Monday, January 24, 2011

A new direction...

So I did it, four months into it and the beast had the best of me. Retail pharmacy claimed another victim. I applied at a hospital and got the job (hallelujah!). I was worried about how my retail supervisor would react, but I told him what was going on and he understood. He just asked me to send him something in an email. This was Friday. So Monday I sent him a notice. Just before closing time, he calls to tell me that he is accepting my resignation effective today. Meaning that today was my last day. I was ecstatic! Considering that I was finishing a 14 hour shift, had another 14 the next day, off Wednesday, then another 14 hours thursday - by myself. The only thing I looked forward to was the three day weekend before my last week.

I thought I was doing them a favor by giving a two weeks notice, especially considering my location and the fact that no one wanted to drive out there. Apparently it wasn't a big deal, to them. However, had I been living paycheck to paycheck, I could have been devastated by this, but they had to do what they had to do. The fact was that they needed to give other people my hours, so the timing was perfect. I actually thank the Good Lord for this because it could have been ugly.

You know retail is a funny thing. They needed my hours because they cut some hours at other stores. In fact, they cut 7 pharmacist hours at my store. This is what's funny, because they continue to "roll out" new programs that increase the pharmacists workload. They stress completion of these tasks along with customer service yet completely understaff you to do so. We lost 20 tech hours and the front store lost 50 hours. People already line up 12 deep at the one register they they keep open up front (that the photo associate has to manage).

Our upper management told us that they would not lay off pharmacists like the other pharmacies had to, but four pharmacists in our district lost their hours due to cutbacks(hence not needing my two weeks notice). The big question is: How long can they keep this up before they realize that the more equipped we are to do our job, the better we can help the PATIENTS, and deliver that customer service? The moral of the story is: no staff member or customer is more important than their bottom line. In fact they have continued to say, "Were a business, our goal is to make money." This is true, but at what cost? Oh well, what am I saying? I'm done!!!!

P.S. Pharmacy students, unless you do a residency, you will never ever come close to the clinical side of pharmacy that the schools tell you exists. You are not an integral part of the healthcare team if you go into the community. No more than the people who give the handicap parking stickers to those who need to park closer to the store. Matter of fact, you may lose any of that ambition and sell out to the corporate monsters. My advise: if you want to be a clinician, quit pharmacy and go to med school.


  1. You must have worked for the same chain that I do. We had our tech hrs reduced by 30 hours. The entire store is run by a key carrier and a cashier/receiver/stock person and whatever other title is bestowed upon him/her by our despotic leaders. Now we are adding MTM along with the 10 other duties that have cute little acronyms. Good for you for getting out of retail. I wish you only the best.

  2. Yes. We did work for the same company. Not really sure how the MTM works. I guess they are going to implement that without an increase in pay? ICD Codes allow billing of these services at what $30 per 15 minutes or something like that. Yet they want you to do this on top of your other duties, with no relief, for the same pay? Hmmm.....

  3. Congrats on the hospital position! I am in my last year of pharmacy school, graduation is quickly approaching and residency interviews are almost here.

    What you describe is why I am staying away from retail! I am going the residency route. The residency route is no easy task either, very competitive and finding a position after residency can be challenging as well, especially in a metro area.

    I urge future pharm students as well as my current pharm student peers to think into the you want to work in retail for the next 30 years....? Maybe some people want to move up the corporate ladder and that is great but take great consideration before deciding your path! Retail pharmacy is route that may be hard to escape from in the future. Hospital jobs are tough to come by and soon will be moving to a model will they require residencies to work in a hospital. In metro areas this is basically true today.

    IMO hospital opens more doors for can still go back to retail plus if you are in a specialized area, there may be opportunities to work for Managed Care Health Plans or Pharma as as a consultant expert/medical science liaison.

    Do what you enjoy but remember to consider your future goals.

  4. It is a shame that retail pharmacy has come to be this death sentence that new pharmacy graduates avoid like the plague. But the big chains that control this industry have destroyed all hints of a meaningful, professional working environment that is rewarding and fulfilling. Retail pharmacy doesn't have to be this way. But it is a shame that a few companies have destroyed what was a great job. Sad but true!

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