Custom Search

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Wednesday pharmacists

Because my pharmacy is open 9 am to 6 pm every day, if I worked all the time I'd be way overtime, so I get to pick one day a week as a short day. On this day I work 6 hours instead of 9, and I have coverage at my pharmacy so I can do other tasks like marketing, sales, meetings, etc.
Right now that day is Wednesday.
I've had a lot of turnover for my once-a-week pharmacist. Initially I hired a pharmacist who had applied for my own position, and he seemed like a good fit. He was perhaps too hesitant to truly manage, but he was kind and helpful and smart. But as time passed he began to be careless and lazy. I discovered why in April when he resigned: he had opened his own pharmacy. It bothers me a little that he was doing much of the work and planning for his new store - my competitor! - while on my clock, behind my back.
When he abruptly left, I scrambled to fill his spot. I ended up without any coverage for a few weeks, then I interviewed two ladies for the position. Neither interviewed very well, but I was pressured to hire a girl whose hours had been cut from 40 to 32 (even professionals can face salary cuts in this economy!). I did, but right away we had problems. She was extremely distracted on the job and made multiple errors (once she sent a new kidney transplant home with no insulin - and the drugs one takes to prevent organ rejection cause very high blood sugar). She interrupted others constantly, making her very difficult to train. I would have to repeat instructions 7 or 8 times! And she claimed to dislike reading, so would never refer to our "Need to Know" binder I made for the store with all of our policies and procedures. Because of this, she did not complete several required processes: for example, certain high-risk drugs require extensive documentation when they are dispensed, but she skipped that step because she couldn't remember my instructions and didn't "have time" to read the guide.
But worse than that, I came in one day after she worked and she'd forgotten to log off the computer. To my chagrin I saw that she'd been online processing claims for the insurance company she works for part time! She was working for another company while on my payroll!

I was baffled as to why she'd take that risk. She should have known it was grounds for termination - unless she decided not to read THAT procedure, too! I didn't want to report her to her supervisor, because I didn't want to be the jerk who got her fired from her first pharmacy job. Instead I met with her and we talked. I made it clear that this was grounds for termination and must never occur again, and I let her go from my Wednesdays (she still gets 32 hours at her regular store).

I had to hire again. I had a temporary pharmacist in the position and I would have LOVED to keep her every week. She's fantastic. But she didn't want it. See, my job is not easy! As the only pharmacist - and the only manager - you have a lot of responsibility. Not many pharmacists welcome that kind of stress, even though it's good experience if you plan to pursue management.

Right now I'm testing out another temporary pharmacist, and she's game and has a great attitude, but in the past she's had problems with spending her time on her cell phone instead of working. So she is still on probation. And she's the type who won't make her own decision, so she calls me ALL. THE. TIME.
And that's my Wednesday situation. The question is, am I a mean boss or just bad at hiring and interviewing? And did I handle the last pharmacist the right way? The correct thing to do would be to terminate her. Was I being kind to not report her, or will that come back to bite me later?

Drama. You'd think me and my two employees wouldn't create all this drama.


  1. This is surprising to me because I assumed that all pharmacists are extremely hard workers, organized, and perfect...that's how all the ones I know in real life are.

  2. Oh man, that is not a fun problem to have. So does that mean you work 6 days a week? If so, that is insane!! Yikes! I would have thought most pharmacists would be responsible, hard working people. I hope you find a quality candidate soon!

  3. Hey Gracie,

    We came across your blog and we are impressed with what we saw. It looks like you have a good following and that you are trying to build it. We've also noticed based on your posts that you're a fairly active person. We would like to help you grow your blog by offering you some free tickets to our race - the 5k Foam Fest - in exchange for a post.

    Check out our video on You'll love it! Our race is in Baton Rouge, and it's a 5k run featuring giant foam machines, obstacles, mud and tons of fun. What we would like you to do is post about us on your blog before and after the event. The post before the event would be something about how you heard we were coming to town and you are planning to go. The second post—after the event—would be about your experience at the event, good or bad.

    We also want to make it worth your while, so we would offer you 4 free passes for doing this--that's a value of over $250! If you are interested, please send me an email at Thanks so much for your time!