Monday, January 18, 2016

I Yelled at an Elderly Lady Today :( ...and Other Thoughts

CVS Pharmacy
 Photo Credit

Okay ..well to this once upon a time ...easy going SeaSpray felt like yelling.  In reality, I was ...SNAPPY ...with a raised voice.


Well ... if I were to really yell ...well suffice it to know that I can really authoritatively project my voice when in that mode and would be great as a gym teacher or drill sergeant.  :) 

So, what happened you ask?

I was AGAIN held up at the CVS drive through window because they did not have Mr. SeaSpray's medication.  Last week, some guy working there (I assumed the pharmacist), told me they would have it ready for me and I could come pick it up.  I said if I don't come in this week that I would stop by on Monday for it.  He said that would be alright and it would be there for pick up.

 It is out of the way for me to use this pharmacy and so I usually work that into my itinerary on a mall/Costco kind of day or if I am in that town for some reason. 

This has been an on going thing with this medication and I am really glad Mr SeaSpray didn't have any adverse effects.  I always fill his prescriptions for the week and am well aware of what medications and dosage he takes.  BUT ...back in November, I never bothered to read the new bottle of said med.  So for almost a month, I was giving him twice the prescribed dose of a blood pressure medication.  OOPS!   1.25 mg. versus 2.50 mg.  I called for a reorder, but the pharmacist said he wasn't due until February.  "What?  Why?"  He explained that they didn't have the 1.25 mg. dose and that I was supposed to cut the pills in half.  Sure enough that is what the INSTRUCTION on the bottle stated. But those little pills do not cut exactly in half, even with using the sharp pill cutter thingy.  So day he'd get a smaller dose and another too much.  I called the doctor's office, but they ordered it through a town much farther from our house and so I again called the pharmacy up here.  The pharmacist had the order faxed up here and so the problem was fixed.  Or so I thought ...until this afternoon.

This afternoon the pharmacist told me they didn't have the prescription.  *SIGH*  I explained everything and so she was going back and forth between her computer, the prescription bin and me.  She again stated they didn't have it.  But I told her that now he does need the prescription and asked if she had it in stock.  Yes, they had it in stock but the order was still at the other store.  I admit after 5 minutes of this I was beginning to feel a bit testy, but I remained polite, yet assertive.  I was also  mindful of a couple of cars behind me now.

"Okay, then.  Can you fill the prescription now?"  

"Yes, but it could take five minutes or an hour before they fax the order up to us."

 I glanced at my car clock, and was about to tell her to please fill the prescription and that I would come back either tomorrow or on Wednesday, when in my rear view mirror, I noticed that this very irate looking elderly woman, dressed in a red coat had exited her car and was walking our way.  She inserted herself between the window and me and began yelling at the pharmacist and the clerk, stating it was taking too long and that they should see the line behind her and that she was blocked in and can't leave and just wants to get her medication.

  I politely said, "We are just about finished.", at which point she quickly turned around to me, yelling, "And YOU!  YOU should KNOW better!"  

"What?  I'm just trying to get my HUSBAND'S medication!"


"We are just about DONE!"


Then she turned and began yelling at the pharmacist and clerk again.  Stating that she had food in her car that was thawing out.  (Now I do know this feeling because I posted about my concern about the holiday food thawing out while waiting in the CVS line for more than a half hour, but it was warm out.  Today was frigid and if anything her food would freeze - not thaw out.  Also, we were not more than 10 minutes trying to work this prescription debacle out.  Annoying - yes.  But she definitely overreacted.)

Anyway, at this point ...this admittedly now IRATE, SeaSpray snapped back with a raised voice, "JUST let us FINISH!"  She was still yelling at them and I don't even know what she said because I had heard enough and loudly and in a very exasperated tone, although not full force yelling like she was doing, snapped, "WILL YOU PLEASE just LET us FINISH!  We're ALMOST DONE!  YOU are holding ALL of us up now!  LET US FINISH!"

She then turned back around to me, with her mouth wide open set to yell at me again, but instead shut her mouth and stormed off in frustration.


Then ...*I* apologized to the pharmacist and clerk for causing this hold up.  They said I didn't have to apologize.  It was my automatic response because I felt bad about them getting blasted by that woman.  But ..gee ...the problem was with the mistake by the pharmacy staff at some point.  It was just a knee-jerk reaction for me to want to console them even though I myself was frustrated by their process for a second time in less than a month. 

It also now occurs to me that the wait may've been more like 20 minutes because they weren't attending to me the entire time and I actually was waiting at the window too as the pharmacist handled a call and perhaps a customer in the store.  I wasn't annoyed by that tho as I could appreciate they were busy.  I was really annoyed about the prescription mishap again.  The last time I was being charged 68.00 when it was supposed to be a zero charge because of a medication coupon.

The irate woman reminds me of how impatient patients and/or their families would angrily interrupt the registration process with someone else, wondering when they were going to register or be seen inside, yet they were also causing everything to slow down as we had to stop and try to calm them down.  It always amused me when they left out of anger and then their name was the next to be called.  But they were now en route, driving to the next hospital a half hour away, a busier one and they would be starting the process all over again.  This is also why I empathized with the pharmacy staff because I know they were trying and people don't realize what goes on behind closed doors, etc.  And yes, I was totally stressed with the wait and their mistake and not answering the phone, 2 nights before Christmas, but I didn't yell at them.  No ...I teared up, etc., but by the time I got to the window for the 2nd time that night, my credit card had dropped out of sight and I couldn't complete the transaction after all that waiting.

Then on the drive home today, I wished I had told the woman that I was only picking up a medication that I was told was waiting for me.  I had every right to question and try to get the order.  She probably thought I was dropping off a million prescriptions or something.  I only go to the window for pick up.  But there also would've been a wait for people inside too as I tried to get the mix-up resolved.

So ...losing my temper, albeit not badly, was not my shining moment today.  I would've taken it and not reacted strongly if this had happened at work.  But I wasn't at work.  And she was in my face, at my window and interrupting the communication between the pharmacist and me.

Maybe she lost a husband or had some other loss or stress. 

Or maybe she was just a biatch.

Bad SeaSpray ...bad.

I think the pharmacy manager should review their protocols and processes because they are apparently having some kind of miscommunication and problems with follow through there.

 Just saying.

P.S.  Most importantly more filling the prescriptions while on autopilot.  Check EVERY prescription that comes into this house ...BEFORE USE, to ensure it is correct.

P.P.S.  Now that I've vented, I wish I had shown compassion and tried to diffuse/help her.  But it all happened so quickly and she was in my face, literally ..right there.  Also ...thank God that's all she did.  These days it seems that you really do have to be concerned about potential danger ...for so many reasons.  I wasn't thinking about that at all in the moment, but what if it was someone else with a weapon or some other agenda?  Well, that is a topic for another post.

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