A Day in the life of a Drugstore Shift Manager (opening)

     Hey, guys, I wanted to give you all something a bit different today. A minute by the minute experience of one of my shifts at work. This took about two hours to type out, and the day to write down in a journal while I was working. Hope you all enjoy!

  • 6:00 AM Alarm goes off. Have exactly 45 minutes to shower and get dressed.

  • 6:50 AM Shit! I am running behind.

  • 6:52 AM Leaving the house to get coffee to wake me up after closing the previous night.

  • 7:20 AM Coffee in hand finally starting to feel awake. Already dreading the day.

  • 7:35 AM Arrive to the parking lot. Already have three customers waiting in their cars. Drive around the building to check for signs of burglary.

  • 7:37 AM Take a deep breath. Get out of my car walk to the front of the building and begin lifting our security gate and then walk to the locked doors. I place my keys in the door as a man gets out of his car. I tell him we will not be open for another twenty minutes. He insists he HAS to come in early. I tell him no.

  • 7:38 AM I enter the building, lock the doors behind me the man is yelling through the doors demanding entry. I walk to the back of the store to turn off the alarm. I then pull out my keys and open my office. Once in the office I grab my front register tills and walk them to the front.

  • 7:43 AM I place the tills in the registers and proceeded to clock in. The man at the door is now on the phone and still banging on the doors. I ignore him as I make my way back to the office to begin the real work.

  • 7:45 AM I am back in the office. Time to count the safe, and check emails. Notice an email about a recall. Yet another thing I will have to deal with today.

  • 7:50 AM I am done checking email, and proceed to now check for price changes. Three pages of labels to print out and manually enter into the computer to change prices. Total number of labels is 63.

  • 7:55 AM There is now four people waiting outside, sign on the door has our hours which clearly state we open at 8:00 AM Man is still on the phone staring me down as I walk back to the front.

  • 7:57 AM My cashier arrives. I walk over to the door to let her in. As I unlock the door the man tries to push his way in. (What is so important?)

  • 7:59 AM My cashier and I are clocked in the man is banging on my door. Harder and louder. Other customers waiting outside are visibly freaked out my him.

  • 8:00 AM I walk over to the doors and unlock them. The man pushes his way through the other people like a store opening for Black Friday sales. He then shoves his phone in my face. The man is on the phone with corporate. I tell him I cannot take his cell phone because if I damaged it the store would be liable. The man on the phone should be aware of this so I tell the angry man to give the employee on the phone a number that will connect directly to my store.

  • 8:02 AM I am now on the phone with corporate. The man on the phone with me knows policy and knows why we do not open the doors even a minute early. He agrees, but still, he gives the customer a $10 reward credit to his account for his “inconvenience”

  • 8:07 AM The customer come up to me at my front counter screaming at me about our pharmacy. He demands that I open the pharmacy for him. I explain to him that they do not open for another two hours. He insists that I am a manager and can simply open the pharmacy and give him his prescription.

  • 8:10 AM After several minutes of explaining that they are on a different key system, and a different alarm system he leaves after cussing out my cashier and I. He also tells us that he will never be back to the store.

  • 8:15 AM I begin putting out all of the labels I printed out earlier. Afterwards, I begin scanning twenty-five sale items that are empty to find in the back and bring out to the sales floor.

  • 8:45 AM I am done putting out all of the labels, and scanning holes. As I am walking to the back to begin pulling everything I am stopped my a customer demanding I open the pharmacy. I again politely explain the situation and assure the customer that they will be opening in only an hour and fifteen minutes.

  • 9:10 AM I am finally done with pulling the merchandise, checking the coolers temperature and putting everything out. Time to start on the recall.

  • 9:12 AM “Manager to the front please”

  • 9:12 AM I am greeted by a customer at the front with a death glare. A middle-aged Asian American woman with broken English. She cannot understand why her coupon that expired a month prior will not work.

  • 9:15 AM After repeatedly trying to explain to her that her coupon is expired I decided to call a translator.

  • 9:17 AM The translator explains to her and she is still unhappy. She demands I accept it anyway. If I do so I will surely be in trouble with my Loss-Prevention manager. I deny her coupon. She refuses to pay for anything and we are stuck with 17 returns to put away. All while having four people in line.

  • 9:26 AM Last customer. She insists that an item was  buy one get one free. I tell her I will be right back, and proceeded to walk to the aisle. She is upset that I will not simply take her word. I find the item and it is not on sale. The store brand is on sale, so I grab that and walk back to the registers. I ask her if she wanted the store brand instead to get the sale. The answer is no, and she still insists on getting the nonexistent sale price for the brand item.

  • 9:29 AM After I politely explain to her that I simply cannot override the price based on the fact that the items were not labeled incorrectly or in the wrong spot. She now changes her story and insists that the name brand items were in the store brand spot. (I still refuse to budge)

  • 9:31 AM The transaction is finally complete. Thank god I have tomorrow off.

  • 9:34 AM Time for a bathroom break on my way back to the office for the recall paperwork.

  • 9:35 AM “Manager to the front please”

  • 9:36 AM “Manager to the front please”

  • 9:37 AM I am walking back to the front of the building where my registers are. The woman is back. She insists that she should have received reward bucks on her shampoo. I have to explain to her that she bought the name brand and not the store brand. She demands a refund. Six more items to return now.

  • 9:50 AM I am finally starting on the recall. Surprisingly everything is all there and I am able to quickly gather everything together and remove it from the sales floor.

  • 10:00 AM I am back in the office and am gathering the registers for the pharmacy. They are open, and the man who was “never coming back” is there waiting.

  • 10:01 AM He is already yelling at my pharmacist and the techs because they just opened and he was not first in line. I decided to stay because of the thought that this could get ugly.

  • 10:03 AM the man comes up to the line and while I am back there a tech is checking him out. He is bad mouthing me, and telling them he is “never coming back again”

  • 10:06 AM As he is about to pay the pharmacist tells him he has any=other prescription that is going to be ready tomorrow. He tells her he will be back then. So much for never coming back.

  • 10:15 AM I am back in the office and getting our deposit from last night verified.

  • 10:16 AM “Manager to the front please”

  • 10:16 AM I come to the front with deposit and paperwork in hand. When I arrive I lock it up in a drawer, and then see what is going on. A customer is upset because a digital coupon is not showing up on her account. After a few minutes of her looking on her phone, we realize it expired three days earlier. I tell her that once they expire there is no way I can retrieve them. She insists I go ahead and give it to her. Once again I know if I do so I will have Loss-Prevention after me so I deny her request.

  • 10: 17 AM while I am up there a line forms behind the customer. I proceed to take over another register and help the other customers.

  • 10:19 AM I am finally done and looking forward to transporting the deposit to the bank, even if it only gets me out of the store for twenty minutes.

  • 10:43 AM I am back at the store. A small line is at the register. I go ahead and help my cashier out.

  • 10:50 AM I am done, and now take the paperwork to the office to file away. Time to start the next task of the day.

  • 10:55 AM I grab a scan gun and begin scanning every hole in my department which happens to be the largest department in terms of sales, and product.

  • 11:00 AM “Manager to the front please”

  • 11:01 AM I am called to the front to take passport photos. The man is from an African country and I end up taking the photo six times because he felt he did not look good enough in the previous photos.

  • 11:22 AM  After checking the man out I go back to scanning all of the holes in my department.

  • 11:29 AM “Manager to the front please”

  • 11:30 AM Thankfully this was an easy one. All I had to do was scan my credentials to approve a return. I end up checking out three more customers while at the front.

  • 11:40 AM I am back to scanning my holes. I only have three more aisles to go.

  • 12:15 PM I am finally done scanning everything.

  • 12:15 PM “Manager to the pharmacy please”

  • 12:16 PM I get to the pharmacy only to have a customer start yelling at me before I can even find out what is happening. The man is upset because he cannot use his 30% off coupon on his prescription. He insists he was able to do it during a previous visit. I try explaining to him that it is impossible to lower the price of a prescription on our registers. I tell him that the only way to change the price of a prescription is through the insurance company.

  • 12:18 PM He still insists that he was able during the last visit so I have the pharmacist print out her prescription history. His previous visit he checked out regular merchandise in the pharmacy and that is what the coupon covered not the prescription. I explain it to him, and still, he demands a lower price. I deny him re— “manager to the front please” I quickly maintain my stance and tell him no then work my way to the front.

  • 12:19 PM I get to the front to see a woman. My cashier tells me that she needs another refund approval. I notice that she is trying to return what looked to be at least $200 of Milani cosmetics. I notice that the customer looks familiar to a woman that stole a large amount of makeup from another of our stores just a few days earlier. I immediately begin asking the customer questions such as where she purchased the makeup. Her story changes from she purchased them here, to her friend then her mother purchased them at another store. I refuse the return and tell her she will need a receipt.

  • 12:30 PM I am physically and mentally exhausted by this point. Only two and a half hours to go for this short day shift. I decide to go to lunch.

  • 12:35 PM As I am sitting in the breakroom eating leftover pizza from the day before I hear “manager to the front please” I am on lunch she knows this so I ignore it.

  • 12:36 PM “manager to the front please”

  • 12:37 PM “MANAGER TO THE FRONT”

  • 12:38 PM The cashier barges into the breakroom and begins to ask if I cannot hear her and why I have not been coming to help her. I tell her that I am sorry but I am clocked out. She says that she does not know how to check in a vendor although I have shown her twice In the last week already and she had been doing it for the last seven months just fine.

  • 12:39 PM Guess my lunch break is over.

  • 12:40 PM I get to the front and help check in the vendor. He said he was sorry and didn’t know why she called me. She had no customers and checked him in fine last week.

  • 12:45 PM I am done and proceed to walk back to the breakroom when I am stopped by my cashier. She needs to use the restroom even though she went right before I left for lunch.

  • 12:55 PM She finally returns by now I have checked out a few customers, and even taken the credits for the vendor. She comes back and tells me she is going to lunch. Guess I do not get to finish mine after all. Thank god I have tomorrow off I think to myself.

  • 1:24 PM My register crashes unexpectedly in the middle of a transaction. I have no way of knowing if the customers payment went through or not unless I check the office. Since my cashier took up my lunch I was feeling pretty grumpy so I call her to the front. After a few minutes, my line is backed up and she is nowhere to be found. Oh well, it was worth a shot. I call the pharmacy to send one of them to come help me out for a few minutes but I know this will come at a cost.

  • 1:27 PM I am back in the office, and I am on the computer checking to see if the transaction went through or not. Thankfully it had not. I go back to the front.

  • 1:28 PM The pharmacy tech had been able to get a few customer checked out. I tell the gentleman waiting that the transaction did not go through and that we would need to ring up everything once again. So we move to another register. He is understandably hesitant and wants to make sure that he Is not double charged. I send my pharmacy technician back and thank her.

  • 1:30 PM I get him checked out. Begin thinking to myself “where is my cashier at”?

  • 1:38 PM “Where the hell is my cashier”?

  • 1:42 PM My cashier finally comes back and tells me that she took an unapproved long lunch because I called her during her lunch. I am thinking to myself that my lunch consisted of 8 minutes because of her, but whatever this is not worth fighting over I still have to pull everything from the back that I had scanned previously and I only had an hour and twenty minutes to get it done.

  • 1:45 PM As I am in the back pulling everything I hear:

  • 1:45 PM “Manager to the front please”

  • 1:46 PM I get to the front and my cashier tells me she is going to the bathroom. At this point I am furious. She could have gone during her 50 Minute lunch but no. Whatever it is not worth the fight today.

  • 1:59 PM She finally returns I am on my way to the back when I hear that damn familiar voice once again.

  • 1:59 PM “Manager to the front please”

  • 2:00 PM I am beginning to panic as I only have an hour left in my shift. I am clearly not going to get the remaining task done for the day. I get there to find a Hispanic woman yelling about her coupons not working. After looking at everything I deduce that the reason is because she has coupons on multiple rewards accounts and that they cannot be used in the same transaction.

  • 2:10 PM After seven transactions and learning some new Spanish curse words she is gone.

  • 2:11 PM I am back in the stocking room loading everything.

  • 2:27 PM Thank god I have tomorrow off

  • 2:30 PM I have everything loaded up and begin putting all of the product out on the sales floor.

  • 2:40 PM “manager to the front please”

  • 2:40 Pm I have a call from another store wanting me to work for them tomorrow. No one else is available. I suddenly had “plans” and a “date” and could not work tomorrow at any point in the day. The other manager knew I was lying because he knows what it is like. He also understands that I had already worked a fell work week.

  • 2:55 PM I am finally done putting everything out.

  • 2:55 PM “manager to the front please”

  • 2:56 PM My cashier informs me that she is leaving a few minutes early. That is fine I am thinking at least she won’t be able to call me to the front.

  • 3:00 PM My replacement manager comes in and I am relieved, but I cannot leave him alone, and need to wait for the evening cashier to arrive. I fill him In on everything and he goes to the office.

  • 3:11 PM The Cashier finally arrives, she was caught up in traffic.

  • 3:12 PM What a day I think to myself as I am clocking out. Thank god I have tomorrow off.

I hope you all enjoyed reading this. The times may have been fudged just a tad, as at times I did not have time to write everything down, but this is pretty much a normal day for me. Hopefully, this gives you some insight into what it is like being a manager at a drugstore. Until next time,

   – Rex