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Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Don't burn your bridges

This week I joined a few managers to conduct interviews at a pharmacy school career fair. It was a packed couple of days full of anxious students in their newly-purchased suits, hands shaking as they thrust their $1-per-sheet vellum in front of me. Of course, you meet all kinds of students: the highly involved, hardworking student with stellar grades; the student who volunteers for multiple charities every month; the student who is a published co-author of several papers; the student who never worked in a pharmacy; the student who has never worked at all, anywhere; the sociable student who is a member of every organization but is clinging to a low B average; the student who wore jeans and a sweatshirt - all types.

A few months ago I had a student at my site named Tiffany (not her real name). I am a preceptor, and take one or two students a month from our local pharmacy school. Upon entering the first morning, Tiffany announced, "I just want you to know that I really hate Walgreens. I think the system is stupid and like, everything is dumb. I begged and begged to get out of this rotation, but they wouldn't switch me, so - here I am!" (Dramatic giant shrug). This bitter attitude continued throughout the rotation, which made it hard to teach this otherwise bright girl. She constantly put Walgreens down, and did the bare minimum to pass the rotation. On her last day, she turned in a short assignment that was printed straight offline - no citation, no original work: in other words, plagiarism. Normally I would fail the rotation for that, but I'd submitted her grade that very morning! So instead she got a very stern reprimand, which she responded with the least penitence and grace possible.

So there I sat yesterday, whipping through an interview every 30 minutes, as our interview coordinator brought each student in and - who should be led up to my table? Yeah. Tiffany. She saw me and her face just FELL. Of course I conducted the interview with total tact and professionalism, but the conclusion was foregone. I was co-interviewing with another manager at that point, and he sensed my change in approach: I went from vocal and conversational, guiding responses, to flat reading the suggested interview questions (normally I just use those as a very loose guide). The interview was wrapping up in only a few minutes. "Is there anything else you want to ask?" he questioned me in surprise. "Oh, no," I said. "I think I know everything I need to know."

Moral of the story: Don't burn your bridges. Pharmacy is a small world.


  1. Was she actually interviewing for a company that she despised so much? The nerve...

  2. What was she thinking? Of course there was always going to be a chance that you'd be the interviewer. Even if it was just a remote chance. Pays to keep your thoughts and opinions to yourself.

  3. Dang, that is awful. What a little snot. I can't believe she came into her preceptorship with that kind of attitude. So dumb. Even if you feel that way about a company, why would you act like that? I am going to sound all high and mighty right now but I get so frustrated with the attitudes of the younger generation. They just have such a sense of entitlement. Maybe people felt this way about me when I was younger but I really don't think I ever acted that way. Like yesterday I sat next to a young person on a plane and he completely disregarded the instructions to put your phone in airplane mode. Even after a flight attendant passed by and told him to stop texting and put it in airplane mode, he didn't. I was fuming but didn't want to say anything. But I just wondered - what is so dang important that it can't wait until the conclusion of our 70 minute flight?