Working with your head up !

I have seen this statement a couple of times in the last few days… from RPH’s working for BIG STUPID…

Apparently some narcissistic customer ….complained about pharmacy staff “keeping their heads down” and not acknowledging them right away.. and they took the complaint to heart…

According to a quote from one RPH coming from a “shirt” … ” we are not supposed to view dropping everything to immediately greet a customer or answer the phone as an interruption”..

I guess you can call a SKUNK a  KITTY … and it works .. until  you get SPRAYED !

So now, it would appear that the most recent “new process” is for all employees to work with “their heads up”… I guess that RPH’s and techs are suppose to work  with one eye on the computer and the other scanning the store for pts to stroll within voice range.

Study after study demonstrates that interruptions are the genesis of mistakes/errors and that people that try to multitask are less efficient in getting tasks done.. So .. if these multiple studies are correct.. this new process is counter productive to the staff being efficient and meeting the already dozens of metrics that are already measured.

Here is one of my pet peeves … that this new mandate… makes me – as a customer in any store – BP goes up…

I am standing in line to be waited on… and the store employee stops and answers a phone call and takes care of the person the phone needs/wants… I am standing in line .. ready to make a purchase and they put the person on the phone – IN FRONT OF ME … who may or may not come in the store and spend any money.

Maybe customers should start complaining to companies about being “pushed back in line” when the phone rings..

6 Responses

  1. Even though we had a sign about cell phones posted, no customer ever paid attention to it. I actually told a customer to I’d be back to wait on him when he was done with his conversation….boy did he hang up quick. I know this will never ever happen, but we as pharmacists and pharmacy personnel need to get on the same page and start re training customers! And start with ditching the drive thrus!! Where I get my own scripts, the drive thru ALWAYS seems to pretty much bring everything to a halt inside. I hated drive thru….as far a ‘HIPPA” is concerned, trying to talk to a customer at the drive thru is a joke and everyone inside could hear what I was discussing…I usually had to pretty much yell thru the phone connection so they could hear me with all the kids in the car or the radio they refused to turn down. Ridiculous
    A dream of mine would be a nationwide massive walkout of all pharmacy personnel to finally get the media’s attention of what’s really happening

  2. I once had a dream that there were viewing stands set up in the pharmacy where the customers could wait while their prescriptions were filled. Perhaps that was a premonition. We had a customer offer us cash to put him at the head of the line. If I had a penny for every customer who stayed on his/her cell phone while picking up or dropping off, I could retire tomorrow. BTW, we are required to answer the phone in 20 seconds and listen to the voice mail in less than 15 minutes and fill “acute” prescriptions in 10 minutes and “waiters” in 15. So when you are in a line and the phone rings, remember the employee is being timed on that, too, and the person on the other end of the phone will call corporate and get a gift card if they are unhappy. Give the checker, cashier, or pharmacist a break.

  3. At some of the more recent places I’ve worked, I can see someone walk up out of the corner of my eye. Depending on the distance from where I am checking scripts and where the customer stands, I feel like I almost have to yell, “Someone will be right with you’, Of course they’re ALWAYS in a hurry and demand you stop what you’re doing to wait on them. And I tend to piss them off by finishing what I am doing…completing my task and doing it correctly is more important to me than leaving it to wait on some stuck up customer who has come to think pharmacy is like McDonalds. Worst case scenario is when I’m short techs and I’m doing the counting and filling the bottles….the surest way to make an error because 1) I need to go back and double check what pills are lying on the tray against the bottle next to it and 2) where was I quantity wise when counting it. I’ve worked wealthy towns and urban poor. Let me tell you I think I’d rather work in a poorer area of town because those customers appreciate everything you do and waiting then becomes a ‘neighborhood’ social event for them. I will admit there have been times, the more the customer tells me to hurry up, I will move his script to the bottom of the pile and make him wait longer. I had one customer ask me ‘Do you know who I am’ (He was a big wig business guy in town), I’m said yes I do and I have 10 people ahead of you, now if you want to go find those people and get their permission to move ahead of them in line, fine, Otherwise you will wait your turn like everyone else.” No one tells me how to fill my scripts. I can count on one hand the errors I know I have made on not even both hands in 26 years of experience. I will acknowledge them but as far as waiting on them customers are in need of some serious retraining. We all know they probably don’t go down the hallway of the docs office and demand he stops with the current patient so he can wait on them, why should I be any different. Metrics be damned. maybe that’s one of the reasons I found working for Big Evil such a nightmare.

  4. I’m really surprised no one has gone postal yet. High pressure micro management could make anyone snap. It shows how disciplined pharmacists are that they haven’t just completely lost it. One of my favorites is the dropping of the keys but my all time favorite is the “Hellooooooo?” from the window when no one is down there to immediately greet them.

  5. Apparently this isn’t a problem at my Goofmart pharmacy. People seem to have no problem clearing their throat, knocking on the counter, whistling, or MY ABSOLUTE LEAST FAVORITE, rattling/dropping the keys. Swear words are playing in my mind right now as I think of these…

  6. Maybe people should call pharmacy’s and complain the staff keeps looking up and trying to chat with them. Instead of filling the Rx in question.

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