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(Regrettably, our local university is the main reason that county STD rates are the second-highest in the state (the highest-ranking county is home to a naval base). Outbreaks are common and rather a grim joke with local healthcare providers. The county has purchased a new emergency radio system and one of their officers has arrived to train our staff on how to use the equipment.)

Instructor: “The great thing about this system is that it is linked to over two hundred towers, state-wide. This means that if you need to, you can communicate not only throughout the county, but with other jurisdictions as well. For example; let’s say you have to set up some kind of emergency clinic at the University for… I don’t know, what’s an epidemic that the students might experience there?”

Me: *without thinking* “Probably chlamydia.”

(My boss shushed me, but our director of nursing almost fell off her chair from laughing so hard.)


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Old 12-02-2019   #1011
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Burning Your Bridges With Midnight Oil

Pharmacy | Working | September 28, 2015


(When I was hired at this store, it was under the condition that I will not have to work midnight shifts because the last bus I can take home leaves at nine. I am not the only special case when it comes to scheduling, but I am the only one in the store who takes the bus. About six months later, the store goes through a change in management. Throughout the change and the holiday season that year, the majority of the store employees realize the new manager is not so great and is firing people for arbitrary and possibly illegal reasons. After the holiday season he stops scheduling me entirely unless it is to cover sick call outs. Then I get this phone call.)

Manager: “Hi, [My Name], this is [Manager]. I’m calling because you never filled out this paperwork.”

Me: “I didn’t know I had any paperwork to fill out. I’m sorry.”

Manager: “Well, you have to do it on the store computer and it was due three weeks ago. Everyone had to do it, but you didn’t.”

Me: “So, you do know you haven’t scheduled me in the last two months, right? I call every week.”

Manager: “Right, but this was due three weeks ago.”

Me: “How was I supposed to do it on the store computer if you never have me in the store? Why didn’t anyone tell me about it when I called to see if I was on the schedule?”

Manager: “Yeah, it was due three weeks ago.”

Me: “I didn’t know about it and you haven’t scheduled me in months. Why are you calling me now if it was due three weeks ago?”

Manager: “Well, you should just come in sometime and we’ll talk in person.”

(A couple days later, I go in to talk to him. After repeating that I should have known about something I had no way of knowing, I ask why I haven’t been scheduled.)

Manager: “Well, can you work midnight shifts?”

Me: “No. I take the bus and the last bus home for me leaves at nine.”

Manager: “Everyone has to work at least one midnight shift a week. You can get someone to give you a ride home.”

Me: “I’m not really comfortable with that. I don’t want to have to ask a different person for a ride home every night and have the entire store know where I live. I take the bus. When I was hired, I was told I did not have to work until midnight because of the bus schedule.”

Manager: “Everyone has to do it.”

(At this point I ask if several employees who have only ever worked one specific shift in the ten-plus years they had been there were now working midnights. He says no to each one.)

Manager: “Everyone has to work until midnight at least once a week, so you’ll just have to get a ride home or get a car.”

Me: “I would love to get a car, but I don’t have enough money for one. It’s hard to make money when you’re not on the schedule.”

Manager: “What about the people you live with?”

Me: “They have a newborn and jobs they wake up early for. I can’t ask them to pick me up. As for the people here, I am not comfortable asking perpetual strangers to take me home. When I was hired [Old Manager] promised I would not be forced to work beyond the bus schedule.”

Manager: “Well, if you won’t work midnights, I’ll have to fire you.”

Me: “Let me get this straight. You’re firing me for not having a car?”

Manager: “For refusing to work.”

Me: “I can’t work midnights. I was hired on the condition I would never have to work midnights. There are no buses past nine. I can work any other shift up to 8:50 pm. I want to work. I need a paycheck.”

Manager: “Okay, well, I’m just going to have to let you go. If you want, I can put a note in your file that this was a mutual decision so you can work for the company again in the future.”

Me: “Absolutely not. This is NOT a mutual agreement. You are FIRING me. And don’t worry. After my experience in the last year with you, I would never try to work for the company again. They clearly do not care about their employees!”

(I was friends with several of the shift managers and heard that over the next year, more than half the store had either quit because of his policies or had been fired for similarly flimsy reasons.)
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Old 12-02-2019   #1012
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When The Register Is Frozen, Let It Go

Pharmacy | Working | September 24, 2015


(This happens on my second trip to the pharmacy in the same day. Note, I have plenty of experience as a cashier and actually own a small shop, but I generally pretend to be ignorant as a customer so as not to offend cashiers who do not know what they are doing.)

Pharmacy Tech: *referring to the Point of Sale machine* “It’s going to tell you to sign before you swipe your card.”

Machine: *displays words* “Please swipe card.”

Me: *swipes card without waiting for the screen I am supposed to sign*

Machine: *flashes rapidly between the screen I was supposed to sign and the total, then says* “Processing, please wait.”

Me: “Oops! I was supposed to sign first.”

Pharmacy Tech: “On my end, it says it is waiting for you.”

Me: *turning POS around so he can read it* “On my end, it says, “Processing, please wait.””

Pharmacy Tech: “Well, these are new. I have no idea what to do about that! Try hitting cancel.”

Me: *hits cancel*

(The pharmacy tech hits cancel about twenty times, which any cashier who has used a POS before should know causes the system to freeze. He calls to another employee behind him.)

Pharmacy Tech: “She swiped her card before signing. It’s frozen. What am I supposed to do now?”

Pharmacy Tech #2 : “I don’t know. Just shut it down and move to another register.”

(I left wondering how long it would take before they froze all three of their registers.)
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Old 12-02-2019   #1013
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Needs An Urgent Prescription Of Common Decency

Pharmacy | Right | September 16, 2015


(My wife is a pharmacist for a large chain. She works overnight shifts. A woman comes in with a prescription from the ER. She notes that there are allergies on the patient’s record which may be present in the medication.)

Pharmacist: “There is a possible allergy with this; I’ll need to check the ingredients for this manufacturer.”

Customer: “You don’t need to check that. I’ve taken this before. I have twins at home and I’m in a hurry.”

Pharmacist: “What kind of reactions do you get?”

Customer: “Well, my tongue and throat swell up, and I get bad rashes on my feet.”

(What she is describing is anaphylaxis and Stevens-Johnson Syndrome respectively, both serious and potentially lethal reactions even on their own. Unsurprisingly my wife feels the patient’s assurance isn’t sufficient and decides to check the ingredients to be sure it won’t kill her. The customer is obviously pissed that she has to wait. Unfortunately the ingredients show the allergens are present.)

Pharmacist: “I’m sorry, there are [allergens] present in this medication and I can’t fill it. However, I will try to contact the ER doctor to get a substitute.”

(The patient begins to give death looks and muttering angrily. The medication in question is a narcotic and a controlled substance. The laws which control the filling of the medications require a hard copy, and cannot usually be taken over the phone at all. The only way around this is to use certain emergency protocols which require the doctor to get the prescription hard copy to the pharmacy in a very short time. This is always a risky business for pharmacists in case the hard copy doesn’t make it. Most of the time a pharmacy will just refuse to fill the script, which they are within their rights to do. Against the odds, my wife manages to get the ER doctor on the phone. He agrees to switch the medication to Percoset and says he will personally deliver the hard copy in a couple hours after his shift ends.)

Pharmacist: “We got the prescription changed to Percoset, and the doctor will bring—”

Customer: “I don’t want Tylenol.”

(The customer begins getting even louder and more surly and increases the death stare. My wife knows that this customer has just decided to be angry and will just escalate it from here.)

Pharmacist: “Please, just stop. I can’t fill something that might hurt you. I’ll contact the doctor again to try to get something else.”

(She gets a hold of him and they switch it to Oxycodone. The doctor will still bring the new prescription over. During the call another doctor calls in on the second line. My wife briefly switches over to speak to them before resuming the original call. This takes about a minute. At this point not only has the patient been saved from a possible allergic reaction, but a doctor who has been who-knows-how-long at the ER is going to make a special trip on his own time to make sure she can get her prescription.)

Pharmacist: “Okay, we’ve got it switched to Oxy—”

Customer: “I don’t want to hear what you have to say.”

(She holds up her hand like a mouth and does a movement which clearly indicates “shut up”. My wife is livid at this point, but tries to focus on what she’s doing. She goes to ring her up.)

Pharmacist: “I think it might be better if [coworker from the front end] rang you out.”

Customer: “I think it might be.”

(My wife stepped away and tried to calm down and get her focus back on her other work. While Coworker was ringing the customer out she could hear her complaining about her. One of her complaints was that she took a minute to talk to on the phone to the other doctor. The punchline to all this is that the patient was given some pills at the ER and could have gone straight home with the meds if she was really in such a hurry, and filled the prescription the next day.)
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Old 12-02-2019   #1014
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Not That Kind Of Store

Pharmacy | Right | September 7, 2015


(I’m a female pharmacist finishing up business with a male customer

Customer: “Oh, I’d also like a woman; can you please get me one?”

Me: “I’m sorry, what do you mean?”

Customer: “I want a woman, the cheap kind!”

(He looks at me dead serious.)

Me: “I’m not quite sure I understand…”

Customer: *slower* “I want a woman! But it has to be the cheap kind.”

(I keep looking at him in complete disbelief.)

Customer: *sighs* “How hard can it be? My wife asked me to get her one box of woman or whatever they are called. Where do you keep it? I can get it myself if you tell me where I can find it.”

Me: “Oh… you must mean the multi-vitamin. Wait, I’ll get it for you.”

Customer: *yells after me* “It has to be the cheap kind!”

(We have two kinds of multi-vitamin pill intended for women and both are labeled WOMAN. Apparently that was what he wanted.)
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Old 12-02-2019   #1015
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This Joke Has Been Used

Pharmacy | Right | September 7, 2015


(I overhear the following conversation in the pharmacy

Customer: “I’d, um, like some, er, suppositories, please. Sorry, but I’m not really sure which ones. They’re for my wife, who called out for me to get some when I was half-way out the door on an errand to do something else.”

Pharmacist: “Certainly, sir, let’s go and look for some. Here: would they be these?” *offering him a particular brand*

Customer: “Pff. Not sure. Could be; I know she suffers from the H word, but on the other hand…”

Pharmacist: “You can bring them back for a refund and replace them with the other kind.”

Customer: “What, even if…” *at this point he cracks up laughing* “Even if…” *and he’s laughing so hard he can’t say what he’s trying to say*

Pharmacist: *knowing exactly what he’s trying to say; it’s an old joke, but so funny she can’t help laughing herself* “…even if they’ve been used?”

(Both customer and pharmacist laughed like grade school children.)
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And Don’t Watch ‘Final Destination’ Before Boarding Either

Pharmacy | Working | August 21, 2015


(I am waiting for my prescription and happen to overhear a conversation between a customer and cashier

Customer: “Oh, I’m going travelling round Europe.”

Cashier: “Oooh, have you ever seen the film Hostel?”

Customer: “No…”

Cashier: “Don’t watch it.”
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Old 12-02-2019   #1017
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In Need Of Some Dedication Medication

Pharmacy | Right | August 17, 2015


(I work at a busy pharmacy; we usually look up patients by name, then confirm date of birth. A customer walks up.)

Me: “Hi, how can I help you?”

Customer: “Yeah, I’m here to pick up medication.”

Me: “All righty, for who?”

Customer: “For my dad.”

Me: “Name?”

Customer: “John.”

Me: “Last name…”

Customer: “Smith.”

Me: “All right, and birthday?”

Customer: “John Smith!”

Me: “No, date of birth.”

Customer: “I don’t know; it’s my dad.”

Me: “Address?”

Customer: “Something, something, street
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Systematic Failure

Pharmacy | Working | August 5, 2015


(I make a quick stop to pick up an over the counter allergy medication, and after a minute or two of choosing between two brands it’s finally my turn.)

Me: “I’ll take two boxes of the Claritin D, please.”

Tech: “Certainly. I just need your ID.”

(After a few minutes she still hasn’t given it back, and is looking confused.)

Me: “Um, is something wrong?”

Tech: “Well, the computer isn’t finding you in the system.”

Me: “Oh! I’ve never been here before. I’m not in the system.”

Tech: “Don’t worry, I’ll find you in it. This is your correct birth date?”

Me: “Yes, but I’ve never—”

Tech: “Don’t worry! I’ll find you!”

(This continues for TWELVE MINUTES before she goes to speak with the pharmacist, and I quickly cut in.)

Me: “I AM NOT IN THE SYSTEM. I have never been to this store before. You can’t look me up!”

Pharmacist: “…[Tech], you need to enter her in as a new patient, not try to look her up.”

(It took me almost twenty minutes to check out!)
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Old 12-02-2019   #1019
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Lying Is All Relative(s), Part 3

Pharmacy | Right | August 5, 2015


(I’m in high school, and work at my father’s pharmacy during the summer. One day a woman who looks to be in her mid-twenties rushes up to my line, cutting several people. She dumps multiple boxes of prescription medication on the counter, as well as about $50 worth of make-up, hair dye, and jewelry.)

Customer: “I’m the owner’s daughter, so I get all this stuff for free, okay?”

Me: “Ma’am, please get to the back of the line.”

Customer: “For the love of God, just ring me up! I’m the owner’s daughter! I don’t have time to wait!”

Me: “You’re the owner’s daughter?”

Customer: “Yes! What are you, f****** deaf? Just f****** ring my stuff up so it won’t set off the alarm!”

Me: “Wow, that’s such a coincidence.”

Customer: “Excuse me?”

Me: *smiling widely* “I’m the owner’s daughter, too!”

(The customer stared at me for a second, then turned beet red and ran out of the store, leaving her items on the counter. She hasn’t been back since!)
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Old 12-02-2019   #1020
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A Legal Standing

Pharmacy | Right | July 6, 2015


(Just the pharmacist and I are working the late shift, around 2:00 am. at a popular 24-hour pharmacy. An elderly woman, who has a reputation for getting prescriptions early, hands me a script for painkillers.)

Elderly Customer: “Hi, I need this filled.”

Me: *for narcotics, our store requires we ask vague questions to help weed out fraudulence* “All righty, is this from today?”

Elderly Customer: “Yes, but I want it dated for three days ago.”

Me: “Forgive me?”

Elderly Customer: “Yes. You all cheated me out of my pills, so I had to wait three days for my refill. So you will date it three days early so that i can get it early from now on.”

(The pharmacist, a 65-year-old man who’s so close to retirement he’s not afraid of being fired, hears the conversation and comes over.)

Pharmacist: “Hello, I’m the pharmacist. Can I help you with something?”

Elderly Customer: “Yes. Your technician refuses to fill my prescription. I want you to fill it and date it for three days ago.”

Pharmacist: “No. It is against the law to do so. I will fill and date it for today.” *turns to leave*

Elderly Customer: “Hey, a**-hole! I’m not done with you!”

(At this point, the pharmacist turns slowly around. I am searching for cover.)

Elderly Customer: “You’re gonna fill my d*** pills for how I want! I’m the customer!”

Pharmacist: “What you are asking is so illegal, it isn’t even physically possible to do with our software.”

Elderly Customer: “It’s not illegal where I’m standing.”

(The elderly customer gives a big grin like she has won. The pharmacist proceeds to walk around the counter, out of the pharmacy, and stands next to the customer.)

Pharmacist: “Ehhh. Nope! It’s illegal over here, too. Good luck getting that filled, though.”

(He handed her the prescription, and she stormed away screaming curses.)
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