Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Apathy Rules My Day

Your alarm makes its god awful beeping sound (if there is a Hell, that sound is played 24/7) and you force yourself to not slam the fucking thing into the closest wall.

As you attempt to button your work shirt, half the time I skip a button, you realize that today, for whatever reason, you could give a shit about anything. Maybe you slept a full eight hours, maybe you had a great night the day before, but today you just flat out don't care.

Arriving at work, before you even set foot in the pharmacy a wide eyed customer asks you where the back scratchers are. You aren't even remotely curious as to why someone is looking for a back scratcher this early in the morning as you point them in the proper direction.

Strolling into the pharmacy you notice the mess that was left from the night before. Papers strewn about, dishes over flowing from the sink, vials are empty and, perhaps the only thing registering interest on your radar this morning, there sits a coffee pot in the middle of the pharmacy counter. How quaint.

Normally this would put your nerves on end, as you are the king of a clean pharmacy, but today you walk past it. Today you'll just work around it.

The fax machine starts to vomit much like a college student on spring break in Cancun, yet it takes all your might to wander over to capture some of this illustrious spew. You notice, on your first script, that the doctor okay'd refills on test strips for a patient. You asked for a refill on Lipitor.


By noon you notice the order sits ever so barely within your vision, hearkening to you to come and unpack it, yet you let it sit there. "Maybe someone else will notice it first," you think. The shame you normally feel from pushing work onto someone else is absent today. Already you are counting the minutes until your day is over.

"What do you mean its three dollars, last month it was free!" a voice bellows from the depths of the store.

No clever quips come to mind. No urge to defuse the situation because, in your mind, you had nothing to do with it. This is justified by the fact that this is the only day you'll be in this store for ten days.

Delegation is the key word here.

Finally the end of the day rolls around. Many scripts have been filled, but you don't really care to look. You've done your job for the day and that's all that really matters. Not once were you rude to a customer or your co-workers, but you were in your own little world for the entire day.

As you walk out the door you let out a heavy sigh with the knowledge you won't have to be back for well over a week. It was just another day in the life of a pharmacy drone. Nothing more, nothing less.

Apathy ruled my day today. How was yours?

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Oh You Think You're Sneaky...

I really hate when patients try to outsmart us. Do they not realize that you have to have at least some semblance of intelligence in order to become a pharmacist? I would think, at least I would like to think, that the crackhead's, who just stumbled in the door, brain pan is slightly smaller than our pharmacist.

So why try to be sneaky?

My favorite lately is when a customer calls in and asks, "So I need a refill on my Hydrocodone and stuff. Can you tell me when the last time I had it filled was?"


"Hey I lost my bottle for my Hydrocodone again, could you refill it for me?"

First off, the 90 year old Alzheimers patient manages to not lose her bottles every month. Do you really expect me to believe a 25 year old man is incapable of holding on to one bottle for a month? I'm not fuckin dumb man.

Why not just say, "Hey, my rent is coming due and I need to sell me some Hydrocodone to make it."

Actually I can infer that's what you really mean when you attempt to skirt the truth. The profile with nine different docs in three months kinda helps to confirm that.

Or there is always, "I was calling to see if my Sertraline is ready... ok... oh before I forget, is my Darvocet there as well?"

It's kind of like when people come into buy syringes. The stores you hear are absolutely spectacular.

"Yeah I need 1,000 cc syringes because, like my cat... my cat yo has polio and uh... I have to give it shots of this stuff which uh... ya know keeps that bitch from dying?"

And I totally understand that statement... because I just shit out a fleet of dragons and named them after members of The Beatles.

The only one I semi-respect is the guy who comes into buy syringes and is sheepish about it. He admits he has a problem that he is trying to get help. Now we cannot, due to laws, refuse to sell them to him, but at least he's honest about it.

And don't even talk to me about editing or forging a prescription. I once saw a Dilaudid prescription altered in colored-fucking-pencil. Seriously, colored pencil.

Or the guy who brought in a script for Morefinie 250mg. Obviously they're not clever enough to use a little tool called Google and get the proper spelling or existing dosage.

Am I an asshole? Probably. Do I think I'm better than some of these people? Not in the least. Everyone has their problems, I'm at least honest about mine. Just don't try being fucking sneak.

You're not Batman. I am.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

A Journey to the Pits of Hell

My after work mission tonight was quite simple, head to the store and pick up four little items. It would be a simple task had it not been for my destination; the dreaded Walmart.

Now before anyone gets their panties in a bunch, I should explain that I do not like Walmart myself. In our area, however, there is a virtual monopoly on supermarkets. That company has practices which are just as, if not worse, than Walmarts. My logic states, if I'm gonna shop at some asshole's store, I might as well do so at the one with the lower prices.

The list was as follows

* Toilet Paper
* Garbage Bags
* Milk
* Chocolate (per request of the wife)

Simple enough, would you not agree?

As I come around the corner of the store I notice the parking lot is surprisingly plump. This kind of makes sense as it is around dinner time when most people get off of work. As I meander about looking for an acceptable spot, I see the most lowly of drivers: the lurker.

The lurker seeks to gain a spot closest to the door, what I call 'Rock Star Parking.' Really there's nothing wrong with lurking, it's an acceptable part of the shopping experience. The problem lies when there are open spots seven rows down from the start of the aisle. Yes, that extra fifty feet or so is a monumental walk for these people. Perhaps Walmart should provide workers to carry them to and fro across the lot.

And there were four of these people, all in the 30s or so, waiting patiently at various strategic positions. I can only aspire to be so dedicated in my later years.

I stroll into the store with a clear plan of attack to minimize time spent in the store. **Brief tangent, this Walmart is located directly across the street from a large trailer park. Accident? I think not. ** My first mission is to obtain the garbage bags which proved to be of little difficulty.

Next came the toilet paper where I encountered one of the most perplexed individuals I have ever seen. She stared at the toilet paper as if she were trying to unravel the secret to String Theory or something of that nature. I had no idea so much thought went into this product and I briefly considered whether or not I had been going about my toilet paper purchasing the wrong away.

Alas, I moved towards the type we usually get when I found myself semi-blocked with an eye shifter. See this purpose, for whatever reason, feels some type of innate shame in purchasing toilet paper. I do not get this and merely want her to move out of my way. Lady, I poop, you poop, everyone poops and something's gotta clean up the mess. With ninja-like precision, she grabs a package and quite literally runs off.

Whew, half way done.

Next comes the chocolates. A little Ghirardelli Peanut Butter squares should do the trick. As I reach for the package, it vanishes in thin air. Where ever could it have gone??

I look to my right and there stands a grouchy looking older woman.

"This one's mine," she shrieks.

Ok.... didn't realize we were claiming packages of chocolates which such ferocity, but I will gladly concede that you own that particular one. As I walk away I cautiously glance over my shoulder to ensure she's not going to perform some kind of surprise attack because I stole one of 'her' packages. In my head I'm picturing a headline that says "Young Man Killed at Local Walmart Over Bag of Chocolate." Yikes.

Finally I make my way to the dairy section. Apparently a memo was passed around stating that everyone could park their carts in front of the milk coolers. I didn't get that memo, so obviously I was unaware of it.

As I move a cart out of the way I hear a booming voice yell, "Hey, what are you doing with my cart!"

I reply that I am merely trying to grab a jug of milk and needed to move his cart out of the way. With an evil eye my wife would be proud of, he attempted to stare me down with fear. After dealing with ninja-toilet paper lady and deranged chocolate lady, I stood my ground. The milk was mine.

Success is at hand, I now possess all four of the items I came for. Now for a quick self-check out and I can mosey on home.

Or.... maybe not.

I dedicate myself to a particular line. Personally I'm not big on line jumping for the same reason I don't switch lanes in traffic. As soon as I move out of that lane, it starts moving. Tonight, this would prove to be a poor decision.

The woman ahead of me had a cart full of goods. I'm not talking about a couple of big things, I'm saying she had at least 25 cans of Chef Boyardee.

Whatever, I'm in no hurry and this trip as already been hellacious. Then she takes her time CAREFULLY scanning each item.

Here's my beef, first if you're gonna use self-checkout, know what you're doing. It's usually not that hard to scan a barcode. That's why they often pay minimum wage to cashiers.

Second, if you're going to the self-checkout line, don't bring a full fucking cart. Self-checkout is designed for people with a small or medium number of items, not for someone with a hundred items in their cart.

Lastly, if you cannot use the self-checkout, and you have a cart full of goods, in no way in holy hell should you use the self-checkout line. If so, I reserve the right to throw my toilet paper at you and ask you if you ate paint chips as a kid. If that's not in the Constitution, it sure as hell should be.

Oh and one last amendment, do not pay with a pack of one dollar bills. No one wants to wait while you attempt to feed 75 dollar bills into the machine. Who the hell has that many dollar bills to begin with? I hope to God you are not a stripper. That alone is enough to make me want to use my garbage bags and toilet paper in unison.

The moral of the story, just because you need a mere four items from the store does not mean your mission shall go peacefully. I didn't need a drink after work initially. I sure as hell do now.

Monday, December 21, 2009

I Need to Know My A1C! Stat!

Can someone please explain to me the benefit of this for the patient?

Is this considered more of a diagnostic test? I really do not see the need for the patient to be able to test for this at home. It provides them with no pertinent information. If anything I would think it would make them believe there is less of a need to visit their doctor because of it.

When I first saw it I thought it was simply a capitalistic endeavor by Bayer, but I'll defer to those who are more knowledgeable on whether or not this serves a legitimate purpose.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Peaceful Way To End the Day

Little different direction from my normal music selections. First saw this guy on Leno about four years ago and I went out the next morning to pick up his CD.

One of those songs that after a long day you lay your head back, close your eyes, and relax. Enjoy.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

What To Do... What To Do...

I am effectively done with classes for the semester. I have one little final left, but it is nothing of consequence. Perhaps the most distressing fact is that I should be graduating today.

Damn you pharmacy school with your overly specific pre-req!

The bigger question is what the hell do I do now? It's the first time in almost three years that I haven't had a class to worry about or been studying for some big test. I literally have four weeks to do whatever the hell I want and I have no idea what I should do. Tie on the fact that the stress of needing good grades to get into pharmacy school is now gone and I'm even more lost.

Recently I've become reacquainted with the gym. I've probably put on about 30 pounds or so over the last two years seeing as I've dedicated the majority of my time to my studies. Actually I forgot how much I liked going to the gym, so I at least have something to occupy me for roughly an hour each day.

Where to go from there, though, I have no idea. Maybe it's time to actually go visit friends since I find it awkward that I haven't really seen my main circle of friends in almost six months. Maybe its time to finally upgrade the hard drive on my PS3 like I have been meaning to do for almost a year.

It's very odd, I feel slightly lost. I have nothing to focus a big chunk of my time on. Is this what it's like to be a normal college student?

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Math is H-A-R-D

I really feel I need to propose a questions to those who have been teaching math for the last... oh forty years or so.

Are people really this dense when it comes to figure out basic math problems?

2+2 does not equal Jell-o

30 tablets, taken once a day, should last 30 days. Not 30 minutes.

If you're supposed to take 2mg of Amaryl every day, and we give you 2mg tablets, that does not mean you need to cut them in half every time. How in the hell you ever devised that method is very much beyond me.

Now I understand not everyone has access to a good education, but one should be able to count their own goddamn change. If I have one more person throw a bunch of coins on the counter and then stare at it for ten minutes as if they are trying to discover the ultimate meaning of life, I may whack them upside the head with a big ole bottle of Klor-Con.

Do I ask you to solve for a derivative or integral? Maybe ask what your standard deviation or variance is on your therapy compliance?

No I do not. I ask you how many days ago you took your last dose. When you go, today is Thursday, and I took the last dose Monday so.... six days ago, that should not be that hard. I'm positive a blind, drunk monkey with one arm could count to five with little difficulty.

And it's not even math lately, its using numbers in lexicon. I actually had someone say they had their med last filled on November 22th. Yes, you read that right, the twenty-tooth.

When you come into the store from now on, and notice the round spot on the wall devoid of paint, realize this is where I bash my head against the wall. Every freakin' day.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Unnoticed Part of the Holidays

This time of year is normally fraught with joy, happiness and charity. There exists a side that doesn't receive as much notice and few are actually aware of.

As I have stated many times over, if you work in pharmacy you will invariably become attached to certain patients and, in even more special cases, you will become part of their life. They can be as close to family as a stranger can be as odd as that may sound.

Today I was reminded of what a difficult time the holidays are for some people. Several months ago I wrote about a couple who had become intertwined with the day life of our pharmacy. The sudden death of his wife sparked an understandable change in his demeanor.

It's only been in the last month or so where he will walk in the store and you can get him to crack a smile on his face. You can see life in his eyes for the first time since that day and it was a very welcome sight. As he came into the store tonight though, you could tell something was different.

He was preparing for his first Christmas without his wife.

I cannot begin to imagine what something like that is like. Yet as I became aware of this facet of the holidays I began to notice others with a look of sadness beyond their eyes. Some fronted false smiles, but you can still tell that inside they're hurting.

It's the part of this time of year we're all aware of, but never speak of. The pain of others who are unable to share the joys of the season with their significant other or loved one.

What are we supposed to do though? We're just lowly pharmacy folk, we have no stake in this right?

Wrong. Anyone who has worked retail long enough knows that we can have an impact on someone's life outside of our job description. Whether it's chatting with the little old lady on the phone for an extra minute or attempting to get a laugh out of the otherwise fickle patient. I know at times we can become completely overwhelmed with phone calls, faxes and berating customers, but there's always time to make one patient smile in the day.

If anything, I'm reminded of New Year's last year in that you never know what may happen once they set foot outside that door.

I propose from now until the end of the day, all of us at least once a day take time out of our hectic days and brighten the day of one of your patients. After all, that's what this season is all about is it not?

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Pessimism Works

For much of my life I wasn't what you would call an overly optimistic person. In hindsight, I'm not really sure why, but someone I dated during my college years finally drug me out of the pessimistic pit I had been residing in.

The thing is, I like being somewhat pessimistic. I hate the feeling of thinking something is a sure thing, via optimism, and then have it not come to fruition. It's almost like a kick in the nuts. I prefer to remain overly cautious that something will actually occur and enjoy the surprise when it does.

Is that so strange? Overly optimistic people bug the bejesus outta me. Equally so, pessimistic people piss me off. Why? Because these people become obtuse to the true nature of life.

I learned a while back that if you go one way or the other you become too complacent with life. When you become complacent with life, you invariably drive yourself to various problems that you think are ultimately out of your control. It is not always a terrible thing to fail, just as it is not a terrible thing to succeed.

As my best friend and I always say, if you knock me down, I'm just gonna get back up and fight even harder.

People generally give me dirty looks when I say I'm a bit of a pessimist. I understand it is most likely due to the negative connotations of the world, but I am quite happy with my views. Again, I would rather be surprised by something good than crushed by something bad. Call me a realist if you will, but it has worked quite well for me the last few years.

I like to be prepared for things in life, if some of you have not gathered that from my posts over the years. Preparation, in my eyes, is the key to success. My slightly pessimistic tendencies help to ensure that I am as prepared as I can be, or at least I believe so.

Thus I ask, is being pessimistic so wrong?

Monday, December 7, 2009

Old School

This is just too damned cool. Snapped it up from the SDN forums the other day, figured I'd continue passing it around.... yikes sounds like it could be syphilis when I word it that way


Sunday, December 6, 2009

How I Miss The Fun

One of the items people neglect to mention to you when you choose to go into a medical profession is the fact that you have no life. I realize if I do get into pharmacy school that it will only become worse, but at least you have a hundred others in a similar situation.

Friday night I went out with friends for bowling and drinks. I made my first venture to one of the most popular bars in the city even though I have been of age for more than three years now. That show's how often I go out.

And it was a damned good time. Probably the most fun I've had in months. The somewhat depressing part is the realization that that will most likely not happen again for quite some time.

I have become used to seeing my friends be able to do such things on a weekly basis. I have been lucky to enjoy this type of thing once a month. One of the perks of being pre-pharm with a full time job. And the fact I haven't had longer than a 3 week break from school in 2 1/2 years. And those breaks were filled with either PCAT or wedding stuff.

I think I'm gonna celebrate the hell out of my summer break this next year... just because I can.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Smile, You're On Camera!

Recently one of our stores received a shiny new camera system. The kicker is the 'new and improved' color digital cameras produce a massively shittier image than the old black and white ones.


With this new system, we received an extra four cameras. Our initial thoughts were, "Cool! We can finally see that deep dark corner of the store where the trolls live and people steal shit." Ok, not really, but you see what I'm getting at.

So we stroll into the pharmacy the other day, preparing for the hell that is the first of the month and we see they installed the new cameras... all in the pharmacy.

Now you're thinking, "But Phathead, that is to prevent internal theft of narcotics and things of that nature."

Again, this would be the logical assumption... if it were true.

You see all the cameras are placed so they can view us as we work. There are no cameras on the C-II cabinet nor where we keep our cases, yes I said cases, of various hydrocodone strengths. Instead they are placed to watch us work each and every day.

And the feed goes straight to the owner's office AND his home. Isn't technology wonderful?

Now that we are effectively a part of a voyeur program, whatever shall we do?

The answer? Well it involves choreography. You see we figured if we're gonna be watched like this, we're gonna fuck with them. We're planning a bit of a dance routine and I am in the market for a gorilla suit.

Can you imagine what the hell's gonna be going through his head when he looks up and sees us dancing Chorus Line style? It'll be brilliant!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

A Little Italian Rock

Too many serious posts with too many argumentative comments means only one thing... we need a music post.

Figured I'd post something a little out of the ordinary, an accoustic version of an Italian rock song. It's a combo that you don't hear terribly often and it does help that it is from my favorite band.

Thus, I figure, what the hell!