Why That Prescription Takes So D**N Long to Fill And Why It’s Not Your Pharmacist’s Fault, After All

I’m not a pharmacist in real life – I just write about them in this blog. I understand the issues that affect them from a layman’s point of view and must confess that when I go to the pharmacy I get just as impatient as everybody else. So, for all of us who just can’t understand why we have to wait so long to have a prescription filled (after all, how long can it take to put some pills in a bottle?) my fellow blogger DrugMonkey, Master of Pharmacy, offers the following explanation:

 Your Pharmacist May Hate You – the answer as to why your prescription takes so damn long to fill…and evidence of how drugstore workday life warps the mind.

 You come to the counter. I am on the phone with a drunk dude who wants the phone number to the grocery store next door. After I instruct him on the virtues of 411, you tell me your doctor was to phone your prescription in to me. Your doctor hasn’t, and you’re unwilling to wait until he does. Being in a generous mood, I call your doctor’s office and I am put on hold for five minutes, then informed that your prescription was phoned in to my competitor on the other side of town. Phoning my competitor, I am immediately put on hold for five minutes before speaking to the clerk, who puts me back on hold to wait for the pharmacist. Your prescription is then transferred to me, and now I have to get the two phone calls that have been put on hold while this was being done. Now I return to the counter to ask if we’ve ever filled prescriptions for you before. For some reason you think that “for you” means “for your cousin” and you answer my question with a “yes”, whereupon I go to the computer and see you are not on file.

 The phone rings.

 You have left to do something very important, such as browse through the monster truck magazines, and do not hear the three PA announcements requesting that you return to the pharmacy. You return eventually, expecting to pick up the finished prescription…

 The phone rings.

 …only to find out that I need to ask your address, phone number, date of birth, if you have any allergies and insurance coverage. You tell me you’re allergic to codeine. Since the prescription is for Vicodin, I ask you what exactly what the codeine did to you when you took it. You say it made your stomach hurt and I roll my eyes and write down “no known allergies”. You tell me…

 The phone rings.

 …you have insurance and spend the next five minutes looking for your card. You give up and expect me to be able to file your claim anyway. I call my competitor and am immediately put on hold. Upon reaching a human, I ask what insurance they may have on file for you. I get the information and file the claim, which is rejected because you changed jobs six months ago. An asshole barges his way to the counter to ask where the bread is.

 The phone rings.

 I inform you that the insurance the other pharmacy has on file for you isn’t working. You produce a card in under ten seconds that you seemed to be unable to find before. What you were really doing is hoping that your old insurance would still work because it had a lower co-pay. Your new card prominently displays the logo of Nebraska Blue Cross, and although Nebraska Blue Cross does in fact handle millions of prescription claims every day, for the group you belong to, the claim should go to a company called Caremark, whose logo is nowhere on the card.

 The phone rings.

 A lady comes to the counter wanting to know why the cherry flavor antacid works better than the lemon cream flavored antacid. What probably happened is that she had a milder case of heartburn when she took the cherry flavored brand, as they both use the exact same ingredient in the same strength. She will not be satisfied though until I have confirmed her belief that the cherry flavored brand is the superior product. I file your claim with Caremark, who rejects it because you had a 30 day prescription for Vicodin filled at another pharmacy 15 days ago. You swear to me on your mother’s…

 The phone rings.

 …life that you did not have another Vicodin prescription filled recently. I call Caremark and am immediately placed on hold. The most beautiful woman on the planet walks by and notices not a thing. She has never talked to a pharmacist and never will. Upon reaching a human at Caremark, I am informed that the Vicodin prescription was indeed filled at another of my competitors. When I tell you this you say you got hydrocodone  there, not Vicodin. Another little part of me dies.

 The phone rings.

 It turns out that a few days after your doctor wrote your last prescription, he told you to take it more frequently, meaning that what Caremark thought was a 30 day supply was indeed a 15 day supply with the new instructions. I call your doctor’s office and am immediately put on hold. I call Caremark to get an override and am immediately placed on hold. My laser printer has a paper jam. It’s time for my pharmacy tech to go to lunch. Caremark issues the override and your claim goes through. Your insurance saves you 85 cents off the regular price of the prescription.

 The phone rings.

 At the cash register you sign…

 The phone rings.

 …that you received a copy of my HIPAA policy and that I offered the required OBRA counseling for new patients. You remark that you’re glad your last pharmacist told you you should’t take over-the-counter Tylenol along with the Vicodin, and that the acetaminophen you’re taking instead seems to be working pretty well. I break the news to you that Tylenol is simply a brand name for acetaminophen and you don’t believe me. You fumble around for two minutes for your checkbook and spend another two minutes writing out a check for four dollars and sixty-seven cents. You ask why the tablets look different than those you got at the other pharmacy. I explain that they’re from a different manufacturer. Tomorrow you’ll be back to tell me they don’t work as well.

 Now imagine that this wasn’t you at all, but the person who dropped off their prescription three people ahead of you, and you’ll start to have an idea why….your prescription takes so damn long to fill.

 (From this day forward I promise to give my pharmacist the benefit of the doubt and complain about my HMO instead! – cvh55)

87 thoughts on “Why That Prescription Takes So D**N Long to Fill And Why It’s Not Your Pharmacist’s Fault, After All

  1. If I knew who you were or where you were I would hug you neck . You have just given an account of my day. But you left out the people that we love ,pamper because they have no one to help them and sweet people that they depend on us. This are the people that make up for those a–holes like you told about. I love my boss and the people I work with and we work our tails to get it right.

  2. I’ve never felt more understood in my life! This is dead on from beginning to end. The only thing I would say is different is that 9 times out of 10 it’s the technician that has these kind of encounters. We go through so much and it’s nice to know someone recognizes the struggle. Lol.

  3. OMG this is so spot on, but also during all this you have a little old lady at the consultation widow not understanding why she has no refills on her medication that she has to take for the rest of her life.

  4. I have these issues every day, and while thank God they don’t usually all happen at once, I thank all of my customers that appreciate the extra efforts I make on their behalf and the ones that are patient while I do! I have one poor couple who’s insurance has the wife in the system as a man and has the wife’s birthday down for both of them! Let me tell you how long it took to figure that out! Yet they smile and thank me every time they come in!

  5. If calling an insurance company only takes 5 minutes, you’re very lucky.

    This also doesn’t even consider the fact that now vicodin or anything with hydrocodone will have to be obtained from a locked safe or cabinet, that you’ve gotta go find the keys for, then hand count not once but twice (usually several hundreds at a time) giant vicodin pills when only 30 fit on a tray at once and then it must logged by hand in a log book, a book that has 45 different types of other controlled drugs that are all very similar but slightly different (there’s amphetamine salt controlled release, sustained release, delayed release, extended release, immediate release, different brands, different strengths, and different generic manufacturers, etc.) so you’ve got to sift through all that to find the page that you need. Also you’ve gotta wait for the other tech to finish using it if they’re doing their own. That requirement is coming in about a month and you’ll really see things slow down.

    And yes, the phone rings off the hook in pharmacies and each call may take 5-15 minutes. That part is no joke. The real problem is that a lot of pharmacies are filling volume much higher than they were even 5 years ago for a variety of reasons (one is the death of individually owned pharmacies), higher volume than they were originally designed for.

  6. Now……a word from the other side. I will tell you a typical prescription pick-up day for this Walgreen’s customer. I have been a $500 /month customer at the same chain for years and it is usually a nightmare for me to pick up. It starts like this! I gave up on the automated system because it usually failed. So I call my orders in after midnight when the pharmacist is the least busy. I order five prescription refills. I gave them a pickup time for 24 hours later. From experience, I know better than to go in 24 hours so I wait 48 hours to go to the drive through window. I gave them my name. They saId:You have one presciption to pick up. I said no I have 5 to pick up. They say: hmmmmm no there’s just the one but it is time for the other 4 to be filled. I told them I had personally ordered them from the pharmacist. They told me, he ordered one. I ask them to fill the other 4. They asked me if I could come back in 2 hours. I ask them why since there is no one in outside line and I can see that there is no one in line on the inside. They told me we always ask you to come back while the order is being filled. Oh!!! And by the way we don’t have any Glumetza for you and we only have half enough of the welbutrin! I ask them to call their compounding store for another prescription and while they were at it to ask them to go ahead and fill my other ones! They called and the other store said fine and 30 minutes later I arrive at the other store. The girl tells me we only have a few Glumetza and no Diovan! Couldn’t they have told me that when they were chatting with each other???? I ask could I have the “few” Glumetza and will fill the rest at the store I just left. They rudely stated “Oh….We can’t split an order. You will have to get it all at our other pharmacy. Grrrrrrrrr…..I asked them to call the original pharmacy and have them to fill what they do have and get it ready for me. Now…..30 minutes later I go back to original pharmacy. They asked me if I could come back!!!!! I told them that this is really getting ridiculous and that if I go to such pains to call way ahead for my order why couldn’t they let me know that they were out of my meds. Or at least ORDER them? They never apologize. Not ever a simple “sorry this happened”…..not a smile…..nothing. And no, before you think it, it is not because they don’t like me. It is not because they hate me . They don’t even know who I am. They could care less. I am getting ready to call their corporate office. It is a shame because in every location I have ever been in the other employees in their store are so helpful and sweet, but the pharmacy people (the ones you see) are the rudest people I have ever encountered. I use their store like a grocery a lot so it is not just the $500 /month that is spent. In my experience the pharmacists are usually the nicest people people behind the counter. But, it would be nice if their other other employees could be given proper training and maybe a little etiquette lesson or two. You won’t believe me, I am sure, but there is a problem 90 per cent of the time when trying to pick up meds. I will go to another pharmacy! The reason I have tried to stick with them is that they are open 24/7. But that really makes no difference if they can never have my prescriptions filled. As soon as I can find one that is open every day, I am going to hang out there and watch how they treat their customers. Then I will decide!

    • I’ve always had great service from Walgreen’s, so this comment surprises me. But every story does have two sides. It seems service in America is not what it once was and I have a theory about why that is. More blog fodder!

      CVH

    • No offense, but everyone has heard your side of the story. The point of this blog is to explain to those that don’t know what goes on behind the counter and to give the scarcely recognized and under appreciated pharmacist/technician (like me!) a voice. However, I agree that if you have been a customer for 5 years and you pick up the same prescription every month, they should absolutely keep it in stock for you. I don’t think there’s any acceptable excuse for not having it readily available to you. On the flip side, your comment about suppliers isn’t fair. Most big chain pharmacies have contracts with specific suppliers so they HAVE to order the medication from them. They technically COULD order from another supplier, but it would cost the pharmacy way more, so the company probably doesn’t even give them the option. Or they could have more than one supplier, but their supplemental supplier might only be able to get generics, certain brands, or might not carry narcotics. And if the preferred supplier is out of stock, there’s generally no notice given ahead of time to alert customers of a shortage. Unfortunately, and I know it sounds like an excuse, it’s out of the pharmacist’s hands. They can check other stores in the chain to see if they have the drug in stock and you could pick it up there, or if they can spare the time, contact neighboring pharmacies to check their supply. That’s pretty much it. As long as pharmacies remain businesses, I’m afraid situations like yours will be common. But that’s another issue entirely.

      • “Everyone has heard your side of the story” Really? Between that and “The point of this blog is to explain to those that don’t know, blah, blah, blah.” I don’t know which is cheekier! First off, you cannot possibly know my side of the story unless you’ve lived it and this blog is for everyone and anyone to respond…pro or con! If you wish to begin a “Hooray For Me & To Hell With You” or a “I’m Overworked & Underpaid” blog, the door is over there>>>> Where does it state that an opposing view or other experience has no place here? I see nothing that states this is a blog for disgruntled and tired employees to list their gripes about the company they work for or the customers they serve!

        You preface your writing with the “No offense, but” cop-out and then go one to be nothing but offensive! Well Golly, Gee…the truth of the matter is that you do offend me! You are one of those who thinks they are oh, so right, and only they have something to impart to the world, but, you are dead wrong! There are all kinds of people out here and all have their own experiences. Some wish to share them while others choose not to. You have a voice…but I can assure you, it is NOT to the exclusion of all others. Many people do not understand what goes on behind the scenes and many people have never worked retail or been involved with customer service. I have spent over 40 years in all these areas and have plenty to contribute concerning the view from both sides of the counter.

        As to your supplier explanations and excuses, it all comes down to the corporate bottom line and that bottom line is $$$. It always has been. The large chain stores contract with one supplier and guarantee them their business. This saves them money each and every year because the supplier has that golden guarantee and thereby offers them their medications at a reduced price. Who pays for that in every way when things go awry? The customer…otherwise known as the patient! It is highly unlikely the pharmacist will even check to see if another supplier is in the chain unless you jump up, down and sideways, and only when pressed, will they even contact another store in the chain for you. THEY want the $$$ in their coffers…pharmacy dollar quotas must be upheld…even to the detriment of guess who? The customer/patient! Explanations do not automatically make the policy right and maintaining the status quo when that status quo is detrimental to workers and customers alike is incredibly stupid! The very person who keeps them IN business is the person they just passed over…the customer/patient! While I am in your store, I am your priority and your golden opportunity to continue working there. If I cannot acquire what I pay so dearly for…I walk down the street and someone else now has their job guaranteed by my presence..because my presence means I just walked in with $$$ to spend and wish to spend it there! I say “me” but it’s the me in EVERYONE. Every customer in this country has more power to effect policy and change things than they realize! It’s high time the staff of these huge stores understood it is not themselves who are all important.

        While workers have many, many legitimate concerns which need be addressed with your employers, understand that it is the customer who is all important. You are trying to defend your side of that counter and I am defending the right of the customer…and I always will! There are many wonderful workers out there that deserve nothing but praise but most people who lash out at customers and do not treat them well make me quite ill! If you have a problem with your job function or functioning in your job, then please, take it up with your employer. Don’t treat the customer as though they need to like it or lump it! By the same token, I understand all too well the problems you encounter daily with some of your customers. Do what you can to help them…helping them makes your job easier the next time they stop by. Keeping them as a customer ensures your job and to a very large extent, keeps the company you are employed by up and running.

      • “First off, you cannot possibly know my side of the story unless you’ve lived it’
        By the way you’ve presented your “opposing view or other experience” it is clear that you somehow think you do know what it is like working in a pharmacy, and are an expert on how we do our jobs. However, as you just pointed out, you can’t possibly understand *our* side of the story working in the pharmacy unless you’ve lived it, so stop acting like you do.

        “You are one of those who thinks they are oh, so right, and only they have something to impart to the world, but, you are dead wrong!…You have a voice…but I can assure you, it is NOT to the exclusion of all others. ”
        I’d say the same to you. You are not always right, and certainly not concerning this. And your opinions aren’t any more important than anyone else’s, just like your prescriptions aren’t more important than those of other patients.

        “Many people do not understand what goes on behind the scenes and many people have never worked retail or been involved with customer service. I have spent over 40 years in all these areas and have plenty to contribute concerning the view from both sides of the counter”
        Until you’ve work in a retail PHARMACY setting, you really have no idea what it is like to work at a pharmacy. All retail is NOT created equal. Filling prescriptions involves many steps, and filling prescriptions is only part of what we do.

        “As to your supplier explanations and excuses, it all comes down to the corporate bottom line and that bottom line is $$$. It always has been. The large chain stores contract with one supplier and guarantee them their business.”
        Yes, this is related to CORPORATE!!! How am I supposed to change that? You think if I said let’s be contracted to every possible supplier they would listen to me? And further, even if they did, it is true that we need $ to stay in business. If we can’t make money, we can’t stay open to fill prescriptions. Budgeting does not make companies evil.

        “It is highly unlikely the pharmacist will even check to see if another supplier is in the chain unless you jump up, down and sideways, and only when pressed, will they even contact another store in the chain for you. THEY want the $$$ in their coffers…pharmacy dollar quotas must be upheld…even to the detriment of guess who? The customer/patient!”
        You know why that is highly unlikely? Because we can ONLY RECEIVE DRUGS FROM THE SUPPLIERS WE ARE CONTRACTED to. If we are not contacted with another supplier, we absolutely cannot get drugs from them, period. So if the contract is not there, there is absolutely no way to get a drug from that supplier. If I were to contact a supplier I have no contract with they would tell me “sorry, we don’t have a contract with your store, so we won’t send you medications.” Also, seeing if another supplier is in the chain? Every pharmacy knows which 1-3 suppliers they are contracted to. In fact, our computers are linked to those suppliers, so when I order something, it forces me to chose one of them. Basically, as already stated, I can only purchase through suppliers my store has a contract with–it isn’t me being mean, there is literally no way for me to order from a supplier we have no contract with; and I do know who my store’s suppliers are.
        On another point, you act indignant that we may not be dying to call another store to see if they have it–that takes TIME, and when people like you say you should get to cut in front of everyone else because you’re sick, how am I supposed to have the time to call another pharmacy? Call yourself.

        “If I cannot acquire what I pay so dearly for…I walk down the street and someone else now has their job guaranteed by my presence”
        Well, you don’t pay for the prescription till we have filled it, so if we don’t have it in stock, you’re not going to have a prescription to pay for, so you aren’t going to have paid for the prescription. We’ll tell you before a transaction is made that we don’t have it in stock.

        “…understand that it is the customer who is all important.”
        WRONG! Here is an article explaining well why “‘The Customer Is Always Right,’ Is Wrong”: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/alexander-kjerulf/top-5-reasons-customer-service_b_5145636.html. Basically, the answer is because sometimes the customer is just plain wrong, and complaining about something that is beyond our control. And employees are people, too. Customer service, is as the name implies, us providing you a SERVICE. So be grateful, and remember it is a service, not an entitlement or a right. I chose pharmacy because I truly do want to help people be more healthy and improve their quality of life. And, besides that, I’m a human being. So I don’t deserve to be bullied and treated like crap because I’m the “employee” and you’re the “customer.” Being a customer doesn’t give you the right to be a jerk or make you more important.

        “There are many wonderful workers out there that deserve nothing but praise but most people who lash out at customers and do not treat them well make me quite ill! If you have a problem with your job function or functioning in your job, then please, take it up with your employer. Don’t treat the customer as though they need to like it or lump it!”
        There are many wonderful patients out there who appreciate what I do and make my job great, but many customers–like you–lash out at US and do not treat us well, and that makes me “quite ill”! If you have a problem with how pharmacies are run, then please address corporate directly–they are the ones who decide how many manufacturers we can use, and how many of us are getting hours; it is not he employees of individual pharmacies deciding these things. And as I’ve mentioned in other posts, we are LEGALLY restricted on when we can fill certain meds, what kind of prescriptions we can take, and how many techs we can supervise, etc. Fussing at us because we are following the law is pointless. We can’t break the law just to make you happy.

        Everything you’ve complained about is things that indivdiual pharmacists and techs cannot control. If you want something done about it, talk to corporate or our lawmakers, and leave the rest of us alone so we can help patients that actually appreciate our service rather than think they deserve to be treated like a king.

      • Chris,

        I do apologize if I’ve come off as holier than thou. That truly was not my intention. I did not mean to imply that other peoples sides of the story don’t matter, or that they don’t belong here. Instead of saying ‘the point of this blog’ I should have said ‘the point of this article’, because that’s really what I meant. But I could not in good conscious not respond to something I felt was unfair. If you read my previous posting, you’ll see that I do acknowledge that what I said about suppliers sounds like an excuse, because it does. I know you probably won’t believe me, but I am actually very good at empathizing with patients that come into the pharmacy I work at, and I do go out of my way to call other pharmacies if we do not have something in stock. I really try to put myself in their shoes; of course they’re not always going to be super happy to see me, they’re sick or in pain! Where I work, the patient always comes first, and I generally don’t fault any of them for the crap I have to deal with, because it really isn’t their fault! I don’t take my frustrations out on them, because most of the time, they have nothing to do with it. However, some patients simply don’t know the process and extent of working in a pharmacy situation, assume that they do, and then give us hell when their Rx was called in that morning and still not ready by the afternoon. Nevermind the onslaught of flu shots, insurance billing rejections, children that need their antibiotics, and the phone that won’t stop ringing. That one patient can ruin my entire day, throw me off from keeping up with many prescriptions being called in (which makes other patients have to wait), and sometimes I take it to heart and that can really do some longterm emotional damage. It hurts to be insulted when you know you’re doing everything you can. I know, I know, wah wah, but it doesn’t make it a lie. Just as I cannot possibly know your side of the story unless I’ve lived it (but I try!), the same goes for you.

        I completely agree with you about the corporate bottom line. One-hundred percent. Trust me, I am not trying to defend the system. It is fucked up and idiotic. And you’re right, it is the patient that foots the bill. I’m not trying to disregard that whatsoever. But I’m a consumer, too. And no, I don’t get some phenomenal discount because I work in a pharmacy. I pay copays just like everyone else. I have to wait in line at the pharmacy like everyone else. But I have never treated a customer ‘as though they need to like it or lump it.’ I WANT to help them. I WANT them to come back and make us their regular pharmacy. However, I deserve to respond accordingly if I feel the integrity of my work is being threatened, because believe it or not, I am good at my job.

    • 1. Drive-through takes much longer b/c there are more steps involved. In addition, there are assholes who try to pick up 10 meds in the drive-thru with a line of cars behind them.
      2. Pharmacists are usually more friendly than techs b/c they make 6 figures to get shit on by customers whereas techs make $9/hr to play cashiers and get shit on by customers.
      3. There are several methods offered to refill meds: punch in your #s on the phone, online, or on an app. Also there is auto-refill for meds you take every month. We get phone calls to confirm rxs are ready although the patient has already received a text/phone call saying it is ready… Wasting our time.
      4. At my place of work, we have to drop everything we are doing (aside from a phone call) to check out customers. We have 3 registers and another at drive-thru. We have 2-3 techs, 1 clerk (part-time), and 1 pharmacist. So while every employee is at a register, no one is there to fill your prescription.
      5. Although, there is not a customer in the store, there is always work to be done. The magical pharmacy elves do not come and fill all the prescriptions called in for refill, new prescriptions, and transfers. Things are done in order of when they were received. Just because you have been a customer for 5+ yrs., does not mean we are going to fill your rx ahead of the 7 other people who have been patiently waiting for 30 minutes.
      6. We don’t just “slap a label” on a bottle and give it to you and I would hope you would not be comfortable with that happening. The rx is typed, pre-verified by the pharmacist, counted or labelled (scanning the barcode on the label and the UPC code on the bottle to insure they match), verified by the pharmacist, and either before or after you pick it up, audited (basically verified again, done by either tech or pharmacist). That scenario is assuming there are no insurance issues, controlled substance early fills involved, drug-to-drug reactions, etc. Even with all these steps, there are still mistakes made. If your new rx is ready in 5 minutes at CVS/Walgreens, you should probably be concerned that your getting the right drug with the right directions. Although it may be filled exactly how the doctor ordered it, the doctor could have made a mistake. We have to look for those mistakes.

    • My parents have been forced to switch to using our local Walgreen’s pharmacies because Medicare won’t pay for their meds at any other drug store. They have the same sort of problems at all of our WalGreens. They never had these kind of problems at the Winn Dixie pharmacy that they were using before and the people there were fantastic to work with every time.

    • Your problem is that you went to a chain store. They have really gone into the crapper with customer service. My husband is a pharmacist and he refuses to work for a chain like Walgreen’s, Safeway, RiteAid, etc because they treat their employees and customers horribly. Find a locally owned pharmacy who appreciates your business and take a xanax. It’s a pharmacy- you’re gonna have to wait once in a while.

      • Yes…they have gone down the crapper and judging by the replies from “employees” I can see why. It would seem they all have legitimate gripes but the customer has nothing to complain about! Interesting responses, these! I hardly ever mind waiting unless I am ill and that does not happen often. The reason I mentioned the wait to begin with is because in the almost 5 years I’ve been with this Chain Store, I have NEVER been told my Rx would be ready in anything less than 2-5 hours even if they have the medication on hand. It’s not even a matter of running a few errands and returning. I’m between a rock and a hard place because of lack of delivery services. For the first 3 1/2 years I was here no one delivered and mine is, at present, the only one that now delivers in my area and I am often not able to get back on my horse, as it were, and go back out to do a pick up. While I am not often ill, I am totally disabled, suffer greatly from chronic pain and am far from mobile. That is what prevents my getting out and about as I once did. Perhaps things have changed out there and I will be able to find a private pharmacy who delivers now. I have no family and live in a Senior residence where not many drive at all anymore. Wish me luck…and thank your husband for me for not succumbing to what has become an intolerable situation in this business. Thanks!

    • Has it occurred to you that maybe you’ve run out of refills and that’s why you only had 1 prescription ready? And that it took time for the pharmacy to call your doctor to approve the refill? Maybe your refill was too soon when you ordered it.

      Has it also occurred to you that you are not the only person in the world who needs prescriptions? While there’s no body at the drive thru, maybe, JUST MAYBE, they’re working on other prescriptions for other people who also called in their prescription. And they’re are getting filled because they’re diligent enough to realize they’re out of refills ahead of time.

      You’re already in a pissy mood for waiting, most likely you’re not going like us going to check all 5 of your prescriptions to see if we have them in stock. You probably won’t like having to wait for us to check if we have in stock the 10 prescriptions the guy in front of you just dropped off. If we have it we fill it. If we don’t, we don’t. Want to go somewhere else to get it? Go ahead. We can give you can give you partial if your insurance/coupon allows it. If it doesn’t then you pay cash (which you don’t want to). Anything can be ready on time if it doesn’t break the law and you pay cash :) I don’t hate insurance. I just hate having to explain it to people like you who don’t understand logic.

      We don’t have to apologize to you. We don’t owe you anything. You came to us. If you don’t like the rude employees, go somewhere else. Simple. With your rude attitude you’re gonna get the same type of service everywhere, chain or independent.

    • It’s my experience that if there’s an issue 90% of the time, the issue, 80% of the time, is the person who’s having that issue 90% of the time. 9 times out of 10, someone calls me, asks me to fill one med, comes in an hour later expecting to have ten ready.

      If this happens to you EVERY TIME, go somewhere else. If it continues to happen to you EVERY TIME… it’s not them, it’s you. Sorry for the lack of sympathy, but I hear this crap every day at the pharmacy that I work at, and I have to tell you, it’s not us, it’s YOU.

      As for why it isn’t ordered? On average, we have enough of a single medication to fill three to four thirty day prescriptions, on a non-fast moving item. Say around 200-300 pills. It’s first come, first serve. If Mrs. Johnson calls in and orders her 90 day supply of, say. Glumetza, and she’s taking two a day, she just took 180 pills. That’s 180 out of probably 200 pills we have on the shelf, since only Mrs. Johnson and one or two other people get that med at our store, since it’s literally a brand name medication that’s been out of use for years since the generic, Metformin, became available.

      So Mrs. Johnson orders her Glumetza. Then an hour later, you call and order your 30 day supply. But we only had 200 pills on the shelf, and Mrs. J there? She just took 180 of them. Our order doesn’t come in until the next day. So you have to wait, because we don’t have a magic teleporter to get the med in the back of the store, and we’re not even allowed to borrow meds from another pharmacy anymore.

      As for why it’s going to take two hours to fill your meds when you see no line?

      Each prescription must be hand typed by a pharmacist or a technician, after being scanned in. It usually takes two to three tries to scan the script, because the equipment we are given to work with is a decade old or more. We scan your prescription, then type it. It usually takes about five minutes from your dropping off of the script to us being able to type it. Once we type it, the pharmacist has to read the script, verify things like name, date of birth, address, drug, directions, quantity and refills are correct. That’s usually another two to five minutes, assuming no interruptions.

      During that time, the phone is ringing non-stop. Always. At all times. To the point that all phones will be occupied and it’s still ringing. During this time, the front counter needs waited on. There’s usually one tech per 50 scripts filled, give or take, so if the pharmacy does 200 a day, you get four techs for the day, if you’re lucky. There’s five stations the techs need to fill. Front counter, drop off window, filling, data entry and drive through. While we’re counting your prescriptions, we’re juggling the phone, the front counter, counting pills and typing scripts, as well as answering questions for crap that literally isn’t our department or our job.

      While customers are waiting, they leave to go do other things, or shop in our store if we have a grocery/merchandise section. We’re not like a bank, where you can see the line and know about how long it’ll be. All our stuff is on the computer, and we’ve already told 40 other people who’ve dropped off and waited that it’ll be 30 minutes, 35 minutes, 40 minutes, 50, 60, etc. We have to increase the wait with each patient that drops off, to MAKE SURE THE SCRIPTS ARE DONE when you get back, and we have to account for the constant, nonstop interruptions we’re forced to deal with.

      I was in the middle of waiting on a patient one day, mid word, and had a woman storm up to the counter and DEMAND to know where the bandaids were, with six people in line and me speaking directly to a PATIENT. If people did this at a doctor’s office, they’d be ejected, but it’s ALLOWED at a pharmacy. I told her to step in line, she refused, shoved her finger in my face and said ‘NO. Where are the bandaids!?’ In a shrieky, demanding voice. I told her to get in line again, and got a formal complaint for my trouble.

      So, in short, it’s not us, it’s probably you. Or maybe your neighbors.

    • Calling corporate is fine but it’s more of a temporary fix. Why don’t you just call ahead to make sure there ready or download the app or log on the website or ask for a text once there ready . These simple suggestions will make sure you never have an issue in the future . That’s what you want right?

    • My guess would be that there is not a good manager at that particular store, and their corporate office needs to hear about your experiences. When their is not just a bad day, but consistent poor service, it should be reported.

      We live one block from a CVS pharmacy in a small town. We get absolutely FANTABULOUS service from our wonderful pharmacist and super techs there, so I had a pretty good opinion of CVS in general. Then I had to leave our little burg of Delphi, IN for six months, to live at the Ronald McDonald House in Cleveland, OH, while my daughter was waiting for a transplant at Cleveland Clinic. We checked out the nearest CVS, and on 3 out of 3 visits the staff was extremely rude and service was abysmal! We tried two other CVS stores nearby, and they were both very good. My guess is the manager at the Euclid Ave store just needs to be replaced. ;-)

      As a customer, as a nurse, AND as the niece of a pharmacist, I have to say that 95% of the pharmacists I have dealt with over the past 40 yrs have been wonderful, caring, knowledgeable people who work their tails off! :-)))

    • Ahh, never call in your refills at night. The night pharmacist works alone so pretty much everything happens one at a time. Customer comes in, often times someone who has just been released from the hospital and needs meds right then. While their info is being collected, someone walks up to the drop off behind them. They fill the total order for that customer and take them over to check out. Now the line at the drop-off is 3 people long and there are 2 people at pick-up. Pharmacist checks out that first patient and then takes care of the 2 people at pick-up. Goes back to the drop-off window, pharmacist takes the scripts for all 3 people and puts them into the system. While he’s doing this a guy comes to the pick-up window and says he just wants Claritin-D. Pharmacist goes to help him and gets the Claritin-D only to find out the guy forgot his driver’s license at home and now has to inform him that he cannot sell it to him. (Any purchases of pseudoephedrine need to be logged via scanning the person’s driver license.) A 5 minute argument ensues with the customer leaving the store and yelling that he’ll be calling the district manager to complain. 2 more people have come to drop-off at this time and a nervous teenage couple has walked up to the register to ask for Plan B. Then an angry mother comes to the window with her teenage son asking to buy a drug test.

      Now imagine that there is also a drive-thru window and the phones have been ringing every 10 minutes while this has been happening.

      It’s best to call the pharmacy early in the morning around 5-7 AM because that’s when the pharmacy is quiet and the overnighter is just working on stuff left from the day before.

      Moral of the Story: Take your prescriptions to a small independent pharmacy.

  7. Coming from a licensed technician who worked at a major retailer, this is completely true; however, 5 minutes is a good wait time. At the pharmacy I worked, however, not only was the pharmacist tied up like this…..all 3 of the techs were like this.

  8. You hit most of it on the head. The worst part is the yelling and the disrespect. You wait patiently at the emergency room or the urgent care 2+ hours but…..30min-1hr is too long to wait for another part of your health care. We are not Mcdonalds,

    • Ummm, as your friendly local ER nurse, I can attest to the fact that it is highly unlikely there was as much patience in the ER. That behavior starts long before the pharmacy!

    • You must be joking…NO ONE waits patiently in an Emergency Room or Urgent Care for 2+ hours! We wait there because that is the level of service that is given and, unfortunately, is the norm today!!! I waited 6+ hours in an Emergency Room two years ago just to be admitted and have a room assigned. I thought they must be severely overcrowded but when I got upstairs that night there were more than 6 rooms vacant on that wing alone!!! My pharmacy never fills anything while I wait…NEVER! It’s always…”Come back this afternoon” (On a 9:00 AM drop off!) or tomorrow or next Tuesday! They want to work in their own sense of timing and order of things…their routine… and that, my dear, is that. Waiting 30 minutes for a medication is fine but anything longer than that, if one is ill or ailing, is far too long. Even an hour is too long if you’re waiting there! Pharmacists and their illustrious Techs must learn how to prioritize the filling of prescriptions not simply take each fill in turn as they came in. I can actually call in a prescription after hours and say OK to picking it up BY 10:00 AM that business day (they open at 8 AM). Had I gone in, in person, they’d tell me to come back that afternoon! It’s ridiculous. BUT besides all that…there are times you’ve come directly from the Doc’s office with Rx in hand, sick as a dog for days already, with 102 fever! You’re hanging by a mere thread and need to get to bed ASAP because you’re about to collapse on the floor. Do they speed things up for you and put your Rx ahead of everyone else? Not on your life…not unless your son-in-law is the pharmacist there! Again…the store is at fault as well as the employees. They need to hire more staff to handle the amount of business they have. In the chain I use there are, at any given moment of the day, 5-7 Techs and ONE pharmacist… only here and there have I seen two on duty! Those Techs are taking care of customers picking up and dropping off in store, Checking them out, manning the phones which handle customers, doctor’s offices and insurance coverage permissions plus handle pick-up and drop off at the drive through windows. So yes…you are McDonald’s, in a sense! You cast a wide net in getting as many Rx’s in as possible but when it comes to output…it all fails! Unlike McDonald’s, the pick-up window is closed or located elsewhere. HIRE SOME HELP!

      • “My pharmacy never fills anything while I wait…NEVER! It’s always…”Come back this afternoon” (On a 9:00 AM drop off!) or tomorrow or next Tuesday! They want to work in their own sense of timing and order of things…their routine… and that, my dear, is that.”

        actually every pharmacy I’ve ever worked at does allow patients to wait on your prescriptions if they ask to. However if everyone who dropped off prescriptions were to want to wait on them NOW rather than come back later, that would be impossible. When you are filling 200+ prescriptions every day, you MUST delegate times to fill certain ones; there is no way we can fill the prescriptions we currently have waiting to be filled all at once within 15 minutes, so if we have the option to have a few hours we will use it. Tell your pharmacist you want to wait on it and they will put you in the waiter pile rather than the pick up later pile, but don’t, and we are going to give you a longer estimated wait time so that we can fill all the prescriptions we have now and those coming in later by the desired pick up time.

        “I can actually call in a prescription after hours and say OK to picking it up BY 10:00 AM that business day (they open at 8 AM). Had I gone in, in person, they’d tell me to come back that afternoon! It’s ridiculous.”

        No it is not. In the first case you gave us a heads up, and time to fill it. It is accounting for the extra time it will take should something go wrong when filling your prescription or one of the ones in front of you. We still need that time if you drop it off in the store just as we do when you call it in. Would you expect to order a dinner for 50 at a catering restaurant in the store and them have it ready for you faster than if you’d called it in? No. Things take time. Showing up in person doesn’t make us magically go faster.

        “Waiting 30 minutes for a medication is fine but anything longer than that, if one is ill or ailing, is far too long…Pharmacists and their illustrious Techs must learn how to prioritize the filling of prescriptions not simply take each fill in turn as they came in…there are times you’ve come directly from the Doc’s office with Rx in hand, sick as a dog for days already, with 102 fever! You’re hanging by a mere thread and need to get to bed ASAP because you’re about to collapse on the floor. Do they speed things up for you and put your Rx ahead of everyone else?”

        So you think YOUR needs trump everyone else’s, that you get to jump ahead of the line? How self-centered . We DO know how to prioritize, but that doesn’t mean line jumping. So you’re sick, yea, that sucks. But guess whose in front of you? A mom coming off work and on her way to pick up her kid from school, needing her kids med, but the doctor made an error and I have to get it clarified, but the office put me on hold. Or, and old lady whose husband is in hospice with cancer and needs his pain medication because he is in extreme pain, but hospice won’t pay for it. Or the two people who feel just as sick as you and are waiting on their meds to feel better. Or the mom who thinks her kid may have swallowed some of her ambien and needs to know what to do NOW…but YOU don’t feel well, so we should just let you cut. yea, right. Get over your sense of entitlement.

        “Again…the store is at fault as well as the employees. They need to hire more staff to handle the amount of business they have. In the chain I use there are, at any given moment of the day, 5-7 Techs and ONE pharmacist… only here and there have I seen two on duty !..HIRE SOME HELP!”

        Corporate determines the numbers of pharmacists they’ll have each day; usually 1-2. We can’t just hire more help and get more hours without their approval. And pharmacists can only supervise a max of 3 techs ( only 2 if none are certified), legally, so we can’t just add more.

        You have no idea of what it takes to staff a pharmacy or how it works–if you think it is such a cake walk , why not register to be a technician in your state, and then show us all how it’s done? You can show us how easy it really is!

      • “My pharmacy never fills anything while I wait…NEVER! It’s always…”Come back this afternoon” (On a 9:00 AM drop off!) or tomorrow or next Tuesday! They want to work in their own sense of timing and order of things…their routine… and that, my dear, is that.”

        actually every pharmacy I’ve ever worked at does allow patients to wait on your prescriptions if they ask to. However if everyone who dropped off prescriptions were to want to wait on them NOW rather than come back later, that would be impossible. When you are filling 200+ prescriptions every day, you MUST delegate times to fill certain ones; there is no way we can fill the prescriptions we currently have waiting to be filled all at once within 15 minutes, so if we have the option to have a few hours we will use it. Tell your pharmacist you want to wait on it and they will put you in the waiter pile rather than the pick up later pile, but don’t, and we are going to give you a longer estimated wait time so that we can fill all the prescriptions we have now and those coming in later by the desired pick up time.

        “I can actually call in a prescription after hours and say OK to picking it up BY 10:00 AM that business day (they open at 8 AM). Had I gone in, in person, they’d tell me to come back that afternoon! It’s ridiculous.”

        No it is not. In the first case you gave us a heads up, and time to fill it. It is accounting for the extra time it will take should something go wrong when filling your prescription or one of the ones in front of you. We still need that time if you drop it off in the store just as we do when you call it in. Would you expect to order a dinner for 50 at a catering restaurant in the store and them have it ready for you faster than if you’d called it in? No. Things take time. Showing up in person doesn’t make us magically go faster.

        “Waiting 30 minutes for a medication is fine but anything longer than that, if one is ill or ailing, is far too long…Pharmacists and their illustrious Techs must learn how to prioritize the filling of prescriptions not simply take each fill in turn as they came in…there are times you’ve come directly from the Doc’s office with Rx in hand, sick as a dog for days already, with 102 fever! You’re hanging by a mere thread and need to get to bed ASAP because you’re about to collapse on the floor. Do they speed things up for you and put your Rx ahead of everyone else?”

        So you think YOUR needs trump everyone else’s, that you get to jump ahead of the line? How self-centered . We DO know how to prioritize, but that doesn’t mean line jumping. So you’re sick, yea, that sucks. But guess whose in front of you? A mom coming off work and on her way to pick up her kid from school, needing her kids med, but the doctor made an error and I have to get it clarified, but the office put me on hold. Or, and old lady whose husband is in hospice with cancer and needs his pain medication because he is in extreme pain, but hospice won’t pay for it. Or the two people who feel just as sick as you and are waiting on their meds to feel better. Or the mom who thinks her kid may have swallowed some of her ambien and needs to know what to do NOW…but YOU don’t feel well, so we should just let you cut. yea, right. Get over your sense of entitlement.

        “Again…the store is at fault as well as the employees. They need to hire more staff to handle the amount of business they have. In the chain I use there are, at any given moment of the day, 5-7 Techs and ONE pharmacist… only here and there have I seen two on duty !..HIRE SOME HELP!”

        Corporate determines the numbers of pharmacists they’ll have each day; usually 1-2. We can’t just hire more help and get more hours without their approval. And pharmacists can only supervise a max of 3 techs ( only 2 if none are certified), legally, so we can’t just add more.

        You have no idea of what it takes to staff a pharmacy or how it works–if you think it is such a cake walk , why not register to be a technician in your state, and then show us all how it’s done? You can show us how easy it really is!

      • … Switch pharmacies, then. Vote with your dollars. If they tell you it’s going to be a few hours, there’s a reason. Let’s use an example from my own personal experience.

        Customer comes in, drops off ten prescriptions at 9am. Wants to wait. We say ‘OK, it’s going to take at least half an hour.’ We scan the scripts, type them up, try to count them, but wait. Three of them are CIIIs, and the doctor forgot his DEA number, so all that work we’ve done so far has to be put on hold.

        We call the doctor to try and get it sorted out. Tech is stuck on hold for fifteen minutes just to explain the issue, presuming the doctor even has a line where we can speak to a person, instead of leaving a message.

        Pharmacist now has to do tech’s job, filling, waiting on the counter, etc, while still doing his job, or vice versa, pharmacist is stuck on hold while the tech has to do everything they can, stuck waiting on the pharmacist to be free.

        ONE simple issue in the pharmacy can back ALL the work up by a good half hour, when all is said and done. You want to scream at someone, scream at the doctors who don’t write clear directions, the doctors who don’t follow the law on their prescriptions, or who write in such bad handwriting that the prescribed drug could be either Tramadol or Adderall.

        Scream at the DEA for making us keep track of Pseudoephedrine products and the corporate offices for not giving us the help to do it.

        Scream at the customers who don’t actually NEED to wait in the store, but want to, because it’s CONVENIENT FOR THEM, so that those who truly are waiting are stuck an extra 20-45 minutes behind a behemoth order full of regular maintenance medications that should have been called in a week ago, “he’s been out for five days, why aren’t they ready!?”

        Scream at the doctor’s office who tells the customer their medication should be done in 20 minutes, then don’t call it in for 45-60, making us call them to find out what’s going on.

        Or better yet, at the doctor’s office who leaves a voice mail like this:

        “Hi, this is Becky at Dr. Doctor’s office, I’m calling in a script for a patient, 575 mg of vicodin by mouth, if you have any questions call at 555-5555!!! THAAAAANKS!” and doesn’t leave patient’s name, date of birth, quantity or any OTHER piece of pertinent information, forcing our pharmacist to call back and get crap that should have been left initially!

        Oo, or maybe you could scream at the patient who calls their meds in, lets them sit on our shelf for two weeks after telling us they’d be in within the hour, and as soon as they’re returned, comes in and screams that they should be ready.

      • Seriously what color is the sky in your world? Do you live in Syria or something? Because the world you’re describing doesn’t sound anything like I’ve ever seen. You are really taking liberties with your hyperbole here. Even the biggest of the big box stores will fill while you wait, and if it’s a non-peak time they will be able to get it ready in under 30 minutes (no more than a couple of prescriptions). I’m not a fan of big box pharmacies, but your diatribe is ridiculous.

        “Even an hour is too long if you’re waiting there! Pharmacists and their illustrious Techs must learn how to prioritize the filling of prescriptions not simply take each fill in turn as they came in”

        Do you really think that multi-million dollar enterprises like pharmacies DO NOT take prioritization into consideration?

        I had to chime in on this one:
        ” I waited 6+ hours in an Emergency Room two years ago just to be admitted and have a room assigned. I thought they must be severely overcrowded but when I got upstairs that night there were more than 6 rooms vacant on that wing alone!!!”

        They aren’t waiting on a room to open up for you to get you out of the ER — this isn’t a hotel and does not operate like one. You’re basing all of your expectations on what limited real-world experience you have had. When you get admitted to the inpatient setting, a number of mechanisms have to kick into action – each of which takes time and get this – is prioritized- based on acuity. You have no idea if the physicians were busy with other complex cases that night, or if the transport personnel were busy or short staffed.

        Finally, you kind of hit the nail on the head:
        “They need to hire more staff to handle the amount of business they have.”

        Staff cost $$$, probably more $$$ than you could appreciate. It sucks, but in our capitalist economy for the store to stay competitive they have to get by with their minimalist crew. It’s probably not right (and you could argue that in the name of better customer service they’d be given a competitive edge), but this is a symptom of capitalism and resource allocation (and the fact that big boxes are controlled by often-time clueless higher level administrators).

        Go to an independent pharmacy if you want better customer service.

  9. This is my day in a nutshell. Every time I read the phone ringing, the sound of “ONE PHARMACY CALL” starts going off in my head. This truly capture that angst of daily retail pharmacy life.

    • A fellow CVS tech! Do you also swear “bullshit” under your breath when you see their new CVS Health commercials? They dont give a eff about the customers’ health. Never have and never will. PR bs all the way.

  10. Great description of the day in the life of a Pharmacist, I was one for over 40 years and I thank you for such a truthful and correct exposition.. I may add that the Pharmacist often doesn’t get to go to the bathroom when needed or eat lunch when hungry. It is a very pressure filled, enjoyable career. Glad to say I am retired.

  11. If I knew where you were or who you are I certainly would not “hug you neck”‘…as Sandra Childress said…I’d flip you over so you could see the other side of the issue and put the blame where it most often belongs…your super duper, we carry everything from Halloween masks to beach chairs to fabric dye to school supplies to pharmaceuticals and much, much more! In addition to that we hire everyone and anyone whose English skills are sketchy, at best! Ms. Childress cannot put a few sentences together without glaring errors…if she works in a pharmacy as a “Tech” what would ever make me believe she could even begin to understand what I am trying to get across to her? I have dealt with a national chain of well known “Drug Stores” for the past 5 years. I have had all my prescriptions filled there and they include a certain controlled substance I have had filled there every month for all those years. Just when I get one set of half wits adjusted to that fact, they play “Let’s have a personnel shake-up roulette” with their workers, spin the wheel and a whole new crop of dimwits step on board. Many times that includes new pharmacists as well. They still haven’t gotten that they need to have this medication in the house every month! No…they haven’t gotten it yet after 5 years! 50% of the time, when they run out, they cannot get the medication in time from their “supplier”…as though there were only one supplier in the universe! So we wait for them to come in…sometimes a few more days, sometimes over a week! In the meanwhile, I have run out of a medication for which there is no substitute, I am physically addicted to and one I cannot receive more than a 30 day supply for in my state…and just in case you’re saying…Well golly, gee…why doesn’t she just have it called in earlier or give them the Rx a week ahead of schedule? Problem solved! Not so fast, buddy…controlled substances cannot be called in and cannot be filled early either. Time frame is everything! You bring this up, month after month…you even call to remind them to order the medication. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t…it depends on who answers the phone! I had one cheeky little “Tech” twit fired the day he laughed at me because I had something to say about them not being able to fill my prescriptions properly and have this medication on hand every month. He thought the situation was hilarious! I doubt he’s still laughing! Look…I don’t doubt for one minute that some people are simply nitwits who know nothing about how things work but you cannot put the blame solely upon them and neglect to mention the flip side of the coin leaving out the drug stores and its personnel. Your observations are comical, to be sure, but only give one side!

      • You’re welcome! I did enjoy what you wrote, however. I laughed so hard at your take on these things and having been in business myself and working in retail as well as customer service for over 40 years, I understand, completely, the dilemma you face with many customers on a daily basis. I know them too…I think we all do! Their next stop, however, always seems to be the local Post Office…where they appear with several unsealed, unlabeled packages which also require insurance and, oft times, customs labels as well. It is also to be discovered what class of service is requested or required for each of these packages. The people carrying the packages have no idea what it is they want other than they want this package to go there! It would never occur to them to call to ask what they need before going to the P.O.! I don’t know why since they all seem to have a Smart Phone all but implanted in their right ear which contains every “app” known to mankind and also has voice activation capabilities through their headset! This, they can manage…but a simple call to their local P.O. escapes them! Somehow these people always manage get there ahead of you…especially during the Christmas mailing rush. I’ve often thought there must be an alarm that sounds so they all go out at once to different P.O’s to wreak havoc on those waiting on line just to buy stamps! When they get to the counter they have some difficulty with the language so it’s not as easy as, “Here are the forms…fill ‘em out & bring ‘em back to this window.” Nope…that never happens somehow and they never bring a friend along to help with that either! You look down the line ahead of you and then to the counter to try and ascertain how long this is all going to take! You give everyone on line with any size package a suspicious look and you begin to feel the steam building…two counter people just went on break and no one replaced them and another seems to be straightening out his area! Oh man! Forget a late lunch…I’d better start to think about dinner. You begin to peruse the Mailing Box and Package Tape dispenser rack and suddenly your eye is pulled to the people who have been given the labels and are trying to fill them out! That is, very often, hilarious in and of itself but you still have a modicum of compassion left as you realize they are clueless and have no idea what the form is asking of them…so you give them a charitable nod, try not to let them hear you chuckling and go back to the waiting! The line moves slowly but then, just as you’re next in line, the package lady suddenly goes back to the counter and now has even more trouble because she has not filled the forms out properly or completely! This takes another 10 minutes…and you’re waiting…and waiting and finally the lady with all the packages has filled everything out with the help of the postal employee, paid her $64.79 tab and now, you really are next! You are overcome with joy, relief and anticipation when suddenly, out from behind the counter, comes a paunchy red-faced guy who looks hassled beyond belief and yells…”OK folks…listen up (In his best Army Sgt. voice)…anyone here just for stamps, step out of line and go to window # 1…NOW.” I dare not articulate the thoughts that are flooding one’s mind and write them here…. but you know…don’t you! Oh, yes you do!

    • In most pharmacy worlds, there is only one supplier. Some have the luck and have two. Sometimes not having it is out of the pharmacies control because of too high of a demand and not enough supply of the medication active ingredient. It is a shame that they don’t have your meds every month like they should, maybe another pharmacy would have it. If people are laughing at you and being rude then go to another place. There are many many many pharmacies out there in our retail world and there is someone out there that will take care of you because that is what they were trained to do and what they learned thru hard work and dedication to their field. You truly should find another place. And don’t call around asking if they have something in stock(the control substance)just take some time to go into the store and ask. If they do, ask them if they keep it in stock regularly. Be nice about it. There are people out there that will help you.

    • Look into the manufacturer issues of producing the med in order to ship them to the suppliers, to ship to drug stores… And the the always changing FDA rules… BIG chain reaction!! And if it is just truely the staff… I’d go else where!!

    • Every pharmacy has contracts with only 1-3 suppliers. We cannot get our drugs from any supplier, only the ones we have a contract with. AND pharmacies are limited on the amount of controlled substances they can purchase each month. And the complaint about “controlled substances cannot be called in and cannot be filled early either”? Yea, that’s state and federal law, and if we broke those rules, we’d be fired.
      If you don’t like it, take it up with state and/or national boards of pharmacy.

      • Enough is enough! You seem to have some real problems. Not only do you believe that everything written is written to you or about you personally…you actually labor under the delusion that you know exactly how things work in the world. Let me clue you in on your own little area of this world…you offensive little twit! Make no mistake..this is TO YOU! There was no “complaint” regarding calling in or early filling of C.S. Rx’s! That was simply a point of information for people to be aware of…or can you not read or comprehend properly either? Before I was forced to take this type of medication I had no idea how calling in or refills of prescriptions worked…and I’m sure many people do not know as it applies to controlled substances! That’s why I wrote it…to let people know these were not available options!

        Many pharmacies no longer carry controlled substances at all due to the high level of robberies and internal theft they have had concerning those substances. No pharmacy keeps a large supply of C.S. on hand for more reasons than one but mostly having to do with robberies and an overwhelming temptation by staff members to “mishandle” those substances. That is why so many measures have been put in place by stores and via various state laws! EVERY pharmacy can order what they need in order to supply their customers with needed medications! As long as it is justifiable, by customer need and a history of that ongoing need, it can be ordered. NO pharmacy is not going to stock something just because they have reached a quota but they will carry as little as possible to get by, month to month or week to week and as new prescriptions for these medications surface. Don’t be ridiculous!

        You have a problem across the board. You not only have an problem as an unhappy and disgruntled employee, you have a tremendous problem with customers. You, and all those like you, are the reason so many stores have lost customers and will continue to do so. Customer service is customer service, no matter what business you’re in. The way to speak with and handle customers is the same whether you sell drugs, automobiles or doughnuts. One needn’t work in a specific industry to understand these things. Every industry one can name has its pitfalls and peculiarities but those are not the things on which customer service is based. If and when you ever understand that fact may be the day you’ll be ready to take on those responsibilities. Until then you’ll simply remain a malcontented employee and one who customers will not wish to deal with…ever! If all you’ve written is an indication of the type of person you are, and I believe it is, you don’t belong anywhere near a customer at any time. Your language, your posturing, your attitudes, your inflexibility, your offensive and defensive behaviors speak volumes about you and I can tell you one last thing…and this is my final reply to you…having owned and been involved in several businesses in my lifetime…YOU could never work for or with me, nor could I ever allow you to represent my business on any front line imaginable. You live in a world that is black and white….but let me assure you there are many grey areas and nuances in the world. NOTHING is as black and white as you see it…nor should it be.

        Now…instead of mouthing off again, I suggest you sheath your subjective little dagger and begin to attend to more important things. I’m sure your Community College offers business classes! Take some of those classes…all having to do with conducting business in a retail atmosphere.

      • I don’t think everything is written to me personally, but it is clear that you think you know all about how pharmacies work, and your tone implies the whole industry is out to get customers. So yes, I am going to respond, even if the comment wasn’t given to me directly. You posted it on a public forum. People will respond.

        Yes, I don’t know exactly how all things work in every area of the world. But I do how they work in a pharmacy, which is more than you can say. If that makes me a twit, so be it.

        You say it “was no “complaint” regarding calling in or early filling of C.S. Rx’s! That was simply a point of information” but then go on to say how my “language, posturing, attitudes, inflexibility, offensive and defensive behaviors speak volumes about” me. Well, so do yours. Your point about early filling of C2s was nestled within a lengthy diatribe on how awful pharmcies are and how they don’t try and help customers. Of course it was taken as a complaint. Think about your own language and presentation before being so shocked I had the nerve to call you out on it.

        “EVERY pharmacy can order what they need in order to supply their customers with needed medications! As long as it is justifiable, by customer need and a history of that ongoing need, it can be ordered. NO pharmacy is not going to stock something just because they have reached a quota”

        Sorry, wrong again. I am truly limited by my supplier as to how much CIIs they will provide me each month. We can–and DO– ask for increased allowance if customer need increases, but that doesn’t happen instantly, so some months we really can’t order more. But please continue to argue with me on this, given your great deal of experience with working in a pharmacy and maintaining its inventory.

        I am only an “unhappy and disgruntled” employee when having to listen to customers like you who think the world revolves around them. I actually love helping people actually in need, and who appreciate that I don’t have a magic wand to instantly meet their pharmacy demands. Tremendous problem with customers? Yea, that’s why at my last employee evaluation my strongest strengths were customer and coworker interactions. It is also why I get so many customer complaints (0 so far….wow!), and why so many of them say “Thanks, I appreciate you taking the time to figure this out for me” or walk in frustrated about something that happened but walk away from our encounter happier and satisfied. I’m sure you’ll assume that a “twit” like me is just making all this up, and thats ok, because whether or not you believe it to be true doesn’t change anything.

        The reason we have lost customers is not because of people like me, but because of people like you, who storm off to go elsewhere when we don’t have your medication in stock or because we asked you to come back later. Which, by the way, if you would tell your pharmacy it is really hard for you to come back, they will put you in a “waiter” queue and NOT ask you to come back. You need to let them know, otherwise you will get the 2+ hour come back time. If a patient asks to wait, I always let them wait, and don’t ask them to come back later.

        And thanks, I don’t think I’d want to work for you, either! I like that my bosses know that I can’t meet unrealistic customer demands and that its ok to stick up for myself when a customer is being rude.

        Yes, my tone to you has been harsh. That is because you take every bad experience you’ve had in a pharmacy as some secret plot against you, like we’re all standing behind the counter saying “I wonder what we can do to make his experience as difficult as possible? I know, let’s lie about not being able to stock his medicine! Let’s make him come back in 2 hours when we have nothing to do!” When actually it is “Darn, we just used the last of our Janumet for the day. He’ll have to wait till tomorrow! But I bet he needs it today, so what good will that do him? I guess we can send him to another store, but that will be a pain for him….or, Oh man, he clearly doesn’t look well. I need to get his prescription done ASAP, but I have so many people in front of him that also feel bad! Oh, the phone is ringing again…wait, the doctor forgot to write the strength on here, I’ll have to call them. Crap, they’re at lunch for another hour, and he looks so miserable!” THAT is what it is like. I WANT to have patients’ medications 100% in stock when they need them. I WANT to fill their prescriptions safely, but get them to them in a timely manner. But when they all come in thinking I am cheating them out of medicine and intentionally making them wait, because of people like you who spread around such ideas, it is challenging to let them know I really am on their side. So yes, my attitude toward you has not been a nice one. You try to make the patients we pharmacies care about and want to help think we’re out to get them, and distrust us, and that does indeed piss me off. I DO care about my patients, and I don’t need people like you filling them we lies about pharmacies’ motivations, making what is likely a very stressful situation for them already an even more stressful one, by thinking I am hiding things from them and not trying to help them.

      • Oh, so now you claim to know my motivations and accuse me of lying! You are even less intelligent than I could have ever imagined! I wrote with regard to my personal experiences only and although you may prefer that people never ask a question or doubt what you tell them, there are all too many things that do not make sense and are not within the realm of normal business policies, procedures or practices. Others have their own experiences and I certainly do not find it necessary to add fuel to their fires…BUT…do continue to write, because every time you do, you reveal the incredible depth of your deficiencies as well as giving insight into the height of your superficiality to everyone reading these posts. Doing that absolutely solidifies what I have written of my experiences and my opinions of workers like you, over and over again! Where my observations were not pointed at anyone you brought this all to a personal level with your insults. You are not a business person by any stretch of the imagination nor do you know anything of customer service. Had you laid claim to those talents, the first words out of your mouth would have sounded like this…”I’m sorry you have had these types of experiences…it’s frustrating, I know and I know that sometimes things can get a bit overwhelming in our business…..” instead of telling everyone here about what a lousy gig you have as a pharmacy tech! Grow up, get an education and learn something about the world as well as your place in it! OK, rave on to your hearts content….I’m moving on and you have the floor.

      • “…instead of telling everyone here about what a lousy gig you have as a pharmacy tech! Grow up, get an education and learn something about the world as well as your place in in it!”
        Actually I gave a good job–when not dealing with people like you– as a PHARMACIST. More education? No thanks, my DOCTORATE is enough.

        “Oh, so now you claim to know my motivations and accuse me of lying!”
        Yes, because whenever I or the multiple other people who have responded to you try to explain why things happen the way they do, you jump down our throats and say we’re wrong and you know how it “really” is (case in point: multiple people explain to you how suppliers work, and you still insist it is all the pharmacy’s fault and they’re just not trying hard enough)

        “there are all too many things that do not make sense and are not within the realm of normal business policies, procedures or practices.”
        Yes, that is why myself and others have tried to explain what didn’t make sense. But you didn’t like that. You had to be right.

        “do continue to write, because every time you do, you reveal the incredible depth of your deficiencies as well as giving insight into the height of your superficiality to everyone reading these posts. Doing that absolutely solidifies what I have written of my experiences and my opinions of workers like you, over and over again!”
        Same to you. Notice how multiple people besides me have responded negatively to your posts, but none have agreed with you?

        “You are not a business person by any stretch of the imagination nor do you know anything of customer service. Had you laid claim to those talents, the first words out of your mouth would have sounded like this…”I’m sorry you have had these types of experiences…it’s frustrating, I know and I know that sometimes things can get a bit overwhelming in our business…..” ”
        You know, that is what I would have said if you had not presented it the way you did. If you’d just said that it’s hard not having the meds you need in stock or that it was hard for you to come back a second time, you would have garnered my sympathy. Instead you insisted pharmacies are being intentionally unaccomodating with regard to keeping drugs in supply and that they give you wait times to suit their own needs, without a care for customers, which is bull. Anytime someone explained why things were set up the way they were you called them names, said they were making excuses, and were offensive. You say I am not intelligent because I man putting words in your mouth, and yet you say you can tell all about me because of my tone, attitude, etc. Same to you. It is clear you have a grudge against pharmacies in general, even if you try to claim you were just explaining a personal experience. Your tone and attitude imply it. It’s called reading between the lines.

        Good thing you wanted to end our discussion, because now I won’t have to see your senseless reply. Thanks!

    • There’s only one major supplier in most retail settings. If they’re out, they’re out. No secondary supplier, just the one big one. It’s not the tech’s fault, it’s not the pharmacist’s fault, it’s not even the supplier’s fault.

      Further, if it’s a controlled substance, there’s a limited supply they can keep in store at any given time. Has it ever occurred to you that they might have more than one patient in their store on this medication?

      In addition, talk to your doctor about weening you off the medication. There are ALWAYS other options, except in extremely rare cases. You claim addiction, which is good that you recognize it, but your post does nothing but shift blame to other people. YOU began taking this medication, YOU went down a road to addiction and YOU are continuing that addiction and taking out your rage on people around you, as evidenced by your post.

      And seriously, if they’re screwing up your orders every month for five years, go to another pharmacy. Do yourself and everyone else a favor. I’m sure, just reading your post, that everyone dislikes you because of your attitude, and you’re not making your life or theirs any easier by continuing to be a raging twit, to use your own words. If you’re ‘getting people fired’ and crowing about it, you’re deserving of the bad behavior you’re supposedly receiving.

      I find that bad customers get bad customer service overwhelmingly, while good customers rarely get bad service. Take your business elsewhere. They obviously don’t want it at that store, or they’d keep your med in stock better, right?

    • 1. retail pharmacies unfortunately respond to shareholders, and are constantly micro-managing their bottom line. In the ’80′s this meant computerized systems to increase efficiency. In the ’90′s it meant acquiring as many “little guys” (independents or small/weak chains) as possible. In the ’00′s it meant hiring MBA’s to micro-manage the “metrics” of productivity (more squeeze on employees). In the ’10′s guess what’s left? Nothing !!!! The only way a corporate pharmacy can improve their bottom line is by making their employees work longer hours for the same pay. This directly impacts their salaried workers (pharmacists) most, but to get the productivity of their hourly workers increased (without increasing their hours)…. I’ll let you figure out how they do it ! If you pay into a mutual fund that invests in publicly owned retail pharmacies, you are contributing to this toxic aspect of pharmacy !
      2. Since the implementation of Obamacare, the number of insurance rejections (and the amount of time required to resolve them) has increased DRAMATICALLY. So while the expectations of customers have stayed the same, the amount of time employees have to resolve them has DROPPED.
      3.Controlled drugs cannot be filled early, but the pharmacy manager should be able to order it for you, if given enough lead time. If he/she makes a simple stray pen mark on the order form, the entire order can be rejected by the wholesaler, and the process starts over. Not pleasant for anyone. Shortages of many controlled drugs have recently sent more customers traveling from place to place looking for the same meds. If one of these “nomads” gets to your pharmacy before you, they get the cookie ! Also not pleasant for anyone.
      4. Having been in the business for 20+ years, I’ve seen the changes firsthand. Much of the time we don’t know whether to laugh or cry about the situation. I consider myself to be exemplary in the area of customer service. These are my neighbors, friends, elders, …. but sometimes I feel so squeezed by the current state of affairs I could see myself laughing at something that may seem inappropriate to a customer. If I were fired for it – I’m telling you that would be wrong. I don’t know what your situation really was (without hearing both sides), but people working in healthcare are being treated like dollar signs, PERIOD. They are overworked in an environment that I never saw in the U.S. of 1980. So I ask you, please as one American to another, find a way to be a part of the solution, and consider the plight of those you judge.

      • I know how drastically things have changed in your industry as well as in most any other I can think of. Unfortunately, in the world of prescription drugs, things can be and/or get critical very quickly, depending on the medications a person requires and at what intervals. I have often marveled at those workers in the pharmacy I use, concerning their ability to do what they do in the face of such adversity, it’s all but criminal. I have spoken at length to pharmacists and their corporate offices with regard to personnel issues and their penchant for constantly changing staff members almost at the point they gain some insight into their customer base, as well as to my physicians and the Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement with regard to ongoing concerns regarding controlled substances. I have been told that I have tried, more than most folks do, to be a part of the ongoing quest for solutions in several crucial areas. This is what I have always done and will continue to do as long as I am able. In addition to getting into the nuts and bolts of the business from different angles I have always called corporate offices to compliment many people and tell them of my experiences with employees who do an exemplary job and are a credit to their company. I am not simply a complainer and I have never complained about absurdities! I, too, have been a business owner and have operated several businesses for others. My staffs have had the best training I could provide to them and that training was always ongoing…that also included bringing myself up to speed since the world of business is forever changing and changeable!. My compliments to staff members in other companies as well as my complaints about them are well grounded in fact and importance. Thanks!

    • “Let’s have a personnel shake-up roulette” with their workers, spin the wheel and a whole new crop of dimwits step on board. Many times that includes new pharmacists as well. ”

      Part of the reason workers rotate in and out so fast is due to the burnout of having to serve insulting people such as yourself, Chris Bagnato.

  12. This is a daily problem. Not to mention lack of staff and hours and being paid way less than we deserve. There are patients who make the day worth it and then those who make me want to go home and drink until I throw up. Complain to corporate. Not about how the pharmacy is slow or how they didn’t have it ready. But complain about lack of staff! Not enough help! Tell them the techs and pharmacists look like they are barley keeping it together. There are days when I don’t get to pee for 10 hours! Let alone have a drink or something to eat! We are in the business of selling prescriptions. To make money and help people feel better. We do as much as we can with as little as we have. We want you to have your 5 Rxs, get the hell out and see you next month. Nothing more or nothing less. Don’t take it out of your pharmacy staff. Let corporate know!

    • If you read my comment,I said I was going to contact corporate and I did! Today! Your bitterness sounds very familiar to me. Not a tone that needs to be in customer service. “GET THE HELL OUT”??????Shame on you!You are the problem of which I speak.

      • Again, there are two sides to this story. Sounds like pharmacists and customers have lots to be unhappy about and the problem begins with management.

        CVH

      • shame on *you* for not realizing that lack of staff means no lunch or bathroom breaks, and that that means no chance to decompress and refuel, and so that means that sometimes we make mistakes. bitterness? you’re the one who said “the pharmacy people (the ones you see) are the rudest people [you] have ever encountered.” And you wonder why you don’t get the customer service you think you deserve, “…not [even] a smile…..nothing”? Maybe that’s because all day every day we get yelled at because a) the prescription the doctor’s office said would be ready in the 5 minutes it took the patient to get to the pharmacy hasn’t even been faxed over yet b) it takes 15 whole minutes to fill 3 new prescriptions….15!!! that’s ridiculous, especially given there are 5 prescriptions ahead of the ones the patient just dropped of, 2 phone calls on hold, and 10 people in line c) the doctor made a mistake on the prescription that I need clarified (so I can ensure the patient is getting safe and correct therapy) but they closed at 5 so I can’t call them d) the patient has been out of a med for 3+ days and they’re out of refills but they need it NOW, 1 minute before close e) I have the audacity to want to leave at closing time, so I can get home to my family and other responsibilities, rather than staying 20 minutes late to fill a prescription just brought in as I was leaving f) I put the medication in a bottle the patient doesn’t like g) the insurance won’t pay for it, h) the medication isn’t in stock. We don’t have a full quantity of every drug every time. We run out. Sometimes there is a larger demand for a drug than we expected and we have to order more. My pharmacy, and most others, lend patients a few to get them through till the rest of the med comes in (usually *next* day)…etc etc etc.
        So yes, after day after day of being yelled at for everything under the sun, when we are just trying to do our jobs–which is to help people and improve their quality of life–sometimes we don’t “smile” and do everything perfectly. And sometimes, when there is “no line,” we are still working our butts off, talking on the phone with doctors, patients, and insurance; answering patients questions; giving immunizations; and filling a bunch of scripts that keep pouring in electronically, on the phone, as automatic refills, and being dropped off.

        I got into pharmacy because I wanted to take an active role in helping people stay healthy and improving their lives, and the patients who appreciate that are always going to have a better experience than those who don’t realize we sometimes make mistakes and blame us for everything.

      • The tone is very appropriate for people like you. Good for you for contacting corporate. With that exclamation point, I bet you feel soooo proud of yourself ;) You’re still going back to the pharmacy, I guarantee it.

      • Shame on you for being a belligerent customer causing part of the problem. Come work behind the counter and see how you like it. You wanna know why we’re not smiling? 9 hour shift, 30 minute lunch if we’re lucky, no time to sit, no time to eat, no time to pee, nothing to drink, can’t have food or water in the pharmacy because we might contaminate the drugs, can’t have POCKETS because we might steal the drugs. Have to wear three layers of shirts, at my store, in 87 degree heat because our corporate office thinks it’s fine to roast the workers to save a few cents.

        Then we get screamed at, have things thrown in our faces, get HIT and SPIT ON by people like you, LITERALLY SPIT ON, and then told we’re garbage because we can’t fill your med in less than an hour while one tech is in the bathroom having a nervous breakdown because a customer just assaulted her and corporate refuses to call the cops or even ban him from the store.

    • There have been periods of time I have called in twice a month to corporate with complaints and compliments for the staff. Once in these five years they actually had gotten the entire staff straightened out for a period of about 1 1/2 years then came another personnel shake-up! I’ve been through 4-6 major changes in staff over these 5 years and I don’t call as often as I used to….not because it’s gotten better…but because it’s too ridiculous to waste my time if they won’t continue to oversee things and do something about it.

      PS: COMPLIMENTS go hand in hand with complaints and suggestions to corporate. Make certain that when someone does go over and above the call of duty or is just consistently good or nice to you, you call and single them out by name with a shower of good words for them! It helps everyone when you do that and it helps the morale of the staff. We always have the time to complain…so take time to compliment as well…it’s well worth it in the end!

      • The way you go on about “personnel shake-ups”, you’re saying it as if people aren’t entitled to lives. People move house, are offered new jobs in higher positions, have children to take care of and so on. There isn’t some malevolent bureaucrat going “things are going well, replace all the staff”. If you’ve been at any kind of management level then you’d know that everyone from the top down is working to try to make things better and is not just acting to spite people like you. I invite you to gain some foresight and realise the world isn’t against you and the sooner you arrange an appointment and sit down and discuss the issues you’ve been having and the options available to remedy them with a pharmacist in a mutually respectful way rather than coming and slagging everyone off in this least constructive manner, the sooner everyone, yourself included will be a lot happier

  13. God Bless America there is someone who actually tells how it is….I have no idea who you are or where you live but anytime you in northern ohio you can drink free on me on Put In Bay

  14. My solution to the problem has been to order my meds through a mail order pharmacy. Not only do I save 1/3 on co-payments, they also ship for free unless I need the med the next day. For immediate RX I use the local Raley’s grocery store pharmacy. A few times over the years they have only had maybe 12 or 14 of the pills hat the RX called for. They would explain that they would give them to me now and I could have the remainder the next day or in a couple days. In the event that they didn’t stock the med I needed, they would tell me where I could get it right away or how long it would take to get it. If I wait until I go to the store for groceries to give then a new RX, I can usually pick it up in less than 30 minutes. It all works out great for me.

  15. Worked at a CVS pharmacy for 1 year as a pharmacy technician. Would go whole days with the pharmacist eating 1 bag of chips b/w the two of us. A bag that was unfinished by the end of the night. Lost 25 lbs when I only weighed 150. Enough said I think

  16. Stick to one pharmacy… That way their little nifty system that reads and orders how much meds they need to keep on hand knows… Pharmacy hop, deal with partial fills!! Angry people make angry atmospheres no matter where they go!! “You never have my meds (at the pharmacy), you never have the right bananas (at the grocery store), and so on…. Trust me, we in the pharmacy probably complain to corporate more then you!!! HAHA!! After all, we are the ones having to deal with you…

  17. to make matters worse they have now invented e-scripts, in which they like to tell the patient , oh i sent it to your cuurent pharmacy, and its either a. they havent sent it, or “too busy to send ( a nurse has actually told me that) or b. they sent it to 2 other pharmacies locally so we cant bill your insurance because the other place has beat us to it. Another problem that take 10 minutes to fix.
    Grievance from a Retail pharmacy technician:
    a. Patients need to start taking accountability for their health, and keeping up with their meds. We give you a label on that bottle for reason, it tells you how many refills you have left, exactly how to take it (stop taking extra tablets and self medicating), and when your prescription expires
    b. stop requesting refills when you know youre due for an appointment (another waste of our time)
    c. Understand that your Primary Care Physician is human and can make mistakes as well, we are not to blame for what we don’t receive for you
    d. We need to eat, I repeat, We NEED TO EAT AAAND TAKE BREAKS, why is that patients feel that we aren’t allowed this? My pharmacy is closed for 30 minutes if we have 1 pharmacist on duty, but we get the look of death if we close that gate. (My pharmacist was literally being carried out by EMT’s due to heart issues one shift and we still got backlash for not being open until we got a relief pharmacist there)
    e. Understand that cursing at me about the prices wont. change. the. prices -____-
    f. We dont decide your co-pay, your insurance does
    g. we dont make you pay into your deductible, your insurance does
    h. we dont decide what drugs arent covered, your insurance does
    i. I will not check out your whole cart of 100 items, we are a pharmacy inside a grocery store made with lanes to handle that amount of merchandise at those registers. please utilize them
    j. Order your non controlled drugs, and name brand drugs a week before they run out, No matter how busy or how many scripts a pharmacy fills daily, to assume that they will always have your drug on hand when your down to your -2 tablets is naive
    k. You should be happy i made you walk back to your car to grab your current government issued id before handing out your adderall or percocet. After all one day your addict of a brother might walk in to pick up for you, ya know the family always said you two look so much alike, and took his word for it
    L. Dont be offended if i tell you to step back behind that red line while i help the patient at the window that you so eloquently walked right up on. Im am discussing personal health related information which im sure they would like to keep private, and understand that every patient including you deserves that privacy
    M. Im not just standing there in the window burning a whole through the computer screen, im am transcribing 50+ prescriptions in que, faxing off request for refills from the automated line, and im on hold from an ER who decided to not give a quantity, has a signature that looks like a beach wave with no doctor info, or has a drug with a strength that no has in life has ever created
    N. Your prescriptions dont stay ready forever, so yes eventually we will use that medication for someone who was able to make it there before you, and yes we will need to refill it.
    O. NO we can fill a new prescription for you before you drop off that little piece of important paper that your doctor has given you to give to us.
    P. Sometimes the patient that threatens to take their business to Walgreens, CVS, Walmart, or any other competitor, is the patient that is doing us a favor

    i could go to Z but yea, techs deal with a lot. however i still love my job and i nicely educate our patients on all of these issues if needed.

  18. As an RN who works at a PCP office, I just want to say “thank you” to all the pharmacists out there (techs as well). Somedays you are my lifeline when I have questions about dosing or drug equivalents when even the doc isn’t sure. If I didn’t feel like I could do that, my days would sure be a lot messier.

  19. So I drop off a prescription(non-narcotic) at 11:30 AM and am asked when I would like to pick it up. I reply 2:00 PM. I show up at 2:05 on my way to work and am told it hasn’t been filled yet but I can wait for it if I’d like. I ask how long will it take and they tell me 20 minutes. Now I can’t get my prescription because I have to get to work. I ask my wife to pick up the prescription later that day. She shows up at 6:45 PM and is told that the prescription isn’t ready because it was called in for tomorrow morning. She returns an hour later and waits behind 4 other people who are all being told the same thing that their prescriptions have been called in for the morning, including the little old lady in front of her that says that she dropped off her prescriptions in the store that afternoon.
    Why ask someone when you want something by if it’s not going to be ready? How does a prescription I drop off by hand become flagged as called in for the morning? I understand that pharmacies are busy and that customers can be a pain in the backside because I worked in one of the chain pharmacies for over 5 years but when you tell someone something will be there then you have an obligation to make sure it is.

  20. The past two weeks we have been running between 100 and 240 in fill with another 50 in input and god know how many in resolution, yet customers do not understand why it take between 30 minutes to an hour to get their meds. They yell at us they berate us they cuss at us they throw things at us and that is just the start. Look here is the deal if we have 240 in fill and we get your prescription as doctor call in that is where it stays until you come up to the counter and tell us otherwise then we can put you as in store which still is going to take a while because there are 70 other people in store and you all want your meds now.

    Also if your med is out of stock sorry, we do not hold meds just for you if other people need it filled and they are in the priority before you they get the meds first. Quit ac ting like damn savages as a customer and we will smile and thank you. If not guess what I will walk to the back and say i’am putting you in store but I will not and you will wait even longer

    • Hello Scott and thank you for replying to this thread. It’s good to see someone can get out an Rx in 30-60 minutes without falling down dead and complaining plus justifying on the way down to the floor! Before I moved to my present location I thought 30-60 minutes was fine as a wait time. Even in the “Good Old Days” it was always 20 minutes! Just before I moved here I had my Rx’s filled at a major grocery chain with pharmacy department in Connecticut who always had my Rx’s ready for me by the end of my weekly shopping! Even in emergencies of some kind they worked with me so wonderfully I really could not have asked for a better crew of Techs and Pharmacists to rely upon. They called me at home many times if they had a problem with the Worker’s Comp.Insurance I was forced to rely upon in those first years of injury. They would let me know there was a problem simply because of the types of drugs I was taking and they knew I could not miss a day or dose! Dealing with attorneys and the insurance company wasn’t an easy thing for me either. That came after over 55 years dealing with private pharmacies and I was so very, very pleased and surprised with this way of doing business…because it worked so well for me! When I came home to New York, all that changed! I thought it a fluke and changed pharmacies several times but it seemed to be the case here, no matter which pharmacy I used, and I could not fathom why. I’m just so happy for your customers they have you to rely on. I’m so sorry you have to put up with ill treatment from them…so very sorry! Let them read my other posts here and let them see how wonderful doing business with you really is!

      • Chris; “home to New York” Does this mean NYC? Maybe you should move somewhere more rural. Einstien once said ” insanity is doing the same thing over and over, and expecting a different result. Find a more rural, independent pharmacy and you will get better service.

  21. I am an RN working in a PCP office, my husband is that PCP and I have a son who is a pharmacist. We don’t make the rules, we just follow them. We treat patients with dignity and respect but please don’t ever tell us how to do our jobs.. We (sometimes) get cursed at, yelled at and dressed down and we take it. We miss meals, miss time with our families, sometimes cannot even use the restroom and people still complain. We earn every penny that we make and thankfully most patients are kind and grateful.
    For those people who complain about their care or service, walk a day in any of our shoes. I dare you. You would not last the day.
    For the lady who was hanging on by a “mere thread”, sorry that you were ill but get over yourself, we have all been in your shoes at one time or another, the difference being that WE most likely went to work hanging on by a “mere thread” so that people like you can receive care.
    Unless you work behind that counter or behind that closed door, don’t ever presume to know what is actually going on there. It is actually ok to wait for something. Your lack of planning is not my emergency.

  22. All of these issues are universal. It is about being a business or they can’t stay in business. Long gone is the soda-counter drug store.
    If you can call at midnight to order your scripts, and then wait beyond the suggested 24 hours, why don’t you call before you go pick up to make sure they are ready. Then all the issues can be worked out on the phone, instead of you driving around at 3am.

  23. As a 14yr Pharmacist, I can tell you a few things about Pharmacy profession that would make more than a few people’s eyes open wide. First of all, most Pharmacists work 12-14 hour days with ONE measley 30 min break (so much for fair Labor Act)…..while Doctors Offices close for 1-2 Hours each day and are open for 8-9 hours. And believe it or not…..people get MAD that we close for 30 minutes. So, at your job…..you dont get a Lunch Break? Hmmmmm. Second, we give FREE professional advice all day long. We dont charge for it, and we have to listen to customers ask “whats the best thing for a cold” because…..as we all know…..there is ONLY ONE best product for a cold and the rest is garbage. Third, you can call a Pharmacist at anytime and time thief him or her about your Bowel movements and why you have NO Refills on your blood pressure medication. Fourth, we give vaccines now…..so most Doctors dont order or give them, they send everyone to Pharmacists now…..awesome! Now, I get to go vaccinate a screaming 5yr old that is in my waiting area. Well, I could go on and on and on…..but I think you get the points I am trying to make. I like my profession, but dealing with people is like a box of chocolates…..Forrest Gump said it best.

  24. For me I see both sides. I work at a pharmacy but I dont work in the pharmacy. We have a problem with time and filling meds. I feel bad for the ones who wait so long. I see a problem with being under staffed . Its either not enough hours to give out because hours got cut to save money or people just don’t want to work so they call in. Then we cant get anyone to come in on their days off. And yes it gets busy with filling meds and things happen to back the flow up but all employees should be respectful to the customers even if the customer is upset and mad but dont take it to heart apologize smile and do what you can. I came across a problem today that took place a few months ago. I wasn’t even working at this pharmacy at the time so I asked what happened she explained so I said I’m sorry I can help you and they should of got a manager for you and did it right she said in a hostile voice I dont want to argue with you I said ma’am im just trying to help in a clam voice I would gladly help you with this but all she wanted was the corporate number and was really upset. She walked with me as I got the number and said I can still return this for you and give your money back I was happy and she just wanted to leave and she said I was being aggressive when I was talking in a clam tone and smiling and said I can help you well I guess sometimes theres to nice but honestly maybe I was trying to hard but im in customer service and trying to go above and beyond to make the customer happy. This is why some employees dont want to work because even tho your trying your hardest you still get disrespect and treated luke crap but you cant please everyone just smile and move on. I do hope that customer gets her problem resolved. I really just wanted to help her. Is there such thing as aggressively nice?

  25. OR it’s because the idiots behind the counter are just INCOMPETENT. Let me tell the other side of this story. When I get to the pharmacy, after my doctor called the Rx in, I was told that it had not been called in, but they will be glad to check the voicemail again. Sorry, sir, still no Rx called in for you. What was the doctor’s name? Ok, I’ll call. Sorry, sir, his nurse isn’t authorized to order the Rx again, since she’s already called it in once, so she has to wait for the doctor, can you come back in 30 minutes? FIFTEEN minutes later, I get a text on my cell phone saying my RX is ready, so I go pick it up, pay, and leave. An hour after that, I get ANOTHER text message saying my prescription is ready. So I call to see what the hell is going on. Turns out, the original Rx WAS called in after all, and the pharmacist was already working on it when I got to Walmart, but the dumbass “assistant” (I put that term in quotes because if you don’t actually ASSIST, then you don’t deserve the title) couldn’t figure that out, so she put me and herself through all this BULLSHIT because of her incompetence. Now I have a second Rx for the SAME THING, and they are expecting me to come pick it up, even though, if I did so, I could get arrested for prescription fraud.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s