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All in the same boat

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Before I continue on my usual tirade of broad stereotypes, foul language, and shit that makes Drug Topics avoid me like a crackhead the night before a holiday weekend; this post is dedicated to the brave men and women who risk their sanity day in and day out so the ungrateful masses can focus on your petty first-world problems.

I’m talking about people who work with the public.  Hair dressers, Pharmacists, Doctors, cashiers. The kid who bags your groceries to the checkout line clerk to the nice lady who takes your order at the fast food joint.  You know who they are, they greet you with a smile and a silent anxious look in their eyes that you won’t rip their head off over something that is completely out of their control.

What sparked this?  A visit to the supermarket.  They were having problems with their ATM/Credit Card thingy.  The cashier said outright “Im sorry, but we’re having system problems processing ATM/Credit/EBT cards, it make take a try or two for it to go through”.  The ungrateful waste of skin proceeded to give her both barrels about how this was unacceptable, that they should have their system fixed, they should have a system in place to fix this, should have, should have, should have (notice I didn’t say ‘should of”? Be proud Mr Woo).

I was the next in line, and by the time this douchecanoe actually got his 6 pack of natural-ice with a carton of cigs ran through the one out of 3 credit cards that were not maxed out (after getting pissed that their food-stamp card can’t be used for that/it was tapped out), the poor checkout clerk nerves had been totally fried.  It only takes one asshole to ruin your day.  I gave her a smile as she rambled through the warning that the checkout computers were going in and out, blah blah blah, to which I said that there was no problem.  I realized the look in her eyes was the same look that I probably have when I miss filling a prescription that was buried in a profile and expect both barrels from the patient when they have to drive back to the store because I overlooked something.  I was kind and patient, and she gave me a sincere thank you.  I told her that I work with the public too and its like she knew that I understood her pain.

I’ll be upfront.  I have never sent back food anywhere because it wasn’t up to my standards.  Even if its the absolutely wrong thing I just eat it.  I tip the person who cuts my hair the same even if its a horrible job or the best job they ever did.  Someone fucks up putting the price in wrong at the grocery store and I don’t get that $0.50 discount I don’t say a word.  People say that I just reinforce the mediocre half-ass-is-okay work-skill that plagues our working class.  I say that I don’t want to be ‘that guy’ that makes people drink as heavily as retail pharmacists do.

You ever stop and realize that the assholes of the public will gladly wait in line for 15 mins for a seat at a restaurant, but can’t be bothered to wait 15 mins for their 5 (free) prescriptions?  Interesting isn’t it.

During the supermarket incident, I realized that all of us who work with the public are in the same boat.  We deal with the same assholes, the same impatient fucks, the same douches who bitch that their prescription isn’t ready yet when the power is obviously out and I’m trying to keep the pharmacy systems up while a generator is obviously screaming behind the store.  I can always tell when a patient of mine works with the public.  They are pretty nice, easy going, and realize that sometimes shit happens.  They patiently wait for their prescription, and use the foreign words we never hear like “please” and “thank you”.  They are mindful of our time and actually show appreciation to the service that we give them.  How foreign is that in a pharmacy?

Its ironic that the most important aspect of retail pharmacy isn’t all the drug-drug interactions, the kinetics (learned for the test, then quickly forgotten; never to be used again), knowing the pharmacology of benzodiazepines, or even the rationale behind giving someone an ACE-I in CHF; its dealing with the unwashed masses.  The most important aspect (and the #1 cause of burnout) that is just blatantly ignored in pharmacy school.  “You’ll just learn it on the job” they say as your day is shattered by someone yelling at you who have never worked a day in their life.  Thats like teaching you how to swim by throwing you into the deep end and yelling “You learn by doing” as you slowly sink to the bottom.

Pharmacy school should have a class that is like a boot camp, you get yelled at each class so you’re used to dealing with idiots who give you both barrels over the most stupid things. You learn how to defuse situations.  Ah shit, who am I kidding.  Pharmacy schools would probably teach you to use fruity ‘touchy phrases’ like:  “You know by saying that, you hurt my feelings and make me feel less about myself” to which the patient would reply “Good, you’re fucking stupid, my vicodin is due now, not next week”.  Color me surprised that pharmacy schools are so out of touch with the ‘real world’ that they wouldn’t know their poop-chute from a hole in the ground.

I realize that this post isn’t your usual swear word ridden bitchfest, but fear not, I take care of my readers (sorta).  If you want to re-post this article, this would be a good time to stop copy/pasting.

So to all of you ungrateful fucking assholes out there who decide to ruin the day of us who get our asses up every fucking morning so we can serve you, heres a fucking tip from the guy who double-counts your fucking dope so you don’t come back and say that I shorted you.  Get a fucking job, work with the fucking public, see what its like to deal with your own fucking kind.  Get your day shot to shit because you had to serve a fucking asshole like yourself with the social skills of a fucking steaming turd baking in the afternoon sun.  Get a dose of your own fucking medicine.  The world owes you shit.  Be thankful you live in a fucking world that we accept you for the shit you do to us day in and day out and don’t take you out back and shove our boots in your fucking yappy twatty mouths.  If you think you can take your bad day out on us, feel fucking free; but beware, theres nothing I can really do to you in pharmacy, but I’m sure the server would be more than happy to let your fucking food you sent back 3 times because your steak “wasn’t cooked enough” fall on the floor a few fucking times when you’re not looking.

I hope I filled your use of the fucking word ‘fucking’ per post requirement.

Comments #

Comment by PA RPH on 2011-11-16 23:40:14 -0800 #

So help me Angry Pharmacy Gods, that was hateful, truthful, and I loved every word of it. From working at the pizza place in 9th grade, to 5 years of working as a cashier at a hardware store, and now on to retail pharmacy practice, the public never changes. They are still the “unwashed masses” that are ready to chew you out over the simplest of things that are completely out of your control, be it the high school kid who didn’t show up for work because he was drunk and high, to the insurance company not covering drug X, and everything in between.

From a long-time worker in dealing with the public, for better or for worse, I salute you.

And to those of the “unwashed masses” who really do put a smile on my face in one way or another: I’d give you a hug if it wouldn’t be socially creepy.

Comment by Dr. Grumpy on 2011-11-17 04:00:33 -0800 #

Appropriate for Thanksgiving, too. People should appreciated those on the frontlines of any business, doing their best.

Comment by Barb on 2011-11-17 04:38:04 -0800 #

It’s good to know that other people go through this! I’m a nurse and we have a fair amount of this on a daily basis. I’ be also worked in patient billing in hospitals. You can imagine how fun that is!

Comment by RBS on 2011-11-17 05:09:08 -0800 #

I gotta say I completely agree with your sentiments on the pharmacy schools. I’m a current P4 ( close!) They shun retail. It’s like a family photo album. They pull it out long enough to give a big flowery speech about your history and days gone by and then put it back in the closet not to be seen for another 5 years.

I’ve said to many co-workers and classmates and employers, retail needs more exposure in pharmacy schools. It’s not enough that they make donations for a new wing or annex and that they show up once a year for a “career” fair (If it was a career fair, you’d give me a job! Rah!) What I really would love to see is a retail elective.

A class where patients are real. They have to rush, have three kids tearing up the store and they need to walk up front to buy smokes. Or a patient with a prescription that isn’t covered by their insurance and their response is NOT “oh gee whiz”. What about this for a real kick in the ass? How about 2 people asking where the razors are while you try and counsel? Sure they made everyone take a communications class before entering, but that was more like “Effective Presentations” rather than “Dealing with 6’5″ 350-lb Ex-Con Yelling at You” class.

Do you learn on the job? Yea, you actually do. But it takes YEARS. Working as a technician where you are the first person to be yelled at. My first time dealing with an irate customer, I felt like crap afterwords. 3 years later, nothing. I just move on to the next person I can help.

There’s so much more that a retail class could help with – how to solve insurance problems, managing technicians, which bourbons are best for rough days. Truthfully, this is not a half baked idealist idea. Where ever I end up, I fully intent on pitching this to Dean/President/Whatever of the closest pharmacy school. So wish me luck.

Comment by Mer on 2011-11-17 05:33:16 -0800 #

Thanks for this. I’ve worked far too much customer service in my life, from retail (Toy store at Christmas, first time in 3 years I’m not doing that) to now customer service for a major healthcare company. No I’m not getting fired because you can’t be arsed to fax us a POA and there’s no consent on file and you aren’t the member. I think everyone should have to work at least six months in retail/waiting tables/customer service to know what it’s like.

Comment by JROK on 2011-11-17 05:36:21 -0800 #

Very well done. Couldn’t agree more.

Comment by Pharmer Bob on 2011-11-17 05:42:27 -0800 #

Hooray! Every word of this post is true, and I am the same way, about never complaining or sending back food. I have worked nothing but public service and have been chewed out like you wouldn’t believe, well you probably would, but it wasn’t until pharmacy that I really got ass raped by dickheads. I am in pharmacy school now and some of the students haven’t worked a day in retail, I just think good luck and hope you can get into research if you can’t take it. Every time I have a bad day at work, I go and tell my classmates to try and prepare them for the crazy shit that happens to us bitches of the medical world. I agree about the boot camp class and nominate you to come teach it! How far away from Texas are you? Keep up the good work, telling it like it is for all of us who have to bend over and take it in the ass because we work with the public.

Comment by johannsone on 2011-11-17 05:54:00 -0800 #

”You know by saying that, you hurt my feelings and make me feel less about myself”
This sentence mad me laugh so hard, I blew out my colostomy bag. Fucking brilliant, as usual.

Comment by dr. lasermed on 2011-11-17 06:19:52 -0800 #

Absolutely agree. Ain’t the public great!

Comment by Mitch on 2011-11-17 08:37:17 -0800 #


Comment by Gern on 2011-11-17 09:46:53 -0800 #

I kid you not, as I was reading your new rant, a lady called me at the hospital pharmacy and said her Dr said she should call here to get her shingles vaccine. “Nope – you gotta go to a community pharmacy” and then she started arguing with me. It was right out of your post. I still work some retail and I can only take a few hours. People suck.

Comment by niterph-pacingmyselfsargeant on 2011-11-17 09:54:12 -0800 #

Unfortunately, an ever-growing slice of society is civility-challenged. I know a kind word is supposed to turn away wrath, but seriously, it is pretty hard to formulate and voice sweet sounding kumbayas with these folks. I’d love to be able to get away with just handing them a business card that said, Thanks for coming, but especially thanks for leaving.

Comment by bcmigal on 2011-11-17 12:04:25 -0800 #

Ditto, ditto, and more ditto!!! TAP, I have been waiting and waiting for your next post and this one is brilliant as usual. It is, however, a sad, sad commentary about the death of kindness, courtesy, and civility. I have noticed that our sickest patients (those with cancer or a terminal disease) are the nicest. They don’t “sweat the small stuff”.

Comment by PA RPH on 2011-11-17 14:23:09 -0800 #

Y’know, it’s funny that you mention this idea. We actually DID have a management class in my 5th year ( PY3 ). A good amount of what you said actually WAS covered in there ( i.e. emotional intelligence, how to best deal with shitty personnel issues, and he even spent a day on how to go about defusing a pissed-off customer ). The problem was, he strayed far from the curriculum, and wasn’t even supposed to be talking about it. And then the remaining 70% of the class was on how to implement a “business plan”, because we’ll ALL be initiating MTM services somewhere along the lines in our respective practices.

It would seem like my management class is a good barebones start – but it needs fleshed out to gear it towards REALISTIC retailk practice, with the key word being REALISTIC.

Ah shit, who am I kidding? Another pipe dream, just like realistic, profitable MTM that they shove down our throats in school.

Congrats on the up-and-coming graduation, RBS. You’ll be a welcome addition to our ranks.

Comment by Don on 2011-11-17 16:10:30 -0800 #

I work as a mech. designer, and have no professional dealings with the public, thankfully; only wet behind the ears engineers who think that half inch bolts fit well thru quarter inch holes. Sometimes I let the Voices In My Head out to explain the Facts O’Life to them, and I enjoy the reactions.
Outside of work, I try to be courteous to everyone I deal with, whether the rushed waitress at the restaurant who brought the regular Pepsi instead of the Diet, the harried salesclerk at the Publix who is ringing up the nasty tempered 350 pound monster with half a dozen brats in tow, or the poor pharmacist at the local drugstore whose aide said the pills would be ready in 30 minutes an hour and a half ago. When they came, I made a point of thanking the pharmacist and her staff, wished them a nice day, and went back to work to bitch to an engineer that his part was impossible to manufacture with only 21st century technology.
I always like to see even that faint smile from someone who’s having a rough day of it dealing with the rude ones after I tell them that I hope their day gets better. After all, my parents still do when they go out, and they are in their 80s.
I hope that your day gets better, too.

Comment by Joe on 2011-11-17 17:13:29 -0800 #

I totally relate to this post. I’m an assistant manager at Walgreens, and it’s the same all over for service industry folks. I think that this country has gotten so intrinsically prosperous that people think that bad luck or or a mishap is some sort of unforgivable, moral outrage. I just don’t understand getting so angry, so easily, over nearly anything.

Those who don’t work in the service industry need to understand that we aren’t making excuses for less-than-stellar service. The problem is that we’re no longer working in comfortably paced mom-and-pop shops anymore. We’re not working in places where they hire a different person for each function. We’re all “red-lining” it these days. We’re always right at the limits of what we can do in the time allotted, but when our employers see that production is at or near a plateau, they don’t hire more people- that would cut into the seven figure bonuses of the country-clubbers! No, instead, they find a different way to do all of the same things such that we suddenly have “more time.” And then, they fill the extra time created with more stuff by cutting labor or adding new job functions.

Instead of wanting their medications faster and faster, customers should be damned concerned that pharmacists are physically at or near their limits. Why would we want health care providers battling a mythical clock at all times? Do we WANT a pharmacist or two to kill a patient or two with mistakes that result solely from haste?

Someday soon, this country is going to experience a noticeable spate of patient deaths due to pharmacist errors. It won’t be because these pharmacists aren’t good at their jobs. It will be because their pharmacies have become medical McDonald’s outlets.

I have a problem with many aspects of the service industry, but the idea that everything must be perfect, and that it must be NOW, is probably the biggest problem, for so many reasons I’d have to start a website to discuss it all.

Comment by Old Tyme Rx on 2011-11-17 22:33:37 -0800 #

Holy shit! You use the “F” bomb more than I do. How many years you been doin this, man? Been at it since ’84 and have hated almost every damn minute of it since the insurance fuckers gave us the “Black Box” way back when. The analogy of waiting without bitching to eat for 15 minute v waiting for scripts that will save your fucking life is PRICELESS. Seriously, people tell me, “I was just in my doctors office for 3 hours, how long does it take to put pilss in a fucking bottle?,” They bitch, moan, whine and complain about waiting for 20 minutes to have their fucking Oxy 30’s Methadone 10mg, Xanax 2’s and Elavil filled. You fucking wacked-out pill-head! What? Need to sell those Oxy’s at a $1.00 a mg to make your rent or lose your fucking arm? WTF! I’m making $1.50 on that shit because you have that almighty, fucking plastic card that ties my balls in a knot and rapes my family of a lifestyle they don’t have because of shitheads like you. Pharmacy schools do not prepare us for the plethora of bullshit we put up with from our most unesteemed clients. SERVICE INDUSTRIY SUCKS THE GREAT HAIRY ONE. Thanks for the post Bro. Keep the faith, even though we will undoubtedly continue to get fucked and not enjoy it.

Comment by Old Tyme Rx on 2011-11-17 22:41:15 -0800 #

Agreed. People REALLY suck. As a matter of fact, I fucking hate people, especially the ones who come into my store and bitch about wait times. People Suck. “Angry,” start selling some fucking bumper stickers that say, ” I hate people, and that means you, ASSHOLE!”…I’ll sell them on my front counter to the fuckers i hate the most. Can I get an AMEN?

Comment by Old Tyme Rx on 2011-11-17 22:53:51 -0800 #

WTF you talking about, “comfortably paced Mom & Pop stores,” are you fucking kidding me? When’s the last time you filled 500 by yourself, dude? Look, the way I see it, all you guys taking the big bonuses to work for a fucking chain have done nothing but prostitute the profession. You got got fucking “Drive thru Windows,” (oh yeah, counsel a fucking patient thru the plexiglass or a goddamn intercom system)and other stupid shit going on, acting like you so big and badder than us independents? WRONG! Yeah, You are McDonalds Outlets because they said we’ll pay you a fucking $10K sign on bonus to be Ronald McDonald and you take it up the ass for the old clown. Look, all I’m sayin is that independents don’t work between the deli and frozen food and don’t cowtow to corporate mentality. I’m sure you’re true to the profession, so why the hell are you working for a chain, and while you do, don’t EVER unsermine an independent brother.

Comment by Tecnically Insane on 2011-11-17 23:31:16 -0800 #

YES, yes, and yes!!!

Comment by Nick on 2011-11-18 05:35:02 -0800 #

As a career server/bartender (at 30 years old 14 years spent dealing with the public has brought my “cynical age” up to about 58- the formula used to calculate this “real age” is obvious, and understood by all service-industry kin) I can relate to this post with the heartless enthusiasm of someone who has been called every name in the book by customers, has been ripped off and degraded by “guests” and ALWAYS not only says please and thank you to ANY cashier/server/barista/pharmacist but also has been known to tip obscenely when a tip-accepting employee is obviously doing their best to serve me. This does not mean I tip obscenely because my food is just right, or because they told me how great my shoes were, or because I was drunk and knew damn well a lesser bartender would’ve cut me off 3 shots ago. I have even over-tipped a server who brought me the wrong food, screwed up my food, or forgot to bring those extra napkins every single one of the 6 times I asked for them. Why? Because I looked beyond the end of my (starving, hyper-critical-of-service) nose and took in THE BIG PICTURE. This means I OBSERVED THE ENTIRE SITUATION, not just what was going on at MY table, and tipped accordingly. Translation; if a server has 11 tables that all arrived before he/she had even come back with my ice water, chances are good that not only is my server about to get their (fileted) ass handed to them, but the kitchen crew who just snuck some serious bong hits in the walk-in cause it was 3pm on Monday afternoon so it would be slow but they forgot it’s actually an f’ing BANK HOLIDAY so every asshole in town is going out for dinner at 3, thinking they’ll avoid the rush and get a foot massage with their burger and 5 sides of ranch has shown up and because they came EARLY because they’re SMARTER THAN EVERYONE ELSE they are so miffed to find the place packed they decide the best way to rectify the situation is to just CONTINUE WITH THEIR GENIUS PLAN and refuse to acknowledge REALITY which clearly shows that they lack originality in their bank-holiday-dinner-plan-time-frame just as they lack originality in every other area, thus upon being seated they proceed to snap their fingers, whistle, yell “EXCUSE ME!” at their (OUR) server across the restaurant and are positively OUTRAGED when it takes 4 MINUTES!!!!!! for the beckoned slave (I mean, server) to respond to their SOS bleeting from that booth on the other side of the dining room they INSISTED they be seated at- even when the host explained 6 times how that might not be worth it since the other 10 tables that had arrived immediately before them were out of sight from that booth, meaning the server would not be able to see them without making a special (5 minute) detour off of their “route”.) I see the occupants of that corner booth and all the other “guests” this one (sweating) server is responsible for and if my food is wrong I get up and find the manager myself and get my bill reduced and then I leave that server an enormous tip w/ a note saying how exceptional the service was in case the manager gets cranky later and takes corner-booth-idiot’s complaint seriously and I make sure and look that server in the eye and explain I GET IT, and they’re doing A GREAT FUCKING JOB. It never ceases to amaze me how the general public wanders around under the assumption that they are the ONLY table in the restaurant/person in line/car in traffic/PERSON ON EARTH. Cause as we-who-deal-with-the-public know, the biggest reason we want to punch someone in the face and/or pull their hover-round’s handlebars off and beat them with em is not to be violent for violence’s sake, but simply to HOPEFULLY ram into their heads what a lifetime of FREE SHIT has taught them is irrelevant- that THEY ARE NOT THE CENTER OF THE UNIVERSE. I work, pay taxes ON MY TIPS, and (for a few more months, anyway) have state insurance and receive “free dope” via my valid, legal, necessary-to-keep-me-working/functioning prescription. I always use my manners and have never freaked out when I had to wait 3 times they quoted amount of time for my scrip, even when I’d waited too long and was sicker than shit and needed it desperately. NO, I am not “one of those.” However, my former pharmacy was run by the exact same assholes who insist on that corner booth and they not only repeatedly charged me illegally for my scrip (I had pre-auth from my insur…that pharmacist herself had signed/faxed the request to my insur not once but TWICE…when it was approved she/the entire staff told me a different story every single time I got a refill, as way of justifying why they were still charging me $500+ a month for a scrip that I had pre-auth for….this went on for months before they finally RAN THE FUCKING NUMBER I ASKED THEM TO and saw that OH! you ARE covered! In the months that followed they misread my scrip and denied me meds that I am sick w/out- they refused to call my dr and when I had him change the scrip the following month they refused to honor it. They lied to me repeatedly and refused to fill the remaining portion of my scrip because “it creates extra work for us.” and actually had the nerve to whip out a calculator and tell me I shouldn’t even NEED the rest of my scrip. When I lost my temper was when after paying them over $13,000 IN CASH for my meds in one year the pharmacy manager refused to give me my medicine that was not only due ON THAT DAY according to my prescription, my doctor, AND my insurance, but when she refused to answer the window when I rang the bell and then hung up on me 3 times when I called on my drive home. Little did she know I was trying to explain to her that the reason for HER confusion was because she’d accidently given me 10 EXTRA tablets of a controlled substance earlier in the month (before my new scrip began- she was supposed to fill 4 but instead filled 14- at that time there WAS no prescription for those 10) and I had gotten rid of them being as someone on subs probably shouldn’t have 10 “extra” of anything lying around, even for the time it takes to drive back to the pharmacy! My point is that a good pharmacist is just as hard to find as a good hair stylist, or good server. I treat everyone with respect and dignity and my friends say I’m one of the most understanding, least judgmental people they’ve ever met. Trouble with me is I expect the same in return when I am the customer. What I do NOT expect (or accept) is for a pharmacy manager (a supposed professional) to be so hell-bent on withholding my meds out of suspicion of me abusing them due to what my scrip is that she FORGETS to count them correctly! Worse yet, what kind of professional repeatedly lies to their customer as if assuming the customer must be an idiot? I switched pharmacies, obviously, and my new pharmacist is not only professional, but also POLITE and so far is HONEST. Which means I tell him every chance I get how much I appreciate his helpfulness, knowledge, kindness and respect, because I don’t take those things for granted. I of all people know how difficult the public can be, but that being a given I’m sorry to say that perhaps some of the “assholes” out there are people who USED to be polite customers until they got treated like junkie-white-trash one too many times. Treating certain pharmacy customers like shit based on what meds they’re on is not only deplorable, it’s DISCRIMINATION, and believe me when I say being discriminated against is not something I take lightly. Needless to say, Walgreens and their unprofessional “pharmacy manager” have not seen the last of THIS “state-insured-dope-fiend,” as I’m sure they called me the moment I said “thank you so much- I hope it slows down for you! have a good night!” and walked away. Like you said in an earlier post, “it takes two to tango” and I’d bet my pinky finger that more of those “rude” customers than you think actually USED to be considerate and polite before they finally snapped and started acting just as bitchy and superior as they were being treated by their all-powerful pharmacist.

Comment by Joe on 2011-11-18 09:16:21 -0800 #

I don’t understand your directing your anger at me. Did you actually read my post AND comprehend it? I ask only because you haven’t really said a whole lot that I disagree with, or that disagrees with my post. Re-read my post, and if you actually comprehend it, you’ll see that you didn’t actually say a whole lot that disagrees with my words.

First, I said that we’re no longer working in comfortably paced mom and pop shops. “We,” in this case, means “service industry workers.” This is in context with the blog, which discusses service industry workers, not just pharmacists. I made this statement as an explanation as to why service sometimes breaks down; SINCE we’re no longer working with plenty of help at a comfortable pace, mistakes are made, and SINCE the labor is so scarce, and SINCE we’re all using technology that nobody on premises knows how to fix, mishaps become magnified. That was the primary meaning behind my mentioning that. I sincerely believe that you just scanned a few lines and got pissed off because you saw that I work at Walgreens, hated me immediately, and then scanned a few lines, misread them, and flew off the handle.

Re-read my post, and read it slowly, without hyperventilating. What did I say that was even remotely negative against pharmacists or against the industry? I didn’t even say anything that suggested that corporate chains are preferable, or good for the industry, and IN FACT, if you actually read AND comprehended my post, you’d have understood that what I’m saying is that corporate behavior is CONTRARY to the good of the service industry, to include pharmacy.

I’m working for Walgreens, since you asked, because it is THE only job in or near my town that offers a wage that pays the bills. If it were my choice, I’d not even BE in the service industry. I’ve been trying like mad to get out of this industry ever since I got into it. I’m just doing what I have to do until my ship comes back to port, in a manner of speaking. I did mention in my post that I’m an assistant manager, not a pharmacist. I help out in the pharmacy all the time, though, because their labor has been sliced so razor thin, and they’re still expected to pump out hundreds of scripts with a tech and a pharmacist, sometimes with just a pharmacist. And, yes, it’s hurting everyone else. I know this, and had you actually understood my post, you would have seen that this was the tone that I took- that the service industry is KILLING everyone working in it, especially independents, and turning customers into packs of rabid, wild animals.

I’m just flabbergasted that you shot this filthy-worded tirade at me, when I haven’t said a word against pharmacists, independents or anyone else, EXCEPT that my original post DOES indict the drive-thru, must-have-it-now culture, which comes from where? From corporations, right? So, you see, we’re pretty much on the same side, here. My pointing out that we’re no longer working in mom and pop shops was meant to tell customers, (and not lecture pharmacists) that we cannot any longer roll out the red carpet for customers and provide flawless service because we’re being driven into the ground by greedy country clubber corporate fucks. Surely you agree with that! Of course, you’d actually have to read this post slowly and completely, and comprehend it, and not fly into another filthy tirade that actually mostly agrees with my post!

A note about working for Walgreens: maybe I’m working for “the enemy,” as it were, but an independent pharmacy has no need for a floor manager, nor could it pay $17 per hour, even if it DID need me. It sounds romantic to talk about grabbing my balls, along with my principles, and refusing any more blood money from Walgreens, but then I’d have to explain to my wife and child why we’re homeless, cold and hungry. Does my three-year-old deserve that?

I want nothing more than for everything to SLOW DOWN, for corporations to stop trying to throttle the necks of independents and other corporations, and to stop seeing my CEO and president take 30% raises while they spit through mouthfuls of caviar that I’m not doing enough for the company, so they’re cutting staff and benefits.

In fact, I consider it an abomination that there exist any 24 hour businesses. Whatever happened to night time? Whatever happened to family time?

You think I want to be standing around on the floor at Walgreens on Christmas Day, waiting for those one or two customers who forgot the cranberries? You think I want to get yelled at for not having something they want, when I know for a fact that, right after they unleash all of their remaining stress on me, they’re going to return to the family party and live it up, while I’m wearing the damned Wlalgreens shirt and tie, hands on my hips, wondering what the hell I’m doing there?

You think I want to hear customer after customer express disappointment that Walgreens employees have to work on Christmas, while they’re standing there, purchasing shit, and creating the very demand to remain open on Christmas about which they’re supposedly disappointed?

I wish that EVERY business was an independent!! I love small businesses, and I wish my upper bosses weren’t trying to kill you!

I apologize for ever having gotten into this industry, because now, I’m feeding the beast, and I can’t just stop anytime I want. I have to find a better job, first.

I apologize PROFUSELY for what my company does to you folks!

Could I be any clearer than that?

Comment by Sarah G on 2011-11-18 09:43:33 -0800 #

It’s good to have you back, TAP!

Comment by carol on 2011-11-18 10:28:50 -0800 #

I wouldn’t get pissed off at retail so much, if they didn’t have to all regurge those Helpful Questions, like “did you find everything ok”? and “how’s it tastin’?” I know they’re indoctrinated to say that but jeez it gets on my nerves. Especially when they can’t find what you were looking for either, but insist on trying. Why can’t they drop the BS, at least when they’re helping a familiar customer?

Comment by Sally on 2011-11-18 10:30:32 -0800 #

I left retail for this main reason, nothing I ever did was good enough for the general person. Whatever happened that was totally out of my control was always my fault. So no I work in long term care, thinking I was going to get away from being yelled at over things beyond my control. But no, I didn’t. Now due to DEA/State board restrictions doctors have to call in prescriptions for narcotics if we don’t have a signed order on file. So I get a call from a physician at 2am for percocet, who rips me a new one of the stupidity of having to call in the script. I told him I was very sorry about the inconvenience and that I wouldn’t do it if it weren’t for the powers to be telling me I had to have it this way. He wants my name, he wants my license number, he’s going to report me. Go right ahead sir, I didn’t make the law complain to your congressman or woman. Well I finally told him when I got to my day job as head of the DEA I’d change the law just for him.

Comment by PA RPH on 2011-11-18 11:06:39 -0800 #

Wall. Of. Text.

Honestly bro, every profession has its good apples and its bad apples. It would seem that a bad apple in the pharmacy profession really has the power, authority, etc. to completely run amok with the attitude and power trip. I’m sorry you received the service and the treatment from the previous pharmacist you dealt with. That’s not the way to do business. I’d normally accuse you of doing something shady in the eyes of that pharmacist to make him suspicious of you, but you seem normal and of good character ( as far as one can tell on a blog, ha ). Also, there are definitely pharmacists out there who, like many other public-serving professions, just burned out, and are complete assholes to everyone. You likely just got one of those lovely gems.

Also, I really like your theory about how some “assholes” might have once been nice people who, through being treated unfairly or working with the public a few days too many, became jaded and bitter. Something to think about.

Comment by paula on 2011-11-18 14:21:52 -0800 #

Amen! Just like you said, that attitude is anywhere one has to deal with the public. My husband works on the phones for Lands End. He tells me all kinds of stories about people yelling at him for stuff he did not do and he can not fix. He says all the smart people order online now, but the ones who call to yell and demand things are too stupid to manage that.

Comment by mHawk56 on 2011-11-18 23:33:09 -0800 #

This post hits the heart of me. I have never done any of the things listed above and have always minded my “P’s and Q’s.” It was until I actually worked in a pharmacy that I understood the horrible capacity of the human condition. I worked for 4½ years in the poorest pharmacy in our area, and I can count on one hand the times I have been treated like a human being. While I have always said please and thank you, I now make it a point to make eye contact and say it sincerely every time I come in contact with another service industry bitch. I cannot believe the bearing on one’s day that can be made from a simple “thank you” while buying groceries! The warm and fuzzy fact is that if everyone was decent to each other, our world would be a better place. Sorry pharmacists, as the financial and moral police of the medical world (which is weird considering that nurses know EVERYTHING and should understand our plight) cannot change the world. We can just improve a handful of people in with which we come in contact. Unfortunately, a majority of these people, I have found, are not people related to pharmacy and are in fact hairdressers, grocers, and other clerks. Goddamnit.

Comment by UCStudent on 2011-11-19 01:02:33 -0800 #

As a P3 at the University of Cincinnati, I can tell you that we do cover how to deal with disagreeable people who yell, scream, and haven’t a clue how to be reasonable. Unfortunately, we don’t have a class for this. The disagreeable people happen to be our professors. After getting a bachelor’s and master’s, I’ve never seen so much idiocy in a faculty. I have worked retail for several years now, and I can say that this experience is very true to the actual job.

Comment by AG on 2011-11-19 04:41:08 -0800 #

I know exactly how you feel. Patients/customers are so impatient, n yes very rude. As a pharmacist, I get to deal with these kind of people everyday. I used to get upset, but now its just routine, in other words, im not bothered. Pharmacy is not a fast food place!!!

Regarding the supermarket situation, uve done a good job. Id definitely would do the same thing. Sometimes a smile can brighten ur day.

Comment by Techie on 2011-11-19 06:05:09 -0800 #

Customer service sucks! Everyone needs an individual attention, but until you know the patient he can rip you a new one. I tend to realize that most people who scream and demand or act all crazy while waiting for their rx have some sort of an excuse for that type of behavior. I’m not defending those patients, cause I’m on the other side being yelled at, but I kind of “understand”? I had a patient a while back and she was just so hard to deal with. Between long wait and why the copay so high it was just never ending. We would beg her to get all her stuff delivered so she wouldn’t have to come to the store, however one of those times when she was in the store I noticed a tattoo on her arm. It wasn’t a regular tattoo , those were just numbers , the ones they tattooed at the concentration camps during WWII. Then I find out that her only son who has control of all her money barelly gives her any and whenever she pays ( by check) for her copays he gives her hell why she is paying so much. I had pleasure talking to him and I bet he doesn’t tip well after his lobster and caviar lunch!
No! It doesn’t give her a right to be nasty also , but it explains it. Same like few of my other patients who have young children after transplant or on depakote and clozaril.
I don’t think they are allowed to be that way, but I don’t know how I would be if I was in their situation.
I’ve been in pharmacy business for 20 years and seen a lot and all kind of crazy, explained and unexplained.

Comment by Sara on 2011-11-19 17:56:48 -0800 #

I’ve been working in a retail pharmacy as a technician for a year now, and I completely agree. I’m a P1, and almost done with the first semester of pharmacy school. The reason they don’t give us a retail class (that would really be beneficial and not just “flowery presentations”) is because no one would want to go into retail after taking such a class. The professors we have that worked in retail all will jokingly say that retail can be tough, but they also talk about the customers as if each and every one of them and their concerns are legitimate. Sure, in order to keep your job, you have to be everyone’s bitch, but all of us who have worked with the public know that just isn’t true, because people are morons, and they are also cruel.

Comment by Mike on 2011-11-19 21:06:31 -0800 #

TAP you are missing something essential here. When you are standing in line and the witness a customer give the clerk “both barrels” this is your time to act. You are not at your job, no one can fire you and you are not being paid to be nice. You are just another costermer at a retail store and if some asshole can unload on the clerk, you can give it right back to him. Nothing makes me feel better than walking up to a ranting customer taping him on the shoulder and saying, “guess what? You’re a dickhead.” it always stops the guy dead in his tracks. These bullies never suspect that they can get what they are giving. It stops them dead in their tracks. They go slack jawed and all the hot air goes right out them. And the clerk, they look at you as if you are Batman and just jumped from the roof tops to take out a gang of muggers. It is probaly the most satisfying thing I ever get to do in my daily life, everyone realy needs to try it. And remember “Evil triumphs when good people do nothing.”

Comment by Bradley on 2011-11-20 07:23:58 -0800 #

Call me devil’s advocate, but I probably would have handled that differently. I would have said, “Oh you’re Right! You SHOULD get a Shingles Vaccine. There are some really great pharmacies in the area that do those, and your insurance will probably cover it. Have you tried Walgreens or Rite Aid?” I’m a nurse and, after working in psych for years, have learned how to always say YES even when I’m saying NO. In this case, once you opened with ‘NOPE’, she dug in her heels and switched into argument mode.

Comment by Bradley on 2011-11-20 07:31:40 -0800 #

I’ve been a nurse and then nurse practitioner for years, and am pretty good at dealing with the public. I don’t feel uncomfortable sending back food at restaurants if it’s not done right. I am never a dick about it, I just politely send it back and wait patiently for its return. When the barista hears “non-fat misto” instead of “whole milk misto,” I send it back, and baristas don’t roll their eyes at me or anything. Most people in this world are self-motivated enough to want to do a good job at whatever job they do, and appreciate kindness even if there is a mistake or something.

Comment by Alex Stronach on 2011-11-21 10:22:27 -0800 #

Awesome post, brother! I’ve never understood why people shit on one another for sport. In some countries, when you hit 18, all able bodied citizens are required to do mandatory military service. I think here in the US, everyone should be required to do a customer service tour just to see what it’s like on the other end of the cashier. If everyone spent 6 months behind the counter at McDonalds or Wal-Mart, they might think twice the next time they have the urge to be an asshole to a complete stranger!

Comment by Celia Hoover on 2011-11-21 20:21:23 -0800 #

Spot on angry Pharmacist. I especially enjoy what people will wait inordinate amounts of time such as video games, Haircuts, Free discount cereal that they sell in plastic bags at the grocery store. I walked by starbucks during their buy one get one free promotion on holiday themed drinks, and everyone stood patiently in line and did not even badger the counter help. There were 2 dozen people waiting in line, consider the reactions of people if this were the drive thru at your local ubiquitous drug store chain. I certainly would not want to be on drive thru duty that pharmacy.

Comment by the dropper on 2011-11-21 20:53:42 -0800 #

I’ve been reading your stuff for quite a while… Good shit.. And you are so right.. There are assholes evgerywhere, and I have found that older folk who are assholes are just bitter versions of assholes they were at a younger age. Nothing is more satisfying than yelling at a customer in some store when they are giving a cashier a hard time.. The look you get from that cashier is one of absolute thanks and admiration.. It is so easy to make somone’s day… Keep up[ the good work.. On another note, chain or indepoendent we are all getting fucked by CVS/caremark… Just an opinion, but it might be nice to let it be known in youyr column, which I’m sure is read by many non pharmacists, that just because the card has CVS printed on it DOES NOT MEAN they have to go to CVS.. The lemmings are oh so easy to misdirect..
Thank you

Comment by Melissa on 2011-11-22 12:12:50 -0800 #

I have no idea how I stumbled across your blog, but here I am. I have to agree with your assessment of the human condition, but you are far too specific in your examples. People SUCK. Not just people who are coming to the pharmacy to get their drugs, or ordering in restaurants, or shopping or calling customer service or waiting in line to take a piss at a public urinal. People suck, and they suck in every industry and in every conceivable manner. Yes, there are thankfully exceptions. I once went to get my Xanax prescription filled (and God fucking forbid I should try to do THAT a day before it’s due) and the pharmacist bitch LOUDLY and in front of an entire line of customers who were behind me said, “YOU CANNOT GET THIS EARLY, IT’S A CONTROLLED DRUG.” I was so completely mortified, and I tend to get quite mouthy when I’m feeling humiliated. I have never asked for an Rx early so I wasn’t aware that trying to get it filled on the wrong fucking day would cause this pharmacist to consider speed-dialling the Godddamned DEA. So. I quickly did the math and as it turns out, it was the 31st day. The stupid bitch was going from, say, Xanax filled on the 28th of Oct. should not be refilled until the 28th of Nov. When I calmly and quietly pointed this out to her, she developed an attitude the size of Texas. This is but one example of how those serving the public are not immune to invoking their own power-trippy version of total fucking douchebaggery. Doctors? Oh my God, don’t get me started on their needlessly God-complexed opinions, or the way they condescend to you if you even QUESTION their Almighty Fucking Authority. My point is…people are fucking assholes. Perhaps it’s our lifestyle. Maybe it’s nutritionally-induced. I don’t know, but having worked with the public for plenty of years (as a waitress and then a paralegal), I just wanted to add my two cents’ worth about the way people who are in service-oriented industries are pretty fucking huge assholes and bitches, too. The one crucial difference is that if they have ANY kind of “power” or authority, like a doctor or lawyer or pharmacist, they can really fuck up your day in ways that have nothing to do with getting an eyeroll or a dirty look. And don’t even get me started on Big Pharmacy…those greedy corporate cocksuckers…

But I loved your blog. It made me laugh. Thanks.

Comment by ED on 2011-11-22 20:50:15 -0800 #

I don’t work with the public. But, I don’t fail to treat people in retailing as humans. I was taught manners! And I use them everyday! But there are times when a salesperson really, really messes up and it’s hard to maintain your composure with such stupidity! They are being paid to do a particular job and they aren’t doing it! So we are justified in fighting back? I’ve been in the hospital countless times! 98% of the nursing staff is fantastic! Really care about what they do. But you the other 2% that don’t give a shit! They are there for the paycheck. So, we don’t have the right to fight back? You come off as saying ALL people who serve the public are the best! Not true! Just like in anything else you have your bad ones. And judging from your hatred of people, you shouldn’t be in the pharmacutical field. I don’t see how you can possibly do your job correctly with your hot headedness!

Comment by Mellee on 2011-11-23 08:32:29 -0800 #

EXCELLENT POST! I have been doing the retail thing for many years, and your so right, it only takes one jackass customer to completely ruin your day!
I have had my share of them. Makes we wanna go home and drink till I am sober!

Comment by Pharmaciststeve on 2011-11-24 18:34:08 -0800 #

The general public are only concerned about two things:

  1. How long
  2. How much
    and.. it always too long a wait and costs too much…

Comment by Nabo on 2011-11-24 22:58:48 -0800 #

I’ve been working for a certain retail pharmacy for 4 years. From time to time I’ll start to think about taking the pharmacy tech certification to make a little more money and learn a new skill…and then I’ll be walking by the pharmacy on one errand or another, and I’ll hear the way those good people are being talked to by our resident numbskulls. Then I’ll realize the while the photo department has been a frantic mess lately, it doesn’t touch what the pharmacy peeps are having to deal with. Every once in a while some mouth-breather will try to complain to me about how they were “treated” in the pharmacy, and just like when someone complains about something I do/say it’s always this horribly one-sided version that portrays said mouth-breather as a victim and the pharmacist as an evil monster.

There are a couple of customers in the store that if our head pharmacist reached across the counter, grabbed them by their hair and slammed their head into the counter repeatedly…and I happened to be the only person any where near where this happened, just hanging ad tags…I’d swear on a bible in a court of law that I didn’t see a fucking thing other than the customer falling and hitting their own head.

This was a great post, and made my day to read. You guys behind that particular counter get more shit than anyone else in the store, and for putting up with all of that without abusing my willingness to perjure myself so you can crack some skulls…I salute YOU.

Comment by Tom on 2011-11-26 14:56:00 -0800 #

Boo FUCKING Hoo. How much do you get paid to deal with the”fucking dipshits”? It’s your job so if you cannot handle it get a new one. How about all the others who work with the public for minimum wage ie fast food workers etc. In my experience most Pharmacists think they are doctors and can decide what meds to dispense and when to dispense them. Oh thank almighty pharmacist for giving me my insulin because I’m sure you’ve never made a fucking mistake in your fucking life! What really pisses me off is that most pharmacists can’t figure out that when a month has 31 FUCKING days the prescription should be filled a day earlier than the date on the bottle. It is not early it is on time. Maybe if you pharmacists gave some respect you’d get some back. Until then I hope your job continues to frustrate you so much that you feel the need to rant and rave and yes say FUCKING a few times to make you feel all better. Take a vicodin and chill out. OH and learn which months have 31 days!

Comment by Crusty RPh on 2011-11-27 10:23:45 -0800 #

In 40 years of retail work, I have found that the best way to handle an asshole, is to ask them politely to leave. If they don’t – you boot their sorry asses out and tell them they can come back with an appoligy. If you are confident you are the best, they will be back with an appoligy. When they come back they will bring you more customers.

Comment by Crusty RPh on 2011-11-27 15:21:42 -0800 #

But I bet you prefer the Watson brand Vicodin

Comment by Rphgurl on 2011-11-27 18:20:11 -0800 #

I agree about pharmacy schools not giving a course designed to prepare students about how to handle tough or impossible situations. I have worked in retail as a tech, an intern and a pharmacist for over 10 years now and a trick I learned along the way is when someone drops off, I count how many rx’s are ahead, tell them the wait time and look them dead in the eye. I can tell they want to argue but since I have told them they ain’t the only person in the world with an issue they go away with fewer arguments. It’s fun to see the wheels turning in their heads as they realize the world does NOT revolve around them.

Comment by franky on 2011-11-28 04:27:27 -0800 #

It is true, if your service or product is good value and a great standard then people will come back for it, there is no need to put up with people abusing you at work. Asking them to leave shows you wont be messed with whilst also allowing them time to cool off.

Comment by Susan on 2011-11-28 06:54:12 -0800 #

Nice to know there are still some “honest” people like you out there. What a dumb post.
Do all you people think that pharmacists are the only ones who have to put up with bs from people? Anyone who works with the public has to put up with more crap than anyone could believe. I work with the public and each and every time I go to work, there are people who come in and expect the world handed to them on a silver platter. I realize pharmacists do put up with a lot of rude, obnoxious people but so do a lot of us in public service.
One thing I do notice from a lot of the pharmacists’ posts is the drugs they seem to mind filling. Pain killers, Xanax, etc. Do you believe that every person on those meds are just “pill heads” looking to sell their meds? That is being very short sighted. I had a liver transplant some years back and I was on some really heavy duty pain meds, does that automatically make me one of those pillheads looking to sell my meds? If you’re going to say you’re professionals then I think you’d be able to express yourself better than to drop the f bomb 25 times while trying to get a point across. I really feel that you are in the wrong line of work if you feel that frustrated at your job. I’m sure there are policies and when they are explained to the customer if they persist on giving you a hard time, call the police and have them removed from your store. Do that a couple of times and I guarantee the word will get around that “that pharmacist” doesn’t take any shit. You may lose some customers but they are probably not customers you want.
I think some of you have very good points but to be giving kudos to every pharmacist on here who can swear up a storm because his/her job is frustrating, that is just reading someone’s venting, with no solutions.
Be nice and respectful and you’ll get the same in return. I have been going to the same pharmacist for years and have never had trouble with him at all. We have a mutual respect for one another and a very good professional relationship.

Comment by mary on 2011-11-28 07:07:27 -0800 #

oh I guess you have to be an irate pharmacist for anyone to agree with you. I hear you dude the pharmacists are trying to act like they are so pleasant all the time and people just give them a hard time for no reason. This is obviously a site for only people who agree with Mr. FUCKING pharmacist. I agree with you boo hoo get a new job.

Comment by Danny on 2011-11-28 23:20:52 -0800 #

Bitch at your insurance if they’re unable to fill your script early, not at the pharmacist. It honestly doesn’t matter if the month has 28 days or 31 when a doctor writes for a 30 day supply its going to be a fucking 30 day supply and it’s going to be up to the insurance on when and how early they want to pay the claim. You’re an asshole for being intolerable and ignorant of how the system works. I’d say pull that stick out of your ass but I’d rather not have you go shitting over everyone else’s parade.

Comment by VulcanianRX on 2011-11-29 07:07:49 -0800 #

Fuck you and your quack doctor! We’re trained to know what these meds do and why! Your “doctor” is trained primarily in the field of diagnosis, which is figuring out whatever bullshit injury or problem you claim to have wrong. Most MD’s are as fucking clueless as you, all you know is “mmmm I take the big white ones and I feel good, man!” Yea we have to regulate you people on when you can get certain meds filled because the DEA is watching and the board can pull our license if we fuck up! Meaning we are out of a job. We all have rules to follow with our jobs, most of the ones in place for pharmacy are there for your protection and ours. Pharmacists would certainly give more respect if we were not being lied to, conned and berated on a daily basis by addicts, crackheads, degenerates and over entitled shit-heads who would not know what makes water boil let alone how thier drugs work! JANUARY, MARCH, MAY, JULY, AUGUST, OCTOBER, DECEMBER!! Oh and don’t forget to get your flu shot, asshole!

Comment by PA RPH on 2011-11-30 09:04:34 -0800 #


You’re a fucking asshole.

Methinks you got burned by your pharmacist.

Cry me a river, shitbag.

Comment by PA RPH on 2011-11-30 09:05:58 -0800 #

Until Corpo Chain X fires you for not kowtowing to the almighty customer.

Comment by Jeff on 2011-12-01 13:35:26 -0800 #

“What a dumb post. Do all you people think that pharmacists are the only ones who have to put up with bs from people?”

Did you read the post? You know the one titled “All in the same boat.” Go back and read the second paragraph. Read it slowly and carefully.

“… does that automatically make me one of those pillheads looking to sell my meds?”

That depends. Do you get your meds on time every month, or are you habitually early? Do you call every hour for 3 days straight asking if the Dr. has ok’ed your refill yet? Do you only want the pink/blue/football-shaped pills, or will anything do as long as it works. Are you getting the same pain med from more than one Dr. and getting each Rx filled at different pharmacies? Your answers to these questions will determine whether or not you are a pillhead.

“I think some of you have very good points but to be giving kudos to every pharmacist on here who can swear up a storm because his/her job is frustrating, that is just reading someone’s venting, with no solutions.”

This webpage is titled “The Angry Pharmacist (rants from the most trusted profession)” not “The Helpful Pharmacist (solutions to problems in the most trusted profession)” What the fuck did you expect to read here?

Comment by Officer Cynical on 2011-12-02 11:36:04 -0800 #

“if they persist on giving you a hard time, call the police and have them removed from your store.”

No. Call us if they break the law. Otherwise, be a grown-up and handle it yourself.

“Do that a couple of times and I guarantee the word will get around that “that pharmacist” doesn’t take any shit.”

Maybe, but they’ll keep coming back anyway.

“If you’re going to say you’re professionals then I think you’d be able to express yourself better than to drop the f bomb 25 times while trying to get a point across.”

Shit, I do that before noon on a daily fucking basis.

“I really feel that you are in the wrong line of work if you feel that frustrated at your job.”


Comment by Jeff on 2011-12-02 17:16:14 -0800 #

Tom, where did anyone say they can’t handle it? This blog is full of war stories from people in the trenches, nothing more. Just because we all get a kick out of each others’ experiences and enjoy telling others of our own does in no way indicate that we can’t handle it.

On a different note, usually if you can’t get your medicine on the right day after a 31 day month you can thank the staff at your Dr’s office for that. We get lots of refill request responses for med’s that say OK on XX/XX/XX. They are the one’s who don’t realize that a 31 day month changes the due date of your Rx. And once they have done that, we have to abide by it. Do you think we like having to deal with calls from people who are upset because their medicine is due today, but be can’t fill it until the next day? Do you think we make money by NOT filling prescriptions? Trust me, we would rather fill it and not have to listen to you for another 30 days.

Why don’t you put your helmet back on, pick up your crayons, and get out of here you fucking vico-tard.

Comment by Jeff on 2011-12-02 17:21:08 -0800 #

He said “if you’re confident that you’re the best”… That pretty much excludes any of the Corpo Chains.

Comment by Dbag on 2011-12-06 10:33:35 -0800 #

Check it out cock nozzle, not everyone is a pharmacist getting paid $150k to sit around all day and count pills. If I order a $50 steak it damn well better be cooked right, or it is going back. It is a toolbag mentality like yours that allows these everyday asshats to walk all over you. Quit your whining and grow a pair.

Comment by Fialchar on 2011-12-06 23:44:27 -0800 #

Yeah…I tip a minimum of 20% too…..unless the waiter is a complete Dbag. Being there and feeling it..Rock on TAP.

Comment by pigrph on 2011-12-07 06:09:53 -0800 #

This whole situation has come about because the fucking administrators would rather keep a dope head customer than care about your feelings.
The public knows if they complain enuf the brass will give them a gift card to mollify them.And here you are, holding the shit the customer threw at you , with no recourse. I’m sure many a customer gloats over this advantage they have over you.
I’m told in restaurants the staff can easily get back at a douchebag customer: Your steak may go around the world, visiting every sink, every toilet bowl before it is fried and served to you. So don’t piss off the servers !

Comment by pigrph on 2011-12-07 06:24:15 -0800 #

Our society has become so demanding that we forget that the people who serve us deserve some respect and empathy. We are asked to do more and more with less and less, especially less time.
Like someone said, not every little error is a fucking moral outrage. Everybody should be a bit more understanding and patient.
Unfortunately the profession of pharmacy has degraded so much it shouldn’t be called a profession anymore. Sad I worked over 20 years serving the public, and believe me there’s a lot of shitheads out there.

Comment by pigrph on 2011-12-07 06:32:23 -0800 #

I like you, Joe. You make a lot of sense.
I would never go to a chain pharmacy for my flu shot because I know how frantic it is behind the counter. I don’t want to stress out my fellow pharmaicst/tech any more than I have to. Also for my own safety. Haste makes waste, and if I get the wrong shot I may not survive.
The chain I work for keeps tabs on how many shots each pharmacist makes. We get weekly corporate e-mails telling us the stats. Another straw to break the camel’s back.
I don’t get my prescriptions at Walgreen not because I dislike Walgreen’s, but because I don’t want to add to their burden. I feel their pain.

Comment by pigrph on 2011-12-07 06:45:20 -0800 #

Love your comment, Nabo. You sound like a very nice human being.

Comment by SACBOB on 2011-12-07 09:20:58 -0800 #

Working with the public, especially with entitled American customers, is like cleaning toilets. It’s really the shits, but, heh, somebody has to do it. That’s why I’m retired after 25 years of pharmacy service. In last fifteen years, I worked in a mental health facility. Let me tell you, working with the crazies is a godsend compared to working in retail with crazy, angry customers. At least the crazies have an excuse.

Comment by Jennifer on 2011-12-07 10:10:33 -0800 #

@The Angry Pharmacist or more accurately @Pissed at the world – You need help – you have got some severe anger issues that need addressing ASAP. Even if I agree with what you say or wanted to take your advice, I wouldn’t because of your “douchecanoe” attitude problem. You are NOT Sean Hannity nor Rush Limbaugh, you don’t own dick and your opinions are not that important. Check the attitude when you log in and you may actually get more than 46 subscribers. Never again will I come here looking for answers!!

Comment by I_hatemyjob on 2011-12-08 21:38:09 -0800 #

One time, a physician called in for a prescription and it was percocet. I answered back with “Do you just finish your residency training? I forgave you, because your program did you teach you that any C-II needs original temper-resistant hard copy.”. Guess what, he apologized and hang up the phone.

Comment by I_hatemyjob on 2011-12-08 21:43:43 -0800 #

Well, it is only true in retail pharmacy. When one goes to a fast food joint, no one ever asks how long one has to wait!!!, no one ever asks how much!!!, no one ever return one’s order when one does not like it. All my fellow colleagues, the retail pharmacy is even lower than the fast food joint.

Comment by I_hatemyjob on 2011-12-08 21:49:39 -0800 #

Thank you for saying that. I wonder whether we can hang a sign right at both pick up and drop off window ” we reserve the right not to serve”. I guess I an going to be out of job very soon.

Comment by I_hatemyjob on 2011-12-08 21:54:39 -0800 #

I did that a couple of times too before “the 15 minute guarantee” marketing joke was up. But great news, they finally took down that 15 minute sign.

Comment by EP on 2011-12-10 10:28:56 -0800 #

Jennifer, I’m glad you came to a website called “; rants from the most trusted profession” for answers to your problems, that sounds like the smart thing to do.

TAP you hit the nail on the head. My wife who has never worked outside of the office can’t understand why I’m so nice to the people who serve me when we go out, even if it’s at McDonald’s. People are human they mess up, so what? Don’t make a big deal about it, let them know, and they’ll gladly fix it for you. Chances are, for example, your server didn’t make the mistake, someone in the kitchen did.

It’s just the problem with our culture now-a-days in general. Everyone expects everything instantly. Even if its the internet on their cell phone. If it doesn’t work right away they start cursing and yelling “aah this POS!” I mean really? Were you able to do this 5 years ago? No. Give it a freaking minute. Check out Louis C.K.’s special called ‘Hilarious’ he does a nice bit on this.

Anyways TAP, great post, keep ’em coming.

Comment by SACBOB on 2011-12-10 17:33:01 -0800 #

Hey, right on! You got it right. In this age of instant gratification, if someone doesn’t fulfill our needs immediately, then the person is a POS, and our anger comes out. Americans have way too much anger bottled up. So many walking time bombs. Mix all this anger with our gun culture, and it’s nature’s form of population control. Maybe it’s not so bad afterall.

Comment by PA WV RPH on 2011-12-11 03:37:12 -0800 #


Lmao. Yes, I have 90% of “Hilarious” memorized. 😀

Rock on, Louis. He is a Godsend in a world of screwy priorities.

Comment by mike on 2011-12-11 17:31:20 -0800 #

Omg, you have captured the reality of retail pharmacy. This why after 13 years I’m leaving to finish my math degree. We have one fat fuck that get gets 25 scripts free every month (including androgel) from the state.of AZ. That’s why the state is broke.

Comment by WiscRPh on 2011-12-13 20:07:32 -0800 #

I had some Norco-Slut in my drive-through the other morning who phoned-in her Vico-Dans which were to be filled on such-and-such a date…When she pulled into the drive-through, she had her radio blaring some stupid-assed (TeaPublican) morning talk show and was digging under her passenger seat for about 2 minutes… I tried numerous times to get her attention, but to no avail. Finally when she picked her ugly head up, she found me slack-jawed at the window waiting for a response. I wasn’t polite… I’ll venture to guess that my manager will get a complaint, but I don’t give two shits,. When you pull into a drive-through expecting quick service, DON’T BE DIGGING AROUND IN YOUR CAR FOR SPARE CHANGE OR SPARE VICO-DANS!!! Be ready to speak the King’s English (not HILLBILLY SKANK-LISH) with whomever is serving you at the window!! The same goes for phone calls… If you are having a conversation with your dip-shit cousin (aka your babies’-mama), I will hang up on you. If you cannot remember the birth-date of your bastard welfare child, I will hang up on you. And, NO, I will not handle your nasty herpes-ridden cell-phone to speak with your “insurance representative” to authorize your early refill of oxycodone and 10-pack of syringes… Fuck You.

Comment by LD50 placebo effect on 2011-12-15 18:29:55 -0800 #

It’s an interesting comment, if a little on the long side. It makes me remember that of all the professionally trained service-workers, pharmacists as individuals can leave an impression on a patient, be it good or bad, or indifferent. And the truth of the matter is that we are all doing our job. We are the personally held responsible for handling and providing the safe, and accurately filled prescription potential poisons to society. As a pharmacist, there is no room for personal vendettas in my duty to the public.

Comment by ScubaChick on 2011-12-16 22:07:35 -0800 #

I’ve worked in the casino boat industry for many years so I know what it’s like to be treated like shit from your customers. One time I told a male customer that he could not smoke his cigar on the slot floor and I politely asked him to either put it out or take it outside. He looked me right in the eye and said “Go fuck yourself”. I waited until he ordered his next drink and I spit in it! That’s the one and only time I have ever done anything like that.

I don’t have an aggressive bone in my body. Sometimes I wish I could be just a little bit like the people I see screaming at the pharmacist, cashier etc. but it’s just not who I am. I don’t complain, I just try not to go back there if I can help it. I usually stick to CVS for my prescriptions. Not because it’s CVS but for the pharmacist that works there. A few years ago my child was diagnosed with a life long illness. He had just been released from hospital and I stopped at CVS to fill all these new scripts (some that my insurance refused to cover). I was feeling so scared and overwhelmed by the diagnosis that it took all I had to keep from crying. I guess she could tell because when I came back to pick to them up, she had written down all these numbers for support groups and an agency to call about my insurance refusing to pay for certain things (she was so mad at my insurance company) Then she writes down her home and cell number and tells me to call her if I ever have any questions or concerns, even if it’s in middle of the night. I was so touched by her care and compassion that I walked out of there and cried like a baby. Two years later, she still asks about my son and how he’s dealing with his illness. I really appreciate everything she’s done for me.

Comment by pharmacist bob on 2012-01-17 20:18:24 -0800 #

Agreed, your pharmacist is very special. She clicked with you and your situation! Wish you the best!

Comment by Taishanrph on 2012-01-21 19:13:43 -0800 #

A lot of pharmacists would love to go the extra mile to help patients out. But when you have phones ringing every 30 seconds and people demanding answers right away, there is no way to spend that extra minute with them. The ones I dread most are the customers that call 1/2 hour before closing and they tie you up with long winded stories or complaints you can’t do nothing about because you’re running out of time and there’s a line of customers waiting for their prescriptions. People don’t realize how easily a pharmacist can be tied up. It’s not just count and pour. If we make a mistake on your prescription we can kill you.

Comment by Glenna on 2012-02-03 21:42:50 -0800 #

I hold all my controlled substance refills to the day. You don’t mess with the Feds. You can lose you license after a bad (in their terms) audit. I’ve actually told people that I have a mortgage, a kid in college and I like to eat, so I’m not jeopardizing my license for “you” or anyone else and that’s just how it is. When I was a pharmacy manager, the early refill nonsense stopped after about 3 months of repeating the above to all of my seekers.

Comment by Joe on 2012-02-13 19:36:07 -0800 #

I had one of the patients who ceremoniously appointed ME in charge of calling all over the city to see if their Liquid Crestor (obviously not liquid crestor, but about the same prevalence) was in stock somewhere else. When I explained it wasn’t and put the onus on her to call she went into the excuse machine. And then came up with “I don’t have a phone”. This conversation, was of course on the phone.

Comment by Johnny K on 2012-03-11 12:30:10 -0700 #

You do know that we (pharmacist) aren’t the ones that control giving you 30 days versus your 31 days, right? It’s your insurance company. They consider a “month” to be 30 days, regardless if it’s 28 or 31 days. Thanks for proving that you have no understanding of our healthcare system.

Comment by Showme on 2012-03-17 19:19:10 -0700 #

I’m suprised no one else noticed this but vicodin is used for pain not chilling out. This just showes that you have no fucking clue what your meds do for you.

Comment by preferredduck on 2012-04-25 22:00:39 -0700 #

im nice and polite to every pharmacist i have ever met yet them i hey lie to me and act like an ass. i have never filled one of my meds early. i am tired of everyone person in the pharmacy thinking because i take oxycodone i am a junkie. i also get the new oxycontin which doesnt work as good as the old ones but it does help. if i were abusing them i would have switched to opana or something. i offer my med records which my mri and other things are in my car since i was in a wreck and who knows what my attorney may need. i also have a handicapped tag at 30 years old. yet i get lied to like im a criminal. i have a script that is 30 days old now. its from the lies and corruption at the pharmacies sadly. i hate it that i could buy my meds on the street easier than getting them at the pharmacy. i wont do this because it contributes to the problem. also i have been in customer service, including healthcare billing and collections. my advice, just suck it up, you did chose the job right, so shut up and do it.

Comment by Erika on 2012-05-20 11:23:55 -0700 #

I am completely blown away by the stupidity of your tirade on customers who are shorted meds by you the pharmacist. Last I checked you the pharmacist is human and not completely error proof. It is very insulting to stereotype people who unfortunately have to take pain meds to get through the day as junkies. My husband not only works but works in the construction industry and yes he does this everyday without taking a pain pill until he comes home. He does not abuse hi pain meds but he also shouldnt be shorted by some pharmacist who claims to be incapable of making an error in counting. Then to add insult to injury tells my husband that 90 pills fit in a small prescription bottle. Really?.. Oh and by the way not only was the prescription free but we pay over a $1000/month for health and pharmacy insurance so I believe that we do have a right to complain. You need to take a step back and realize that just as much as you want respect so does the customer. We are all human and a little bit of common courtesy goes a long way. Have a nice day and don’t take it as a personal attack when a customer asks you to recount pills in front of them. In my opinion that is an educated consumer.

Comment by James on 2012-06-27 23:30:32 -0700 #

Holy shit.

I work for Best Buy as one of those friendly folks in the black-and-white who calmly and coolly try to explain to customers that yes, you do need to be plugged into the wall, and that yes, sometimes shit happens to a computer and you need to restart it. I jokingly told my dad: “My job is basically to tell people they’re stupid and get paid for it.” And in a sense, it *is* my job. People fuck up their computers then come to me and I charge them to fix it. And I have heard every fucking story, I’ve seen so much sobbing and gnashing of teeth because “blah blah blah *I* didn’t break it” (dumbass your SCREEN IS CRACKED I could PUNCH A FUCKING MONITOR and it wouldn’t have HALF AS MUCH DAMAGE AS THE SHIT YOU BROUGHT ME so SHUT THE FUCK UP AND REALIZE YOU CAN’T ABUSE YOUR SHIT AND GET AWAY WITH IT) that it makes me sick.

And you know what fucking makes it worse?

Listening to the “but blah blah blah my day is bad and it’s all your fault.”

You talk and talk and talk about respect but I’ve seen your kind here. You’re the kind that calls back to complain because “Have a nice day!” isn’t enough of a goodbye and you consider it rude that I didn’t say “goodbye” in as many words before hanging up the phone. You’re the kind of customer who demands to speak to my manager because how DARE I charge you to install this piece of software. You’re the kind of customer who demands to know why I won’t immediately fix this computer you bought from me five months ago, because “don’t you stand by your product?” when I can tell by looking at it that someone in your house has a crippling porn addiction that’s resulted in things that could only somewhat appear to be legitimate programs if you were blind, deaf, and had never seen a computer before. You’re the kind of customer who assures me “I never do things like go on facebook” despite the fact that it’s your GODDAMN HOMEPAGE, YOU HAVE A LINK ON YOUR DESKTOP, AND YOUR HISTORY IS FULL OF FACEBOOK LINKS.

Also it appears like you’re the kind of customer who complains “oh you just make money off all the stuff you sell.”

Yes, it sucks your husband works in pain every day. Tell me this: do you think he feels better about whatever injury he has by yelling at people? I wish (and I”m sure the pharmacist wishes) that was the case because then you wouldn’t even NEED pills and the pharmacy could just fucking charge your injured husband @200 a bottle for “screaming at the counter.” THEN they could pocket nearly pure profit on the deal and you could be on your merry fucking way untroubled by the pain he has.

Alternatively, you’re just being an ass because your life currently sucks and you need to spread the pain and misery around in some idiotic and misguided attempt to fix what’s going on. After seeing a million of them like you every single day for the past two years, I’ve decided it’s PROBABLY THE LATTER and so you know what?

I feel sorry for your husband.

Comment by Srs12 on 2012-07-17 14:44:37 -0700 #

“I realize that this post isn’t your usual swear word ridden bitchfest…”
Man, i got it loud and clear now. Sorry for semi-bitching earlier. Respect and kudos. Don’t forget to mention cops, fire, EMTs in your list. Also work with public 😉

Comment by Srs12 on 2012-07-17 16:29:54 -0700 #

“Temper resistant” LULZ

Comment by John on 2012-07-19 21:19:46 -0700 #

If you work in the public you’re going to have to expect people to complain, just the way it is.

Plus, as a pharmacist, if you’re in the USA, you make a ton of money compared to the average household income. So you should just put up with it because you get an extremely bloated salary anyway. It’s not like you’re working at McDonalds. I’m more courteous to people that don’t make bloated salaries like waitresses, people at burger king, wal-mart etc.

Pharmacist however, no way. I feel like if you get paid that much, it’s time to put up with the complaints.

Comment by Lisa Pharmacist on 2012-07-26 11:21:45 -0700 #

John. You’re an idiot! You have no idea how stressful and over-worked pharmacists are. My experience includes standing on my feet constantly, with no breaks, for a total of 12 hours a day, with barely any time to eat a few bites of a sandwich. The phones are ringing every 30 seconds, with many customers asking all kinds of questions that take up your time. And you are trying to solve several insurance problems at one time while prescriptions are piling up, coming in from faxes, e-scribed from physicians, call-ins from patients, and customer drop offs, and, the dreaded drive thru! Most pharmacists are right at their breaking point, because their corporate bosses are cutting their tech payroll hours down below the minimum amount they need to get all their work done. And, on top of it all, we are now expected to give vaccines on a walk-in basis, and deliver MTM (Medication Therapy Management) services! We have to make sure each prescription is accurately filled with correct directions, the correct drug, with no drug interactions.

And, by the way, we cannot, and I repeat cannot make a mistake! If we do, we could kill someone!

So I don’t think the fact that we get paid well means that customers have the right to treat us badly. We are already having a hard enough time, not that people like you, John, could care less.

Comment by grumpyrph on 2012-07-29 14:40:58 -0700 #

You bet Lisa. John, you don’t have a clue. As a pharmacist/owner – I pay 4 other pharmacists very well – because they deserve every dime. All these jack asses think the pharmacist just count by five and have no clue of what goes thru the pharmacist’s mind while filling a prescription. If some asshole is yelling at them for some non-medicinal reason, the asshole puts the person whose prescription is being filled at risk. If the insurance company causes irrelivant problems – it puts the patient at risk. The pharmacist is probably the only reasonable expense in medicine today. For the few dollars profit on each prescritpion is a bargin. I am not saying we are perfect, but most of us try to be. Most patients do allow us to do our job, but is someone comes in to raise hell about nothing, I personally boot their ass out and do not allow them back without an appology. We take no shit unless we deserve it and when we deserve it – and if do deserve it we are harder on ourselves than you could ever be.

Comment by MICHELLE on 2013-07-14 23:39:18 -0700 #

Oh my God…you took the words right out of my mouth!! Everything you just said is so accurate!!!
For those of you that have never worked with the public: give us a break and be just a little considerate! When you treat us like shit, of course we are going to have a shitty attitude as a result!! We are not robots and the majority of us are not about to be door mats!

Comment by youshouldreallygoseethe on 2017-06-09 05:52:04 -0700 #

This is all bullshit. none of you are in health care. The angry pharmacist is probably not even angry. He;s smoking weed and laughin. You got me HAHAHAHAHAHAH