Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Mr. Robert

I worked for almost 12 hours straight today because of the installation of a new robot in our pharmacy. When I tell people that we'll be installing a robot, they imagine a fully walkable metal figure with a head, legs and arms that can understand vocal commands. In reality, it's more like a soda machine, only three times bigger and a lot more sophisticated. It came into our pharmacy today and the place felt really crowded with the technicians and extra hands to help fill the machine with a lot of meds. We call it Mr. Robert because that's how my mom pronounce "robot" with her Chinese accent.

As of today, it has not been able to fulfill its duty since more preparations are needed for it to be totally functional. We're all excited about having it count, fill, label and close the medicine bottles for us after we type and program the prescriptions into the computer. Before all that, though, there is a lot of learning to do and adjustments to make.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Deep Breaths

I was practicing my relaxation skills by breathing deeply and thinking positive thoughts as I walked from my car to the pharmacy today. I knew it was going to be a better day because my sister was going to be there...and it WAS! Even my mom was there to take care of the attached coffee shop so we don't have to send the technician over to make drinks when there are customers. We were able to catch up with the piles of work that fell behind for the past week and I was even able to take a little time out to run some errands. It was a pretty quiet day at the pharmacy. My sister was whining about the slowness and how bad it was for her business while I was secretly glad that we were able to breath a little. Everyone seemed to be a little happier at work today. I even got to enjoy a nice lunch with my mom and sister. What a great day at work!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Basket Slamming Time

I was so frustrated at the substituting pharmacist today that I had to slam the baskets to get my point across. It was pretty unprofessional for me to do that but being put in a managing position when I'm only the intern pharmacist is pretty tough. My sister, who is normally in charge of the place, has been out pretty frequently lately, to take care of some other businesses. While away, she relays most of the decision-making to me so I have to take all the stress of managing a business. However, it's kind of hard to work with people who don't really care and are not team players.

While the rest of the team was slaving away answering phone calls, filling medications, helping customers, etc., the substitute pharmacist just stood in front of his computer, surfing the Internet! He didn't even bother to check the labels (with the words "delivery", "pickup", and "waiting" clearly printed!) and try to put the medications in the appropriate piles. After a few times of repeating to him our procedure, I just had it and decided to pick up his slacks on top of all the work that I had to do. However, I had to make sure he knew I was really pissed at him by slamming the baskets after bagging the medications and sorting them out. There was nothing else I could do. He didn't even want to be there to start with; he just did it as a favor for my sister.

Work has been backed up for the past two weeks and it doesn't help when the main pharmacist is not present most of the time. It was so busy today that I forgot to drive my car to the car wash as intended and got a parking ticket for not moving my car after two hours! There went my three hours of work! In addition, I had to gulp down my lunch in about five minutes at around 3pm! What a day! I don't know how many of these crazy days I can handle before totally breaking down and do something unimaginable. I'm so glad the summer internship is going to be over in about two weeks! There's my confirmation for not wanting to take my sister's offer of taking over one of her pharmacies after graduation!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Summer Pharmacy Internship-Week 8

I spent another crazy week at the pharmacy doing ten thousand things at the same time. The pace is too hectic and there are too many problems. Patients do not want to wait for their meds and they get really mad after waiting for five minutes. My temper is becoming a little short. Not having enough sleep (I stay up late almost every night watching the gymnastic competitions in Beijing) make me even more agitated. I couldn't wait for this week to end! I'm so glad it's the weekend and I don't have to work!

I'm going to try to take care of some school-related business and run a few errands this weekend!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Summer Pharmacy Internship-Week 7

This week zoomed by with two freezing days spent in San Francisco's Hotel Kabuki for the Partners in D training. Although I knew it was going to be cold in SF, I was not nearly prepared for being frozen by the fog. The cold weather prevented me from staying out of the hotel. Luckily, the hotel room came with a nice bath tub for me to thaw after an afternoon of running errands around town. The training was two days long, but I was only there for one day. It was a very long but productive day. I got to meet faculty members and students from all the pharmacy schools in CA involved in the project while learning more about Medicare Part D for seniors.

Work was extremely busy and has become a daily routine. I'm learning a little here and there and helping patients with the OTC meds whenever I can. I find that my days are much better and I make much less mistakes when I have enough sleep! Time for me to go to bed now. It's getting really late.

Monday, August 4, 2008

The Weekend's Gone?

It seems like weekends fly by too quickly. Every Saturday and Sunday, I seem to be occupied with things I don't really want to do. There's less than a month of summer left in LA and I haven't even opened many pages of the book that I had wanted to read. There are so many things left on my list of "things to do before going back to school." I need some time off from work but my sister really needs my help at the pharmacy since she sent one of her employees to her husband's store to help out, and she will be off for the next two weeks, entertaining her in-laws, who will be visiting from Hong Kong and Canada.

Yikes, I am working way too hard! I guess I can't really complain too much b/c all the hours that I put in, including the overtime, have funded my online spending sprees for luxurious photographic equipment. :) I can't wait to get the new external flash, diffuser, extension tube and extra battery for my Canon!