Thursday, September 3, 2009

Just One More Reason Why Christians Should Stay Prayed Up

If I've learned anything in almost 50 years of living it's that when you're trying to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ there will be enumerable annoyances that will remind you that you have not yet attained perfection. Most of these annoyances will involve people.

One thing that is guaranteed to try my patience, humble me and bring me to my knees praying that God bridle my tongue is my #1 pet peeve. I simply can't abide customer service people who insult your intelligence by lying rather than simply telling you the truth.

Having worked in customer service for many years, I know all too well how uncomfortable it can be when you find yourself having to explain to a customer why their order isn't ready or a project can't be completed. But I have also learned that while some customers will fly off the handle and spew venom, most will respond calmly and rationally when you apologize for the inconvenience and tell them the simple truth. I like to believe that 99% of the time my behavior as a customer falls into the latter category. However, when I very calmly ask a customer service person to explain why there is a problem with something that I've ordered and they proceed to tell me one lie after another, I must confess that this very easy going, mild mannered Christian has visions of jumping across a counter and re-enacting a scene from the movie 300. This is why people should not carry weapons.

This morning I was tested again. Around 4pm this past Tuesday afternoon I dropped off prescriptions for my mother's respiratory medicine at my friendly neighborhood CVS pharmacy. I handed the prescriptions directly to the person at the drop-off window who confirmed my mother's date of birth. I told her that I would pick them up the next day and said thank you. Now you can call me naive, but I just thought is was reasonable to assume that if I didn't pick up the prescriptions on Wednesday that they would be ready by this morning, Thursday. Well wouldn't you know that when I called the pharmacy at 9:30 this morning to inquire about the prescriptions, the first person who answered the phone told me that she didn't even see the order in their system. When I explained, that I had handed the prescriptions to a person at the pharmacy drop-off window on Tuesday, she placed me on hold. A second person came to the phone and advised me that the medicine had to be ordered and would be available after 2pm today. OK, now I was a little miffed but calm and since I was in a car I said thank you and hung up.

I guess I was just asking for it but I just had to call back and ask why the first person that I had spoken to could not find the order in the system at all. I also was curious as to when the order was actually entered into the system, if it had been at all. As I said, I was just asking for it. I never received an answer regarding when the prescriptions were entered into the system. In fact, I didn't even receive an apology for the inconvenience. Instead I received a song and dance about how the person who was at the window when I dropped off the prescriptions may have been a temp or part-time pharmacy employee, (which I know is not the case). I was also offered another story, which she really shouldn't have uttered, about how they may have just been too busy to enter the prescription into the system on Tuesday afternoon. And finally, the person on the other end of the phone recited this scripted explanation about how they don't keep medicines in the store and have to order them but they do call customers if their prescriptions are not ready on time. At this point, I had a vision of the person on the other end of the phone saying, "talk to the hand, talk to the hand". So I just said thank you and hung up.

At this point, I began reminiscing about their previous excuses when an order had not been ready on time. Once I had been told that I had entered an old RX# in their telephone automated refill system. I had asked myself then, why would their automated system accept and confirm an outdated RX #. On another occasion, the excuse was that the prescription had been entered into their system for another day. I had asked myself then how that had happened since the automated refill system prompts you to select and then confirm the pick-up day and time. So this time I took the prescriptions into the pharmacy, handed them to a person, confirmed the pick-up date, even gave them an extra 1/2 day, and the order was still not ready. Forget "death panels", CVS is trying to kill my mother by denying her respiratory medicine. At this point, I was imagining how nice it would be to be a prophet who could call down fire.

Now I hear some of you saying, "So when were they going to call you, next week?". After all, I did drop the prescription off on Tuesday, for pick-up on Wednesday and this is now Thursday morning. I hear others of you saying, "Didn't they know that the medicines would need to be ordered when you dropped the script off on Tuesday?" Hmmm?

But I caution you, it is dangerous to attempt to apply common sense to these situations.

These situations can only be handled by prayer and strict weapons laws :-) This is why God will never give me the ability to call down fire.

Stay prayed up folks.


2pm CVS calls and says that the prescription is ready for pickup

3pm I pick up the prescription and lo and behold they forgot to note that there are 5 refills.

4pm After writing the obligatory letter to CVS Corporate Customer Service and notifying the doctors office of the mix-up, I thought about praying that God would consider a request to rain down hail & fire. But the Bible cautions us about praying amiss. :-) I can only take comfort in the words found in Matthew 18:5-7:

"But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea. "Matthew 18:5-7

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