It’s holiday week at the pharmacy, and there’s an eerie, unfamiliar calm. I would say it’s tranquil bliss because I’m not working at the pharmacy, but it’s more than that.

Normally, holiday week is crazy with last minute requests from patients, end of the year business priorities, and sick call outs.

But this year, I decided to make something different happen.

I had decided to cut off the head of the snake by preparing for this 2019 winter season exactly one year ago.

I remember the stress of having to run around with my own head cut off. De-escalating patients, frantically calling other stores for staffing help, and being crushed by the weight of EOY goals.

My god, I sent so many SOS text messages and called so many people for help last year.

I remember not being able to really enjoy the winter holidays because of all the pharmacy business on my mind.

The corporate expectations and demands of the job. The expectations from my team.

But not this year. This week, I am sitting at home with family and loved ones, free from work clutter, stress, and responsibilities.

My mind is on over-drive, thinking I need to do something. But there’s nothing. Nada. Zip.

Everything is on auto-pilot.

The crazies part about all this: my staff pharmacist is also on vacation, along with 4 out of 7 of my technicians taking PTO this week.

I am proud to say that I was able to approve all vacation requests this year without hesitation, even when they all landed on the same busiest holiday week of the year.

Unheard of in all of Retail business. But not for me.

I made it my singular mission to give my team the best work environment possible. The best work/life balance and schedule.

The relentless support for whatever they need because they deserve it. As a leader, it’s my charge alone to make that happen.

And this doesn’t just happen on its own. I had to work hard at it. Every. Single. Day. For the past year.

Non-stop hiring, training, and building a coalition, an army of pharmacy soldiers that all contribute and support the overall mission: for each colleague to love their calling at work and outside of work.

I am grateful because I feel we have achieved this. For now, at least.

Regardless, I am so blessed to witness the end of such a spectacular year with such an amazing group of people: my Pharmily.

This was truly a glorious end for us, and I know that success will always be short-lived.

The successes of today are failures for tomorrow’s challenges. And I know we will all be ready to rise up.

Watch out 2020. I’ll be ready for you this time again next year.

Pharmacy World: I wish you a happy holiday. Enjoy your bliss, and then stake your claim on the new year.

May you all reach your own fame and glory.

-Mr. Corporate Pharmacist