I’m a pharmacy scheduler for a drug store chain, and it’s my responsibility to make sure pharmacist’s vacations and requests off are covered in my district, including sick days and other call-outs. I knew the snow we got last Wednesday night was going to be an issue on Thursday, so when I got the first call at 7 am, I was nice but pretty much said, “the store has to open, so you need to try to get there.” Luckily, her pharmacy partner had a 4-wheel drive, and she went in instead with no problem.
But as the day wore on, more calls and complaints came in, including questions like, “I had a hard time getting in today, how do I call out next time?”
You don’t! You had a week’s notice that this snow was coming! You could have gotten a room in town last night. You’re a pharmacist, and you make a lot of money, in part because of your expertise and in part because you are essential personnel. The pharmacy can’t legally open without you – there will be customers who need your help today. You should have planned better.
It’s stressful for me when I get call-outs I know I can’t cover, and I got a little more irritated with each situation. More than once I found myself saying to my boss or to a pharmacist whose partner didn’t show up, “If I knew I had to be at work today, I would have been there.”
And it’s true. I have driven to work in the snow, and left in the snow. Sleet, rain, ice? No problem. I’ve worked through tropical storms and even a hurricane once (in a Virginia gets side-swiped kind of way, but it was still scary). I’ve never missed a day at this job because of weather.
I figured I’d be okay to get out of the driveway by 1 or so on Friday afternoon, which would have been fine. And failing that, I didn’t really need to get out until Saturday afternoon when I had to babysit, and I could stop at a store and do the payroll then.
But an 11 am conference call was sprung on me, and I’d need to be on my work computer to take it. I should have just said “I can’t make that,” but after all my big talk, I felt like I had to. I said I’d be at work if I had to be, no matter what the weather conditions. So I had to back that up with effort.
And shortness of breath. And sore arms. And back pain.
After two snowfalls, each followed by freezing rain, I had a driveway full of deep, crusty snow to get over. And my driveway is long. It was just too deep for my undercarriage, and the crust so thick and unyielding that I couldn’t push through.
So I shoveled. And shoveled.
Damn my big mouth. “If I had to be at work today, I’d make it in no matter what.”
Man I wished I could suck back a lotta words on Friday.
If I had it to do differently, I’d have parked at the bottom of the driveway on Wednesday night.
Oh yeah, and I wouldn’t have been so holier-than-thou. 🙂
Knowing that I didn’t have to work on Thursday (or even Friday if I couldn’t get out) made it really easy for me to be judgy about those pharmacists who didn’t plan ahead themselves. Even if they thought in the back of their minds that they’d just get a free snow day, that’s no excuse for me to act so superior.
Irony: When I came in the house to get on the call (humbly, with the expectation of a “weather isn’t an excuse” talking down for not making it in to the office) there wasn’t anyone on it. The call had been cancelled.
Have you ever regretted some big talk?