I'm used to working in busy stores, hustling and bustling around filling scripts and juggling the daily tasks but my first day back was a huge struggle. I had transferred to a new location and today was my first day back in a new store and working a 12 hour shift. It was definitely an adjustment and obviously some getting used to in order to get into the groove of things when in a new environment. I was already distracted since baby has been sick with a cough and would not take the bottle for a few days. Now my poor baby is sick at home and I'm away for 12+ hours and unable to nurse him and all I can think about is him crying of hunger. It's heartbreaking! It's not like you can call out sick, leave early, or come into work late when your kids are sick. Sometimes you can barely call out yourself! Oh you're sick, well sorry there is no coverage for you. If there is no pharmacist on duty, the pharmacy can't open. So you best haul your ass to work at 7am because there is no one in the office to call out sick to anyway. You really can't leave the pharmacy either until another pharmacist is there or when its time to close so it's just really you stuck in a building that you can't step foot out of.
With the transfer and first day there, as manager of record, I have to take an inventory of all the controls in the pharmacy. Well let's just say I barely had time to start not even talking about finishing especially since I was there by myself with no overlap. I'm glad my location has an immunization room (looks more like a training room) but none the less a private clean space where I can pump. My technician after meeting her the first time said, oh you can pump in the bathroom if you needed. Umm no! That's the worst and most inconsiderate thing you can say to any mother. Period. But that's not the funny part. Seriously, when do you find the time?! I was only able to pump twice and even then I barely produced any milk. If this keeps up, my milk will deplete and I'm going to have no choice but formula feed. Pharmacy is just not a field where it lends itself to working pumping mothers. I didn't eat anything all day but a pear and drank some coconut water. I guess you can call me a camel since I didn't feel the need to go to the bathroom all day either. How am I supposed to keep my nutrition up to be able to produce quality milk? It wasn't so busy that I couldn't sneak away to grab a snack if I had to, but busy enough to keep you on your toes and moving all day long without time to really breathe. I just had alot I needed to finish my first day as far as managerial duties go and without getting off the bench, it makes it that much harder to accomplish. I stayed an hour late trying to catch up on stuff other than filling and it just wasn't going my way. I'm not the type to easily get frazzled from work but my head was just not in the game. I gave up for the night.
Pharmacy is health centered and very patient focused but I find that sometimes employee 'health' and 'happiness' suffer. There is no "at the corner of happy and healthy". HA! But where do you draw the line and say, your prescription will take a half hour versus your 15-20 minute waiting time because I need to go pump. Even a 15 minute waiting time is an 'inconvenience' to some patients and corporate definitely drives the shorter wait times. When do I put myself first because baby needs to eat? I feel that patients also need to understand that we are also human and nothing gets accomplished by yelling or bullying pharmacists into filling your script faster. I'm sure some patients are more than willing to wait a little longer but even still the stigma of a "pumping mother" at work is an 'inconvenience' since the only person who can verify their prescription is the pharmacist who is too busy pumping instead of getting their script ready. Store level management is more than supportive in allowing time if I needed to go pump but the drive of the prescriptions from patients keep me hostage to the bench. We don't get hour long breaks like other companies where people work in offices. We don't even get breaks, you fill and eat and take a bite and verify. We don't get the leisure of going out to pick up food. Hell, we don't even have the pleasure of sitting down. My feet and legs are achy and numb now for standing 12 hours straight. Hunger is finally setting in with a huge migraine. Going forward, I'm just going to have to focus on what's important to me and that is being able to pump for my baby, eat and not suffer from what I like to call the pharmacy work diet (lol although it will help me lost my postpartum weight jk jk), and maintain my motivation to work.
Today I felt defeated. Today the pharmacy won.