What do you do? ....
Where do you work and what is your title?
I work at Longs Drug store in the Red Rock shopping center.
What do you do there and/or what are you responsible for?
I am a pharmacist. Retail pharmacy has many responsibilities, from taking the prescription and filling it properly to making sure the insurance end is correct as well. In between the computer aspect of it and getting the correct bottle to the correct patient, we get bombarded with all kinds of phone calls and walk-in customers with a variety of questions... from the normal types of questions, like “where is the bathroom?” (a favorite of mine), to the obtuse: “I have this rash what is it?” Sometimes some of the questions are very personal and I have a hard time focusing, but I try to remember that they just want help no matter how bizarre it appears.
How long have you been doing this kind of work (total)? How long on the Westside?
10-plus years at the Westside Longs. I have been commuting from Woodland Park for almost eight of those years.
What do you like best about it (other than quitting time)?
I really like many things about my job. The money is pretty good, and after I had my sons the company worked with me as far as the schedule I wanted. But the best part is the people who come and in and make my job different each day. I have had the same customers/patients – some for the entire 10 years I have been there. They are my family. Over these years, my life has gone through many stages. When I got married, my wedding album was passed around daily. When I got pregnant, I got lots of homemade blankets from many grandmothers – all of whom now ask how my boys are each time they come in. Those people I would have a hard time leaving, if I ever did.
If you could change one thing (other than pay), what would it be?
I would change the entire prescription payment system and the pharmacist would not collect the money... how I would do it I haven't figured out, but telling someone that their medicine is $100 is very difficult. Also, it is a very stressful job most of the time. People think they are getting a Big Mac and want it in 3 minutes when we tell them it will be 20 or 30 minutes they get all huffy. However, pharmacy is not a thankless job, as some will say. Many say we know more than their doctor – which is true about medicines, that is our specialty – but I can't diagnose very well. Then there are the patients who say the nicest things. such as: “I am glad you are here today,” or “you make this place special,” and the occasional "you saved my life.” That is one to take to heart.
What part of your work did your training/education never prepare you for?
My training and education didn't train me for the insurance part of retail. There are so many different prescription medical cards that it is impossible to remember how to bill them each time.
What makes working on the Westside special?
The Westside is full of colorful people, from the Doctors up in the hills to the rogues in the creek. The best side is the Westside.. hands down.
“What do you do?” is a regular feature in the Westside Pioneer. If you know someone who has an interesting job on the Westside (but doesn’t live here), he/she might be a candidate for this column! If you know someone who might qualify, give us a call at 471-6776.