Thursday, March 29, 2007

Pharmaceuticals in vain

Really, if you want a "convenient" pharmacy, you shouldn't go to Wal-Mart. The pharmacy hours, although they did just expand them - still aren't great. The only reason I take my prescriptions there is that I do work there - and I had so many bad experiences at the Walgreens pickup window - including having an employee tell me "Don't use the call button. When you do that, we just ignore you longer."

The point of all this is that Wal-Mart's pharmacies aren't 24 hours - because 24 hour pharmacies require a LICENSED pharmacist on-hand to dispense drugs. And Wal-Mart is cheap. So the hours of the pharmacy are limited. Which often leads to some severely disillusioned customers.

So this old man comes up and "has a question." How I dread these conversations. It could be anything from "Why is your bathroom so dirty?" to "Why can't I get a wheelchair cart?" - most of which I don't really care about anymore.

But his little story goes like this: "I came in and dropped off a prescription. The pharmacist said he was busy and to 'come back after 5:30 p.m.' Well, it is after 5:30 and I want my prescription."

I check the time and it is 7:15 p.m. The pharmacy closed at 6 p.m. LIKE IT DOES EVERY SUNDAY. I process these thoughts, wonder if this old man has Alzheimer's or is crazy or can't tell time and then decide to give it to him straight. I tell him "Sir, it is 7:15 p.m.; the pharmacy closes at 6 p.m. on Sunday."

He goes "Well, I know what time it is. What I want is my pills."
Me: "Well sir, I'm sorry, but I can't help you. Only a licensed pharmacist can give you medicine." And predictably, he wants to talk to someone.
Me: "Sir, I'm happy to get someone for you, but they're only going to tell you the same thing. It is a law that only pharmacists can give medicine."
Him: "Well why didn't he tell me what time the pharmacy closed?"
Me: "I don't know sir. I do know that the pharmacy hours are posted by the Pharmacy window and at every door of the store."
Him: "I wasn't looking at that stuff. I want to know why he didn't tell me."
Me: "Sir, I can't speak for anyone else."
Him: "Well why are you arguing with me?"
Me: "Sir. I can apologize for your bad experience, but I can't do anything else."
Him: "Well."

And he leaves.

Dude, I really wasn't trying to argue with you. If I was, I'd have called you dumb seven ways from Sunday for dropping off a prescription and NOT finding out what time the pharmacy closed. And then giving me grief because you were stupid. And you were stupid. You didn't get a prescription on a Sunday. You were WAAAAAYYYY to healthy and mobile to have come from an ER. So if you really and truly needed those pills, you should have take that script to a CVS.


Red Stapler said...

I came across an article today whose theme was "Why the customer ISN'T always right." I immediately thought of you.


Red Stapler said...

Looks like my html cut off. Try this instead.

Direct link to the Article

yellowdog granny said...

If I had your job...I would live in the pharmacy...

PCS said...

Your writing is as good as ever. Please keep it up. You have a huge fanbase.

pharmacytechnician said...

welcome to my world -only I fill their scripts

Anonymous said...

If anyone would actually like to *read* that article..the correct address is:

There's no /%20 at the end if it.


Anonymous said...

red, thanks for the link...I had no problem finding the story!

The CEO of Southwest airlines(my favorite)has the right don't like us, goodbye!

Unlike Walmart, I agree on all points that the employee is more valuable than the customer!

Calypso said...

I usually enjoy reading your blog, but sometimes I think you are way too nasty when it comes to older people. Instead of thinking this man was STUPID, have a little compassion for those of us who are no longer as sharp as you are.
Believe me, one of these days it will be YOU...
You were coorect in handling the situation, but you could have been just a tad kinder to the poor fellow.

yoyo said...

I like what you write and I'm sure I'd like you in real life.

But I'm sure.. if I was a customer with a complaint, you'd reduce me to tears in ten seconds flat. :(

Anonymous said...

The fault here is two-fold. How hard would it have been for the pharmicist to say, "Btw, we close at _______." Sure, the customer should have looked and or asked as well, but I'm not sure that saying if he needed it, "that bad" he should have gone to CVS is really even logical in this situation. It's not like the elderly man came back at 11pm demanding the pharmacy be open.