Tag Archives: stress

Story A Day May #20

Well, this one might be inspired by a conversation that took place where I work. Maybe. Possibly. ūüėÄ

If you’ve never worked retail pharmacy, count yourself lucky. If you visit one regularly, those people work harder than you’ll ever know. 
May 20, 2015

I’d been running around all day. Seven hours down and two to go. I’d barely sat down, and one of the three times was to pee. I heard the click of the intercom system and cringed, holding my breath. It clicked off after a second on indistinguishable noise, and I breathed out in relief. The soda delivery driver grinned at me.

“One of those days?”

“Every day is one of those days around this place,” I said. I finished scanning in the merchandise, signed for the delivery, and once he handed me a copy of the invoice, I headed for the office to drop it off in the recieving paperwork bin. I still had to get change for one of the registers, call the help center about the coupon printers in the pharmacy, and … ‘Manager to the pharmacy.’

I grumbled under my breath at the page. I told someone else to get change and headed for the pharmacy. I knew when I saw the seven people in line what they wanted. I didn’t even ask as I stepped into the black hole that was that area of the store. I could see the technician was busy at the counter, and another on the phone with a patient, so I went for the drive-thru phone.

After ringing the guy up, I thanked him and went to hang up the phone when he said, “Excuse me.”

“Yes?”

“So this is a generic drug.”

“Yes.”

“But my doctor wrote the name brand on the prescription I dropped off. Why isn’t it name brand?”

“We are required, by law, to fill your prescription with the generic because it is cheaper than the name brand.”

“But, what if I want the name brand? My doctor wrote the name of the drug on the prescription.”

“Okay, then we can fill it for the name brand, but your insurance won’t cover it because there is a generic available. It will cost you much more since you’ll have to pay cash price and not a co-pay.”

“Okay, but why won’t they cover it if my doctor wrote it that way?”

“It doesn’t matter how he wrote it. Now, if he wrote as no substitutions then we would fill it as the name brand.”

“Isn’t that what he did?”

“No. He has to physically write ‘Name Brand Only’ or ‘No Generic’ on the paper you dropped off.”

“But the name brand is written on there already. Why can’t you fill it as that?”

“Like I said, if you want name brand, your insurance won’t cover it. If you doctor writes you a new prescription and writes ‘Name Brand Only’ then your insurance still won’t cover it. They will require a Prior Authorization from your doctor, which means we fax your doctor, he tells the insurance company why he wants you to only take the name brand of the medication, and if they approve, they send the paperwork back to him and he sends it back to us.”

“Can we do that?”

“No. He didn’t write it that way.”

“But he wrote the name of the medication on the paper.”

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Sometimes You Eat The Bear …

… sometimes the bear eats you.

It’s been the bear eating us at work for the last couple of weeks, and especially so for me and one of my co-managers. In the spirit of my working eleven hours today (not my scheduled shift), here’s an exchange I had with my husband via text. And while eleven hours of work is normal for some, and maybe not bad at some jobs, for retail it’s a nightmare. :))

My weird request of the day is having a lady come into the drugstore where I work and ask for Oregano Oil. In case anyone wonders, national chain drugstores aren’t specialty food markets.

Me: We need to setup the Xbox.
I just realized one of the reasons I miss playing WoW (World of Warcraft) is because I got to go home and kill shit.

Tim: Ok. I’ll set it up. Is it a kill shit kind of day?

Me: It’s an eviscerate shit from the face of the universe kind of day.


Denied Solitude

I have an almost overwhelming urge to make chocolate-chip cookies. They are my favorite cookie, and one of my very favorite dessert foods. The recipe I use is stored in my brain. It’s a task that takes no more than 15-20 minutes. Making this dough is an uncomplicated process.

I cannot make chocolate-chip cookies, and it’s killing me.

I am an introvert, which may not come as a surprise to people who read my blog, and probably isn’t a revelation for anyone who knows me really well. And when I say introvert, in this instance I am talking about the the way I recharge. Susan Cain, author of Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, has a quote that about sums it up for me – “Solitude matters, and for some people it is the air that they breathe.”

We’ve had a house guest since the beginning of April. Our house is not huge, but obviously it can¬†accommodate¬†three people, and more if needed. The problem is that we’ve had a house guest since the beginning of April.

I would say that one of my best female friends is more of an introvert, and the other an extrovert. My husband is more on the extrovert scale, and my other best male friend is way opposite me on this scale. Which makes for an interesting friendship, but I think introverts need extroverts, and vice versa. Again, what I’m talking about here is how people like to regain their energy.

I never understood people that cannot be alone. We all know them, or perhaps one of you reading this is one. There are people I know who absolutely cannot stand to be alone. They feel bored, restless, and unhappy. I always felt bad for this person, feeling that they just don’t know How to be by themselves. But thinking about it in terms of energy, I can see how this might be an unfair assessment, although I think taking time for solitude is something everyone should embrace, even if it’s only a short amount of time.

There are activities I like to do when I’m alone. Minds out of gutters, people ūüėÄ ¬†Dishes, for example. I really don’t mind doing the dishes. I like cleaning. I love using a broom. I love doing renovation work on our home. I Love to bake, especially the aforementioned cookies, and I write. All of these things hinge on being by myself. The weird exception to this is my husband. He’s the only person I can be around and still do all of these things, even if I would prefer not doing them while he’s home. Thus enters my¬†quandary¬†of late.

Our house guest is a relative, and for reasons I’m not going into, I understand that this person needed to be out of their own home for a little bit of time, however, not for this length of time. The extra icing on the problem cupcake is that this person really has no clue that I’m an introvert. The only time I’m alone is when I’m in the car by myself, and that is no place to relax. There’s always this person in my house. I can feel it in the air. I am an introvert who hasn’t been by herself in almost two whole months. I tiptoe around and hide my vast unhappiness. My husband tells me that I don’t need to stop doing the things I love, but he knows how incapable I am of breaking past this invisible barrier. Our relative isn’t rude or mean, isn’t trying to be in the way of our lives, and would not care in the slightest if I go about the house stripping paint or sanding the doorways.

I care.

I care so much that I’ve pretty much stopped doing all of these things, and when I do my cleaning now, which isn’t something you can put off, I’m angry about it. We have been spending a lot of time in the yard lately, which is nice. A literal breath of fresh air. I like getting my hands dirty, and my husband enjoys working in the yard much more that I thought he would. I have to say, as he’s the only person in the house I communicate everything to, putting up with my immense feelings of being uncomfortable and unhappy daily makes him eligible for sainthood. We’ve spent a lot more time since April being out of the house, which is also draining to me. Work has been extra stressful lately, which isn’t helping. My work environment is busy and loud, and full of people. No one should ever be happy to be alone in a public restroom, but sometimes I breathe a sigh of relief when I get a chance to step into the restroom at work. Unfortunately, bathroom breaks are an extremely short-lived respite from the world. The other really sucky thing about this situation is being a married couple with someone else staying a super short distance down the hall.

Beside the housework, my writing has stalled. My stress levels continue to stay high, even if I’m not outwardly showing it, which means I can’t write. I’m stunted in my ability to put fingers to keys, or pen to paper, and have anything creative flow out of me. I feel awful. My May Stories stopped, like a car hitting ¬†wall. The novel editing I was doing back in February and March has fallen by the wayside. I don’t even open my writing files because there is no point. I already know my creative limitations when it comes to living in high stress for prolonged periods. The same thing used to happen when I played piano. My younger self would try to submit to the urge to play, try to push through the times when I felt aggravated or stressed or angry, but the music would not sound the same. I learned how my creativity suffers at the hands of mental unhappiness.

Our house guest isn’t going to be here too much longer. Things are getting back to where they need to be concerning this person’s own home, and I have an actual vacation coming up in June, with actual planned visitor/s. Now, one might think that trading in a long-term, unplanned relative for vacationing visitors would be more than I could handle, but I’m much looking forward to having the out-of-towners. People that know me well.

Besides the writing and housework, the thing that really gets me is those damn cookies. I rarely make chocolate-chip cookies with people in the house. Not the baking part. I love to grab the container out of the fridge once the dough is made and drop spoonfuls of heaven onto a baking sheet and 11ish minutes later share the warm, chewy goodness that is dessert perfection with everyone. But the making of them is sacred to me. I don’t make them often. Over the last several years, this cookie has become the thing I make when I get super stressed. It takes it away, and I feel unburdened afterwards.

For now, I’ll continue to go about my days looking normal, while deep inside, I’ll crave tiny bits of semi-sweet morsels, and dough in various stages. Oh, and if someone could do something about all the characters in my head who are indignant about my temporary abandonment of them, that’d be great. Maybe they’d like a cookie.

 


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