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Customers Talk on Their Cell Phones While Getting Prescriptions Filled

Cell Phone Rant: On the Phone at the Pharmacy

Spending an hour waiting for a prescription to be filled is not anyone's idea of fun, but it happens to all of us once in a while. It happened to me recently, and as I sat in the small waiting area, I people-watched the pharmacy line (and read People, of course).

What had me surprised on this day, other than the length of time it takes Walgreens to get a prescription ready, was the amount of people who stayed on their cell phones while interacting with the pharmacist.

One customer talked so loudly while in line that another customer scolded him; this had no effect, though, since he continued his conversation as the pharmacist at the counter counseled him on how he should take the meds (a multitasker!).

To hear who else had to gab, just


Another woman exasperatedly had to end her phone call at her turn at the window, when she realized she couldn't just ignore the pharmacist, and that there were, in fact, details to work out with the medicine.

I get it; we're all busy. But aren't the drugs you put in your body kind of worth all your attention? What if you missed an instruction because you didn't hear it while talking on your phone? This is one of those places you put the phone on hold — not the person who's dispensing your medicine.


aimeeb aimeeb 8 years
Hmmm guilty as charged. Although usually I either tell the person I need to call them back or hang on. I usually only ever pick up my normal meds.
beansandsyke beansandsyke 8 years
amazing slightly different rant i enjoy the white trash folk of walmart at 2am that still have their blue tooths in ear. who needs to get at you at such a time.
keribear keribear 8 years
I'm a pharmacist! The reason it does take so long is that 1) as someone mentioned, sometimes we are making decisions and gathering information there to prevent SERIOUS consequences like DEATHS; and 2) there are people who dropped of prescriptions before yours that do stupid things like blab on their cell phones, or don't give their insurance information, or spell their own names wrong. Cut us some slack! :)
Matdredalia Matdredalia 8 years
I can not imagine that. I take my prescriptions extremely seriously (I have to, some of them are literally life or death for me), but regardless, it's common courtesy to get the hell off the phone when you're interacting with another human being. If it were me and my turn was about to come up, I'd simply say "Hey, I'll call you back in a few", and go hash out whatever needed done. However, I'm not big on talking in the store on a cell phone anyways, or if I do, I practically whisper because I think it's really impolite to make the world listen to your conversation. As for waiting in the lines, heh....I used to spend so much time waiting for my prescriptions, my step-father offered to pitch me a tent by the Wal-Mart pharmacy so I could at least get some rest.
iieee_grrl iieee_grrl 8 years
I worked at a pharmacy as a tech for a time, and two of our pharmacists wouldn't give the patient their medication until they were willing to talk to them about it. There are laws about counseling patients and privacy that aren't worth a pharmacist losing their license over. Plus, it's just stupid to put a phone call over what could be a life-or-death conversation. I've seen several instances where a doctor prescribed a medication and the patient was on something from a different doctor and the pharmacist caught the potentially fatal interaction... oops. It's just not smart to not pay attention.
pamc pamc 8 years
it's actually against the hipaa laws to talk on your phone at the pharmacy counter... privacy laws that is, no joke!
SusanTeufel SusanTeufel 8 years
In my pharmacy, being on your cell phone in line is banned because of privacy reasons. *Shrug*
vssalazar vssalazar 8 years
This is a great point. Something I will also keep in mind although I find it rude to be on the phone dealing with any counter person and try to avoid it as much as possible. But considering your point about the importance of 'detail' with prescription meds, heck yeah, I will definitely hang up on you at the pharmacy from now on! Great post! :)
macgirl macgirl 8 years
I saw a woman yelling at the drive through pharmacy technician that she was on an important call and he would have to wait. Um, why don't you get out of the drive through and let all these people get on with their lives. I just don't understand where this sense of entitlement comes from.
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