Monday, October 25, 2010

Thank You, Techs!

October 26th, 2010 is National Pharmacy Technician Day! I would like to thank all of the hardworking technicians out there for all that you do to make my job easier. Being a pharmacy technician is often a thankless job. They man the front lines, solving problems before they even come to me. A good technician will take care of as much as they can, letting me focus on being a pharmacist. Techs do not get paid anything near what they are worth, especially with the increased demand placed on them by the cut in hours and flu shot program.

I am very thankful that I have a wonderful partner pharmacist at my new store, but I am even more grateful to have excellent techs. My two daytime "keystone" techs have made a choice to treat their jobs as careers, and they are excellent, with lots of experience, and fabulous customer service skills. My evening techs are mostly pharmacy school interns, and they do a good job of juggling the demands of a rigorous program with the need to work one or two nights a week.

What are you doing to let your techs know how much you appreciate their hard work? I'm bringing Krispy Kreme in the morning :)

Monday, October 18, 2010


So there is this guy who was a very regular customer of mine when I worked overnights. He would come in, I would remember his name, we would chit-chat. He thought he was pretty sexy with his shirt unbuttoned and his leather cowboy hat and ponytail, but our chats were friendly and quite harmless.

Fast-forward a few months later, when I had come off of days and was covering a leave at my old store. He came in, I helped him, and he told me about an injury that his daughter had sustained, hence the reason he was there. There was a question of whether it was more serious than a simple injury, and tests and assessment were to follow. I gave him my good wishes, and he left. A couple of days later, he comes in with his wife, whom I had never met. I see them finish up at the counter, and as they walk away past the consultation window, I say, "Hey, how is your daughter?" Wife looks at me, her eyes wide, then looks at her husband and her eyes narrow. Ooookay. He mumbles, "She's fine," and they walk off.

Um, I don't know what kind of extracurricular activities of his that she was used to dealing with, but I most certainly was NOT one of them...just your friendly neighborhood pharmacist. He came in on my shift a couple times after that, and out of extreme awkwardness, I always made sure I was way too busy to even make eye contact with him. Thank goodness I have switched stores and don't have to deal with that again.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

"I Hope You Feel Better"

It was about 3 a.m. A young woman in her twenties and her concerned boyfriend presented prescriptions for Keflex and Percocet to be filled. Her right hand was heavily bandaged. She was crying, and the boyfriend was very quiet and looked extremely serious and upset. I filled the prescriptions quickly, and after I rung them out, I made a horrible mistake. She was still crying, and the boyfriend just grunted, "Thank you," when I looked at her with concern and said, "I hope you feel better."

At this point, her face fills with rage, she waves her bandaged hand in my face and screams, "Well, I DON'T HAVE A FUCKING FINGER!!!"

She stormed out and the boyfriend quickly followed, and I just stood there, shocked. I then realized how callous and glib my words must have seemed to someone whose life will never be the same after losing a finger. I felt absolutely terrible for making her difficult day even worse. And I realized that expressing my wish for her to feel better was only to make myself feel better.

I did learn from that encounter, and I try to read people a bit better before offering my wishes, and I have learned that in a serious situation, a simple, "Take care," voiced with concern works much better. And the folks that want to talk about why they went to the ER, or what kind of phlegm they are hacking up are more than happy to share.