SN stickers

Safety net stickers.

You get some patients who would ring up to ask why you didn’t give them their stickers and you get some patients who get annoyed at you for sticking them into their bag because they think it’s rubbish.

A sweet older lady came in, said her hello and what nots, then she proceeded to ask, “Have I reached my free items? There should be one or two that’s free today.”

“No, not yet. You have 3 more to go.”

That instantaneous change of her countenance. There was even a raised voice when she asked, “What do you mean? I have 6 prescriptions today!”

She insisted there were TWO cards and I gave her a third, WHY?!
I don’t know where the extra two came from but she counted one card as 28 – there are only 26 rows (so 26 stickers) on each SN card and she had two extra stickers stuck on the side of her first card, making that card 28 stickers.

Please do the math with me.

26 + 28 = ?

54, that’s right.

There were 3 stickers on the 3rd card so that makes it a grand total of 57. You need 60 stickers (for those on concession) before you get an SN card that will remove the $6 charge. So that’s what I told her in the beginning, she had 3 more to go.

She insisted she would’ve reached SN already and she was supposed to get a few free today, etc.

Well, count your stickers again if you want. I should’ve left the stickers out and not stuck it on the card (I thought I was being helpful, now obviously not!).

She left dissatisfied and even gave me a “Whatever you want to do” face. Go home and count them all one by one. Why would I want to deny you your SN card if you really made it? I get no pleasure or benefit from doing so, trust me.

When it comes to free stuff, even the sweetest, gentlest creature will turn on you. Lesson learnt.

Miss Community

True story

A fellow pharmacist friend shared this.

“Is this double pack pregnancy test for finding out if you have twins?”

Miss Community

Watch your kid!

I’ve been catching up on customer stories from all over the world via Not Always Right – if I didn’t work in retail myself, I would think some of the stories were made up because it’s utterly ridiculous.

The ones with misbehaving children addresses one of my pet peeves at work. I know I shouldn’t judge because I am not a parent but honestly, some things are just common sense/courtesy.

This man comes in with his toddler with a Rx for dispersible ondansetron and Pedialyte. Since the 4mg tablet has been OOS for a month, I swapped it with the 8mg and quartered it for the patient without being asked (the doctor prescribed 4mg with instructions to only give half a tablet at a time).

While waiting, the toddler was running wild and free in our store; pushing stock over and using his bugs-ridden hands to touch everything! Ugh!
What did the father do? Stood at a corner looking up his phone and saying, “Don’t do that, son.”

I got the Rx done as soon as I can (it was a Sunday and for the first 2 hours in the morning, we work alone) and did the counselling with the father. Half way through my counselling, the toddler was playing with our main door that slides (manually), banging the door repeatedly.

I got really annoyed, so I walked towards the door to stop the toddler. I didn’t want his fingers crushed (and we then get the blame) although my first thought was, “ARGHHHH! SO ANNOYING! WHY DOESN’T HIS FATHER DO ANYTHING?!!!”

“Please don’t play with the door.” *forced smile*
(Although I really wanted to kick him into next week)

When I got back to the counter, the father paid for the items but not without telling me off.

“He’s only a kid! He doesn’t even understand what you’ve said!”

“Well, I don’t want him to get hurt. That door has claimed many victims before because their fingers get caught when they slam it.”

*while still walking off*
*rolls eyes*

If he doesn’t understand what we tell him, what’s the point of YOU telling him, “Don’t do that, son”????
He is a toddler! Grab his hand, keep him close, watch him! Do YOUR JOB! Don’t let him run around the shop! No apologies whatsoever when he pushed our stock over (I know it’s our job to stack them but it’s not a bowling alley!) and you did not physically stop him when he was slamming our door repeatedly! And I get the nasty look as if I’ve smacked your son when I went over to hold the door still?! I wish I had!

I was hoping that was the last of them…but then, I saw them again the week after.

Miss Community

I NEVER pay…

Hello, I am back.

I dislike the beginning of the pharmacy year when the exemption cards expires and you get yelled at by every other patient saying, “I NEVER pay for my prescriptions!”

Oh yes, you do and you did.
You had to pay for TWENTY FUNDED prescriptions before you got that tattered, expired piece of card with our pharmacy stamp on it last year. Maybe you need to update your definition of “never” but as I recall, “never” does not equal to “3 months” or “5 months”.

Even the sweetest, friendliest patient would snap at you when you ask them for payment after handing free prescriptions to them for the past few months.

Yesterday, we did a patient a favour (or so we thought). Her compliance pack starts today but because she did not provide us with new prescriptions earlier (and she came in while we were really busy), we offered to send her medication out later in the afternoon. This is an extra trip to her area as our driver only goes out there once a day (unless it’s around the CBD) – we didn’t even charge her for delivery. However, since she handed us new prescriptions yesterday, there was an extra $15 to pay. We put that amount on a temporary account until she can come in to pay for it (try and buy some things from the supermarket and see if they let you put it on a temporary account!).

She came in yesterday night and despite Kay’s best efforts to explain the charges for the new prescriptions, the patient REFUSED to pay. The $15 is needed for her to be eligible for the exemption card that we sent out with her medication (in good faith!). The cheek of her to refuse! Guess who is not getting a compliance pack until she pays that $15? Or not get any future scripts marked as X4 until we get that $15?

Sometimes I wonder why do we even bother to go all out to help our patients when they treat us like this?

Miss Community

Good tech, bad tech

We should be shot! Its nearly 7 months since this was updated. Or perhaps everything is smooth sailing and peachy at work.

Yea, right!

My recent rant is about the new colleague. Out of work force for about a year and come back not wanting to be taught/adapt into a new work culture. Less than a month in, we’ve been told we’re doing this and that wrong, we’re not managing our stock properly, rearranged our shelves, threw out stuff (don’t know if permission was obtained)…mind you, this new person is not even working full time. You can imagine how many feathers were ruffled!

You CANNOT compare us to your previous work place ALL the time. Privately owned pharmacies and group/corporately owned pharmacies are different. They are especially different in SOPs. Some privately owned pharmacies don’t even have SOPs – we have standardised SOPs that are reviewed annually and every staff has a login to access that database.

When in Rome, do as the Romans do.

Okay. This person is here to stay, so maybe that saying doesn’t exactly fit but it’s close enough.

We all try to be polite and tell you that this is how we do things in our dispensary. You nod but NEVER change. Do you realise how frustrating that is? We cannot afford to NOT multitask in our little pharmacy. So pick up the phone while you are doing something else (I have personally seen you blatantly ignoring the phone even when it is in front of you), stop counting tablets if there is no one else to serve that customer at the counter, keep your ears open for people coming into the store when you are arranging shelves, don’t be soooooo calculative about your hours (we try to work as a team and help each other out) and frankly I dread every other Friday evenings when I have to work with you.

So here’s the back-to-rant post. All about the new tech we got. The only good thing (on paper) is that she is qualified. I don’t see any perks in real life, though.


Miss Community


I know it’s not nice to laugh at other people’s name – especially if they are from different ethnicity – because the meaning of their names may not be the same as what we know of.

However, this Rx came after I asked MomTech, “Why do they say ‘make fun’ of people when it should be ‘make funny’? It’s not ‘fun’ but it’s ‘funny’…right?”

We found the timing impeccable. I see the name as “a loaf of funny” – if it even makes sense.

Another one at the other branch I worked at (I didn’t quite believe WWTBAF at first but now I do!), Twink El Toes.
Honestly, why do you do that to your kids? Why??

Miss Community

Foot in mouth disease

We could hear this kid crying in this monotonous, irritating manner…and it’s been going on for a good 10 minutes. Maybe he’s in pain but it reminds me of the kid at home when he whinges and cries (honestly, they weren’t real tears or crying) – especially when it sounds like those fake crying by inexperienced child actors. UGH!

NewTech went to have a look and she said, “He’s not even a little kid. He looks about 10!”

Irritates me even more because the kid at home is 9 and he acts like he’s 2…sometimes. When things don’t go his way or when he wants attention from his mom. It ALWAYS happens at his bedtime and it really irks me because his bedtime is when I just got home from work and want to relax/unwind. Grrr…

Anyway, NurseT came from next door to ask us to forward a metoclopramide tablet her patient and I just blurted (this was after 15 minutes – and counting! – of that kid crying), “I wish I could punch that kid in the face.”

Yea, so much for compassion and kind heartedness of a health professional.

“That kid is severely disabled.”


“Yeah, now you want to take that all back, right?”

“Oh. Yes, I take it back. I didn’t think of that because the kid at home does this and he’s not disabled.”

“Then again, we think she’s not handling him very well.”

But hey, I guess that’s human nature. Always jumping to conclusions and being quick to judge/act/speak. This would be another lesson on humility and patience.

Miss Community

Over thinking?

A rx for clotrimazole cream+applicators came in for a young girl (if I’m not mistaken about 10 or so?) and she seems clueless about her symptoms/condition. She came in with her father and he seems to do the talking for her.

Granted, she’s young and we do see a lot of single parents…but I just don’t feel too comfortable discussing how to use the cream with the father.
He went, “Oh yea, I know what to do with it – the doctor explained it.”


I tried speaking to the girl but the father was just hovering around and butting in.

Am I over thinking this?

Miss Community

Makes you wonder…

Woman comes in with a prescription for her child and asks for it to be filled. Oh, and also, may she have her other child, Day’s inhaler repeats as well.

*types name into computer*

“There aren’t any repeats for Day – we didn’t even dispense any inhalers last week when you came in.”

“Nah! I got them, you gave it to me when I was here!”

“We had a list of items here but no repeats. They were mostly creams prescribed that day.”

“WELL! How come I got them the other day with the other things I’ve got???”

At this point, I got a little worried because there may be a possibility of us handing out someone else’s prescription (or rather, item) bundled with Day’s items. So I offered to check the prescription to see if we have left it out or somehow deleted that dispensing from our system.

I got the Rx out and showed the mother the two pages with NO inhalers whatsoever in sight.

“Then how come I got the inhalers in my bag??! And it says on the box there are repeats.”

I looked at the Rx before and after Day’s (just to see if we have indeed bundled another patient’s Rx with this one – mistakes like this have happened before. We’ve even accidentally picked up stock bottles – thankfully no benzos! – and bagging it with patients’ Rx)…behold! Inhalers for Night. Another child of this woman.


“Did you mean inhalers for Night??”

“Oh. Ya, that must be it.”

“But we just dispensed this last week, it’s too early for them.”

“Well, recently my kids are needing them more often and we’re going through them!”

“Right. So Day is using the inhalers as well? You know that you should be getting Rx for Day and you need to tell the doctor that Day is using Night’s inhalers?”

The thing is, both children are under 6. They don’t have to pay for prescriptions – WHYYYYYYYYY do this? And INSISTING that the inhalers were for Day when even on our history, no inhalers were ever prescribed. Self medicating?

Makes you wonder how can a mother gets muddled up with which child has asthma or not (they are not twins)…and argues with me that the child has that certain medication. In the end, no apology, no embarrassment – just continual demand for that ruddy repeat.

After 7 days.

A young child going through the 120 and 200 doses of fluticasone and salbutamol respectively – in 7 days?


Miss Community

Plain ‘ol rant

Let me spell out a little disclaimer first:
We are a team, we work as a team and this is not to say I’m not willing to be a team player – I just want to rant.

I was supposed to have last weekend off but *Kay rang on Tuesday to ask if it’s okay to swap some days and have me work the weekend. Fair enough because I know that it’s tough to manipulate the roster in such a way that everyone is (relatively) happy. This is also because “Who Wants To Be A Pharmacist” and her fiancé have not had a weekend spent together where both of them were not working.

Off topic: I just found out why they couldn’t (or wouldn’t) swap WWTBAP’s weekend shift with *May’s – it is so that May could have the same weekends off as her fiancé (and I hear they don’t want to rock THAT boat for fear that she may leave). Uhm…the rest of us are bound to you in chains? Not.

Anyway, it was rather last minute (the call was made on Tuesday and I was told to take Wednesday and Thursday off so that I can work the weekend shift in another store) but the way I was asked to do the shift, I thought it was a once off.

When I looked at the roster yesterday (after announcing that never again shall I volunteer or agree to working the 10 hours’ shift at that particular store), I hyperventilated a little because I saw that I had FOUR days off during the first week back from my holiday. Then I thought to myself, “Oh, I must be working the weekend in the other city’s store.”

Lo and behold! Not the other city’s store but the same store that I vowed not to go back to for the 10 hours’ shift!

I suppose it’s 4 weeks away and Kay would probably inform me when I get back but this is exactly what ticks me off. I don’t mind doing weekends, I don’t mind working in that store but what I DO mind is when I am not informed AT ALL! In the proposed 6 week’s rotation, that particular weekend was never in place. It was a once off (so I thought) because:

1. She said, “AC would do up the ‘dones so you don’t need to worry about it.”
Well! If it was a monthly thing, I don’t think it’s fair for him to do it every time I work the weekend because it’s the pharmacist’s duty. Whether or not you’re familiar with the procedure – YOU work that weekend, YOU are the pharmacist on DUTY, YOU get the job done.

2. She said, “Since you’re going on a holiday soon, it’s alright to let them have that weekend off.”
This also ticked me off. What has my holiday got to do with my weekend? I find that often she would’ve won the battle (of getting people to help with shifts) but the ending sentence or word would always make you go, “What on earth…?” and rubs you the wrong way.
Anyway, I digressed. With that sentence, I (again) thought that it was a once off because I’m not going away every month.

Why I have issues with working the 10 hours’ shift when I’ve done plenty in the current store I’m based at?
I have grown wimpy.
You read right.

Regardless, it’s more of the attitude of the staff that turns me off.
Oh, also because I nearly keeled over and died because I did not get to eat anything until nearly 3pm. I was unable to chomp down my mini mince pie (despite it’s size) that I got for breakfast or the ham+cheese bun that I got for lunch because we were busy. Both in the dispensary and shop. Several times I wondered, “Where did everyone go?” This is in regards to shop staff.
I am okay to eat on-the-go but of recent times, I am just not physically able to chew quickly/properly – thus not being able to sneak any food in between patients/customers.

Not looking forward to going back to work now. Not happy to NOT be informed.
Don’t get me wrong – like I said, it’s not about working weekends or even at that store (this time I will go prepared with protein shakes or something) – it’s just…ugh.

*names were changed (of course!)

Miss Community

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