The Hardest Job on Earth


Being on a retail pharmacy team is the hardest job on Earth

I once had a regional manager by the name of Jay Vaughn. As far as the suits went, he was as cool as they come.

He started out as a pharmacist in the company where I worked at the time, so he understood how the game was played. When he said that being on a retail pharmacy team is the hardest job on Earth, he told the absolute truth.

I was sick the other week and went into the pharmacy to pick up my prescriptions around 5 PM, which is right in the middle of the 3-to-7 rush. The checkout counter and drive-thru both had lines stretching halfway to Scranton. The pharmacy team was working hard at getting the customers what they needed to get them on their way in order to make the lines disappear.

With scheduling limitations being what they are, you just take care of immediate needs and worry about the rest when you get a chance. The pharmacist covering for me was taking the pounding that I would have been getting.

Part of me wanted to get out of line to count and pour for them. The other part of me wanted to run and never look back. Being on the schedule as sick, I just grabbed my stuff and left.

Believe me when I tell you that I love my job. The patient interaction is what makes it so worthwhile. It would be boring for me if I didn’t say hello even for a few seconds.

There is a saying amongst my team when I work: “Happy day, happy Jay.” There are far more good days than bad back there, but a bad one wreaks havoc on my neurochemistry. It puts my already revved up personality on red alert.

It takes all of the concentration I have to safely keep going, and I am suddenly a lot less cheery and sometimes blunt. This is a textbook trait of my personality disorder, and I hate when it happens. If you have ever been on the business end of me during an extreme day at work, you have my sincerest apology.

Everybody has a bad day at work here and there. My team has the hapless setting of a wide-open, public workspace, which is like working in a fishbowl.

A lot of people get to see you have a bad day, and on top of that, I was given the unfortunate gift of a resting grumpy face. Whenever I concentrate, I look disgruntled.

Believe me when I tell you that more often than not, my face does not reflect my mood. I’m just concentrating really hard.

Thankfully, I have been blessed with a very strong team of techs and cashiers. We are the “Phast and the Phurious,” and on most days, we run like a Rolex.

It’s that rough day here and there that make me realize how right Jay Vaughn was.

Jay Sochoka, RPh, should not be taken at face value.

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