Saturday, February 5, 2011

Patients Say the Darndest Things

So did you all survive that destructive 12 inches! I know I did and I’m still waiting for a phone call and a cigarette in bed!

Of course the only thing inevitable about this snowstorm’s complete broken promise of world domination and devastation was that work would not be closed down due to a state declared snow emergency (and possibly also a significant drop in the stock market for flare manufacturing companies shares). You would think that after the flocks of crazed and fearful Michiganders looted, pillaged, raped, and plundered their local grocery stores in the hopes that by some ray of God’s glorious mercy they’d be able to finally use that “Buy One, Get One Free” coupon on shaving cream (because you need to shave during the apocalypse) ; these mindless idiots would stay home for a few days.


I have to admit that topping the small list of things I look forward to during the long and desolate Michigan winter season are those days at the funny pharm where it's quiet enough to actually help your patients and make their trip to medicine land a pleasant and comforting one. That’s what I think we all strive for (at least those of us that haven’t been committed to the local sanatorium or who make decisions for insurance companies ) in the medical field. You wouldn’t know this if you happened to walk in during an average day at your local retail pharmacy though. Chances are if you walked in after 2.00 o’clock on a weekday you’d see the following…

- A pharmacist who is running around trying to do 9 things at once.

- A line of restless and impatient people with piles of expired transfer coupons and insurance rejection letters in their hands.

- Pharmacy technicians who are busy getting yelled at, heckled, spit at, and interrogated by restless and impatient customers all while also trying to do 9 things at once.

- That one sole understanding patient who probably at some point in her/his life worked in a pharmacy and was smart enough to run away screaming.

- Topless dancers. (Only at union-led stores.)

However in between the turmoil and soap opera theatrics that we have to endure from both the mentally deranged and the rightfully-frustrated patients--there are those moments of peace and gratification that do at least for a brief moment make the job worth it. While these moments are often less noticed at a supervisor and management level and often lost in the haystack amongst the various monotonies of your daily tasks; they’re little divine moments that remind you that some people do appreciate your slave labor. That is as long as you remind them that you and your fellow staff have to eat at some point during the day.

"Ohh don't whip me to hawd, Mistah..."

Today however something got me wicked annoyed (besides the fact that I got a bullshit parking ticket which I‘ll get to in a second) and it made my drive home one of self-muttering and a few choice cuss words. One of my patients came into today to follow up on a problem that she was having with her cardiologist’s office regarding a refill request. This particular doctor is a very well-to-do and respected cardiovascular specialist in our local area and his staff is a little, well, they’re angels. The problems we’ve had to deal with in regards to this office were miniscule and few and far between. However this woman needed a refill on her Crestor 20mg and they had not responded to us after we had sent multiple electronic refill requests. Long story short--it had been about two weeks and the patient was down to her last two tablets and it was the weekend. We were backed up. However, it was already late in the day and I needed to call this office because she would’ve been up shit’s creek had I put her off to wait on the state program hyenas at the counter. For those of you unfamiliar with your local medicinal tin gods -- the big guys tend to close early on Fridays.

I called the office and the nurse receptionist informed me that the patient was supposed to have received a hard copy when she visited the office back in December. The pt (“patient” for you pre-med majors out there) naturally didn’t have the hard copy (because it was Friday and that would’ve made our lives too easy) so I decided to call back and just get an oral over the phone. Yes I know I said oral. That’s what it’s called. Just ask your sister after you let her know I still have her bra.

In the meantime the other tech was helping the drifters at the counter. In the minute that passed between him walking away from the counter to finish counting a medication for a woman who was waiting the patient standing behind her in line proceeded to say the following towards me:

“Hey you. New guy! Kid on the phone. Excuse me? Hello jackass. Yeah you, the woppy looking one I’m waiting here.”

Let me back up and clarify the following. Working with the public sucks and dealing with an abusive public is just the occupational hazard that occurs on a daily basis. I’m also aware that I’m no angel in the language department. In fact you can say I’m a linguistic connoisseur in the field of profanity. An aficionado of offensive terminology.

What annoyed me was…

1.) He wasn’t even next to be waited upon. There was still a lady ahead of him.
2.) There were young kids behind him who overheard his rant.
3.) Woppy is not the same as calling someone a “Wop” ;{n. Wahp] Simply a noun. Get your slurs right asshole.
4.) I was on the phone in the middle of a conversation with a doctor’s office trying to get some fucking medication for a patient that was clearly standing right in Archie Bunker here’s line-of-sight.
5.) Nobody else in the line had enough class to put this guy in his place or say anything to him.

Let me tell you something. As a loudmouth by birth, merit, and heredity I have no problem diagnosing someone with the symptoms of “assholism” [n. ASS-HOLE-ISM} that they’re an asshole and need a prescription for a chill pill. I once asked a guy who thought he was going to leave his shopping cart in front of this old lady and her husband while they were waiting to use the self check-outs if he had “lost something” and made sure he picked up after himself like an ADULT and took his own damn shopping cart back to where it belonged. I’m not telling you this solely to brag about my longstanding record as a champion for the everyman blue-collar Costco shopper but to let you know that putting people in their place is almost a fetish of mine. So you can only imagine how hard it was for me to not tell the nurse receptionist to “hold for a second while I took the garbage out.” You can imagine how this was pure torture for me to bite my lip. For as much as the public likes to criticize and critique every word we medical professionals say--they should've been on this guy like the TSA on my balls.
Regardless the lady got her refill authorized and I was off my shift and out of Danvers twenty minutes after this incident. Freedom. The day was two hours longer than I had counted on but hey who cares it’s over.


I come out to find a nice parking violation notice on my windshield. Luckily a security camera caught a snapshot of my reaction.

Let me back up again. Earlier that day, like 9.30 AM when I pulled into the pet cemetery parking lot, the entire lot was covered in snow and ice. The lines on the parking spaces were not visible. This was not my fault because…

1.) I don’t own the parking lot nor have responsibilities over what condition the lot is in.
2.) I don’t have the time to shovel myself a spot to find a parking space.
3.) I am NOT God or a menstrual woman both of which having the power to change the barometric pressure of a particular area.

Fast forward to whatever part of the day rent-a-detective Starsky felt the need to right me a fucking ticket. The snow had melted because the sun came out and the temperature warmed up. I’m pretty sure the parking lot also got salted. I didn’t come back out to my car to leave for nearly seven and a half hours after I originally parked there. I’m sure the other people that I judged my parking spot off of were neither insane enough to spend seven hours in that place let alone work there or merely parking there with the intent to leave and make me look like a douche bag with a parking ticket. However, nonetheless they left and I was left there now visibly illegally parked. Hello fine!

So now it’s the weekend and the Super Bowl is Sunday. I was informed that they were taking bets on how long it was going to take Christina Aguliera to wail out the national anthem. I’m betting a minute and a half. That bitch better wail. I need the money to pay off my ticket.

Until next time…

Peace & love except where parking & standing is explicitly prohibited,

That woppy guy who blogs for A Kup of Reality.

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