Sassy Pharmacist and Polite Pharmacist Get a Visit From the District Manager

MAY 08, 2018
You know the feeling. You are up to your eyeballs in prescriptions, 1 of your technicians is out sick, and you do not remember the last time you went to the bathroom. Just when you think things cannot get any tougher, the district pharmacy supervisor walks in.

Have no fear, on the heels of tackling common questions, Sassy Pharmacist and Polite Pharmacist are back to help address some of the most common issues that can arise in this situation. Supervisors: Do not be offended. This is all in fun. Remember, you were once a pharmacist on the bench, too.
 
Question: How are you doing today?
Polite Pharmacist: Things are a little crazy. How are you?
Sassy Pharmacist: How does it look like I’m doing!? Look around.
 
Q: What can I do to help you succeed?
PP: We could definitely use some more tech hours, if you can make that happen please.
SP: You can start by grabbing the counter then we can discuss, but this is going to take a while. Or first grab the drive thru, then call the MD's office to switch this to Humalog, then call this insurance to reverse a claim, then call another store to see if they have this in stock. Oh, wait you don't have time to do that? Well, then I guess there is nothing you can do.
 
Q: Why are you so backed up?
PP: It is Monday morning, and  is out sick today. We are doing our best.
SP: Because I don't get any breaks I've been holding it all day! Now I'm constipated!
 
Q: Do you have any questions for me?
PP: I am good, thanks. Better get back to work; prescriptions are piling up.
SP: Yes, 2. What was the purpose of this visit? And how many times can I walk out before I get fired?
 
Q: When did you guys last vacuum in here?
PP: It has been a few days. We will do it tonight if we have time.
SP: I don't even have time to eat; do you think I have time to sweep?
 
Q: Why are you over your tech hours?
PP: It’s been very busy, and with flu shot season and all the extra work, we needed a few extra hours.
SP: Next question, please.
 
Q: I see that you are not up to date on your training?
PP: Oh really? I did not know. What am I missing? I will do that ASAP.
SP: I figured since I'm always working by myself with no tech help, I assumed you thought I was over-trained and didn't need to do any training
 
Q: Why is your queue 7 pages long?
PP: We have had a very busy day. Marta is out sick, and these other 2 techs are brand new
SP: Because you gave me no tech hours
 
Q: Why didn’t someone answer the drive thru within 15 seconds?
PP: We got to it as soon as we could with everything else going on
SP: I assumed you were gonna get it, since you were standing there doing nothing
 
Q: Why did it take you guys so long to pick up the phone?
PP: I was on hold with insurance, was talking to a doctor’s office, and Marta has 12 people in the pick-up line.
SP: I'm not an octopus. I don't have 8 arms to answer more than 1 phone call at a time. Also, I was stuck at drive thru, since we have no tech hours and I work by myself the first 2 hours of the day, and to be honest, I didn't feel like answering the phone, since the caller ID showed your name

Q: Why are there so many people in line at pickup?
PP: It is typically busy at this time of day. If we had more help perhaps we could get the line down faster.
SP Because you are talking to me about flu season, which is 5 months from now and not helping the pickup line
 
Q: Why do you stay late? You should have plenty of time to finish your work by 9 p.m.
PP: There is just not enough time in the day sometimes, and I did not want to leave a mess for the next day
SP: Sorry, you cut our tech hours to zero, so, I got behind, since I was the only person answering the phone, working the drive thru and out window and filling by myself. I had to wear Depends because I had no one to cover me to even go to the bathroom. Also, I love working here so much I'd figure I'd stay late and fill the 60 scripts still on the counter since we have no tech help
 
Q: You got a “needs improvement” on your review and there will be no raise this year.
PP: Wow, that is disappointing. What can I do to change that for next time?
SP: Sorry, I tend to take on a lot of extra responsibilities, like out window, drive thru, calling insurance companies, calling for refills, and doing the order every day, since we have no tech hours. Since I've been so busy doing technician duties, I haven't been able to improve myself as a Pharmacist
 
Q: Why didn’t you meet your flu shot quota?
PP: I’m not sure about last week, but this week is looking great!
SP: We didn't meet our quota last year, and you increased it by 100 shots, so, I don’t know why you thought we would meet it this year
 
Q: Why is it so messy back here?
PP: Sorry, we did not have time to clean up. We were taking care of our patients first
SP: This is nothing. You should see how it looks normally.
 
Q: Why are your sales down since last year?
PP: A lot of factors: Less help results in less patient satisfaction. Also, mandatory mail order, 90-day supply, etc.
SP: I was going to ask you the same thing.
 
This article is lovingly dedicated to Matthew Piskadlo, RPh. Matty, as he was affectionately known, the owner of Plymouth Park Pharmacy, died on April 22, 2018. As a pharmacist since 1967 and pharmacy owner since 1974, Matty never had to deal with visits from his pharmacy supervisor. Matty was a wonderful pharmacist, loved by his entire community. I feel so privileged to have worked with Matty as part of his pharmacy family. Matty had a heart of gold and always a little bit of sass. You will be forever missed, Matty.



Karen Berger, PharmD
Karen Berger, PharmD, graduated from the University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy in 2001. She has worked in community pharmacies for over 16 years as a Pharmacist in Charge, staff, and floater pharmacist for a large chain. Currently, she is a pharmacist at an independent pharmacy in Northern NJ. She can be reached at [email protected]
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