me: “…”

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