She folded her arms across her chest and looked down at me over the rims of her glasses. Her words were more polite than the You're A Fucking Liar expression she wore.
"That's not possible, ma'am. We use a Pyxis, and that has a very, VERY low rate of error."
"Well, what am I supposed to do to prevent this? You handed me a large bottle, and the bottle says Quantity: 180. It looked reasonably full, so I believed you. Should I, in the future, pour all those pills out on the counter here and count them myself before leaving? Low margin of error or not, there's still a margin of error." I was doing my best to be calm and reasonable, but this woman's tone was really rubbing me the wrong way.
"Yes, but. . ."
"Perhaps it wasn't the machine's error," I suggested, "Perhaps someone punched in the wrong number by mistake. Either way, I'm 18 doses short, and I'll tell you what's going to happen: I'm going to the doctor to obtain refills. I'm going to come back, and you're going to deny those refills, saying I'm trying to fill too early. And the reason I'm trying to fill too early is because you shorted me 18 days worth of doses."
"Look, ma'am, it isn't that we don't believe you," she explained quasi-patiently, We Don't Believe You almost visibly oozing out of every pore in her disbelieving face, "but you have to understand how many times a day we hear that accusation. And what are we expected to do? Hand over extra pills with an apology?"
"You asked what I expected you to do! You compare what you should have on hand against what you do have on hand, and I'll take the 36 extraneous pills. I could understand your concern if I showed up claiming to be 18 Percocet short, or 18 Oxycontin short, but you can't even get high off of this stuff! There's no recreational benefit whatsoever to my trying to get extra doses out of you."
She paused before saying, "We're very busy, ma'am."
"I feel ya. I'll wait." I took a seat and pulled my book out of my purse, and she disappeared behind the counter. She wasn't just making an excuse- they really were very busy, so I resigned myself to remain in that uncomfortable chair for at least an hour.
I had only read 12 pages before I heard the technician calling my name. I put my book back in my purse to return to the counter, and there she was, holding a small bag in her hands and an embarrassed expression in her eyes. She handed me the bag.
"We apologize for the inconvenience," she said, fortified as though preparing for a blow. I merely smiled and accepted the bag from her hand.
"It's alright," I gave a little shake of the bag, "Just be glad I didn't wait till I ran out of these things before i came in." She nodded, understanding exactly what I meant.