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Just a few days ago, I was helping out one of my regulars Mr. Ali with a question he had regarding using Tylenol versus Motrin for his 8 year-old daughter. While I was explaining the pros and cons of each, a man pushes his way in front of poor Mr. Ali, shoves a receipt in my face, and says:

“Excuse me ma’am, that girl over there just overcharged me 53 cents.”

Seriously? SERIOUSLY?

Remember that cool dude who would come by to check his blood pressure? He’s gone from cool to creepy. And from creepy to stalkerish.

He came by to check his blood pressure as usual, and before he left, he said “I feel like I see you here all the time! Do they make you work here every day?” I told him I actually only worked at that particular location just once a week, and that I was usually at another store the rest of the time. “Oh really? Where else?” I made the mistake of telling him. Because the next week, he FREAKIN’ SHOWED UP AT MY HOME STORE. Ok, kinda weird, but he didn’t bother me…just came by, waved hello, took his blood pressure and left. Again, kinda weird that he followed me from one store to another, but I still considered it harmless.

Then a few weeks later he comes by my home store again, says hello to me, and says “I haven’t seen you in 4 weeks! I’ve been coming here to check my blood pressure on the machine and you haven’t been here! That’s too long!” Hang on…you’ve been counting? And you came here continuously for FOUR WEEKS to find me? I admire the persistence, but most people would kinda give up after a while…and if you’ve got questions about your blood pressure, my other two colleagues are more than qualified to help you out, but I can see that’s no longer your primary purpose of visiting. Your status has instantly shot up from “kinda weird” to straight-up “creepy.” He asked for my business card so he can call to see when I’m here. I probably should’ve lied and said we didn’t have business cards, but I ended up giving him one, because I’m a terrible liar, and I figured if he called my store, he’d still have to weave through all the automated prompts and whatnot first, and even after that he’d probably end up having the phone answered by one of my technicians instead, so I’ve got somewhat of a filter already.

The next week, I was back at Store B (where this dude met me to begin with), and while I was working, he shows up AGAIN to take his blood pressure. I’m not sure why he’s at Store B this time around instead of following me at Store A, but he spots me, says hello, and tells me that he tried calling me at Store A, got frustrated with the automated prompts, and just decided to show up at the stores to see if I was there. You called, then went to Store A, and when you didn’t spot me there, you came here to Store B to find me?? Don’t you have anything better to do with your time?? Store A and Store B are pretty close to each other, but if you REALLY need to check your blood pressure, the machine at Store A would have worked just fine. Instead you decide to make an extra trip to Store B just to find me. How cute. And unsettling. Status has now been updated from “creepy” to “stalkerish.”

Then yesterday, the phone rings. And it’s him at the other end of the line. He seems WAY too excited to hear me. He says “Hello! It’s your friend Mr. Stalker! I finally got the courage to call! How are you doing?” Dude, this is my WORK PHONE. You don’t call me just to talk. You call if you have a question, if you need a prescription refill, even if you want to find out where the toilet paper is. But it’s NOT a freakin’ chat line. Even my friends and family don’t call me on this line just to chat. I put you on hold, and ask my technician to pick up the line, and tell her to tell him I’m with a patient (in which it actually turned out to be true, because once I put him on hold, a patient had walked up asking for a consultation). My tech is having a good laugh out of this, and after hearing her tell him repeatedly “Can I help you with something? No sir, she’s with a patient right now, but can I help you? I understand that, but she’s with a patient, is there something you need help with?”, he hung up. I think I need to start introducing myself as Optimus Prime when I answer the phone now.

Maybe I should break the blood pressure machines so I’d have to direct him somewhere else the next time he wants to see if he’s got a pulse.

Just an FYI:

If you’re an oxycodone junkie, I’ll admit that coming in with crutches and limping like your leg just snapped in half is a nice touch. You’re already putting in more work than most other junkies who waltz in and just shove the script at me, giving me this look like a kid hoping mommy is going to let them stay up past 9pm eating candy and playing video games. A for effort.

The part where you fail miserably is when your “doctor” has clearly written “back and lumbar pain” as the diagnosis on your prescription. Next time you come in with a bloody nose I’m sure you’ll have a script that says “eye herpes.”

Last week two women came by asking where the nearest Kinko’s was. I told them I had a copy machine and I didn’t mind making them some copies as long as they weren’t looking for an obnoxious amount of paper. They happily accepted my offer and I went ahead and made 6 copies of a tattered sheet of paper they handed to me. They thanked me for helping them out, then asked if I wanted a copy. One of the women says “It’s a prayer…you can have a copy if you want!” I wasn’t brought up in a religious environment, but I’d look like an asshole if I didn’t accept a prayer, so I said I’d take a copy to be polite. The woman was about to hand it to me, then hesitated (maybe it was my ethnicity?), and asked “Are you saved? Do you believe in Jesus Christ?” I politely revealed that my family wasn’t Christian, thinking the conversation would stop there, and they would happily leave with their copies of the prayer. Instead, they offer to save me, and started praying for God to “remove my blinders” so that I can “see His light.” One of the women explains to me that when the “enemy” (aka Satan) deceives people, they aren’t aware that they’re being deceived, so sometimes they need those blinders to be removed before they can really find God. They then turn to me and ask if I would like to ask God to remove my blinders as well, and they would agree with me so I can be on the path to being saved. I politely told them I’d rather do it in my own time at home when I have more time to reflect on it. The woman says “That’s fine too! I can tell you’re the type who really wants to look into things first…God tells me these things. You seem like you’d really want to do your research first to make sure you know what you’re getting into…but definitely think on it when you get home! Thanks for the copies, and have a good night!”

Don’t get me wrong, they were actually really sweet and had good intentions, and while I was slightly offended, I can’t say I was angered by this gesture…just kind of baffled. I guess when I’m in a position where I’m constantly bitched at, hit on, or just plain pestered, getting some prayers is actually one of my more pleasant interactions with people in a span of a day. :-)

Dear Mrs. Grimm,

I understand that you need your Ambien. I also understand that Ambien happens to be a controlled substance, meaning there’s a likelihood that people like to eat it like candy to get a high. What makes your situation comical is the incredible stories you make up to get an early refill on your pills. You call us, and Tech #1 answers the phone. You ask her for an early refill on your Ambien, because your purse got stolen. According to our records, you should’ve had enough medication to last you for another 2 weeks or so, and we already know you tend to make shit up (you’ve previously claimed that you worked for FEMA and tend to leave your meds around when you travel), so we’re already feeling pretty skeptical. Tech #1 tells you that most likely your insurance isn’t going to allow for an early refill, and they probably won’t allow an override for stolen medication, but we can call and give it a shot (translation: we’re just going to call to officially have insurance say “no” so you can stop bugging us). You tell her not to worry about it, and say you’ll call insurance yourself. No problem.

Then you call again. This time I pick up the phone. You tell me that your purse was stolen, and you called your insurance company and found that they don’t allow for overrides for stolen medication, but they DO allow vacation overrides…and since you’re supposedly a flight attendant, you’re conveniently leaving to go overseas tomorrow, and ever-so-sweetly ask me to call insurance for the override, but also say that you’ll understand if they don’t allow it. How nice of you. I tell you I’ll take care of it. I call your insurance company for you, and I don’t even try to fake the situation. I tell the agent straight up that I’m simply calling just to say that I called, and when I retell the whole story to the insurance agent, she pulls up your file and says “Sure, I understand you’re just doing what the member asked…ok, so she DID call us not too long ago…and uhhh, she definitely didn’t say anything about having her purse stolen…oh, and it shows she called us last week saying she lost her medication on a trip too! Yeeeah, we’re not gonna authorize that override.” We had a good laugh at how ridiculous all this was, and I thanked the agent, and called you back to let you know that your insurance wasn’t going to allow the override. You politely thank me, say you’ll just get the medication after you come back from your “trip,” and I figured that was the end of it.

Fast forward to two days later, I happen to be working again, and you happen to call AGAIN to ask about the override. I call you out and ask “I thought you said you were going overseas?” Your response? “OH…um, I was, but uh…my car got stolen and now I’m not leaving until Tuesday…yeah, um, things just aren’t working out for me.” I tell you I’ll call insurance to take care of it. I call your insurance again, and again I don’t even sugarcoat it. The agent answers, and I say “Hi, I’m calling from BigPharm Pharmacy regarding a vacation override for patient Mrs. Grimm on her Ambien, and to be completely honest, I’m just calling just so I can tell her that I called.” Again the agent tells me “Sure thing, how can I help you?” I tell her “I think you might have notes about this in her profile already, but she’s asking for a vacation override, but this is actually her second time asking for the override in 2 days. First she claimed her purse was stolen, and when she found out there weren’t overrides for stolen medication, she told me she was traveling overseas. When they didn’t authorize THAT one, she called AGAIN today, and when I asked about her trip overseas, this time she told me her car was stolen and that her trip has been delayed until Tuesday.” The agent says “WOW…” I continue with “….so that brings me to me calling you, because she claims that she already spoke to one of your agents, who said you’d okay the override, and that I just needed to call you guys to process it.” The agent literally busted out laughing. She apologized for laughing, but not really…”HA! Sorry, I shouldn’t have laughed. But man, that’s something. And about the override…that’s impossible, because none of us here in this office are authorized to do overrides for her to begin with. Sooo yeah…definitely no override.” “Yeah, I figured as much., sorry to waste your time!” “No problem, it made for a good laugh!”

I called you back to let you know that insurance refused to do the override again. This time you asked why…I told you that because of your conflicting stories, they were not able to authorize the overrides. To which you abruptly responded with “Oh ok ok, thank you,” and hung up. Mrs. Grimm, normally I’d call your stories a waste of time, but when they provide this much entertainment to both me and insurance agents, I’m actually relatively okay with it. So when you’re not busy popping your Ambiens like tic-tacs, you might want to guard your car and your purse more next time, and try not to miss too many overseas flights on your job as a FEMA flight attendant rocket neurosurgeon storyteller.

Unnecessary PSAs

Dear Mr. FluCrier,

You’re friendly enough. You’re not exactly rude to me or my staff. But you’re just plain OBNOXIOUS. I could do an entire entry dedicated to your usual obnoxious behavior, but you REALLY went over your usual level of annoyance when you decided this time to be obnoxious not just to my staff, but to other patients as well.

There was a couple getting flu shots from my colleague. You happened to come to the pharmacy around that time. You were about to stop at the drop off window to ask my technician for a prescription refill, when you spotted these two strangers about to get a flu shot. You then decided to walk past the drop-off window, and make a beeline straight for these two people who were about to get their vaccines. My co-worker was in the middle of giving the shot, with the syringe in hand, perfectly poised and ready to inject the person with some good ol’ flu protection, when you decided to barge in (excuse you?) and ask the couple “Why are you getting a flu shot? I wouldn’t do it!” You then decided to share with the couple that the last time you had a flu shot, you got HORRIBLY sick, and felt the need to tell them that you’d NEVER get another flu shot again. NEVER NEVER NEVER. All of this is happening while my poor co-worker has the syringe already in his hand, in position to be injected. He’s got a shocked “What the fuck is your problem?” look on his face. The couple politely smiled and nodded. You look satisfied with informing these two complete strangers that they were doomed to be deathly ill from their injections, and then strolled back to the drop-off window to ask for your prescription refill. After the couple had received their flu shots, they decided to hang around the waiting area for a while. I don’t know if they were waiting on a ride or anything of the sort, but they were minding their own business, reading magazines and chatting amongst themselves. My tech and I finish your prescription, and my tech rings you up for your meds. You could’ve been like any other normal human being and simply walked out with your prescription and moved on with your life, but that’s not how you roll. Because instead of simply walking out and carrying on with your day, you decide to finalize your status as “Annoying Asshole of the Day” by turning to the newly-vaccinated couple, and say to them “I really hope you two don’t get sick…but I think you will,” and then you walked off, again looking satisfied that you just informed these two people that they were apparently about to meet their doom from the half a milliliter of liquid that was just injected into their arms.

Really? Was that really necessary?? Do you walk up to people eating sushi and say “Is that raw fish? I hope you won’t die from mercury poisoning, but I think you will” ? I appreciate your concern for the health of others, but this is a case where “mind your own fucking business” kinda comes into play. Just a little.

I’ve got a pair of regulars that come by my store a lot, Ted and Teddy (not their real names, but their names DO have the similar rings to them though :-)), and we’re friendly enough with each other that if things are kind of slow in the store when they come by, they’ll just hang around and chat with me for a bit. Today they came by to pick up some scripts and make a few other purchases, and Teddy tells me:

“How ya doin’ today? Oh, and FYI, there’s these two guys over in the dental aisle, and I definitely overheard one guy tell the other ‘Don’t worry, as long as we tell the cops the same story, they won’t find the kilos.’ You know, just in case you wanted to know that there’s some not-so-secret drug meeting going on over at uh…*looks over at the dental aisle*…aisle 8, yeah!”

Apparently my store is a hub for selling drugs in more ways than one, haha.

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