Wednesday, November 13, 2019

I've Had Enough

The Crazy RxMan has had enough of retail. It beat me. I'm done. Finished. Defeated. The fat lady is singing.

No matter how hard I tried, the upper management at Goofmart Pharmacy just kept knocking me down. Increased vaccine goals, other pharmacists stabbing each other in the back, good techs quitting, additional responsibilities with no extra help... you name it, it has happened. And it's all driving me away.

Goofmart Pharmacy is a company that won't exist in twenty years, maybe not even ten years. It will either be sold to a major chain (like Target did with CVS) or abandoned altogether (like my friends inside Walmart Pharmacies tell me they're considering). There's no money to be made in grocery store pharmacy unless you're GoodRx or a PBM or the guys that make the signage and buttons for flu shots. (Funny how management always seems to have money for promotional material but never any money for extra help... that would have made a good blog post, but I just don't care anymore).

The reduction in pay and/or hours was the first wave of "strategic management" and the first sign of a dying business. It wasn't the first red flag, but it was the biggest so far. When a business starts cutting the work force, reducing hours, closing stores... that's the beginning of the end. It happened with Blockbuster, Radio Shack, Montgomery Ward's, and Sears. When a business reaches that point it's in a death spiral.

So when they cut me back to 32 hours I knew what to do. That's when I started looking for other employment full time on my days off. There will be more cuts and more demands from upper management. Recently at Goofmart they've decided if you don't reach a certain number of vaccinations in a specific period, you get a write up on your record.

That's the smell of desperation, folks.

Can you believe it? What was once an honored professional medical position is nothing more than a sales position now. Don't meet the quota? You're out of here, just like the car salesman that didn't sell enough cars. We don't care if you're a doctor of pharmacy. If you're not selling enough flu shots you're not going to stay here.

I really and truly loved helping people... the ones that were appreciative and kind. As time when on, there were fewer and fewer of those people, replaced with entitled snobs who quickly learned they could get whatever they wanted by threatening to make a complaint.

I have become abrasive and short with the people giving me a constant barrage of nonsense. I'm physically tired from all the extra time I put in for free just to keep up with the queue. I would get physically ill on Monday mornings knowing I'll not only have to deal with Monday nonsense but also knowing that I'll be working with a pharmacy manager who is hell bent on seeing me fired.

Seeing Walmart and Walgreens squirm like a toad on the asphalt on a hot summer day in Phoenix is yet another big red flag. The days of retail pharmacy are coming to a close. CVS knows it and that's why they're copying Amazon's PillPack model. Walgreens might survive getting bought up by KKR, but one thing we know for sure is that grocery pharmacy is done.

The grocery store pharmacy model won't survive. There won't be enough business with just antibiotics and urgent eye medications to make it long term. And weak attempts to enter the medication delivery business won't match the logistics of Amazon. Oh, they're worried about the storm that Amazon is about to unleash, but they have no idea that it's the storm of the century. Amazon is about to bury you.

It's really over, my fellow pharmacist. If you work in a grocery store pharmacy or retail in general, consider your options, my friend. Consider your options.


Anonymous said...

I was hoping this post would end with you telling us you found another position somewhere else.
Godspeed my friend.

Matt M said...

Thank you for your service. We in the public do not deserve your dedication to our health and safety. And screw management. It is desperate times.

Please keep us up to date, with your search for meaningful things to do.

Anonymous said...

You have been missed! I hope you new employer values you as a person and a highly trained professional. Hopefully your stress level will go down before it kills you. You have kids to raise and educate. Take care and good to see your back.

Josh said...

It's all very sad. I used to enjoy being a pharmacy tech, but the added workload without extra compensation or help does start to wear on you, especially when employers treat you like you're a dime a dozen. I haven't been diagnosed with carpal tunnel, but there were days after typing a couple hundred flu shots from clinics would cause my wrists to throb in pain. It wasn't worth my physical & mental health, so I got out. I went back to school and found a better job. I don't know what option Pharmacists have, but I hope you find one too. At least I don't have to answer the one question I always got - "So are you going to go back to school to be a pharmacist?" to which the answer slowly went from "Maybe" to "Hell no!"

Ms. Donna said...

Glad to see you, but like Anonymous 5:22, I hoped you would have news of an improved position. What will you do now?

Hope you are well and look forward to seeing your take on life.

Anonymous said...

Hey Crazy, sorry to hear you've reached the end of your rope but I sympathize. If I wasn't retiring in a year I would be despairing also.

God bless you Crazy, hope you can find something better!

Anonymous said...

Lucky I only have a handful of years of this. Much has changed over the 40 years of practice. Good luck

Manda said...

I'm sorry things have deteriorated but good on you for getting out. It's been making you really miserable for a while, judging by your posts. You've been missed!! I've learned so much about pharmacy from your blog.

Anonymous said...

I was watching a pharmacist at RiteAid fill my mom's walk in rx last week. No tech. No help at all. She was covering the register, phone, pulling medication, doing all the computer work, filling everything by herself. She looked frazzled. Who wouldn't be? Yet she was as sweet and helpful as she could possibly be. I told her she was doing a great job.

Meanwhile the rest of the store was basically dead. Where was the tech? Helping at the front store registers where there was no line at all. One of 3 staff covering the front. Beyond frustrating.

i gave my mom a sturn talking to about refilling her rxs by phone so the pharmacist wasn't under the gun to get it done. But overall I was just upset for the pharmacist. Doing the best without any assistance from a greedy corporation.

Anonymous said...

I don't can you have a "quota" on vaccinations??? How do YOU have any control over someone getting a vaccine or not? Illogical.

I have not heard about this Amazon thing. Is this going on now or planned for the future?

I will say that the grocery store pharmacy that I could utilize has terrible hours. They do not open until 10am! I want to go BEFORE work or AFTER work and I don't see how those hours are even viable. Also, what about all of the orders sent the night before or that morning even? Not only is it inconvenient for the patient but how does the pharmacist get ahead of the orders like that?!?!

Anonymous said...

So sorry. I recently retired from medical practice, and the story is much the same in medicine. Best wishes and hope you land in a much better place.

sfachine said...

Best of luck.

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prairieorchid said...

maybe just maybe you would find Canadian pharmacies a bit kinder..We have lots of room

Anonymous said...

I believe that in Ontario, at least, a pharmacist from the US has to serve an internship (as well as completing the exam) in order to practice there. Talking to Ontario pharmacists things seem pretty similar to Michigan (except the Canadians perhaps get more help during the day).

Anonymous said...

Possible to do a fellowship? Work as a clinical pharmacist ? As someone on the medical side , many medicine teams I’ve been a part of have a dedicated clinical pharmacist that are incredibly helpful and would be a great way to use your knowledge and training without the retail BS

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for your years of wisdom Crazy! Your frustrated (but oh so real) posts will be very missed!

Anonymous said...

Hospital Pharmacy! It's the only way to go. I am a tech and have not worked retail in 10 years, and I won't unless the hold a gun to my head!

Casesense said...

(Personal, not public note)
Are you settled in a new job already? If not (or if you're open to exploring a side-gig with a young startup, even if you are), please drop me a note and I'll gladly tell you what we're looking for, to see if it might be interesting/relevant.