Fake News

If you are reading this it’s because I most likely click bated you by using Donald Trumps famous sound bite for describing how he feels about most of our national media outlets. For once I am on the same page as President Trump. Please don’t mistake this as me finally supporting him, but along the lines of even a broken clock is right twice a day.

In an effort to cut back on the daily negativity I have drastically cut back my amount of news consumption over the years. I try and limit myself to one helping of the daily news broadcast and maybe a couple of other news articles throughout the day. Unfortunately, I can’t live under a rock because being completely ignorant of my local, national, and world goings on doesn’t jive well with my scouting background. I figure if I can keep to the amount of “bad” news I am exposed to limited to that which I am legally obligated or feel ethically compelled to deal with then all the better.

Another reason I look to minimize the amount of daily news intake is because I don’t have the time to fact check everything. All to often reporters are in a race to get their story pushed out to the masses without having their story straight. Can’t  tell you how many times I read or watch something from some news outlet only to found out sometimes hours later that they were only kind of right or completely off target. I equate this to one of my students rushing to get their paper turned into me first so they can get the special prize I may be offering, but forgets that the work also needs to be correct as well.

Let me put a button on this. More often than not I am turning to YouTube channels to get most of my national and global news any more and then I follow it up with the national “main stream” media sources. I do view this as more of a sign of the changing times, but there is also a healthy dose of not being able to trust the main stream sources as well.

Voice Mail Greetings

Among the dozens of things that I have started noticing throughout my day especially when making one of the many phone calls that we do in the pharmacy is peoples voice mail greetings. Now I’m not talking about the automated system that tells you what to do and sometimes even that is just too much information, but the personal greeting that people leave.

When I call someone whether it be for personal or professional reasons and I get said persons voice mail I only want to hear two things, you repeating the number that I dialed if your carriers automated system doesn’t do it for you and your name. That’s it. Nothing more, nothing less. Anything beyond that is a waste of time.

To the people letting their children leave the greeting message stop it. Unless I personally know you I now have no idea if called the right number. Most of the time I can’t understand what your child is saying anyway.

The people who start talking like you’re actually there answering the phone and then punk me 7 seconds later, there’s a special place in hell reserved for you.

The biggest “no no” in terms of voice mail greetings is explaining to me why I shouldn’t leave a message because you don’t check and/or I should just hang up and text. For starters I now think less of you as a person and secondly if your receiving a call from lets say a professional contact how long do you think you’ll keep that contact. Also, there’s the assumption that I am calling from a phone capable of texting. So much for communicating to you the important information we have.

I could continue to site examples, but I think I’ve made my point with those three. I believe the acronym K.I.S.S. applies here. (Keep It Simple Stupid) Please refer to the two pieces of information I require from the beginning and we’ll all get along just fine.

Distracted Conversation

While listening to one of the Podcasts I enjoy a few days ago it was brought up about people having distracted conversations. They went so far as to compare it to texting while driving with the premise being that since no one is competent enough to text and drive they also aren’t good enough to text and talk at the same time either. I happen to be on the same wave length.

I know for a fact that if I am in the middle of texting someone or doing some sort of work on a computer trying to hold a conversation with me is a lost cause. I will most likely forget any important points or be incapable of answering questions. I will ask whomever needs me to engage with them be it patient or loved one to hold their water for a minute. A lot of the time what I am doing on any given electronic device is as important or more important than the conversation that needs to be held.

Since I use my own ability level as my measuring stick for others performance ability levels I will say that 98% of the population is not good enough to text and talk either. If I need to talk with or question someone I will let them know I need their attention and can wait for them to finish with whatever they are doing. (Although a rare occurrence I will also inform you when waiting is not an option.)

Occasionally I will get the individual that says no go ahead while they are still hammering away on a key board. I will give a courtesy second, “I can wait”, but anything after will just be ignored. I have yet to anoint anyone to occupy the special 2% of the population the I am guesstimating be good enough to operate an electronic device and hold a conversation with me at the same time. (I suspect that I will find a unicorn long before I find said individual that is qualified for said task.)

Why Didn’t You Remind Me?

One of the things that continues to baffle me is why patients think we should remind them that they are due to get their medication(s) refilled. Does the gas station call you to tell you to refill your gas tank? Does your grocery store remind you to get more food for your refrigerator? The answer to both is no. So why some patients place the responsibility to know when to refill your medication on the pharmacy is completely beyond me.

At least once a week I have someone say to me, “I’ve been out of my medication for three days. Why didn’t you guys call me?”. Seriously, if you are relying on the pharmacy to remind you to pick up medication that is most likely life sustaining you are in for a rough ride. There are a litany of things I would love to say to the patients at that point, but since I have to answer to “the man” at the end of the day I apologize to the patient and tell them to give me a few minutes so that I can fill their medication they so dearly need now.

Several innovations have been created so as to help mitigate this problem. Automated refills. Phone call reminders both automated and personal that a medication is due to be filled and/or that it is ready and to come pick it up. E-mail reminders. There’s also an app with an alert function. If we could send carrier pigeons we would. Yet despite all that, we will still get people coming in wondering why we didn’t call them to fill their medication.

 

Use Your Words

Recently I’ve been struggling to find something to write about/be inspired by so I decided to pull another one out of my personal archives. On a side note apparently I have been doing this for a year now.

Another phenomenon that is becoming more prevalent in the pharmacy drive thru is patient’s not using their words. When the drive thru was put in one of the best directed speaker systems was also installed so as to minimize background noise and allow for ease of communication. Although it is over a decade old now, the technology has not degraded that much.

It is normally only isolated to a drop off situation, but when I ask, “How, can we help you?” some patients will give me a slight wave with a piece of paper in their hand. Now, I know this means that they are most likely dropping off a prescription, but since I assume nothing I will ask if you are. For all I know that paper being waved at me contains Minute Man Nuclear Missile Launch codes.

Ladies and gents it is a matter of respect for the people who are going to service you. I don’t go into a restaurant and just wave a piece at my server with my order on it. I communicate with words to convey what I desire. I expect the same from everyone else,

On a quick side note, we do have patients that are hearing impaired so using verbal language really isn’t an option. However, these patients are some of the best ones we have and communicate with us via an interpreter, written word, or when I have time through sign language. My skills are shotty at best, but given a minute I can coble a sentence or two together.

How Long Will This Take?

Should not be the first words out of your mouth when dropping off a prescription in the pharmacy.  Normal social conventions dictate that when greeting anyone especially for the first you start with Hello, Hi, Greetings,……I’ll even take a Hail Satan. I think that people forget all too easily that the pharmacy is there to help with health needs and not fast food style service. To clarify we don’t rush things.

When it comes to something that will potentially directly impact whether or I will live I don’t want anyone rushing through it. Unless I am bleeding out or stopped breathing then by all means turn the dial up to 11 and snap it off. Other wise lets get it done right.

In pharmacy land we do try and complete prescriptions in a quick fashion. However, there are points in the filling process where slowing down and checking ourselves is a must. Not only to avoid clerical errors, but to also avoid that killing a patient thing. The paper work alone if we do. Oy vey.

Let me put it to everyone the same way I will put it to a patient who wants it done yesterday. “Do you want it done now or do you want it done right? There is a correct answer here.”

New Words

So apparently the Oxford Dictionary has decided to add some new words to their official list. While reviewing it a majority of the words don’t make sense. Maybe one or two I can get on board with, but the majority is a joke. A few did make me giggle, but the vast majority make me question the professionals who decide the addition of new words.

I understand that as a language evolves new words and concepts will arise over time, but I think that the evolve part is being forgotten. Some of the words the exist now in the English language are as a result of laziness or just plain ignorance. I may jokingly use some of the “new words”, but never  in a serious context.

Maybe its just me getting old or my inner educator breaking through, but something has to give.