Journal Entry (#59)

July 27, 2018
1:51 PM

Life has been way too busy for me lately, time has been flying by so quickly, and I’m less than 11 weeks away from my due date. They say the last trimester goes by slowly, but there’s so much I have to get done that it feels like time has just been moving too quickly for me to enjoy it.

We’ve been living with my friend, B, for almost a month already, which is crazy to me. Time felt so weird when we were living with C’s friends. We were in this weird in between stage with them, and now that we’re here, we’re in crunch time really. I want to get our own place by September 1st. But it honestly doesn’t feel that far away anymore. We’re almost to August and my only hopeful prospect for a place was one that I looked at a couple hours ago.

It’s $700 a month, includes all utilities, and falls right on a main bus line. It’s two bedrooms, and is a decent size. Kitchen is big, with laundry hookups, and the living room is also a good size. There’s storage space in the hallway, too. I really liked it, and you can’t beat the price. The problem is, the lady was showing the place from 12-1, and I got there around 12 to find her already talking to people. And right when I left, there was more people coming to look at it. So there’s competition. I let her know I was interested, and she told me to email her for the application link, but has yet to get back to me. And I’m worried if I don’t receive a link soon. I want to jump on this opportunity, and am even trying to take out a loan to get the immediate funds to move in. But we will see. If she doesn’t get back to me soon, I’m worried we’ve lost a chance to get the place, and you can’t beat the price. She said at most we might have to pay electric (and internet obviously), but even still, it’s a steal. The place was nice.

My job has become the definition of a sweat shop. And there’s so much that keeps happening, it’s bad. Like I have honestly never worked somewhere with so much bullshit. I’m seriously struggling with these last two months coming up.

We’re short staffed for starters. People keep coming and going, they don’t last very long. Once they see what a joke this place is, and there is no incentive to keep coming back. We just lost two good workers at night (we barely have a night shift as it is) because they found better jobs. So lately, with them gone, it’s been even worse than how it was before. We’ve fallen behind on a lot of things, like cycle (which is the meds we package on a regular, everyday, for the nursing  homes. We have a calendar we base off which home to work on next, and we used to be between one to two weeks ahead of schedule). Now we’re barely a couple days ahead, and we’ve been putting things together the day before they go out. Which is not good.

Everyone has been under a lot more pressure, feelings are tense and stressed, and we’ve all had to go from doing one job to doing 3-4 a day. The owners come in all the time and act like, “Oh yeah, we can handle this.” They don’t want to give us anymore incentive, or pay us better for the extra workload we have to do now either.

But the real kicker, the real shitty thing that happened now, just happened on Thursday. One of our lead technicians, let’s call her R, got fired. But wait until you hear this shit. I’m still baffled by it, because she was one of the hardest workers we had, constantly stayed late, came in on days off, and did the work of 3 people combined. Plus, she was fast and efficient at everything she did. Everyone trusted her, and she knew her shit. Like I had a lot of respect for her because I saw how hard she worked, and she has two kids at home.

She was stealing from the company. Apparently since she’s been there really, for almost 3 years now. She was ordering this drug called Suboxone, which is expensive, and is considered a controlled drug. It’s used for patients who are addicted to opioids/narcotics. It can help someone who’s on something like Heroin (or other hard drug) come down from that addiction without it’s harsh withdrawal symptoms. It’s also very addicting, which is why it’s a control that has to be monitored. It’s not a drug we usually even keep on the shelves, I don’t remember ever seeing it to be honest.

The verdict is, she basically stole about $600,000 worth of this medication from the company over the years, and June was about $12,000 alone. She went on vacation in June. The perception right now is that she was probably doing a combination of selling and using of this drug.

I went into work on Thursday in a good mood,  good mindset. I was closing that night, and we had 4 people, including R. But even though work has been shitty, I’ve finally been in a more “take it day by day” attitude and was feeling better about things (finally). Then this shit came out and now I’m feeling even worse about this place than I did before. Because, seriously, what in the actual fuckery is this shit?

One of the owners came in, followed by the D.A. and an officer. He let them have the floor and they explained that someone at the company had been stealing this drug for a long time, that they were conducting an investigation of the pharmacy, and would like anyone with information to step forward.

I knew nothing about this, and the people I talk to on a regular? They had no idea either. But looking back, R had many opportunities to take advantage like she did. After all, she did the order at least 3 times a week. She was the one who handled returns, and pop outs (which are drugs that come back, that weren’t used, but are still sealed in cards. We pop them out and put them back in the right drug bottles. Usually a pharmacist has to double check for you to make sure it’s correct, but R never needed a pharmacist’s approval because she knew her shit). She also was on Daily’s a lot.

Daily’s is a job we do where we have labels that print out for medications that need packaged for that day. Usually they’re newer scripts, or updated scripts, to allow the patient to have enough medication until they get their cycle meds (which is a 28 day supply, but we provide two extra pills in case one is broken or something). Up on Daily’s, we also package the narcotics (Hydrocodone, Oxycodone), and other controlled medications (such as Tramodol, Alprazolam, Lorazepam). Now, the narcotics we do have to count the pill bottles daily, because if pills go missing it’s a real issue. But the other controlled drugs? We never counted. So if some pills have also gone missing for that, no one would really know. And if she was ordering that drug for herself, who knows, she could’ve been taking other medications out of the pharmacy as well. After all, we all trusted her and never would have guessed.

Apparently, she took her purse back with her when she did the order. Our supervisor thought she was just bringing her snacks back with her, and she would often leave in the middle of the order to take a cigarette break. So no one thought it was a big deal.

Now, we’re no longer allowed to bring purses or totes or any kind of bag into the pharmacy. They’re working on getting lockers for us, but for now we have to use the coat room.

This is such a serious issue, too. R is obviously going to serve some jail time, and I can’t stop thinking about her poor kids. I creeped on her Facebook, and I had never seen a picture of her husband before. But looking at the two of them, I could see them both using something. It’s just sad. She really did work hard, and now we’re even more short staffed than before.

Thursday night, we got fucked. When you close, the time you work is scheduled 10-6:30pm. But, we all had to sign mandatory overtime sheets earlier in the year, and we don’t always get out at 6:30 when we close. We got stuck until 7:30 on Thursday, and the labels and orders just kept coming out. Everyone was out of it because of that news, for starters, we definitely did not expect to be short staffed that night.

For me though, I have a 40 minute bus ride now to work. Everything is downhill when going to work, everything is uphill coming back home. And it’s been hard on me with the pregnancy, because I’m just constantly tired anymore, and it doesn’t take much to wipe me out. I’m also 29 weeks pregnant, and very noticeably pregnant now. It’s not just an 8 hour shift I’m working anymore, its 9-10 hours, and then an almost 2 hour commute back and forth. So I get home and all I do is eat and sleep. I’m exhausted.

But it’s just going to get worse now, and the owners don’t want to give anyone incentive to keep busting their ass. Thursday burned me out. And because of my bus schedule,  we may have gotten done at 7:30, but I couldn’t catch the bus until 8:00, so I stayed until then. By the time i got home, it was almost 9:00. And I didn’t eat until 10:00. And like I said, I’m 7 months pregnant, and I’m the one who gets stuck with a 12 hour day. Everyone says I need to take it easy, but how am I supposed to do that here? The expectations keep getting raised.

There was a girl in data entry who offered to come in on her days off or weekends to help us get caught up on cycle. On Friday, when she asked this, we were working on stuff that went out on Monday (and we have less people on the weekends because we have rotating Saturday shifts and hardly anyone to come in on Sundays). The owner told her we were good. Probably because he doesn’t want to pay her overtime (data entry starts off at like $15 an hour, while us in the pharmacy make $11 and less). But you know what, it pissed me off.

If you don’t care about your company, why the fuck are we all busting our asses to make you look good? It’s not our fault with this whole situation with R. It’s unfortunate, but you let her get away with it for years. How can you not notice your money missing, or drugs missing, for years? Someone who doesn’t give a shit about their company, other than “Oh everything looks good from my perspective,” but let’s not try to see how it actually is. If the owners actually cared about their employees and the company, things would be so much different. They care about money and their image, and they don’t want to pay people more because it’s money out of their pockets. Meanwhile, they both live in million dollar houses. And we added so much more business in the last 6 months (about 3 or 4 big homes, 2 of which got added in the last couple months and have been nothing but issues) and they bought a $4,000 riding lawnmower tractor for our maintenance guy.

We’ve been working harder and harder, for the same wages. And after this bullshit? People are about to start finding other jobs. I’m stuck because of the pregnancy. I need the insurance, and where else am I going to go for the next month or two? I don’t need this kind of stress right now. Both physically and mentally, this job is eating me alive. I don’t want to go back on Monday. I have so much other things to worry about right now, I don’t know what to do about my situation other than just keep working.

But these late nights? I want the overtime, but it’s getting harder for me to do. And it’d be find if I could work at my own pace, but in order to get done on time, you have to work fast.

I’m not coming back after the baby. I had made that decision earlier, but I definitely am not coming back now. I’d rather give myself a chance at serving again, at least I felt more appreciated serving than I ever did here. I also just want a chance at just moving forward with my life, and there is no future at this job. It’s a nightmare. UPMC even starts you off at $15 an hour. I’ll look into other pharmacies before ever going back, but I honestly want to get out of pharmaceuticals.

It’s just sad, I had a lot more hope for this place. But it started going downhill in the new year, and when we lost our HR lady, it got even worse. I don’t want to keep working at a failing company.

Anyways, enough of work, I’ve ranted this entire entry because I’ve been so invested in this. But aside from work, there’s not much else going on other than looking for apartments and going to doctor’s appointments.

Baby is doing well, he’s been kicking a lot more lately, and it’s slowly coming together that I’m about to be a mom in a couple months. I never saw myself as becoming a mom right now. I still have to get everything together for his arrival, and get my hospital bag prepared and just figure out how I’m going to get to the hospital. They want me to take classes, which I do want to take, but they’re expensive. Like minimum is $100. And I’m not sure if my insurance would refund me for those, but I haven’t had much time to call and inquire either.

I haven’t settled on a name yet, and everyone keeps asking. I’ve been so wrapped up in life lately that I haven’t really thought much about it, and it’s so hard to just pick one name that really fits. I have one name in mind but I’m on the fence about it, so I want to keep my options open.

It’s just hard to really focus on this stuff until we get our own place and things start to finally come together. I’m ready for it. Money is going to be a little tight once I have the baby, but we’ll make it work. C has already said he’d pick up the extra hours. But when I do go back to work, it’s going to have to be part time, or we’ll have to do opposite shifts for awhile. Someone is going to have to be home to watch the baby. Daycare is too expensive right now. But maybe we’ll manage to find a babysitter at some point. Future worries.

Anyways, I’m rambling now, so I’m going to wrap up this entry. I would love to write more often, but it’s been so hard. I don’t get much time at home, and when I am at home, I’m either too tired, or C’s home so I spend time with him. This is one of those rare moments I’m home and C is at work.

Hope everyone is doing well! I will make a comeback one of these days to reading and catching up on you guys. I miss it! I feel so out of the loop. Blogging was a form of therapy for me for awhile. And it let me be creative. I’ve been so out of it and unfocused.

Fingers crossed we get a place soon! Things will be so much better then.

Messy bathroom and mirror, but my bump is growing and growing!

3:00 PM

4 thoughts on “Journal Entry (#59)”

  1. Oh my gosh, Laken! I hope you got that apartment. My fingers are crossed so hard for you! $700 for all those amentities is such a steal!

    I wonder if R was stealing the suboxone for her husband, to try to get him off heroin. That’s such a wild story!! I’m so sorry you are the one who has to work so many hours now. I would die if I didn’t eat until 10 PM & I am not even pregnant. You are such hardworker. It’s truly inspiring & everything always works out in the end!! I can’t wait to know the name of your baby!! ♡

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Unfortunately, we didn’t get that apartment, and our luck has been terrible lately lol. But I’m still trying!

      And honestly it’s a possibility! I really don’t know, I never met him to know that situation. And it’s awful! I’m ready to just never go back to this job. And awww thank you! I’m hoping everything works itself soon, I feel like I’m running out of time very rapidly. And I will definitely mention it as soon as I decide for sure (:

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Aww that’s okay, you will find an apartment that’s even better for you ❤ & a new job soon, too! Everything WILL work itself out. You deserve it all!! ❤ Can’t wait to hear it!!

        Liked by 1 person

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