Highlights From Friday's Pill Counting Action.

Five minutes after opening my keystone tech comes waltzing in and I just couldn't do it. It was witty maybe the first 25 times I said it, but the horse was just so dead that I would be beating. I sat in silence for maybe 30 seconds. Struggling. "Don't say it." I thought to myself. "Distract yourself with thoughts of scotch and such."

"I know, nice of me to join you." Blurted out my keystone tech as she put on her lab coat. We're getting to know each other too well I fear.  I need some new material, and she needs to stop coming in late.

First words out of the first customer of the day: "Three years ago I had all my teeth"  My hopes for the day soared.  How on earth can any day that starts with those words be a bad one?

I settled into the Friday double-V routine. Viagra and Vicodin. I have Friday regulars for each. One of my Viagra regulars came in this week with his wife. I understood his need for the V. My Supertech rings him up and wifey explodes.


My Supertech does what she usually does in price-complaint situations. Checks to see what they paid last time. She broke the news to wifey.


I seriously think I saw the dude shrinking as he stood there next to his wife as she screamed that his intimate encounters were not worth $150 a month. I was distracted by the sound of the Red Hot Chili Peppers "Under The Bridge" wafting from the in-store radio system. I chuckled at the thought of a song about shooting heroin being played in the land of the squares where I now work. Later I hoped the shrunken dude didn't think I was chuckling at him. Uptight rich white people unwittingly listening to heroin music is way funnier than a guy who can't get it up.

Then the great bag crisis hit. It had been coming for some time.

My employer has a system that involves putting finished prescriptions and their paperwork in clear plastic bags to be hung up to await the customers arrival. Nothing fancy mind you, just a bag with a snap top closure. We've been running low for awhile and the pharmacy manager placed an order for more foolishly thinking that is how we would get more. It's not that simple with my employer, who has decided the bags are expensive. There are procedures to be followed. District Managers to get involved. "I"s to be dotted and "T"s to be crossed. My employer really doesn't have much money. We'd been going through the hoops for a month and now....there were no bags. I sent Supertech to the pickup wall to see if any customers had prescriptions in more than one bag. I imagined that my store's enforced bag frugality would be the one event that returned our company to profitability this quarter and felt good about my service to the corporation.

Is anyone else bummed out about how there is almost no classical music on the radio anymore? Back in the day you could count on National Public Radio to give you a fix in the afternoon or late at night, but then they discovered that more news = more dollars during pledge drives. So now in addition to the edition that comes out every morning and the consideration  we give all things in the late afternoon, we're on point and listening to the world and importing news from the BBC and breathing fresh air, which used to be a show about the arts, and whoever decided to let the nails screeching on a chalkboard that is Diane Rhem's voice to ever be broadcast on the radio should be waterboarded.

Where was I going with this? Oh...the classical music. I found a great way around this problem. Anytime you wanna hear some classical music just call your local CVS. You'll be treated to a good 20 minutes or so before a clerk picks up and puts you back on hold to talk to the pharmacist.

And by 20 minutes I mean half an hour.

Ten minutes into this I took a prescription from a doctor's office bimbo. Tussionex suspension, two teaspoonfuls twice a day. Exactly twice the maximum recommended daily dose of two teaspoons in 24 hours. I asked if the kindly bimbo might double check the directions with the doctor. Because I am a goddamn Superpharmacist and you don't get this shit past me.

The least of your problems if you take twice the recommended dose of a narcotic cough syrup like Tussionex would be some opioid-induced constipation. As I was waiting for the return of the Bimbo a customer coincidentally asked if there was something he could take to get his pipes flowing again while he took his Vicodin. Remember it was double-V Friday.

"Why don't you use some Senokot. You can find it down aisle 5"

"Well what do you recommend?"

Bimbo called back. "The doctor said to change the Tussionex to one to two teaspoons every four to six hours"

"So...four teaspoons a day was twice the maximum dose...and you solve the problem by prescribing up to twelve teaspoonfuls a day?"

"I'll just phone it in somewhere else!!" And my license jumped for joy. Pharmacy students take heed. Your head is being filled with clinical situations, pharmacokinetic equations and such, but the times you will actually be making a difference in the real world of retail will more often than not just involve grade school arithmetic and letting people know you just made a recommendation.

I ran out of bags two more times before my store manager brought up a case from the back. The sticker on the box showed they had been sitting back there for 2 years. My store manager is the most competent person I have ever seen in my organization. He is new and I suspect if he doesn't cut it out he will be fired.

I also wonder if I'll have all my teeth in three years. I'm going to go floss now.
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Highlights From Friday's Pill Counting Action.
Highlights From Friday's Pill Counting Action.
Reviewed by malaria
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Rating : 4.5