Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Of mighty pens and silly people

*Waves wand of resurrection!"

Yes it's been ages since I last updated anything. Call it laziness, procrastination, anything you will. But I'll just fill out a short one today (since I'm tired and everything)

You know those times when you evaluate life's greatest priorities? I happen to have an epiphany regarding the importance of certain things, things we often take for granted. Yes, I'm talking about the ubiquitous pen. A pen. A small instrument. Certainly not the most advanced science or invention mankind has produced over the centuries, one might say. It's just something you use to write, right? There's plenty of other stuff you can do that with, I'm sure. Like a pencil. Or... uh... slitting your fingers so your blood acts as an ink of sorts.

However! Today was the first day I forgot to bring my small army of three pens and all I can say is, Dear Lord, I will never, ever, look down on the mighty pen anymore. Small, but certainly mighty. Without the pen, I can't write things on prescriptions, I can't put my initials on labels, and I can't hand one over to the customer to put their signature on the back of the script. It's horrible. I never want to go through that harrowing experience again, where I felt like a limb of mine was missing. Anyhow, never again. I will cherish thee forever, my sweet prince.

This brings me to my second topic for the day. Idiots. Or in politically correct terms, difficult customers. I had two experiences today, mind you. First was a group of four elderly people (honestly, I don't want to be an ageist (is that even a word?) but most of the... less competent people tend to be the elderly) who came in and said this:

Customer: Can I have this X tablets please? I went to Asda's chemist and they don't have X so I was wondering if you have it here.

Me: Wait, I'll go check if we have them anyway. Yeah we do.

Customer: Alright then (handing me a faxed copy of a repeat slip), can you make that up for me?

Me: I'm sorry, we can't do that. In order for me to dispense that I will need a prescription. This is a repeat slip (and a faxed copy at that)

Customer: What do you mean? I went for a holiday and the doctor's went and faxed me this. Asda filled out the rest of the medication for me and they didn't have X, so I need that, and you have that so what's the problem?

Me: (clearly a bigger issue than just repeat slips) See, in order for me to dispense I will need a prescription from the doctor's. It looks like this (shows an example of a script) and this is a repeat slip, not a prescription. Also if you have Asda making up the rest of your medication, I can't dispense X, because Asda has made the others up. It's illegal.

Customer: I cannae understand! This is outrageous! In short, you just don't want to make it up for me right?

Customer 2: They're just square headed and don't want to do it.

*Pharmacist intervenes*

Pharmacist: We can't do that for you because it's illegal... etc etc

Anyway, the thing was, even the pharmacist couldn't resolve the issue because the idiots simply won't listen to reason, even if we spell it out letter by letter for them. Seriously. I think a lot of people have a simple mentality: My way or the highway. Screw legislation. Who cares about it anyway? In the end one of the dispensers got in touch with Asda and the surgery and sorted it out. And hell, it wasn't even a local Asda. It was somewhere else.

The second one was even more amazing. I handed in the items dispensed and the customer asked what kind of constipation medication she was getting. I told her Laxido. Well, she wasn't too pleased with that and said something about hearing about Movicol. I told her they're the exact same things except different manufacturers. She went "I need to know what's in there. I don't take certain things you see. Like fructose. I think that was in lactulose. And it made me sick for 4 days". I told her there's no fructose but she's welcome to see the list of ingredients. And then she was like aha! See there's artificial sweeteners there. I said well yeah... you probably need that for some taste or people just won't take them. And she said "I don't take artificial sweeteners, and I'm sure the company that made Movicol was the original producer of this and the company making Laxido was just some offshoot. It's just to save cost!" Like it was the discovery of the century. I calmly told her that I'm not sure if that's the case, and besides artificial sweeteners are just that, artificial sweeteners. They're not fructose. She kinda insisted that she's right about her crazy delusional ideas of cheaper alternatives to Movicol and that she doesn't take artificial sweeteners too now, for some perverse reason.

Well, long story short, today was a trying day. But I had fun, all in all. Met the crazy locum I met back in my old store. Of course he didn't remember me, so I had fun poking him and he went nuts trying to figure out who I was and where he met me. Fun fun!

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