Friday, July 27, 2012
I am recalling the faces of people who look at me with expression, "oh poor JaeHi" when I comment about my job. Some times I can work a full shift with out any breaks or time to eat, I mean like eight or more hours straight. Often I will bring back home my lunch sack, never touched.
My work schedule is erratic. Sometimes I leave for work before six am. Other times I can leave at other times and I have come home as late as almost midnight. Also there is no pattern in my work days. The daily distance to work varies from fifteen minutes to almost two hours. I may also express to my friends about some of very challenging experiences I encounter with my patients/customers who can yell at me in anger in spite of my best efforts to help them. Some times serving becomes downright scary when I refuse to fill prescriptions that are too early for refills (usually for addictive drugs). I have learned to have alligator skin.
Yet there is something that is so wonderful about my job. All in all I love it. I feel so sorry for those who are so frustrated with their health and medical treatments. I feel for the frustration they feel when their insurance will not pay. I have learned to take their treatment of my staff with grain of salt. When I come home, all that is behind me. There are always people who are reasonable and rational who are actually grateful for any help I can provide for them. And there are such lonely people who call for medication counseling yet I know that this person is so lonely. They want to hang on to this phone conversation as long as they can.
Yesterday I worked with two technicians who can't wait until they quit. One is a school teacher. This is her second job and her debt is almost gone so she will quit the first chance. She cannot handle all the demeaning attitudes of people treating her as if she is inferior. She says she may need long therapy. I love working with her, laughing with her, and letting her know it will be so sad when she leaves.
When did my attitude change? It must have been over many years. I remember the first time I worked as a pharmacist. My thought was, "Is this all there is to it?" I wanted to be important, looked up, like a doctor. This job made me feel more like a servant. Also I battled with 'what should be' in life. Over the years 'what should be' has been chipped away bit by bit and each little bit brought in freedom. This went for my job, my marriage, and life in general. Hanging on to 'what should be' has brought much frustration and anguish.
I am considering to stop my traveling pharmacist role. Next June (2013) I told my boss that I will take a store and be a stationary person, one location, one group of technicians, and one group of clientele. That means I will have to be a full time pharmacist. There is job security with full time. Again so many of my friends will feel sorry for me. At my age (ripe old age of 57) lot of ladies are busy in their leisure. Yet this will be another bend in the road for me. Another exciting phase. I will miss all the different technicians I work with in different stores, all of the relationships I have developed and loved, all the different socio-economic environment I have experienced as I go from one store to another store.
I have one more year of being a traveling pharmacist and I will enjoy my time to the fullest no matter where I float to.