The Pharmacy Chick

Flying the coup in retail

I am scary!

Filed under: Uncategorized — pharmacychick at 8:17 am on Sunday, June 10, 2012

This time of year we have more float technicians that normal.  Numbers are up, vacations are up, so we have to request scheduling assistance more than usual.  We have a pretty decent core group of technicians that comprise the float team, but lately there has been an exodus from that team as “non performers” have been weeded out.  Thus, an entire group of newbies has been added to the pool.

Float team members have one very important requirement before they come to a store:  confirm their shift.  Its a simple procedure: call the store several days before to verify that YOU know that THEY know they will be coming at the appropriate day/time.  This is very important because no-shows have been a real problem.  Shift confirmation has improved this problem.  If I get to the day before a shift and I haven’t received a confirmation, I make a call to the office and request THEY contact the float and find out WTH is going on…after all, I dont have their phone numbers to do it myself.

Friday was such a day.  No confirmed float for Saturday.  Because I was the pharmacist for Saturday I was getting a little wiggy about the prospect of working alone so I contacted the office to find the float and when that was fruitless I started to execute Plan B ( not the tablets):  finding my own replacement in case tech was a no show.

Thankfully Tech Extraordinare steps up in such cases and made herself available.  I could rest.

Come Saturday morning I was relieved to see the float arrive, ( and notified the back up she could enjoy her day off) but I was going to use this as a teaching moment.

After a polite greeting ( I dont ruin anybody’s day immediately) and introduction, I asked the tech. ” did you confirm your shift for today?” and she rather meekly said ” NO.”   I explained why this REQUIREMENT was necessary, important, and why it shouldn’t be neglected. ” We can’t call YOU , we have to know that you are coming to this store, and it creates a lot of stress not knowing if you are coming or not.  I spent a good part of friday making a back up plan because you didn’t confirm your shift”.  ” are you scheduled tomorrow somewhere?”  ( yes) ” and have you confirmed THOSE shifts?”  ( no).  ” Then, please contact those pharmacies this morning.” I wasn’t disciplinary, I was kind but to the point..

She hastily started to count the work that I had set aside, but didn’t say much.  She was this tiny little gal with a meek demeanor, with all of 3 weeks with the company.   I am no giant, but standing next to her I looked like one.  We went to work and once she got caught up, I handed her the store list and asked her to call her next several shifts…which she did.

For a newbie, she did well. And I told her.  I dont withhold praise when its earned.  I had to work harder with her than an experienced tech, but that is expected with a newbie. It was ok. Later in the day as we were wrapping up, she said in her heavily accented english ( she is not American born)  ” This morning you scared me!”  I knew what she was referring to and I laughed and said ” GOOD!”

We enjoyed a smile over that but I said ” and I’ll bet you’ll never forget to confirm a shift again!”  and she said ” NOPE”

Its hard to convey in a post that I didn’t back her into the corner, shove my finger in her chest and rip her a new one.  I just friendly but pointedly reminded her of a procedure she had failed to do, why it was important, and the impact it had when she failed.

Maybe I should be scary more often…

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