By Popular Demand, Highlights From Friday's Pill Counting Action.

The final results from the Twitter poll were 12 votes for pill-counting highlights, 3 for the story of the doctor who falsified his scientific paper, and 1 demand that I write about both. I guess I don't blame you. In today's uncertain world, I would much rather lose myself in tales of numbnut customers than face the cold reality that yet another institution upon which the functioning of our society depends has cracks in the foundation. Yup. I vote for highlights as well. Make that 13 to 3, and one for both.

The day started with an eerie silence. Ominous. Not to mention no messages on the voicemail. There are never no messages on the voicemail. The silence continued and 15 minutes into it I knew something was dreadfully wrong.

The phones were dead. So dead their corpse was cold. And while it was nice to be able to start the day being able to keep up with the workload those at the home office say we should be able to handle for a change, I knew that disaster was looming.

I will pause here and point out that I noticed the impeding disaster 15 minutes into my shift, and that the store opens an hour before the pharmacy. The numbnuts up front had not taken a phone call in an hour and 15 minutes and didn't have the slightest idea anything was wrong. Probably because they never took the class I did my third year in college entitled "How to tell if the phone is ringing."

I stepped into the leadership void and called the corpro-help desk. Disaster was avoided. I stared the day by saving the store.

The first phone call of the day was from a dentist who wanted to phone in a prescription for diazepam, 20mg an hour before the customer's dental appointment. A whopper of a dose. The customer was already taking temazepam 60mg at bedtime. A whopper of a dose. I told the dentist this and the dentist had no idea what the problem could be.

Let's pause again and have everyone not in the profession play a game. I'll call it "See if you're smarter than a dentist" Here are the rules; look at the last three letters in the name of the two meds the customer above would be taking and see if you have any idea what the problem could possibly be. If so, you're smarter than a dentist.

So I started the day by saving the store and then by saving a customer. That's what I do. I save stuff. Which is why I make so goddamn much motherfucker.

Overheard as the day's routine prescription filling got under way:

Customer: "Where is the corn medicine?"

Front-end clerk: "I think over by the seeds"

I now have some sympathy for the customers who insist on asking only me where the random shit they want to buy is located.

"Oh I'm in a lot of pain!!" said the customer who came in shortly before lunchtime. "Where are your stomach medicines!!??"

"Down aisle 2" Replied my keystone tech.

"What do you recommend!!!???"

"Let me have you talk to the pharmacist"

"I don't have time!!! I'm in too much pain!!!"

The extra time involved, I will point out, would be about how long it would take for the customer and/or myself to bridge the approximately 10 feet between me and my keystone tech. I always wondered why insurance company helpdesks felt the need to tell you if you were calling due to an emergency to hang up and dial 9-1-1. As I watched the stomach lady run out of the store emptyhanded, I understood.

About an hour later someone called and asked what "buy one, get one free" meant, which made me really happy I went to all that effort to fix the phones.

In the background Barry Manilow sang "Daybreak," and I could not help but to hum along. Someday I will tell you the story of how Barry Manilow is a scar upon my soul.

Tied up on the phone again, I heard a customer ask if he should take his naproxen with food. I banged on the counter to get my tech's attention and nodded "yes." If you're a pharmacy student, take heed. Your professors won't tell you this, but some days, that's as close as you're gonna get to having an opportunity to counsel someone in the real world.

The day ended with a 5-minute till closing time phone call.

"Do you sell something to measure the downward pressure being put on a jar, like peanut butter, when you open it?"

I cannot convey to you with words the urgency that was in this person's voice.

"No ma'am, I'm sorry, we don't"

"I guess I should ask a physics teacher, huh?"

I started the day by saving the phones, which I thought was a good idea at the time.


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By Popular Demand, Highlights From Friday's Pill Counting Action.
By Popular Demand, Highlights From Friday's Pill Counting Action.
Reviewed by malaria
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Rating : 4.5