Sunday, February 24, 2008

Nothing better than being called in on a Saturday

Saturday started out great. I woke up around 9:00 AM after getting a full 8 hours of sleep. I then proceeded to read 70 pages of my book (A Prayer For Owen Meany by John Irving... I highly recommend it). Around 11:30, I felt a little bit hungry, so I popped a Freschetta Brick Oven frozen pizza in the oven (nothing better than frozen pizza for a lazy, lonely, single guy). At noon, my favorite college basketball team was playing, and it was nationally televised in HD, so I was all set to enjoy the game in full HD splendor.

Almost perfectly timed with the halftime buzzer, my phone rang. It was one of our techs; "Mike, Betty is sick. She doesn't feel well enough to stay. Can you come in to cover for her?"


I had no excuse to get out of it. Someone had to cover for her. If it wasn't me, my manager would have covered for her. However, he lives 35 minutes away (compared to my 4 minutes away). In addition, he has a wife and young kids who are always active in sports and other things on the weekends, so he's actually never available to work a weekend unless it's an emergency. He would have had to cancel his plans for the evenings to come in.

Unfortunately for me, I had no plans for the evening, and I would have felt really bad making my manager cancel his plans and drive all that way, so I felt obligated to go in.


Of course, I had to miss the rest of the game (my team ended up losing). Within 10 minutes of my arrival at the pharmacy, one of the clerks, who is a premed student, asked if she could go home early to study for an exam.


Seriously.. What the fuck!?!?!? I let her go home. We were slow. We didn't really need her. However, that's not really the point. I'm getting pretty fed up with all this going home early bullshit. I feel bad about getting angry over it because this girl is probably the nicest person you could ever meet, but she simply has some sort of problem staying for her entire shift. Everytime I work with her, she asks to leave early. Usually, she'll pull that bullshit where she won't take a lunch break, and she'll think that this entitles her to leave 30 minutes early.

That brings me to another issue that my store is having; We have a horribly inflexible staff. There are just so many people who can only work certain days and certain hours that we don't have any way of covering for someone who calls out sick (pharmacists not included obviously). Most of our staff is made up of students or people who have other jobs which makes it impossible for them to come in at a different time to cover for someone.

What ends up happening is we have 3 clerks working the evening shift until close on most nights even though we're usually pretty dead after 7:00 PM. Then during the morning and afternoon hours, we don't have enough help. Ideally, it would be nice to take one or two of the clerks from the evening shift and have them work in the morning or midday, but their rigid schedule makes this impossible.

In any case, working a Saturday when you weren't intending to work sucks.


susan said...

Hey..I just wanted to say that I read
A Prayer for Owen Meany around 6 years ago in my sophomore English class, and to this day it is one of my favorite books. Even though I'm not a religious person, I was struck by the Christ symbolism of Owen, and how Irving managed to bring the politics of the Vietnam era is truly a classic.

Pharmacy Mike said...

I'm reading it for the 3rd time now. A Prayer For Owen Meany and The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien are a toss-up for my favorite book.

I'm not at all religious either, but the book is so well written, it almost makes you want to believe.

Anonymous said...

I'm a student right now and only work weekends, every weekend to be exact. We have techs that work full time in our pharmacy who will only work certain days and hours for the week and will not cover for anyone. I get called to see if i can come and close through the week and I'm an hour from work when I'm at school. I don't get it, some of these tech's have worked together for 15 years and will not cover for each other, I was able to get one to cover for me once, but she is the nicest tech and she knew I was working every weekend and I had a big test on monday so she took my Sunday shift that I had asked off for, was told I would not work that day, and then was scheduled anyway. Whole other story.

Anonymous said...

The "going home early" bullshit drives me crazy too. Just because it happens to be slow right now, doesn't mean that everything can't go to hell within 10 minutes. I've also worked with a lot of inflexible staff -- unfortunately pharmacists and techs are difficult to hire, and I guess they call the shots, not the employer. It's not right, but pharmacies are stuck with it if they want any staffing at all.
That was nice of you to go in on your day off. I hope your manager appreciated it.