I Keep My End Of The Bill Monning Bargain. Highlights From Wednesday's Pill Counting Action.

Once again I was looking down the barrel of a twelve hour workday, but once again this day started as one of hope. Those of you in the profession are well aware that in any pharmacy anywhere on the planet, there are always various pieces of electronic equipment that are non-functional. You may spend 6 years in college learning drugs my friends, but when you get out you'll learn to how to hold hardware together with paper clips, rubber bands, and duct tape. You'll learn how to jiggle power cords and exactly where on the outer casing to give the machine a good smack to get it to work. Or you'll learn how to bypass the goddamn thing altogether and still get your work done. This morning, however, as I struggled to hear the overnight voicemail through the telephone line that had a short circuit, I looked across the store and saw the entrance of our corporation's electronic repairman. When he left two hours later it was the beginning of a new era of Pax Technologica. For the first time that I can remember in my career, every machine in the pharmacy was fully functional. The people? Not so much.

"I take aspirin for my heart. Is this OK?" said the befuddled old man. "This" was clearly labeled as aspirin. I told him for the love of God to never put one of those in his mouth. Not really. I did wonder what these people will do when mail-order pharmacy takes over the entire universe. Because there seems to be more and more of these type of people around.

Right on cue with these thoughts, the next woman asked where the castor oil was. She came back a few minutes later with a bottle clearly labeled "Magnesium Citrate" and asked if it was castor oil. She was pregnant. I wondered what she would do when mail order pharmacy takes over the entire universe and who could have possibly have stuck his pecker in that.

I was also feeling not so good about the 5 years and all the dollars I spent to go to college until the computer made me feel better by trying to warn me that thyroid replacement therapy was contraindicated in patients with hypertension. Not that thyroid replacement should be used cautiously mind you, but that it was contraindicated. So evidently it is now best medical practice to let the thyroid glands of those with high blood pressure run amok. Who knew. I let it slide though, because I was living in the age of Pax Technologica.

"So the paper I brought in today said I have 6 refills, that means I have 2 coming to me, right?" I swear that's exactly what he said, and I could think of absolutely no reason why this man would think he had anything other than 6 refills coming to him. It was a competition this day between the machines and the humans to see who could make the least sense, and try as the machines might, the humans seemed to be winning.

The machines responded by ending Pax Technologica. The label printer started making farting noises. I swear. It was like the printer had just finished off a whole plate of beans and I made lemonade out of this lemon by taking the opportunity to release a little pressure from lunch myself. The ugliest woman in the world walked by carrying a bag from Victoria's Secret and I almost lost some lunch out the other end.

A lady came up to the counter right at the height of the after work rush and said she needed the loratadine "without all the sneezy and watery eye stuff in it." There seems to be at least one customer like this at the height of every after work rush. I put in a good effort to explain it to her. Really I did. That loratadine by its very nature treats sneezing and watery eyes. I opened up with every bit of 5 years worth of college drug learnin' firepower, but after a good 5 minutes with the phone ringing, the fax machine whirring, the printer farting, and the people backing up at the counter, she was having none of it. I finally gave up and told her it was at CVS, which may have confirmed my reservation in hell. The humans had trounced the machines in the clueless competition this day, as they do most. I started to wonder if maybe the Unabomber wasn't as crazy as he is portrayed, and pledged to track down a copy of his manifesto when this workday was done.

Thanks for coming through for Bill Monning, the one person in any position of leadership who has ever stood up for you. My pledge to chronicle the entire workweek after we reach $2000 in "Highlights From Today's Pill Counting Action" form still stands. I have no fear I will lack material.

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I Keep My End Of The Bill Monning Bargain. Highlights From Wednesday's Pill Counting Action.
I Keep My End Of The Bill Monning Bargain. Highlights From Wednesday's Pill Counting Action.
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