Thursday, 9 August 2012

The Endless Phone Loop

How many operators does it take to put someone through to the right number? Two, apparently.

I had to call Novartis today as I discovered a colleague had left out, not one, but *two* Sandostatin LAR 20mg injections on the shelf, in room temperature, for what looks like a full 48 hours. The two fridge item injections have a total cost of about NZD $5600 excluding GST.

Not knowing its stability, I called (datasheet had nothing). Initially I followed the telephone prompt (press 1 for blah blah) and reached Medicine Information. I was straight away met by a voice mail (with an Australian accent) that kindly informed me that no one is at the desk so I should leave a message.

The patient is waiting at the counter so leaving a message is a no go. I called again to go to the operator.

"Hi, I need some urgent info about one of your pharmaceuticals and I have already tried Med Info without much success"

"sure, I'll put you through to someone in NZ so they can help"

ring ring

"Hi, is this fire or emergency?"

"err, I think I was put through to you by mistake."

"no fire or emergency?"


"good"  #click

Called back again and behold mother jesus I am talking to the same operator.

"Hi, I think you put me through to 111 or some sort of emergency line" (hey, Screw.You.)

"oh really? sorry, let me try again." (Am I going to get "fire or emergency" again? Lets hope not.)

"Hi there Carolyn speaking, how can I help?" (That's more like it)

"Hi I just need to know how long can Sandostatin LAR stay out of the fridge?"

"Umm is this a human product?" (say what?)


"Sorry, you've actually come through to the animal division"

"That's great, please put me back to the operator"

"Hi there, Sauvignon Blanc speaking" A different operator. Not her real name but at this point I no longer care.

"Hi there, one of your colleagues put me through to the animal division for information regarding to a human product, can I please just speak to someone that can look up some info for me."

"Sorry about that, I am gonna take a short cut and put you through" (does that mean I get to talk to the big dog now?"

#and finally had a civilised discussion about pharmaceutical stability# For those of you who are interested, it is stable for 2 weeks out of the fridge at a temperature of less than 30ÂșC, at which point it has an expiry of 6 months

Moral of the story? Keep fridge items #gasp# in the fridge. Cause if you don't, a cute kitten is killed, by me, to eat, just to teach you a lesson.

No comments:

Post a Comment