Highlights From Friday's Pill Counting Action


"I really hate western medicine" the customer started. "It's not about curing anything, just about making profits for the drug companies"

Blah blah blah....you hear this type of thing all the time on my side of the counter. Especially when that counter is located in affluent California. I tuned out and started to think about that hardest of choices. Would I have a tumbler of scotch or a giant martini after work to help me forget about all this? My psychology professor told me once the hardest choice to make is one between two positive outcomes, and I was starting to see what he meant all those years ago.

I tuned back in to see if anything important had come up. I heard the words "potassium iodide" and took the exit ramp right back off this conversation. I wondered if I had any olives in the fridge should I go the martini route. Put a little olive juice in your shaker and you've got you a dirty martini. That just might hit the spot right now.

I've been in the profession about twenty years, and it took me about fifteen to hone my spidey sense to the point where I magically know when to start listening to a customer again. I felt the force and tuned back in.

"So I should have three prescriptions ready" said the scientific skeptic. "And can I get a flu shot?" The Vicodin and Soma were too soon to be filled. Meaning Ms. Western Medicine Hater would be leaving the pharmacy this day with only her Ambien and a sore arm. The incredible disconnect between the words that came from her mouth and reality almost made me ask her if she'd be interested in sending in a resume' to corporate headquarters. I think she'd really fit in.

I stuck my head back into the prescription pile and was next startled by the sound of a woman berating her child.

"I know you can read!!" She told the little one. "You shouldn't need me to tell you what kind of battery you need"

Five seconds later, the same voice......"VISINE!!!!!!!!" I'll translate that for those of you still left with a modicum of etiquette. What the lady meant was "Excuse me, do you know where I could find the Visine?" People in affluent California though, are far too advanced to actually form a question, they simply boil it down to its essence and scream the one world really loud at the person they expect to answer it, regardless of any evidence that this person is aware they are there or may be doing something that requires paying attention.

"Under the sign in front of you that says eye care" I told the woman who had just stressed the importance of reading. The great thing about the affluent assholes is that as long as their child-like need for immediate gratification is satisfied, they rarely will pick up on things like irony or the fact that you just insulted them.

I took a phone call and was immediately met with a scream. "I PUT ACID IN MY MOUTH!!!!! I PUT ACID IN MY MOUTH!!!!!" The person seemed to be forming words pretty well for someone in the process of incinerating their upper GI tract. Still, I started to give her the number for poison control.

"I SHOULD HAVE KNOWN BETTER....THE TABLETS WERE DIFFERENT. I SHOULD HAVE ASKED YOU BEFORE I TOOK ONE"

Hmmmmm....now I was thinking LSD. But why would someone ask their pharmacist about that?

Turned out the woman had gotten a different brand of Ambien CR, and she thought they had a bit of an acidic taste. She was worked up enough about it I couldn't imagine her getting much sleep that night. Which means she'll be in soon to tell me this new brand doesn't work.

The day closed with a kid in the waiting room whose attention we couldn't get because he was listening to his iPhone. He sat there, looking down, texting away while Alice In Chains poured through his headphones, as my supertech, my keystone tech, and finally myself took turns trying to let him know his zit med was ready. I finally went out and waved my hand in front of his face. Not because of any type of commitment to customer service, but mostly to see if I could scare him. I failed. He just kinda wandered up to the counter like a zombie.

"Your prescription is $25" said Supertech. And there was nothing.

No protest that $25 was too much.

No questioning of how much the insurance covered.

Not even the dreaded "I have a coupon from my dermatologist." Which was what my spidey sense was telling me to expect.

Just a blank stare. For about 30 seconds I'd say. Followed by a little shuffle that kinda carried the kid out of the store like a piece of sea kelp drifting out into the world of the big blue ocean.

It was a martini. And it didn't work. Despite the fact I guzzled it all down with a dash of olive juice I can still remember the whole day. And after twenty years of this I'm starting to become not all that fond of western medicine myself.

Like the Vicodin/Soma/Ambien/Potassium Iodide lady though. I'll be back for more of it tomorrow
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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