Archive for the ‘letters to my patients’ Category

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.


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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.

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Dear Mr. StupidWithAnAttitude,

If you haven’t noticed by now, you’re one of the few people that I’m forced to be curt with, because the minute I show any degree of friendliness, you suddenly feel like you can get special treatment. Or that I can suddenly do magical favors and materialize special products out of thin air just for you. Your high demands for just about everything in life never fail to amaze me. Just one example:

  • One day you walked in complaining to me that you’ve been feeling really bloated and need something to “detoxify” yourself. I point out our own colon detox cleansing system. You look at the box and say “I want the BEST thing you have.” I keep things short and sweet with you, because I know if I don’t give a firm answer, you’ll keep pestering me for eons about useless shit. I tell you it’s a good product, I’ve seen plenty of other customers use it, and haven’t heard of any issues. You look at the box a little more and nod approvingly. Then you ask me if it’ll help with bloating. I point to the part on the box where it says in big freakin’ capital letters “REDUCES BLOATING.” You look at it, then shake your head with disapproval and say “No, I don’t want something that just reduces bloating, I want something that will leave me with NO bloating.” Then you look at me like I’m an idiot for recommending such an inferior product. I tell you through gritted teeth that that’s all we’ve got, so either take it or stop bitching and go the fuck home.

That’s just ONE of many incidents that I’ve had with you, all with similar results. Which leads me to today:

  • You walk in, and again, you ask for me. How cute, you know me by name. No, that doesn’t give you any special treatment. You ask me if we sell travel masks. I point to aisle 12 and tell you you’ll find them there. You wander off to aisle 12. Then you freakin’ SHOUT for me from the aisle, and tell me “I don’t see them, they’re not here. You said aisle 12,” and wave for me to come to you in the aisle like I’m some servant. I decide to be defiant (HELL no I’m not walking over there like a dog) and simply shout back “Look on the bottom of the shelf, on your right hand side.” You magically find the masks that you previously claimed weren’t there. But noooooo….knowing you, just finding the product isn’t enough, because every time you find something, you ALWAYS BRING IT BACK TO ME TO PESTER ME ABOUT IT. You bring back the masks, and you point out that it says “Procedural Facemasks” on the packaging. You look at it disapprovingly (why do I go through this same song and dance with you EVERY FUCKING TIME?), and ask me if they can be used for travel masks. What I wanted to say was “YES YOU CAN FUCKING USE THEM FOR TRAVEL”…what I actually said was “Yes, you can use those for travel.” You look at the box some more, look at me like I’m an idiot for suggesting such an inferior product, and declare that it’s not what you’re looking for. You also point out that it’s a box of 50, and you don’t need 50. I tell you that’s all we have on the shelves. You look at me, and point out again that you don’t need 50 masks. I point out AGAIN that all we’ve got are boxes of 50. AGAIN you mutter to yourself that you don’t need 50 masks. Look jackass, first of all, apparently this wasn’t what you were looking for to begin with, so why is quantity even an issue? And I’m definitely not going to open the box and just sell you a handful of masks, no matter how many fucking times you tell me you don’t need 50 freakin’ masks. Take it or leave it, dude. And don’t look at me like I’m an idiot when you’re the one asking the stupid questions.

Mr. StupidWithAnAttitude, you can’t seem to even buy a box of Kleenex without asking me some inane question about it, and then you always disapprove of my answers, and look at me like I just told you to go give my manager a blowjob. If you don’t like the answers I give you or the products I recommend, then WHY DO YOU KEEP ON FUCKING ASKING? Are you doing this on purpose? Are you just picking on me? Am I on Candid Camera? I actually kind of hope that you ARE doing this on purpose, because I hate to imagine that anyone could possibly be that stupid AND entitled at the same time. And no, you’re not going to shit out cotton balls if you eat some of that Kleenex, thanks for asking.

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Dear Mr. Former Asshole,

I heavily emphasize on the “Former” part of your nickname, because you have NO idea what you’ve done for me today. All the way back in January, I screwed up on one of your scripts…long story short, I accidentally deleted it, and that led to a frenzy of me apologizing for losing the script and frantically calling the doctor over and over (the office was closed, so it was hell just trying to REACH an on-call doctor for help) to get the script dictated all over again. I apologized repeatedly, took full responsibility for the error, offered to reimburse the cost of the medication once the error was corrected, AND gave a gift card for the inconvenience. You in turn chewed me out, and repeatedly called me throughout the evening to remind me of my screw-up, even after I had repeatedly told you that I was doing everything I could to make things right. I was already feeling down about the mistake (and it was totally my fault, I’m not denying that), but you were rubbing it in.

Fast forward 7 months, to today. That last incident has LONG passed, it’s pretty much forgotten, and I’m just doing my job as usual. You show up in my drive-thru to pick up your medication, and I get your script for you. You ask me “Do you remember me?” I say I do. You ask me “Do you remember what happened last time?” I give an acknowledging “Yes, but we’re cool now” smile and say “Yup, I do.” Then you do the unthinkable: you apologized. You told me about how around that time I screwed up on your script, you had taken another script to a competitor pharmacy (the location was more convenient for you at the time), and how they had REALLY royally f*cked up your script there. They had actually given it to the wrong person (without double-checking the patient’s identification information, AND without having the person sign for the pickup), and it was also for a controlled substance, which is REALLY big trouble when those get in the wrong hands. When you had asked them to call the doctor to verify the the prescription and to obtain a new one (since the original was given to the wrong patient), they half-assedly tried to get the other guy to bring back the wrong medication, and made half-assed efforts to contact your doctor. Apparently they effed up so badly that the tech who was handling the script actually got fired. You told me while the folks at Competitor Pharmacy were mucking around, you immediately thought about how you chewed me out when I was doing everything I could to get the script back so I could have it filled and ready for you. You told me you now realize how much of an effort I was making to help you out and make sure everything was squared away with the doctor before I filled your script over again. You told me you were sorry about how you acted, and how you were DEFINITELY doing all your business with my store from here on out, because we’ve treated you well, and now you know how much we do to make sure we get everything right.

Mr. No Longer an Asshole, you have NO idea what that means to me. Because not only did you apologize, you actually acknowledged that I was truly trying to help you out and to get everything back on track with your medication. That apology was already worth a pound of gold to me…those of us in retail NEVER hear people to say sorry for chewing us out (and we don’t expect them to), but you did more than that. You actually recognized the work I put into my job to make sure everything I provide for you is accurate and safe for you. Because amidst moments where I feel like the only thing I’m good for is counting by fives and pointing out where the hemorrhoid creams are, you made me feel like my efforts actually paid off. And for that, I can’t thank you enough.

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Dear Mr. LawyerAsshole,

Thanks so much for coming to my pharmacy and asking for us to transfer your prescription from a competing pharmacy to us. We really do appreciate your interest in using our pharmacy for your future prescriptions. What we DON’T appreciate is you being in such a hurry that you decide to take your old prescription bottle with you before we get a chance to copy down the phone number of Competing Pharmacy so that we can call them to get your transfer.  When I kindly called you to get the pharmacy phone number from you (which is printed on the prescription bottle that you took with you), you decided to tell me that I need to “focus more”, and you decided to inform me that it was my job to get the number. When I told you that unfortunately I don’t have a list of phone numbers for competing pharmacies, you decided to be a dick and tell me “I’m a lawyer, I don’t have them either. I’m not information, I’m not giving you that…it’s Competing Pharmacy at the corner of Street A and Street B”. Because if I were to ask you for a phone number for any competing law firm in the area, YOU’D totally know the phone number too. When I POLITELY explained to you AGAIN that I needed the phone number off of the bottle that you took with you in order to do the transfer, you refused to give me the number AGAIN (when it’s written ON YOUR FUCKING BOTTLE) by straight up saying “No, I’m not giving you the number!”, and then decided to be even more of a dick and cut me off by saying “I’m tired of talking to you, just have it ready for me by tonight,” and hang up on me. You’re just lucky that the other pharmacist actually happened to know which Competing Pharmacy you were talking about, and managed to dig up the number, otherwise I would’ve told you to fuck off, because no phone number means no transfer, and you would’ve been awwwwfully pissed off that your medication wasn’t ready because you DIDN’T GIVE ME A PHONE NUMBER TO CALL TO BEGIN WITH. Fuck you, and thanks for making me feel like four years of school has only earned me a Doctor’s degree in dealing with shitheads like you all day.

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