Saturday, January 30, 2010

God's Country

It's no secret to anyone that I am a snow lover. This is unfortunate because I live in the South, and snow is hard to come by most of the time. However, we get these few instances when the temperature is right and a good storm system moves in to produce that glorious precipitation!

This occurred just last night, and of course I couldn't have been more excited. The tricky part about this snowstorm was that I was at work while it was snowing, and this area is not equipped to deal with ice and snow as well as others. There are several hills between where I work and where we live, so that would become difficult should the roads ice over. Luckily, we received only a little bit of ice, and I was able to maneuver all the hills easily; I was born to drive in the snow! (That's snow, NOT ice...)

I was also fortunate to have Saturday and Sunday off this week, so I am able to enjoy all the beauty from the comfort of home. And what would a good snowstorm be without a few pictures, you say? My sentiments exactly, so enjoy!

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

New Job Opportunity

Several months ago, my Store Manager asked me if I would be interested in a Pharmacy Tech position if one were to ever become available. I said that I would indeed be interested in that opportunity, though at the time I figured that I wouldn't be sticking around long enough to be offered that position. I figured that it would be at least a year or more before such a position would come around. I wouldn't want to wait around forever, since I have more things that I want to do than count money in a grocery store for the rest of my life.

But I didn't have to wait around forever! Just a couple weeks ago, my Store Manager again approached me and said that a Pharmacy Tech position would become available at the beginning of 2010, and that the job was mine if I wanted it. Well I really didn't know what to say at first, because I hadn't been expecting to hear that at all just a short time after realizing the possibility. But after thinking it over and talking to the lead Pharmacist, I decided to accept the position!

So what will be happening in the near future? Our work and pay week begins on Wednesday and ends on Tuesday, and my first day in the Pharmacy will be Thursday. I will be trained on the Pharmacy's computer system and taught the ins and outs of working in a Pharmacy. At some point I was told I will need to memorize or at least learn all the medical abbreviations used when doctors write prescriptions, and I will also be learning brand names and common drug names that we dispense. I will also be charged with running the cash register; since I have worked with these kinds of registers for several years, this will not be a difficult task, however it will need to be synched with the Pharmacy software that keeps track of all the medications. I also expect that Customer Service will be a large part of this job, as well as communicating with doctors' offices and perhaps even suppliers. These are all things I will no doubt find out about on my first days of training. I will also at some point need to be certified through the state or whatever governing body oversees Pharmacies and the like, which I have been told involves a test; it is advisable to become certified since that enables one to both do more in the Pharmacy and make more money.

The down side of starting this new job will be that I have to train a replacement for my current job. I say this is a down side because I hate HATE training people to do my current job! It is a very daunting task that involves standing over some one's shoulder constantly to watch out for mistakes. The first day, I do pretty much everything myself the first time (since many tasks are repeated throughout the night) and allow the trainee to assist me or perform one of those repeated tasks on his or her own. By the second day, the trainee should be doing most of the tasks alone, all the while asking questions and getting help from me when needed, which I am prepared to step in at all times. By the third day, the trainee should be able to do just about everything, albeit at a slower pace than someone with more experience, but with minimal help and asking questions.

After about one work week of training, all the tasks should be routine, but by that point troubleshooting and problem solving strategies might need to be reinforced. Usually these nights run over our normal shift time, but in the end it pays off if the trainee is able to do all the tasks the job entails with little or no help from others. However, it can sometimes be frustrating to the trainer to deal with time constraints when the trainee is not up to speed yet. On one hand, if I do the work, it will be done on time and I can get home at a reasonable hour, but the trainee learns nothing. On the other hand, the trainee does everything while I stand and do nothing and I get home very late, but the trainee learns how to do the job better. A good balance of these two scenarios leads to an efficient and manageable training session.

So how do I feel about this new opportunity? I am very excited! For one, this opportunity allows me the chance to get experience in a field related to my degree. This will allow me to be a better candidate when applying to schools in the future, and will also help in future job endeavors. Secondly, this can be a perfect opportunity to obtain a professional reference and a personal contact with registered Pharmacists should I need such references or contacts with future school or job endeavors. Lastly, this will mean more money in my paychecks since a move to this job will involve a pay raise, and who can really argue with a pay raise when someone wants to give you one?

Well, there it is, my new job opportunity! I am really looking forward to it, and am excited to see what is in store. Something I should also mention is that this position is only allotted 10 hours a week right now, so after I am trained I will be spending 2-3 hours a day in the Pharmacy for as many days as it takes to fill those 10 hours. My remaining time will be filled by going back to the front and running one of the regular cash registers. This is the plan for the near future, until such time as our store and Pharmacy are expanded and the number of hours allotted increases to a full-time level. I will, of course, keep everyone posted about the developments in this new experience, and I hope you will all keep me in your prayers that I can do all of my new duties to the best of my ability.