This Game is Fixed. You Cannot Win. Unless….

Jp Enlarged

You understand that there is danger out there and you act accordingly.   You understand that they are not your friends because it is their ass if you do not toe the mark.  When it looks like you are not in “The Program”, you will be the one thrown under the bus.  You see, they do not give a shit if you are an effective retail pharmacist.  It means nothing to them if you get compliments from your patients.  It doesn’t even matter if you are having a noticeable positive effect on the return on investment.   You are a highly educated medical professional, but they do not give a shit.  They want you in the box.  They depend on measurable indices.  How fast.  How fast.  How fast.   How safe?  They give lip service, but c’mon, you know the truth.  Patient centric?  Of course, they claim, but you know who much bull shit that is.   

They want ROBO-DISPENSERS.   To prove this argument, just look at the new, for-profit, schools.  They don’t even teach compounding and the chain companies are gobbling up these clueless kids right and left.  I received an email from a guy who told me that at his Wal-Mart, the official words is “Do Not offer to counsel on OTC products.”  Apparently, it takes too much time.  

That was just foreplay to get you all hot.  Here comes Da Judge.  Get ready.  Jay Pee

You Must Protect Yourself because they can come after you at any moment.

I get Emails all the time.  Usually, they are letters of complaint.  H0w bad it is.  Oh, woe is me.  Won’t someone save me.  Then, I get the occasional message from a pharmacist who saves herself.

I found one this week.  A youngish woman told me about how she actually won a round and what she had to do.  In her words.  She asked me to keep her name. the company, even the state out of it.

The store manager told me that he wanted me to come to the office FOR A TALK when the later RPh came in.  He doesn’t call people up there unless he is going to write them up.  I had to wait 6 hours and I got nervous.  Real nervous.  My stomach started to act up and I noticed that I was chewing my lower lip, a sure sign that I was really upset.  I told myself that I hadn’t done anything wrong, but it did not help.

The manager was not in the office when I got there.  I took a seat and looked around.  My stomach felt worse when I saw my name on the “Employee of the Month” plaque.  I felt even sicker when I saw a folder on the desk with my name on it.  I sat there another 5 minutes.  I looked out the office window that overlooked the store selling floor.  The manager was way up front, by camera, so I said to myself, “What would Pharmacist Steve do?”  I knew that Steve wouldn’t just stand there waiting for the knife to come down.  So, I picked up the folder with my name on it.   I sat down because my legs were shaking and my knees were weak.  Then, I started to get really more upset by what I was reading.   The whole file was filled with charges against me.  I got really pissed off then.  What really got my back up was something that was supposed to come from a pharmacist who didn’t even last 6 months.  He told the manager that I said, “Hey, Bert, no wonder I started getting excited when I heard your foot steps.”  He took it all wrong.  I remember it.  I was actually excited because he was a half hour late and I was hungry.  He made it sound like a come on thing, like I wanted to hook up.  Uggg.  Bert is an idiot.  I don’t think he ever even had a date.   He told dirty jokes that weren’t even funny.   My husband said that I should go the sexual harassment route, but I told him that I was too adult and that I could take care of myself.   Who thinks that jokes about “rubbers” are funny in 2013?   There was a note from a customer that said I ignored her when she wanted to ask a question.   A whole bunch like that, from ten years ago.   

I have been reading JP’s articles and this blog for years.  Not long ago, I said to myself, “If Peon can be a real pharmacist at a place as bad as Wal-Mart, I can do it.”  I started to counsel more.  I slowed down.  I refused to answer the phone until I have completed a task.  The comments in the folder started to get really mean about then.  Two of the four technicians wrote to the manager that I had slowed way down and that our wait times were too long.  Isn’t it funny that they both wrote the same thing?  Wonder who put them up to that?  

Then, the pages on top were a letter from a woman customer and the write-up.  Ready to go, waiting for my signature.  No frikkin’ way, not ever would I sign that or anything else.

The letter said that I had been hitting on her husband for a long time and she was tired of it.  She said that her husband did not want to cause problems so he never said anything until she confronted him.  That is BS.  The guy is a touchy feely creep who never says a word, but the way he looks at me when he touches me arm weirds me out.  I want to puke.

I asked myself, “What would JP do?  Steve and Peon?  I tried to imagine what Marie Rodriquez would do.  She is one of my heroes.  So when the manager came into the office, I said, “I am going to file a sexual harassment complaint against Bill Reynolds.” (the husband of the woman complainer).  My mouth was really dry, but the words came out.

“What?”  His eyes got real big.

“By law, the company has to protect me from him.  If you don’t, I will do something about it.” Just like Marie would.

He got all tongue-tied, so I went downstairs and told the other pharmacist that I didn’t feel well.  I just left.  I never heard another word about this, but I have been warned now.   My company is not what I thought it was.  I stopped at the mall and spent all of my clothing allowance for 3 months on this great pen looking thing that can record voice, but also a picture.  This does make me feel safer and it is fun.  I will download once a week and then delete the stuff that means nothing.   So far, I have saved one thing with a customer.  If he tries to get me in trouble, I got him.  I am thinking about investing some money into a few “bugs”.  They are really cheap.  It is the receiver that is expensive, but the salesman said I could leave it in the car.   According to him, I can take the memory thing out of the receiver and plug it into my computer to listen and keep only what I want.  Should I plant one in the store manager’s office and the pharmacy too?  Easy Smeasy.

My husband hollered at me.  He said I was getting obsessed.  I told him he is right, but I don’t know how to stop.  I feel secure and I don’t want to give that feeling up.

I will hold off on my advice until I hear what you guys think.  Jay Pee



  1. pharmaciststeve  •  Nov 24, 2013 @3:34 pm

    In the Navy.. they would call that a “shot across the bow”… “on the street” they would call that a “warning shot”…needless to say.. apparently the manager understands that he is in this RPH’s cross-hairs.. and she is a “good shot”
    As several of us have stated before .. document.. document.. document.. the media really doesn’t make a difference..
    Apparently, this experiences demonstrates that these corporations.. keep files on every employee and it is never purged..

    They send you memos, they video nearly every move you make, they collect comments from customers.. and believe that they are 100% the truth..

    Why shouldn’t employees do the same.. a file on the company and files on each manager/supervisor..

    always send follow up emails on any one-on-one conversations.. if you are told to do something.. that you believe is against company policy or just plain ILLEGAL..

    It would appear that most corporation believe that nothing is ILLEGAL unless you get caught doing it… then you just mia copa and pay a fine… and go back to business as usual.

  2. AJ  •  Nov 24, 2013 @3:42 pm

    Damn…I don’t know what to say. Are we really at the point where highly educated professionals feel like they have to carry pen cameras and bug the pharmacy to defend themselves from non-pharmacist managers? Every time I hear a story like this I say to myself it can’t get any worse then I hear something worse.
    Sit down and really think about corporate retail pharmacy today. Think of all the absurdity…barely graduated high school dumbass store managers bullying the PIC…long shifts with no breaks or lunch…idiot middle managers who have zero pharmacy knowledge making key desicions solely based on metrics…no control over how the pharmacy operates…filling 300 to 400 prescriptions per shift…
    Where’s the bottom? How bad does it have to get before even the biggest tow the line, meet the metrics at all costs, brown nosing, yes man pharmacist says enough!
    March of 2012 I escaped retail hell because I could take no more. I realized earlier this month walking away was not the answer. It’s time to stand up. No more talk…action. Whats the alternative? Carry a pen camera and bug the pharmacy to protect yourself from an idiot store manager?

  3. pharmaciststeve  •  Nov 24, 2013 @6:14 pm

    @ AJ.. in one simple word YES !

    It has taken RPH’s quite a few years to understand that the “good old days” are gone… when we had a shortage and you could stand up for yourself and the profession.

    IMO.. we just now seeing the leading edge of a tsunami if RPH’s taking corporations to task – in court..

    Here is a recent 400,000 fine against CVS for age discrimination..

    I had a call last night from a former CVS Senior RPH that from what I was told.. has a case of violation of FMLA, Labor Law and EEOC. This RPH has a interview with BIG law firm coming up on Tues.

    Whistle blower’s lawsuit.. they had their first day of mediation this past Thursday.

    I don’t know the exact number of RPH’s that have talked with Whistle blower’s law firm but understand .. it is in the HUNDREDS.

    How many do you think are going to come forward after whistle blower’s case becomes “the talk” of the pharmacy industry?

    I have been told that there are now hundreds.. maybe thousands.. that are quitely collecting documentation against their corporate employers’ wrong doing.

  4. MSDEMEANOR  •  Nov 25, 2013 @3:13 pm

    Your husband is right. Give it up. If you wish ,talk to an attorney but dont
    follow the advice on this board. Chains have an army of attorneys who will eat you alive. If your lawyer says give it up then take his advice. Dont do anything rash beforehand.

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