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Saturday, December 28, 2013

The hardest thing I've ever done at work

I worked this Christmas, volunteering for an afternoon shift at a 24-hour pharmacy. It really wasn't bad. I got the whole morning to celebrate Christmas with David, then had a very quiet, easy afternoon and evening at the pharmacy. I only had one irate customer, and just as he finished screaming at me a sweet teenager handed me this:

Cookies and a $5 bill! She said her family's service project was to hand out cookies to the people who had to work in the pharmacy on Christmas day. I gave me tech the $5 but I ate those cookies - they were chocolate with crushed candy cane bits.

I bought a bag of Christmas candy while I was there, and everyone's rx bag got a candy. I do this every time I work Christmas - it just cheers people up.

But working Christmas definitely wasn't the hardest thing I've done at work. The hardest thing happened today. I had to reprimand and write up an employee - who is my peer, another pharmacist - and get her in trouble with corporate and possibly the law.

While this pharmacist was working by herself, she committed an egregious policy breach, one that I can't go into for legal reasons, and then actually let it slip in conversation. It was the kind of thing that left me speechless, mouth hanging open, and nauseated with shock. For ethical reasons, I had to report the breach. I'm the Pharmacist-in-Charge at my store, and legally responsible, so I had no choice: but I was heartbroken to get this pharmacist into trouble, possibly causing her to lose her job. I worried about it all Christmas, and filed the report Thursday.
If you want to know how bad her action was, let's just say it was worse than the second incident, which was noticed on the video while we were reviewing the security tapes: the pharmacist allowed her non-employee spouse to COUNT MY REGISTER DRAWER at the end of the night. Yeah.
Luckily I got loss prevention to get the pharmacists' statement, but naturally it was still extremely uncomfortable for both of us for me to address the issue, reprimand her, and request she file a statement. We don't know the outcome yet (but it isn't termination, I did find that out), but for now I'm faced with two terrible situations:
1. My staff pharmacist now HATES me and thinks I am the meanest person ever. It will be horribly uncomfortable to work with her.
2. My staff pharmacist demonstrated astonishingly poor judgment and ethics. I've lost a lot of trust in her.

We got through the day, with a lot of tears and unprofessional mutterings, and hopefully she can cool off during the weekend. But I'm not looking forward to future work days like this. Hardest day of work ever!


  1. Policy and procedures are there for important reasons. Sometimes we don't always agree, but I'm finding a lot of people these days seem to think if they don't like policy or law, they can decide whether or not they want to follow the rules. However, If you choose to break policy, then you are also choosing the consequences. I can't imagine how difficult this has been for you. Keeping you in my thoughts today...

  2. Ugh.....That majorly, MAJORLY sucks. I hope you don't suffer any guilt over the situation--she made a choice to break the rules & put you in a terrible position. All you can do is be as professional as possible with her going forward. Best of luck with it.

  3. Oh man. I'm so sorry you are having to go through this. Stuff like that is SO hard, but you know you did the right thing. Hopefully, her anger will eventually fade, and she will see that you had no choice but to report her. If not, maybe you can at least return to civil and peaceful working conditions. I recently had to report some stuff to the director of Special Ed about one of my co-teachers. She was not following the students' IEPs, and they were doing poorly as a result. It was HARD, but I knew it was the right thing to do. Hang in there, Gracie!

  4. Oh dear! You are a lot like me in how these types of situations are not easy (I like to think it's cuz I have a big heart :)). I hope she is calmer come Monday and is understanding of the situation. Hang in there (maybe go for a short run, always helps )).

  5. Oh man, that is brutal. But you clearly did the right thing. I am sure it's so hard to be on the receiving end of her
    angst, but the only person she should be mad at is herself. How awful. I hope the air clears soon...

  6. Wow, that does sound tough. I can't imagine. At least you know you did the right thing and hope she realizes it one day.

  7. Oh Gracie, that stinks. I'm sorry you were put into that situation and that now she's angry with you for doing your job. I hope things smooth over and she demonstrates better judgement in the future.