Monday, March 13, 2017

Corporate Nonsense

A couple of weeks ago we had a corporate "walk through." This is where a dozen or so upper managers from corporate come to the grocery and visit every department.

Our local management nearly killed themselves getting ready for this event. Floors were scrubbed, glass was polished, the meat department was chock full of bright red fresh meat, the bakery was blasting the scent of freshly baked bread, and the deli was stocked high with chicken... so much chicken... it was piled higher than I've ever seen it before.

Our pharmacy was not exempt from the preparation. We had our state director and regional manager here for three days moving things around in the pharmacy and messing with our pathetic display of OTC items. They paid for extra tech hours to come in and help with the preparation.

I was there for the morning of the walk-through. The managers spent maybe a total of ten minutes in front of the pharmacy while the director spouted off about how THIS is what a Goofmart Pharmacy looks like in our humble state. Look how great we look! We're one big happy fleet!

Everyone wants to look good for upper management. I get that. But this was not only over kill, it completely gives the wrong impression to upper management about what Goofmart is really like.

You see, as the managers moved from department to department, they were met with a view of what it really isn't. The deli doesn't have that much chicken every day. It NEVER has that much chicken. The deli manager told me the next day they ended up throwing out 2/3rds of it. A complete waste of money, profit, and food that could have fed some hungry people... all to impress a few managers.

Then the managers go back to the ivory corporate towers and report all is well in Snootyville... for there's chicken piled high, the pharmacy is clean and polished, every OTC item is exactly where it should be... and by gosh, no one EVER has to wait to pay for something. That morning there were FOUR registers open for purchases (not the normally ONE register line with people waiting).

I find that as I'm getting older that I never would have made it in the corporate world as a self-righteous, self-important corporate brown noser. These people are so completely removed from actual reality that there isn't any wonder why we get directives that ask us to do more and more and more with fewer and fewer tech hours. Why not?! They visit the stores and are presented with a perfect pharmacy, not the actual reality where things are a mess because we simply can't keep up with everything because of the lack of help.

Who is to blame for this? In pharmacy it's people like my regional manager and director. They refuse to stand up to upper management and tell them how it really is. They refuse to show them the nightmare that's been created over the years. Instead they just want their managers to think everything's fine, we're all happy here. There's no problems! There's no need for normal tech help! We're good!

I wish... I really wish that someone would be more interested in patient safety instead of the attractiveness of the pharmacy. There isn't ONE thing that they changed around in my pharmacy that made ANY difference in terms of patient safety. NOT ONE THING. It was ONLY to look polished for the managers during the walk-through. Talk about misguided and inappropriate priorities... oh my, we've got them here by the truckload.

I'm doing my best, people. I'm doing my best to keep patient safety as the priority, despite corporate insanity.

I'm doing my best.


Terese said...

We had a DM once that would lurk in the store across from us to watch us work. Creepy. He also once told our manager that she needed more staff. Lacking the budget, she said she would go get the leftover, cardboard cut-out people Bath and Body were throwing out and use them as "employees". The DN freaked and stopped talking about more staff. You just need a cardboard you with a speaker that gives customers random information when they push the button. That'd be entertaining.

Ms. Donna said...

What? Upper management has never learned to come in as a regular shopper?

Anonymous said...

Announced inspections and visits have always puzzled me. What's the point?

Anonymous said...

That's the thing. These corporate types don't want to know the reality that they are directly responsible for. If they knew what their 'synergies' and 'leveraging' truly resulted in, they would be forced to use some of their precious profit to make things right.

Middle managers know this. They also know that those profits are linked to their pay, more specifically their year-end bonus. If you blow smoke up the CEO's butthole then you, as a corporate wannabe, keep your job, maybe get a promotion and make a crapload of money. All on the backs of those on the front lines.

This is what you get when people in charge only care about making money. Its frustrating when you hear about these idiots discussing how to balance the risk of lawsuits vs increasing their profit margin. Normal folks would gladly take home less money if it meant appropriate resources were made available to make sure the error rate is as close to zero as possible.

It doesn't matter. It is only a matter of time until someone rich, famous or important is killed by a preventable error that hopefully leads to a systemic change in retail. I hope like hell it isn't me.

May I help who's next?

C said...

my favorite times in recenr years were when pharmacies started doing vaccinations! patient privacy?... well, no. provisions for emergencies?... nuh uh. Anyone to cover the phone while an injection was being given? Nope.

tbunni said...

And this is why the people on Undercover Boss are often in for such a big shock. They will never learn the truth any other way (and I often wonder how much has been cleaned up before they got there - after all the other workers knew they would be on camera, they just thought it was a different kind of show.)

How did the bigwigs make it so far up the corporate ladder if they are dumb enough to believe what they are seeing is a typical day?

I could be really, really stupid for the kind of money they make...