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Thursday, July 23, 2009

Interviewing, interviewing, and still more interviewing

Alternative Title #1: He who controls the drugs controls the country

Alternative Title #2: Take this job and shove it

If you are wondering why I have not posted anything in a month, it is because I have been tasked with hiring 10 pharmacists. "Ten pharmacists? Ten pharmacists doesn't sound so bad," thought I. I was mistaken; unless one is very good at picking which pharmacists to interview, one has to interview like, 30 pharmacists to find 10. I lost count, but I think I interviewed closer to 35...and it left me a little depressed about the state of the profession. I can understand that working at Walgreen's does not require a whole lot of brain activity (most pharmacy jobs do not), but at the very least, I expect all pharmacists to know what the drugs they are dispensing are being used for.

While I was not interviewing others, I spent my free time interviewing for my own next job. Two Skype interviews last week, though one became a phone interview after technical problems (which I'm pretty sure were not on my end) prevented us from having video. Interviewing 35 pharmacists prepared me well, and I was offered a job at PHARMAC. If you don't feel like clicking that link, Pharmac is the government agency that handles the drugs. Sort of a PBM with some functions of FDA thrown in. Without a doubt, the best offer I will be receiving, but I'm not exactly moving to New Zealand for career advancement. The two men in suits conducting the interview (you're not supposed to need a suit in NZ) who told me they had to wear said suits due to frequent meetings with Ministers and CEOs of drug companies, gave me a warning that I was in over my head. When I asked one of them to walk me through a normal day, he talked for twenty minutes. I am not sure how I convinced them I was qualified for this position, and it was quite difficult to turn down.

I am now thinking I want to work in a community pharmacy in a town of 1000. Maybe the townsfolk will call me Doc Mike.

Monday, July 06, 2009

I may have been a little rough on Dunedin.

Here's a picture I took from the Castle we stayed at a few kilometres outside the city.


I've been thinking Wellington the last few days. Although their cable car is more of an elevator-type thing, it still may have been the best $10 (NZ) we spent...we did, of course opt to walk back down through the botanical gardens (and a cemetery that now looks a little misplaced). I need a wider lens to capture a picture like this (or possibly just a little more time to sit and wait for the cable car to come and go, but Nico was getting impatient), so I had to steal somebody else's.


Here are a couple of photos I snapped in Eastbourne...unfortunately a suburb we would not be able to afford, but there are plenty of coastal areas within a short train ride of downtown that appear to be in the budget.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Quiet day in the Enhanced Safety Zone.

Alternative title was: Yes, that was Wonder Woman.



Even the Mona-Vie people were out.


Finally to the quiet side of Newport.