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Pharmacy technician: The customer doesn't feel well

graphic
Terri M. Wehrman  

Name


Terri M. Wehrman

Position


Kroger Pharmacy on Route 36 in Piqua, Ohio.

Years in position


3 and a half years

Age


42 , Pisces

  QUICK VOTE
graphic How does a pharmacy career sound to you?

Great. I like the aspect of helping people with their medical needs, you're there when they need you.
Iffy. It's an important, helpful trade but you'd have to deal with so many sick and often irritable folks.
Not for me. Maybe it's all those little bottles, I don't know. My hat's off to those who do it.
View Results

Education


I have an associate of science degree, with specialized training and national certification as a pharmacy technician.

How did you get your current job?


A training program I attended sent out several of my resumes and my current employer was sent one. I was interviewed and accepted the job offer.

How many hours do you work per week?


Forty hours, sometimes more if the need arises. I usually work the afternoon-evening shift, 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. When I work the weekends, I usually work from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. or 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

What's the first thing you do when you get to work in the morning?


I get there in the afternoon usually around 1 p.m. I usually check the list to see which workstation I'm assigned to. Example: data entry (typing prescriptions into the computer), filling the prescriptions, waiting on customers at the counter or pickup window, etc.

"We feel so rushed and under pressure to get everything done quickly and accurately, and the person on other side of the counter is usually not feeling well, anyway. We are probably the last in line of a very frustrating day for them, so sometimes we get the brunt of their frustrations. "

What time do you have lunch? What do you usually eat?


I don't have a set lunch break, we just eat when we have a spare minute. I usually eat something I might pack like a sandwich or leftovers, or go out into the store and buy a Budget Gourmet or frozen dinner and an apple or snack. Or sometimes we might have a carry-in dinner or order a pizza or Chinese food -- or just grab any junk that looks good at the moment.

What time do things get tense around the office? What makes it that way?


We have certain busy times when it seems like all of the town is stopping by the pharmacy. A lot of our busy times occur around 9 a.m. to 10 a.m., 11:30 a.m. to noon, and usually again from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. It makes it tense because we feel so rushed and under pressure to get everything done quickly and accurately, and the person on other side of the counter is usually not feeling well, anyway. We are probably the last in line of a very frustrating day for them, so sometimes we get the brunt of their frustrations. It usually seems like we are shorthanded on help at those busy times too which makes it tense.

If you're having a good day at work, what is it that makes it good?


No insurance problems, no one irate and screaming at us, we have all the drugs we need in stock.

  PRESCRIPTION FOR WORK
The Kroger location at which Wehrman works, she tells us, has had a pharmacy for at least 18 years. In fact, she says the pharmacy accounts for up to 20 percent of the business done at that location. Kroger operates food stores in 31 states under several retail names. In June of 1999, the company says, there were some 2,200 active stores in the system. And we met Wehrman when she used our submission form at "A Day on the Job." If you'd like your day to be considered for a profile here at CNN.com/career, let us hear from you as Wehrman did.
 

How much work, if any, do you take home?


None, except mental.

What does your work contribute to society?


Health! As our society is growing increasingly elderly, more people are dependent upon medications.

Do you expect to finish your working life in this career?


Yes.

If you could have two more careers, what would they be?


(1) Owning my own small farm raising old breed animals and collies. (2) Traveling all over North America to spots off the beaten track and writing travel books or guides about them.

What is an unforgivable trait in a colleague?


Slackfulness -- not caring if the work they do is accurate.

What do you do to relieve stress?


Take my dogs to a park for a walk, go bird-watching or talk to my husband Ray.

"If you could have two more careers, what would they be? (1) Owning my own small farm raising old breed animals and collies. (2) Traveling all over North America to spots off the beaten track and writing travel books or guides about them."

What have you been reading lately?


The first two Harry Potter books ("Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" and "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets" by J.K. Rowling), and I've been re-reading several of my Stephen King novels such as "The Stand" and "Pet Sematary".

When you have one of those days on which you don't think you can face the job again, what is it that gets you out the door in the morning and off to work?


I think of all the people who aren't as fortunate to have a good job, and to work with a great group of co-workers and have as great a boss as I do (Ray Nichols).

P.S. Does this mean I get a raise, boss?

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