Wednesday, October 7, 2015

The Pharmacist

Yesterday I had to get a refill of some medication (smegmastatin) that keeps Officer Cynical's cholesterol low enough that his blood doesn't turn into egg yolk. I don't know very much about pharmacy, but just that visit alone was enough to make me glad pharmacists aren't armed (as far as I know).

I go to Great Big Pharmacy. It used to be very convenient to our old house, but is clear across town from our current one. I continue to go there because the pharmacists and technicians are very knowledgeable, helpful and courteous. Yesterday, for some reason, none of the usual staff was there - just one pharmacist and one technician, neither of whom I recognized.

I may not be the greatest pharmacy customer in the world (although I now think I am), but I do know enough to arrange for refills on line a day or so in advance. Then, I usually can just walk up to the counter and pay. Yesterday, here's the scene when I arrive:

Mrs. Sourpuss walks up to the counter. She has a long, whispered conversation with the pharmacist, who then goes back, fills a bottle of pills, and brings it to the counter. Mrs. Sourpuss again leans over the counter and has another protracted, super-secret conversation with the pharmacist, who goes back and repeats step one. At the counter again, Mrs. S. is clearly not happy with the two bottles of pills she's been given. I can overhear that the number of pills is wrong, and that her husband's name, not hers, should be on one of the bottles. The pharmacist is looking at labels, flipping through stacks of paper, and staring at a computer screen, trying to sort it all out. Mrs. S is huffing and sighing, and just generally looking like she's sucking on lemons. Finally, the pharmacist tell Mrs. Sourpuss that if she thinks there's a problem with the prescriptions, she needs to contact her doctor to square it away. Mrs. S. leaves in a huff. This has easily taken 15 minutes.

The guy in front of me is next at the counter. He has a scrip he wants filled. The pharmacist tells him to come back in an hour. I see there are at least six people sitting in chairs along the wall next to the counter - presumably they're all waiting for scrips, too. The guy rolls his eyes and stomps out.

Meanwhile, the technician has been on the phone this whole time. He's getting step-by-step instructions on how to operate the software they use for patient records or whatever. During each pause in the conversation, he pokes the keyboard a couple of times and says, "Nope, that didn't work, either". The pharmacist is running the entire show herself. She's looking at the technician like she's trying to decide the best place to conceal his body.

As the guy in front of me leaves, some blue-hair tries to cut in line in front of me by coming up an adjacent aisle and then angling toward the counter. I body-check her into the rack of Sucrets like I don't notice she's there. I'm ready with my name, name of the medication, and that I'd had the wherewithal to previously order my scrip on line. I sign the sheet that says I know how to swallow pills without instructions and get out of there.

If you're a pharmacist in an operation like that, I salute you. And I thought had a tough job!

Monday, October 5, 2015

I'm Funny Sometimes

Officer Cynical: "Sir, this is the second time this week I've stopped you for driving with a suspended license."

Driver Dan: "I know, but I mailed in my application for reinstatement yesterday."

Officer Cynical: "So, if you had applied for a job yesterday, would you just assume you got it and show up for work today?"

My back-up, Officer Sarcasm, almost chokes on his gum he's laughing so hard.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Underline "Hazard"

Block a lane of traffic during downtown rush hour while talking on a cell phone. Pull a U-turn at the busiest intersection in the city, while cross traffic has a green light. Drive 25 miles an hour over the speed limit because the plane leaves in 15 minutes. Pull a friend's old rusted-out junker with a frayed tow rope through the shopping district on Saturday afternoon. Move an entire apartment worth of furniture, including box spring and mattress, by balancing it precariously on the roof of a wheezing '83 Chevy station wagon.

These are things some people feel free to do, because they've turned on their hazard lights. Just flip those babies on, and you're free to drag race down Main Street, drive the wrong way on the interstate, or just take a scenic driving tour of an active runway at the airport.

I suppose they're thinking, "Hey, it seems pretty hazardous for me to be doing this, but if I just switch on these lights it'll be OK."

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Medical Disclaimer

As I've said in the past, I really like and respect doctors and nurses, especially the ER variety. I come into contact with them almost daily in my job. Consequently, you'll see a fair amount of hospital/medicine-related stuff in this blog.

But I realize I don't actually know squat, medically speaking. Although I do take the time to at least Google stuff, I'm not a doctor or a nurse, and I've never played one on TV. Indeed, after carefully considering those career paths, I decided I didn't even want to talk to most people I saw in medical waiting rooms, let alone have to put my hands on them.

So, if I get the name of a medication wrong (e.g., smegmastatin), or confuse, say, Carnegie-Mellon Syndrome with Abbott-Costello Disorder, or report an incorrect diagnosis (e.g., axillary rambunctious cerebromyopathy), give me a break, will you? Forgive me and just chalk it up to the fact that I'm only pretending to know what I'm talking about. Medically speaking.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Monday, September 28, 2015

Asleep On Duty

Cops falling asleep on duty is by no means commonplace, but on very rare occasions it happens. When it does happen, it's usually a nightshifter. Not only are they working against a natural sleep cycle, but lots of them have family duties, second jobs, court requirements, and other things during the day that make staying up all night a big challenge. It's not so tough on a busy night, but when the radio goes silent for long stretches, the sandman works against you. I've been there; I know.

One night one of our guys succumbed. He wasn't responding to the radio, so we had to go looking for him. There he was, behind the wheel in a secluded parking lot, a report half done on his computer, arms folded, chin on his chest, fast asleep. He readily admitted his transgression, and the appropriate disciplinary measures were administered.

What he wasn't prepared for was the dozens of copies of a photo of him asleep in his squad, which one cop had taken at the scene and then hung all over the station. He couldn't pull them down fast enough to keep up with the rate at which they respawned over the next several weeks.

Sometimes a little street justice is called for.