Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Pharmacy of Death, Part 271

Yes, we all know that I should actually listen to my father’s advice. But where would be the fun in that, eh? However, this time, I might actually pay attention.

This all gets back to The Pharmacy of Death ™. And yes, Dad, I really should check out mail-order pharmacies. (Alas, no Costco or Walmart around here. I’m beginning to see why many of the old fogeys drive the 130 miles south to Mexico to go pick up their prescriptions. I’m not quite ready to do that yet, though…. A bit of a trek for me, and I can’t see Gary going with me, nor can I see him being too thrilled about me going alone. So, that option is out.)

Anyhoo. One of our doctors in Utah called a new prescription in for Gary, to the Pharmacy of Death ™. He did this on Monday. And confirmed via email that he had done this (because he’s a tad anal – which, in a doctor, is a good thing). Knowing that PoD would not have the prescription ready on Monday, I waited until Tuesday. That would be yesterday, for those of you without a score card. I called in at 11am, figuring that that would give the incompetent morons over-worked employees a chance to actually get the prescription filled.

Me: “Hi, I’m calling about a prescription that was phone in for my husband. Last name is spelled….”

IM (incompetent moron) #1: Silence. Then: “Has he had any prescriptions filled here before?”

Me: “Yes. Several.” About 173, to be exact. “Maybe you didn’t spell the name right. Last name is spelled…”

IM1: “Oh. Here it is. I’ve got a refill that was filled on Sunday. It’s ready to be picked up.”

Me: “No. He has another prescription that his doctor called in yesterday. Has that one been filled yet?”

IM1: “Let me check.” Minutes go by.

IM1: “Ma’am? We’ve got it here. It will be ready by about 5 or 6 pm.”

Me: Keep in mind that this is 11am. “5 or 6pm? It was called in yesterday afternoon. How can it take that long to fill a prescription?” I tried really hard not to get irate, but really. More than 24 hours to fill a prescription? My pharmacy at home would have the thing done in 10 minutes.

IM1: Puts me on hold without another word.

IM2: “Hello. Can I help you?”

Me: Heavy sigh. “I’m trying to find out how long it will take to get a prescription filled for my husband. Last name is spelled…..”

IM2: “We have a prescription here for him that has already been filled. It was filled on Sunday.”

Me: “No. His doctor phoned this one in yesterday.”

IM2: “Let me check.” Minutes pass.

IM2: “I’m sorry. I have looked through all the prescriptions, and we have nothing here for him.”

Me: Becoming a bit more irate now. “Wait a minute. The last person I spoke to told me that she had the prescription, but that it wasn’t going to be filled until this evening. Now you’re telling me you don’t have it at all?”

IM2: “No. I looked through the computer and all the piles of prescriptions called in and there is nothing.”

Me: “Fine. Someone is lying to me; either the person I just spoke to, or you. I KNOW the prescription has been called in. I just need to pick it up this afternoon.”

IM2: Hangs up phone.

Me: about an hour later, after I have somewhat calmed down, because I REALLY HATE IT when people hang up on because they don’t want to talk to me anymore. “Hi, can I speak to a supervisor?”

IM3: “Maybe I can help you.”

Me: “Nope. I need to speak to a supervisor.”

Supervisor: After similar conversations above. “Your prescription will be ready in about an hour.”

Me: “Great. Thanks!”

Knowing that there is no way in hell they will have the prescription ready in an hour, I decide to give them 2 and a half hours. The vet (who makes house calls!) was going to be by the motorhome around 4:30 or so, so I figured I’d have plenty of time to go pick up the prescription and go grocery shopping (and get home) before the vet arrived. I went to the pharmacy, first. And get in the ‘prescription pick-up’ line; about 12 people long, and like the post-office, they’ve got one person working the front desk.

Finally I get up to the counter and am told that they’ve got one prescription for me. The prescription that was called in on Sunday. I tell her that I had called two and half hours ago, and was told it would be ready in an hour. She stares blankly at me, and then tells me that I need to talk to the people at ‘prescription drop-off’ and I can pick up both prescriptions when they are ready. Like a dumbass, I agree, and don’t pick up the one prescription the woman has in her hands.

I stand in line at the ‘prescription drop-off counter’ for about 20 minutes, and finally talk to someone who has the phoned in prescription paper in her hand. Yes. In her hand. It hasn’t been entered into the computer yet. She’s very nice about it all, and enters it into the computer while I am standing there. She assures me that it will be about 20 minutes.

I nod, and go to wander the store. Because if, god forbid, you actually LEAVE the store, you have consigned your prescription to walking the banks of the River Styx for all eternity. About 20 minutes later, I get back in the now-15-person-long line to pick up prescriptions. And wait. And get a panicked call from Gary that I won’t be back in time for the vet, as it is now 3:45, and it takes about 20 minutes to get home.

And I finally get back to the front of the line. And to the same lady that I saw before. Now, the prescription that had been called in by the doctor is ready. Cool. But the prescription that has been at the pharmacy for a couple of days? The one that I should have picked up at my first visit to the counter for the day? Nowhere to be seen. And the helpful counter clerk? “I don’t know where it is. I only have one thing here.” Not that she actually went to the shelf to possibly find the other prescription, or anything. She had the one prescription in her hand, and that’s all I was getting.

Luckily it was the prescription that I really wanted to pick up; the other one wasn’t an emergency. But c’mon! You can’t find the thing that you had in your hands 45 minutes earlier? I mean, this is almost comic.


However, in a complete turnaround today. I got the prescription the lady couldn’t find yesterday (the same counter clerk, BTW – I think she saw me coming, and saw the look of fire in my eyes), as well as a prescription that I had called in for a refill a mere 2 hours before (and didn’t actually expect to pick up until Friday). So, go figure. And the pharmacy is having a ‘case lot’ sale on wine. I wonder why.

All of that aside, yesterday was 70 degrees. Today was 75. Clear blue skies, palm trees, and warm. We went on a road bike ride today, and I have to say, I could very well get used to this snowbird lifestyle. I really like palm trees. And sun. And it’s beautiful. I’ll bring the camera tomorrow.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm coming with a gun to kill them all. :-)