Monday, January 26, 2009

What a day...

I got to work at 11 today. Immediately upon walking through the door I was informed that basically our entire staff of technicians and clerks had called out. If it were Betty working, I would have guessed that they all got together and planned this.

In total 5 of the 9 employees scheduled for the day didn't show up. Well, actually our lead tech (who I only call the lead tech because she's the most competent) showed up for an hour and left with serious back pain. She had complained of severe pain a couple weeks ago. Then she took a vacation during which she snorkeled, drank, and partied hard without any problems. Upon returning to work, her severe pain magically returned. I'm not saying I don't believe her pain. I'm just a little skeptical on the severity.

Anyway... one of our evening clerks had pneumonia. Another clerk just didn't bother showing up. Another tech in the morning said she was sick, but since her husband is a corporate hotshot in the company and makes a lot of money, she doesn't really have to work. Therefore, she calls out whenever she feels like it.. usually about once a week (and she's only scheduled for 3 days per week).

Another clerk had a family emergency, so she called out. The string of call-outs was actually kind of hilarious. We tried calling in someone to help, but no one was available. At least no clerks or technicians were available. Amazingly, we were able to convince a floater pharmacist who lived nearby to come in for the day. At one point in the day, we had 4 pharmacists and no clerks or technicians.

Has anyone ever worked in a situation where there were 4 pharmacists and no other help? I think this might have been a first in the history of retail pharmacy. You would think that I'd be cursing the disastrous day. Instead, I'm actually quite calm and relaxed. The reason? I WORKED WITH 4 PHARMACISTS TODAY!!... and no Betty I might add.

It was great! We all knew exactly what we were doing. We all could take phoned-in scripts. We all could check voice mail. We all knew how to fix all of the little problems that popped up. I never had to be interrupted to go answer a question or take a phone call. It was literally like a dream come true.

Of course... I'll most likely never experience this situation ever again. For 8 hours today, the only employees in the pharmacy were 4 pharmacists and a 20-year veteran technician. We were a little busy, but boy did the day go smoothly.


Anonymous said...

Actually, yes. Had the entire evening staff call out, while dealing with the workload from a depleted day staff. About the fifth time it happened, but by far thE worst. A Call to thE dm used the woRDS "walk out" and "why not?" I had 5 pharmacists there in an hour, happy to grab the OT. I do not miss that store/company.

pharmacy chick said...

Those days are like blessings from above. Ive had only a few. Once we had 2 of 3 our techs call in sick. That meant the staff was 1 rph and 1 tech, doing almost 300 rx? no way. No techs offered to come in, so the office sent 2 pharmacists. Wow, I had the staff we only dream of: 3 pharmacists.
wow. got a lunch and everything....

Anonymous said...

Usually when I pick up shifts, it's me by myself, who knows nothing coming from hundreds of miles away for the day substituting for one of the busiest drugstores around, and techs--who may or may not be training or in large quantity, but one day there were two of us pharmacist temporaries that showed up. Boy, that was sweet! We even took turns with bathroom breaks! It was a Mother's Day or another holiday, and there was no problem with me getting off early!