Friday, September 11, 2009

My Pills, My Problem

One of the little momentary annoyances of life occurs in the pharmacy. Whether you're on a regular medication or you have to pick up a prescription to treat something localized and temporary, in order to acquire the small bottle of essential pills, you have to go through the inevitable song and dance at the counter.

I've rarely been thrilled with the service offered at my local drug store. With a few, but certainly notable, exceptions, most of the staff during the day is lacking in professionalism to say the least. On one occasion, I desperately needed a prescription for a steroid filled quickly because of sudden, unexplained swelling n my throat. In the interests of time, the doctor I saw for the problem immediately faxed the request to the pharmacy. When I got there, they hadn't seen the request at all, and after I explained it had been faxed over to them, one of the employees went over to the machine and picked up what had to have been a stack of ten similar prescription requests, none of which had been looked at, let alone filled.

Earlier in the week, I returned home from work with a message on my phone from the doctor's office. Apparently this time, the pharmacy had done it's part--they had called the office to get authorization to start a new round of refills on a regular prescription.

The young lady in the office called me to ask me what the prescription was.


She didn't recognize the name, and she had somehow consulted a reference book on the matter, which didn't list or identify the prescription. She was in an office full of doctors she could have asked, I presume she had access to the Internet and its wealth of databases on the topic, and the number for the pharmacy was clearly listed on the fax. Instead of any or all of these avenues of authority, she instead chose to call me up during business hours at my home number to ask me.

The next day, I called the office, and a completely different person answered the phone. I explained the message, answered the question, and asked her why I had been called about the issue given how many other options were available to answer the caller's question.

"Well it is YOUR prescription."

Yes, point taken. But come on.


gagknee said...

i haven't had but one prescription in my life to fill, so i can't really speak from personal experience, but i've always thought pharmacists and the staff supporting kind of had to be professional and well trained just because of the nature of their business. i guess i was wrong. there is a CVS or Rite Aid on every corner it seems, maybe its just the talent pool is too thin.

Alicia M B Ballard said...

Just lost my comment - this kills me, it was a dissertation to that!


Well, keep well

Jean-Luc Picard said...

New starters!

Alicia M B Ballard said...

well, well

I thought I was the only one giving up on these essential "services".

The doc is too busy for eye contact 'coz he must peruse the computer screen, while he lost all contact and sense of what's up with me and the pharmacy is an ongoing battle as they inevitably and invariably think i am deaf and other patrons stand close behind - as relatives would - sharing in my business!

My biggest beef: people not knowing what a respectful distance is ...
At the local dept store they placed at 5' a red tape across the floor to allow for privacy - NOT at the pharmacy!

I am sure there are more displeasures to come!

keep well

lookie - here it was!!!

The villager: said...

Sounds like a really frustrating episode; the increased stress might require more pills !

Kim Ayres said...


I just wanted to pop over and say hi, and thanks for taking the time to visit and comment on my blog :)

Mike said...

"...I hate people, they're the WORST !" - Jerry Seinfeld.

HeatherLynn said...

"well it's your prescription?"

Seriously? that's what she said! Wow...yeah, you totally need a new drug store!

Ah, ya gotta love customer service at it's finest!


M@ said...


I've always thought it's your lot in life to be surrounded by idiots. You are continuously surrounded by idiots. :)

Meg said...

Come on is right! I would have had to stifle the urge to bash said pharmacist's head on the counter a couple times to maybe knock some sense into it.