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INHUMANE. Is that ADJECTIVE AN APPROPRIATE DESCRIPTION OF YOUR WORKING CONDITIONS?

Jp Enlarged

 SCRATCH OUT THE WORD
“It’s not personal, it’s just business.” How many pharmacists out in PharmLand have heard some variation of this quote just before your boss tells you something you really don’t wish to hear? According to the Merriam Webster online dictionary, personal (adj.) is used to describe someone whose job involves working for or helping a particular person. What industry could be more personal than healthcare? Our business consists of highly trained and skilled persons providing care and services of value to other persons. The value of the service results in the exchange of money and thus profit to the business. The job is about people… on both sides of the transaction. Has our leadership forgotten this simple fact?

    THIS ENTIRE THEME IS FROM “PHARMACY GAL”. I ENJOY READING HER THOUGHTS AND, AS USUAL, SHE ASKS IMPORTANT QUESTIONS. I LIKE HER RELAXED STYLE. Gal is one of the few who Can discuss these issues without slipping down into a RANT. Jay Pee

Perhaps you are wondering what started this train of thought. A couple of days ago, someone whom I trust suggested that my working conditions were inhumane. I would have never thought to use this word to describe my job or workplace. Inhumane has always been a word I have reserved for extreme or dire circumstances involving abused animals or starving people. But, according to Webster, inhumane (adj.) means not kind to people or animals. Not kind? Of course! According to Webster, kind (adj.) is having or showing a gentle nature and a desire to help others: wanting and liking to do good things and to bring happiness to others. Isn’t being kind to others (in the special way that only a pharmacist can do) the reason many of us have entered the profession? I don’t think too many pharmacists would argue now that their employers treat them in an unkind or inhumane manner. Keeping a pharmacist locked to a chair in the basement of the hospital and turning them into an order entry robot for 8-12 hours a day is inhumane. The human connection in this case has been entirely removed from the transaction. Expecting pharmacists to stand on their feet behind the counter and stay sharp for 14-hour shifts with no meal or restroom break is inhumane. Too many pharmacy employers today are treating their employees as they would treat non-human assets. They use their employees up and then replace them with newer, younger models. They do not treat their pharmacists kindly or humanely. I think it is time to change that awful phrase to, “This is not just business, we are personal.” Our business is people taking care of people.

    YOU NAILED IT, GAL. JP

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It Seems To Me That This Writer Has Some Great Opportunities

Jp Enlarged

Is This A Division of The APhA?  Why Not?  I MEAN IT.   WHY NOT?
Thanks for the quick response. As you can see I am up at 5 am here in Uniondale, and have been awake most of the night. It is probably a good thing I am in group counseling. Even though it is for a positive drug screen I will deny it to my grave.
My counselors are helping me to make the difficult but necessary decision to change careers. I have some money saved. I have my kids through college. I would rather quit on my own terms than have my character further maligned by this company and its minions. I have put in too many good years to go out like that. They say when you don’t like the person you are when you are with somebody, it’s time to leave. Well, Walgreens and I will be getting a divorce very soon!

    From JP.. You are not the first to have a positive drug screen. A CVS victim did everything that was demanded after a lorazepam Rx goy out of control. He talked his DO into refills by whining that he needed something to take the edge off when he worked the evening shift. The CVS DM said that the edge could not be that bad and sent him to mandatory AA meetings and random drug tests. The CVS DM also said no alcohol for one year. No problem for our friend. However the guy became a compulsive user of EtOH hand cleaning girls during the big flu scare. Like after every instance when he handled money and even a paper Rx. The modern tests for alcohol measure a micro metabolic chemical and it goes out to a week, I was told. The test is also incredibly accurate. Ya gawd id. He was fired for breaking his signed agreement. So, your positive screen tells me nothing.

Thank you for the information about the attorneys working for us. I will definitely get in contact with someone and get hooked up with this group. Not so much to keep my job, which I am essentially done with, but to have an outlet for my frustration and grief over the shabby way I have been treated. I am still in shock, but in a sense, I am grateful, because something like this, that is so ludicrous and insulting and soul crushing….Walgreens has broken my heart….is the only thing that would have made me abandon this God forsaken profession.

    How about God Forsaken JOB. I have been telling you guys for years IT IS NOT THE PROFESSION. It is the JOB. And that is the fault of every single one of you who is reading this. You want a profession, well start acting like a professional and leave the TECHING to the technicians. Manning the PRESCRIPTION MILL is 90% technician needed and 10% pharmacist needed. That is close to being the way it is for WAG in Florida and soon Texas. I left WAG in Texas in April, 14. The Prescription Mill was a 50% pharmacist needed procedure. The point is: Be a professional and that means START COUNSELING. No Rx DM is going to be stupid enough to tell you to stop counseling.

I am going to go through the motions and go back so I can leave on my own terms. I may just get a job for awhile that just provides insurance so I can recover from this mess. I’m sure the government will miss the tax money I cough up every year for them to piss away!
The pharmacy is closed, go bother somebody else! Do you know if I pull something like a no call no show to get fired if I can collect unemployment? I am not used to being devious and playing games, but all bets are off as far as anything that will screw the company. I have over 200 sick hours banked. Next year they are grandfathered into Personal Time Off. Do you have any information on anybody calling in sick and blowing out those sick days and not getting canned? I see the techs do it all the time. I know all of the pharmacists have banked sick and vacation….we are SOOOOO….valuable to the company that we can’t get the time off we need. Kind of funny how they could come in and remove me on a moment’s notice and cover my shift for 2 months!!

    FROM PHARMACIST STEVE:As I remember unemployment.. you are only entitled to unemployment if you are laid off.. if you are fired.. there is a automatic 4-6 month wait to collect. Unless they have changed the laws.. when you leave an employer.. they are only required to pay you accrued vacation time.. “sick leave” they are not required to pay you.. I don’t know if “personal time ” is considered vacation or sick leave time.. if they are converting everything over to personal time.. I would suspect that it is because they wont have to pay up when the person leaves.. just imagine the tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars that they will save when they start walking Senior RPh’s out the door that have 3-5 weeks or more of “personal time” accrued ? No “Golden Parachutes” for rank/file RPh’s ! An employee is entitled – by Federal law – up to 12 weeks personal medical leave.. Get a medical excuse from you doctor/therapist that you need to deal with a personal health matter.. Knowing today’s corporate attitude.. if you got 200 hrs at a RPH’s pay scale that is 10K + that they could save… – or steal from you – if they have you headed for the front door and out to the curb.

    MORE FROM JP..Time off. Personal Time? Sick Time? I watched a RxM call out with little or no notice when he or his wife or toddler son had the sniffles. It was crazy. And, honest to gawd, when he had the sniffles, you could count on him calling out. Note: He is a Muslim and since he lived with his parents, he was expected to do Islam in his sleep. His wife was not allowed to go to a doctor by herself for her care or the little boy’s care. This is Walgreens, by the way, SE Texas out of Houston (Where the CEO was groomed) I was very impressed by how I was treated and I observed old, incompetent RPhs given extra chances. They were moved to very slow stores to help them out. That Muslim, by the way, is not suitable for the RxM job at Walgreens, but rather than firing him, he was moved to the slowest store in the district with a 10 minute one way commute. Go figure. They did not fire a veteran Float Team guy who was so slow, his wait time was an automatic half hour for one Rx. When you start at 30 minutes, the patient will be lucky to get out in an hour.
    I will ask some expert to help on the unemployment. Using your 200 hours. Getting fired. I believe that unemployment is a benefit if you are fired. I am not certain. I will call upon Goose or Rx Gal or Steve or anyone else to help out on any of these paragraphs. Leave them in COMMENTS. I will copy and paste right here.

Any advice on how to manage my exit to my best advantage would be appreciated
My family is tired of hearing this stuff and worried for me, but they will never fully understand the way a fellow pharmacist would.

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$25 per hour for Experienced Pharmacist?

Jp Enlarged

ANONYMOUS.
$25.00 / Hour WAS A BAD WAGE FOR THE MID-1980s
Hi Jim,
I wrote to you several years ago and was disenfranchised about out profession. My body was breaking down from repeated 14 hour shifts with no breaks and no flexibility to have a balanced work/life balance. I worked for CVS for 6 years before I got out of chain retail hell. I recently took a 2/3 paycut to do a community pharmacy residency with an independent pharmacy. I am now looking for jobs as my residency ends at the end of June. I have 7 years of pharmacist experience in community pharmacy, long term care experience, MTM, vaccinations, diabetes education, you name it i’ve got it. I applied to work at an independent pharmacy this week, spoke to the manager who’s first question was how much i wanted to make per hour. I didn’t want to say a specific number because i knew it would be lower than what I was getting at CVS, after all it was an independent. She told me that they were going to pay $25 per hour (less than half of my previous salary). I asked her why so low, and she said that she could get a new grad for that price. New grads can’t be picky with loan payments starting to come in, but no pharmacist can make a living wage at $25 per hour. I wrote you today because I am outraged and want this blasted on the internet. I don’t know if i’ll ever make a decent salary again, this is so sad! Please don’t post my name or contact info if you choose to use this information for your blog.

12 Comments

Leave The Pharmacist TWISTING in the Wind, Then Throw Her Under The Bus

Jp Enlarged

Safeway has laid off 21% of staff.  Profits increased by 41%
This is your chance to make a difference. The big and bigger retailers that sell prescriptions have had their way for decades. And………..SELLING PRESCRIPTIONS is what they do. MORE, BETTER, FASTER. Practicing pharmacy? You laugh so hard your spleen aches. They don’t let you practice pharmacy. It takes too much time. Do I need to explain this to you? I thought not. They give lip service to pharmacy practice, but, in reality, do any of you think that Safeway encourages you to slow the Prescription Mill to a near stop so you can counsel a teen age single mother on the use of a Prednisolone oral liquid for her 3 year old. Get outta town, girl. There are prescriptions to be checked. The phone is ringing. The cashier is headed for her lunch break. Yes, a break. The cashier is the only pharmacy staff person to actually get a break. The pharmacy manager is a 32 year old woman who has dealt with hypoglycemia for her entire adult life. A Bigger Grab Fritos and a chocolate milk for breakfast, multiple 20 ounce Mountain Dews, a bag of fun-size PayDay bars, a pint of Chunky Monkey at 8:00 PM to get her to closing. Much of the day, she is compromised.

What about you? Multi-tasking is your game, but you wonder about that new pharmacist. At 2:00 PM, all telephone lines are whining. The lines at the register is 5 customers deep. The store manager has written up the lead tech for saying, “How the fuck do I know?” when a snotty woman demanded, “Where are the Bella Mia Italian Lipsticks that are on sale?” Do I have to go on? 14 hours straight of this stuff.

And your company will always let you twist in the wind. Safeway will always say, “Our pharmacists are expected to practice pharmacy in a professional manner and to carry out their duties in a way that will always protect the patient. The welfare of every patient is the number one job of every Safeway pharmacist.”

That is all nice and accurate background, but the following is real. It really happened and the legal implications continue.
A Safeway pharmacist in Northern California made a dispensing error. He dispensed RISPERDAL 9mg. The prescription was written for BUDESONIDE. The patient is 92 years old, cogent an aware, but compromised. The last I heard is that she will most likely die soon.

The attorney that I am doing research work for is demanding both the pharmacist and Safeway take responsibility. When the patient dies (sooner than later) the game changes dramatically.

SAFEWAY, OF COURSE, IS BLAMING THE PHARMACIST. SAFEWAY says that the company is BLAMELESS.

My attorney is asking this question:

A CONSCIENTIOUS PHARMACIST GETS CAUGHT UP IN A BIG FILLING ERROR- WHAT IS WRONG WITH THE SYSTEM UNDER WHICH HE IS REQUIRED TO WORK? The question is directed at
Safeway’s system. This is it, you guys. If Safeway’s system is shown in court to be the cause of errors, a huge crack will suddenly appear in the fascade of all and every retail company that puts speed and profit before the patient’s welfare.

YOU CAN SEND A SHOT OVER SAFEWAY’S BOW.

Please contact us immediately.

*If you work as a pharmacist (or have in the past) for Safeway.
*If you know any pharmacist who work (or has worked) for Safeway.
*If you know anything about Safeway’s system.

Contact me at jpgakis@hotmail.com.
Send Cc to ednevin@333law.com

1 Comment

What Does This Tell Us? Harbringer Of What’s To Come In Retail? Is The Load Diminishing? I Do Not Think So.

Jp Enlarged

18% Profit and they are killing off thousands

The Profession of Pharmacy is no longer run by PHARMACISTS. It is a BUSINESS and run by MBA Masters of the Universe. Pathetic. How did this happen? It started when pharmacists started taking jobs with MONEY as the sole criteria. “Hey, Bub, I am going to work for REVCO. Look how much they pay”. Can we get it back? We can, I believe. They still gotta have pharmacists and pharmacists still can say YES or NO. It may be scary to take charge of your own life, but it IS YOUR life, Jay Pee 5-1-14

TAMPA — Express Scripts, the nation’s biggest pharmacy benefit manager, is planning to cut hundreds of jobs across the country. But the 390 employees the company plans to fire from its Tampa operation constitute the largest layoff in Tampa Bay in 2014.
That’s more than half of the company’s 720-person workforce at 5701 E Hillsborough Ave.

    The Tampa layoffs include nearly 150 high-paying pharmacist positions.

Now the company said it has to shed 1,890 jobs in the coming year in light of a drop in prescription volume.
Orders fell from 390 million prescriptions in the first quarter of 2013 to 320 million in the first quarter of 2014, a company statement said.
Company revenue fell by $2.3 billion in the first three months of this year compared with the same time period last year. That was a 10 percent drop in revenue, to $23.7 billion.
The company attributed the declines to several factors.
Express Scripts blamed the severe winter for hampering the number of prescriptions it handled. The company also said it did not anticipate that so many of those who recently enrolled in health care exchanges would wait until the last minute to do so. Many also were already enrolled in Express Scripts, so the company didn’t get quite the bump in business that it had hoped.
Chief executive officer George Paz said Wednesday during a conference call with investors that he still thinks the Affordable Care Act will ultimately benefit his company.
“We are still bullish on health care reform,” Paz said, according to a transcript.
Express Scripts employs 2,400 people in Florida, split between Tampa and Orlando. The Tampa operation is a “front-end pharmacy” where pharmacists review doctors’ prescriptions and make sure the medications are appropriate for patients before the orders are filled and sent out.
Express Scripts has headquarters in St. Louis and employs 29,000 people across the country. The company said it plans mass layoffs in three other states — 290 jobs in Ohio, 370 in Nevada and 580 in Texas at two facilities that will close.

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