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Monday, February 14, 2011

Showing Some Love

McDruggie's upper management, VPs, and CEO should all be ashamed of yourselves. You treat your store and pharmacy workers no better than if they were in a Chinese sweatshop. For all the massive profit reported for last year what investors are not told is how these "profits" were the result of extensive staffing and product cuts all across the boards. Not a single store was spared along with several upper management and VPs being cut loose with nice shiny silver parachutes.

With all departments' hourly employee cuts and a push for new services given by already overburdened pharmacists it is a wonder that all employees have not walked out. You would have an easier time getting fluffed (I mean frisked) by the TSA, flying to California and having a celebrity lick cocaine out of your butthole than waiting for a pharmacist to check your blood pressure/blood sugar/cholesterol/give a flu shot while attempting to get all their other work done (doctor calls, patient calls, consultations, data/product verification, insurance audits, drug orders, babysitting unqualified/undertrained managers working as technicians,etc) and the other 20 people waiting for the same services ahead of you. I have been told by several pharmacists that patients have walked out because their wait times were unacceptably long (meaning more than 5 minutes because we are an impatient society) and that people are unwilling to pay to have blood sugar/cholesterol measurements taken. They were mistakenly under the impression that those services were being offered for free like the blood pressure screenings for Feb, which patients are now going to expect 24/7 and all of these services are covered at their primary physician visit with one small copay versus multiple copays for different services at the pharmacy. What genius(s) came up with these programs? Maybe you should punch that one (those) in the face(s)...

Other complaints I have heard that are not being addressed by The Suits:

* Unfairness in holiday scheduling.

* The Suits use their blogs to blow smoke up the employees' asses and don't ever directly address ANY issue.

* The store brand Big Flats beer is terrible (watch YouTube reviews and Stephen Colbert's Tip of the Hat/Wag of the Finger segment that starts out talking about British Superman)...Hopefully the wine won't be as bad...

* All employees are treated like thieves under prison guard while at work.

* Having staff meetings when there is not enough staff to bother having a meeting.

* Floater pharmacists feel like they are treated like refugees/thieves/terrorists in every store they work at.

* Super low employee morale.

* Any questions to pharmacy supervisors are met with a standardized "yes man" corporate response.

* Assistant managers are treated like overpaid stock boys.

* Most stores don't have the hours to keep a cosmetician on duty, which is the highest and usually most expensive theft area.

* Under no circumstances is overtime pay okay in any department, even if you are left with only an assistant manager to play cashier.

* Not enough employee hours to properly train new employees in any department.

* Too many/too high performance goals for all departments working with a skeleton crew.

* The inability to meet the needs of all patients/customers due to all aforementioned factors.

* A deep sense of failure at not being able to meet every patient/customer need like they could in the old days.

* Complaints of record profit, execs taking huge salaries/bonuses, but employee retirement match considered too low compared to exec perks.

* Now touted as a "family of healthcare companies" but employees get the shaft when it comes to their healthcare plans and complaints that deductibles/copays are way too high for a healthcare company to justify.

The Suits may not be listening but the bloggers are. I hear others in your situations say "Be happy you have a job in this economy" but the truth is that you could hire on at a direct competitor that may or may not give you the satisfaction you are looking for. There are other job options in retail and non-retail for everyone. All you have to do is look around to see what is available and what you are qualified for. You must choose your path in this life and know that I admire each and every one of you that works like a chicken with it's head cut off because you are the backbone of the corporate machine, whether they appreciate all you do or not.

I am sure that Chuck Sr. is rolling in his grave. McDruggie's used to be a company about the people. I leave you all in the hopes that your corporate paymasters realize what a grave mistake they have made and make a 180 degree turn and come back to the roots of what this corporation stood for: the people!


Anonymous said...

The sad thing is that this is happening in hospitals too. I spend more time trying to figure out how the hell to get patients IVs and meds safely to them, when i don't have enough people to go around.
We had a tech be fired (valid reason), but then it took 4 weeks to open her position, and meanwhile the higher boss MUST take his vacation and oh well that he can't do interviews etc... imagine trying to staff 4 tech positions with exactly 4 people, but we are open 7d/week so... what no time off for someone? oh sorry, that's right.. no OT allowed...

it is disgusting... and yet, yes, my hospital posted quite a profit. how sweet of them to take joy in that.

Anonymous said...

I feel ya on all of the stuff you posted. I am one of those assistant managers who is an overpaid stock boy and a bad Rx tech. I imagine Chuck Sr. is rolling over in his grave about a lot of things going on. It is sad. I have often wondered how life is on the other corner...sometimes I think it is just about time to find out.

Anonymous said...

McDruggies in a different district used to have relief pharmacist with guaranteed 40hr/week. Then in a 15-minute conference call, they recanted that promise, citing poor economy. However, the execs are not without heart, they have generously and proactively released the pharmacist from the obligations of the sign-on bonus (i.e. 40hr/wk x 3 years). They even figured a way for the RPh's to keep their health insurance (i.e. by going COBRA). They have gone out of their way to find hours for these RPh's: "Hey, would you like to go to _____ tomorrow to work? _____ being 3 hours away without traffic." How generous, how caring, I really don't understand why these RPh's are complaining about.

Filet-o-bitch RPh said...

Well written!

We have a guy that comes in daily to get his BP checked. Never fails he shows up during a rush. He is also very impatient, slams his candy (yeah) down on the counter to be rung up and then sits and yawns while he watches me help 5,000 people bc my main tech is on yet another smoke break, my brain dead tech can only do one thing at a time and the other is on her iphone. I give up sometimes. And no-the front of the store rarely comes back even if the line is the camera dept. ugh

Frantic Pharmacist said...

I must admit I have wondered how these stores could possibly accommodate people wandering in anytime for so-called "health screenings" or to "discuss your choices for Medicare Part D plans with your pharmacist." WHAT?? They advertise the hell out of it (Stop in anytime!) -- however the reality is that it's just... insane.

KC in Fla said...

26 years. I worked for McDruggies for 26 years. 14 as Management, and the rest as Pharmacy Tech. I worked hard- almost never called in sick- ran rings around my fellow younger techs, and trained most of them. I was respected by my co-workers and patients alike.

"Power" came, and I took the buy-out $$$ and left. I was sad about it then ( I had 3 years left before I qualified for retirement- had the years in, but not age 55 yet). Many of the other good, long-term techs took the chance to stay, and were rewarded with their pink slips, which only proved to me at least that I'd made the right move. I knew things were going seriously wrong when I had heard about Kevin storming out- I'm just so sorry I was right.

And now when I go back to "visit", I just get depressed to see just what has happened to the company and all my friends that have remained behind. It is NOT the company I hired on with. I don't understand how they could be still doing as well as they are- considering it used to be known for it's "Customer Service is #1" mentality. That just isn't the case anymore.
I wonder if Cork, et.al. even know what's happening to their company? And do they even care that their good names are being turned into mud now?

Big 'N Tasty RPH said...

I believe most of the problem comes with stupid ideas that the suits implement without actually working with people in the store that are pessimists and can give them 1000 different reasons why something they want to do will suck the life and the customers out of the business. It really speaks volumes about how suits from non-healthcare companies have absolutely NO business running a healthcare company. You cannot run a Walgreen's like a McDonald's because eventually you will end up like Enron...

The Nail Narc said...

Yow, sounds just like Rite Aid now LOL. This is happening in every chain from what I hear. You know my PDM counted up something like 14+ programs going on simultaneously in some pharmacies: wellness, flu shots, shingles shots, MTM, we-care, courtesy, customer service survey etc... We could spend 15 minutes with each customer at the register just to cover it all! Its too damn much with bare bones payroll dollars. We've got about 100 ancillary hours to fill 1150 RXs per week and do everything else. Now, we will have a 15 minute guarentee on 3 RXs or less for waiters! All, because freakin Walgreens down the street has an 11 minute guarentee. I can fill 'em all fast and wrong in no time at all! If you want 'em right, though, that might take a little more time and a little more tech help. Muthafuckas! Yea I'm pissed.

Anonymous said...

The most wonderful thing about the suits cutting hours, forcing us to work faster with less help, and putting ever more stringent quotas on our wait times and Rxs filled are all the errors. Especially because those errors will always be considered OUR fault, and the suits whose policies put us in the terrible positions will never own up to there responsilibty in creating dangerous work situations. If it is bad enough we will be fired and our spots filled with fresh out of 50K a year brand new diploma mill colleges of pharmacy. The new ones will accept the sitatuion because they have to. With over 200K in loan debt, knuckling under in unsafe conditions is sure better than floating for non-guaranteed hours. Amazing how things change in such a short time period.

TheLittleFlower said...

Thanks so much for your love. From somebody who is currently being screwed hardcore by the corporate machine.

PharmGamerKid said...

don't forget that we're supposed to push 90 days supply on the patients and then you're out of your metformin stock in 2 days after you fill a few orders of metformin #360 tabs.

i am sooooo glad february is over so i don't have to go do blood pressure stuff when i have 40+ rxs to fill and review.

Anonymous said...

It is sad that he pharmacy profession is going downhill. All the nonsense that we are the most trusted profession seems like a bunch of crap when we are the most disrespected profession. Pharmacist should mobilize together to bring back the value of pharmacy.Ok I should be happy to have a "job" no longer a profession. Pharmacy today is equivalent to working at Mcdonalds. There is nothing wrong working at Mcdonalds but if one decides to go to school for 5 or more years there should be some distinction.