We get by with a lotta help from our techs

July 15, 2011

If you dare to deny the importance of your technicians, try leaving them out of the mix for just 1 week; you'll see your business come to a grinding halt.

Case in point

A very impatient man jumped me about his insurance. He had dropped off 3 prescriptions 15 minutes earlier.

"Why aren't my prescriptions ready?" He leaned over the counter. His mouth was set in a frown and his eyes were narrowed. "Why are you walking away? Come back here." His face was all red now. "I asked you a question."

I held a tray with 3 completed prescriptions in it. "They are ready." I waved the tray a little. "These are your prescriptions."

"Give them to me then. What the hell are you pulling?"

"They're done, but I processed them for cash. They add up to over $200."

"What the hell! I have insurance. I gave you the card. What the hell are you trying to pull?"

We had an audience. He was too loud. I didn't like his accusatory tone. I had done nothing to try to cheat him.

I stepped up to the counter and said firmly, "Sir, the first thing the technician will do after his lunch is rebill these prescriptions to your insurance."

"What the hell! You are a pharmacist, aren't you? Why can't you do it?"

"No, I can't do it."

"You're an idiot, then."

I took a deep breath and tried to be polite, but I failed. I started to explain, but stopped midsentence, turned, and walked away from him.

I did not have to explain to this ignorant bully why it is the way it is in modern pharmacy. I work only 60 minutes a week without a technician and that hour is between 9:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. Get me beyond Medco, Medicaid, Aetna, and United Health Care, and I struggle. This guy had an insurance card from Iowa.

He had already used his biggest weapon, the word "idiot." He had nothing left.