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Pet Peeves, number eleventy-billion

·2286 words·11 mins

You all know the type. They hand off their Rx’s to your clerks, then stand there staring at you. They don’t sit down, wander around, or do anything but stand there at your counter and stare at you.
You try to work, but every time you look up, you catch them staring at you. What could be so fucking interesting that it requires you to intensely stare at me all throughout the process of filling your Rx? You have a counter covering a good 2/3 of your body? Are they playing mental whack-a-mole with us and our always-shorter techs?
A few times I just want to shout “WHAT!” at them as they stand there staring at me. Its not exciting, trust me. I’m just typing information into the computer. Hell, I could be writing a TAP post and you would not even know it! Oh, wait, I’m on the phone now. HOW EXCITING! Watching grass grow or golf on TV is worth more than watching me work.
People like that stress me out. I don’t know why, but I really don’t like people standing there and staring intently as if studying my every move. Sometimes I duck down and pretend I’m hiding, hoping that the patient will either wander away or wonder what I’m doing down there. Once in a while I rip a huge fart while down there and hope my tech takes the blame for it.
Maybe they are wondering if I’m wearing pants. Who knows.

Comments #

Comment by WAGslave on 2008-06-09 09:44:38 -0700 #

I hear that. Over the years, I’ve just learned to simply stare back … they get so uncomfortable, they usually just wander off!

Comment by DanTech on 2008-06-09 10:08:15 -0700 #

I’ve noticed that when I’m training other techs or someone is watching over my shoulder that we make a lot of typos on data entry. Nothing intentional. It is just the kind of typing where we have to use the backspace key frequently.
Having someone watch over my shoulder makes me nervous. I feel like an actor on a stage who hasn’t rehearsed his part very well when people are staring at me.

Comment by Kathy on 2008-06-09 11:49:05 -0700 #

My technicians call these starting patients, helicopters, because all they do is hover.

Comment by Google Account on 2008-06-09 18:15:22 -0700 #

I particularly LOVE it when the methadone patients ask if their methadone is already poured AS they drop off the triplicate (15min. before their bus leaves).

Comment by Jason on 2008-06-09 18:19:19 -0700 #

I had one of these today. The lady dropped it off at input and walked to the register where she decided to lean over the counter and stare at me. She then would ask every 3 minutes if it was done yet. Lets recap, 9 prescriptions for a patient that has never been to our pharmacy. Yup pretty sure it takes longer than 6 minutes. I did mess up, I snapped at her and told her i’m still working on it. Got a weird look from my pharmacist. In 3 years maybe I can give my tech’s and pharmacy students those same looks.

Comment by George Mason on 2008-06-09 21:53:01 -0700 #

TAP, this is a lame post. Get over yourself.

Comment by Google Account on 2008-06-10 08:29:43 -0700 #

I usually sweetly smile at them and suggest that they have a seat in the waiting area until one of us calls their name when their prescription is ready. The hoverers are less annoying than those people who plant themselves in front of where I am working on prescriptions and stare at me until I acknowledge them so that they can interrupt me/butt in front of everyone else to ask me a question.

Comment by canuckpharm on 2008-06-10 16:35:57 -0700 #

Canadian pharmacist here, I can’t recall if you’ve ever done a piece on multiple insurance coverage.
I just spent the better part of an afternoon on the phone with 4 diff. insurance companies trying to sort out a customer’s coverage, her provider jumped ship last month to a new online adjudicator, and she hasn’t received the mailing yet….sound familiar ?
Anyway, love your blog, I’ve got lots of stories that sound like yours. Keep on keepin’ on !

Comment by pharmacy chick on 2008-06-10 17:58:21 -0700 #

when this happens to me I usually ask in a clueless tone of voice “oh, was there anything else I could help you with before I start this?”
If they simply cannot get the hint,THEN I’ll tell them that we have a waiting room with good magazines for them at the OTHER end of the pharmacy….
The ones that really tick PC off is those morons who drop off their rx at one window, them literally walk the 20 feet to the pick up window and ask for it. ARE you kidding me?? I have been known to say “you ARE joking right?”

Comment by one_angry_tech on 2008-06-10 18:45:38 -0700 #

That must explain why our pharmacist lets out a big, juicy fart then.

Comment by The Angriest Pharmacist on 2008-06-10 19:12:25 -0700 #

@George Mason
Go fuck yourself. Let’s see you build an Angry Empire from nothing and create an entire genre of kvetching for apothecaries.
Better yet, let’s see you even do what I’ve done — leech of the genre and build an even modest reader/subscriber base. You couldn’t. You can’t. You suck.
Go back to your suck ass school and next time before you post remember this word: DON’T

Comment by The Ole’ Apothecary on 2008-06-10 23:07:41 -0700 #

During the fifth decade B.C. (Before Chains), pharmacy windows themselves were behind the counter. The clerk took in the prescriptions and handed them through the tiny, darkened pharmacy window. Helicopters could not hover. One could not see into the prescription laboratory (Remington’s Pharmaceutical Sciences used to make reference to the “prescription laboratory,” which it really was at one time.)
One state board of pharmacy used to go by the title “commission of pharmacy and practical chemistry.” Pharmacists were in a kind of penumbral zone of science. Now, we’re just angry (grin).

Comment by PharmGamerKid on 2008-06-12 12:31:33 -0700 #

Yeah, I hate it when patient stares at you ’cause then you mess up more. Somehow that reaffirms their belief that you’re incompetent at filling their prescription and they stare at you some more. <_<

Comment by doug on 2008-06-12 16:09:51 -0700 #

If it’s a good (even average) looking (actually any woman), I find staring at her tits will either get her to turn away or smile. The smilers get a long one on one consultation with the old fart.
Crusty Rph

Comment by some one that hovers on 2008-06-13 22:24:50 -0700 #

well we send undercovers in all the time , and
look for all sorts of things ,we submit reports and then someone up the food chain desides if you keep your paper (look on wall yes that paper that says you can despense drugs)
you don’t know it but we are OVER you and the Dr.
we fill so many scripts just as a test to see if it is filled right , or counted short
I have came in dirty, unshaven , dressed up in armani suits and with crying children
yes we stare we also know how much money you make and what kinds of cars ,boats,airplanes,and houses you own

Comment by Cathy Lane RPh on 2008-06-16 12:37:24 -0700 #

Some pretty funny and relevant responses to this post!
My ire with hoverers comes in when patients start watching other patients that are helped ‘before them’. These lovely people start ‘demanding ‘ their personal service because they were there before someone else!
However, what really starts to tighten the old trapezius is that special time when we’ve been down a couple pharmacy personnel all morning, working away as hard as we can; long way past the time of any leftover co-worker geniality, and then two or three of these patients start kvetching while they’re waiting. Magically, mysteriously, their voices start to rise and get louder and shriller, as they make their caustic remarks about us behind the window. That’s when the thoughts of self-protective delusions flicker across my mind, that maybe the the wrought irons to the pharmacy dept. will rise out of the floor, and someone with an authoritative voice will announce over the intercom, “All people waiting for prescriptions in the pharmacy department please step over to the such and such aisle for the next half hour.”
Fortunately, that doesn’t happen too many times that we’re not ready for it by arriving at work with 8 hrs restful sleep under our belts, having eaten breakfast (sans fluids), with a 10-pak of chewing gum, and wearing a fresh pair of support hosiery and newly broken-in shoes. Ehh?

Comment by Chari on 2008-06-20 06:54:39 -0700 #

LOL though most people the hang out at the counter pissed me off there are a few that hit my funny bone. Like the man waiting for his 1 tablet of Viagra. LOL LMAO tapping the counter. Yeah that makes me want to hurry and fill your script. Looking at you watch is a good thing to I just might fill a few before yours. It is only 9:30 in the morning. What you need it right away? LOL Like Viagra is going to work that quickly. Uhh NOT I maybe just a tech but even I know that it does not work that way. Am I going to Laugh my butt off you bet. After you leave I will be on the floor laughing till tears are pouring out of my eyes.
The sad thing in all of this is the RPh I worked for didn’t get what I was laughing. “Just think he has a lady friend and he says to here keep that feeling alive honey got to go to the pharmacy for a sec.” LOL the RPh still could not understand it was not the weekend. LMAO Ok it is bad enough a customer is stupid but a RPh who has no imagination please. My sides hurt for days after. Sorry no rant but hope this makes you laugh as you see the hoverounds stand there.

Comment by Mike on 2008-06-23 11:03:24 -0700 #

Here’s a post I think will change your attitude. I’ll be expecting this level of service from now on.

Comment by BlueTech on 2008-07-04 23:35:58 -0700 #

All the patients stare at me, the tech, rathers than the pharmacists. The reason: I’m taller. *sigh*

Comment by heather rxt on 2008-07-08 22:23:50 -0700 #

So a CX drops off a script you tell them you have to call the md or insur and you will get to it asa you take care of the waiters before them, then they start to rant like its your fault the md did not supply a strentgh or sig, etc…. or that its my goddamn fault they are medical and have a code 1 restriction. so once you do get on the phone the secret hoverer who comes from asile ten appears out of nowhere once you say their name and starts telling you to tell the md this or that to the insur, when i am supplying a npi or nabp number they freak and say thats not their insur id OMG! thats my rant, need to get that out. I FUCKING HATE HOVERERS! Plus get this, we installed glass window dividers just recently to avoid this and still cx’s yell over them or start complaining they are in the way…..hmmmm i wonder why they are there, huh, maybe because of your nosey ass. geez people have no consideration! btw i love your closing line 😉

Comment by amber on 2008-07-22 19:54:10 -0700 #

i wonder if they would still stare even if you didn’t wear pants 🙂

Comment by Elizabeth on 2008-08-22 14:39:18 -0700 #

Sorry, I am guilty of this! When I do tho, I’m just staring off into space, remembering when I did undergrad study in a Pharmacy. And wondering what would have happened if I had not gotten married so yound, developed arthritis and had to leave school and go back to work. My whole life would be different…
Not everyone is trying to be impatient. I’m sorry you have to deal with those morons all day.

Comment by just the clerk on 2009-06-11 22:09:54 -0700 #

I work in a clinic pharm, and the worst is the pt who leaves their doctor’s appointment, walks down a short hallway, gets to the pickup counter in the pharmacy (just as the fax from their doctor arrives), and says: “Are my pills ready? The doctor said they’d be ready when I got here.”
We do at least 400 a day.
Do they just have no concept of space and time, or what?
Do they think the filled pill bottles drop out of a fax machine somewhere because their doctor said so?
If the doctor said their meds would be waiting in their car would they go check, just because the ‘doctor said’?

Comment by ALpharmTECH on 2010-02-05 14:00:19 -0800 #

my favorites are the ones that pull up in drive through, give you the RX, then you ask them when they want to pick it up they say ” what do you mean, its not ready?”…..are you serious? you just gave me the RX 3 seconds ago. dumbass. would you like fries with that RX?

Comment by Terri on 2011-05-17 21:43:59 -0700 #

I got fed up one day after work and went straight to Garden Ridge, purchased assorted sizes of fake plants(5 total) to use as a shield from the intense staring of ill-mannered customers. It’s awesome!! We take them down when supervisors visit.