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If CVS is such a miserable company to work for, how are they so damn successful?

Discussion in 'Pharmacy' started by Music Man, 02.09.11.

  1. Music Man

    Music Man

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    I sincerely want to know. It kind of perplexes me because the overwhelming majority of comments toward the company on here are ridiculously negative and mean, mean, mean-spirited. I have never seen so much hate towards an employer. CVS generally doesn't pay more than the other chains. Heck, Target pays about the same...and look at the difference in the work environment and job satisfaction in those two places.

    So how does such an infamous company like CVS (who is one of the largest employers of Pharmacists in the US) have no trouble recruiting new Pharmacists? I don't have a clue, but I do know that it ain't the money. Let's here some theories...

    EDIT: The real question I am asking is in highlighted in bold above...forget the title.
    Last edited: 02.09.11
  2. Sparda29

    Sparda29 En Taro Adun Gold Donor

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    Profit does not equal success.
  3. type b pharmD

    type b pharmD

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    they have an efficient distribution system, pharmacy workflow, sales and marketing practices, and get a lot of work done from their employees while holding down costs. they have no trouble recruiting pharmacists because there are a lot of people willing to get paid $50+/hr to put stuff in baskets, answer phones, and click computer buttons
  4. Music Man

    Music Man

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    You are missing the point. You can get paid $50+/hr to do those things in much more desirable environments.
  5. owlegrad

    owlegrad Uncontrollable Sarcasm Machine Staff Member Administrator SDN Senior Moderator

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    The question in your title is misleading. They are an incredibly successful company - some people will enjoy working for them, others will not. Guess which one we get more of here?

    How do they recruit new pharmacists? Easy, many people don't find earning six figures from them so disagreeable.
  6. Music Man

    Music Man

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    In business, profit=success, loss=failure.
  7. type b pharmD

    type b pharmD

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    there are plenty of people willing to do it for CVS
  8. SHC1984

    SHC1984 Removed

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    Well, getting a job at a more desirable place is often extremely competitive. When I was working at Walgreens I talked with a floater there. He graduated from UNC pharmacy school and he applied for a job at Target and Target flat out turn him down. Target had a very LONG waiting list full of people wanting to work with them and it is extremely competitive to get hire there. He told me out of his class only 1 or 2 people got to work at Target and that was because they were interns there for 3+ years!
    Costco is another great retail company to work for and they are extremely competitve to get into too.

    You have to realize that the more desirable places to work at usually have millions of applications for ONE spot and your chances of landing a job at Target, Costco or any of the more desirable places are very slim. Therefore, people with 200K student loans will have to settle for CVS, Walgreens, etc. b/c most people can't get jobs at these desirable places.

    Your question is the same as me asking, "Why do some men marry ugly or average looking women?" Well, obviously everyone prefers to marry a good looking spouse, but the chances of landing one isn't very high. LOL... and not everyone is fortunate enough to marry one.
  9. jasonkido

    jasonkido

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    Your thread title says it all. Cvs pharmacist are miserable because of the success of the company. The introduction of PCI calls is an example of this. When it rolled out in 2008 I thought it would fail in a year or so but today PCI is still here and is making lots of money for the higher ups. The higher the success call the percentage, the bigger the bonuses for the dms and the more money cvs makes.

    You don't get these problems with independents, hospitals, and long term care because there is no true corporate demands. Walgreens and cvs are both known for being drug stores so these are the places you will find most of your "miserable pharmacist." Workload for these successful companies also play a huge role in it as well
  10. Music Man

    Music Man

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    Why not work for Walgreens then? People seem to enjoy working for them quite a bit more than CVS. So now I'm wondering if CVS attracts people who have a certain personality type, like "take the path of least resistance" philosophers, or people who are extremely tolerant/passive. Maybe it's something even simpler, like the attraction of 3 and 4 day work weeks.
  11. SHC1984

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    I worked as a tech at Walgreens for 2 months. I have never worked at CVS before so I personally can't compare the two. However, I would imagine that it is about the SAME. Except Walgreens don't require 14 hr shifts...but besides that it is pretty much the same stuff. Pharmacists work the same amount of hours per week, both stores are extremely busy, both stores are full of rude customers, both stores have drive thru, etc. So it is really about the same. Both stores have annoying corporate BS to deal with....same stuff! lol...

    Target and Costco is the way to go if you want retail, but again SUPER competitive to land a job at either places. Your chances are 1 out of 100000000000! lol...
  12. owlegrad

    owlegrad Uncontrollable Sarcasm Machine Staff Member Administrator SDN Senior Moderator

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    I have to agree with you there. The minor differences between the two would be completely invisible to people who don't spend their whole lives there. Phones, drive-thru, corporate, customers, etc. all the same.

    I am not at all sure that CVS requires 14 hour shifts and Walgreens doesn't, but why let facts stand in the way of a good arguement? :laugh:
  13. Sparda29

    Sparda29 En Taro Adun Gold Donor

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    One of the pharmacists who works at the LTC facility that I'm at is also a district manager for King Kullen. He said his busiest store does 210 scripts/day and most stores do less than 80/day, but all of his pharmacists are able to counsel. I would have taken him up on his offer to be an intern at one of his stores if not for the fact that it is 50 miles away from me.
  14. SHC1984

    SHC1984 Removed

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    I know Walgreens doesn't b/c I use to work there and I know their schedules.

    I heard CVS does. I heard Oldtimer say it wasn't too bad though. LOL... A friend of mine turn down a CVS job b/c they wanted her to work 14 hr shifts. I guess you can choose to work part-time and aviod 14 hr shifts if you want.
  15. SHC1984

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    Dude, don't you work at Costco??? That is like the BEST retail chain to work for!!! If I were you I would be kissing ass right now to try to secure a job upon graduation!!! if it is possible...I heard it is near impossible to get hired by Costco b/c it is soooo nice there.
  16. mustang sally

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    Exactly. Walgreens isn't some kind of retail nirvana. I never worked at CVS either, so I really can't compare the two but I kind of think of them as the same experience with different names??

    And there are plenty of people who in my class who want to work at Walgreens or CVS after they graduate. If you ask them why, they will say $$$...same reason most of the pharmacists at Walgreens told me they had stayed for years on end. There is always someone out there willing to take the deal.
  17. SpartanLaser

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    I'm a tech at CVS right now. One of the pharmacists there told me "I'm only working in CVS till I pay off my student loans"
  18. SHC1984

    SHC1984 Removed

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    99.999999999% of them have applied to Target and was turn down too. I think CVS and Walgreens take all the Target and Costco rejects. LOL...
  19. WhYMee

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    The major reason is what SHC mentioned about how the more "desirable" retail chains are highly competitive.

    The second reason is convenience. Since there are usually 4 to 5 CVS in any 10 mile radius. It's easy to find a store that's easy to commute to. Also if you work in one store and hate it, it's simple to be transferred to another CVS since they are all over the place. Also if you relocate, you can transfer to another CVS.

    OMG! That the nicest thing I've said about CVS in my life. Wow!
  20. Jabberwocky12

    Jabberwocky12 Pharmaceutical Wizard

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    Not to mention floating abilities if you're into that sorta thing. CVS allows pharmacists who have a store to float to another pharmacy if they need coverage in exchange for OT. Other pharmacists just love floating. I imagine it is a little harder to float at Costcos and to a lesser extent Target because they aren't as available as CVS.

    In NC, around here the rule of thymb is that if you see a RA or Wags then a CVS can't be too far behind. Same thing for the competitors as well :laugh:
  21. rph3664

    rph3664

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    This is what people said about Phar-Mor in the 1990s.
  22. All4MyDaughter

    All4MyDaughter SDN Mommystrator Staff Member Administrator SDN Senior Moderator Lifetime Donor Partner Organization

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    CVS has been around a lot longer and is much, much larger than Pharm-Mor ever was.
  23. pharmkj

    pharmkj

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    Ive worked at Walgreens and CVS. I personally I prefer working for CVS.

    All chains are the same, but it all comes down to the area in which you are working in and who your supervisor are. When I worked at CVS they were so attentive to the techs, interns and Pharmacists. They were/are willing to bend backwards to help accommadate for your needs (or at least in my district). But my friend who works in a district had a bad supervisor, hence he isnt as gongho about CVS like I am.
  24. PharmDstudent

    PharmDstudent

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    I interviewed with Target, Walgreens, Winn Dixie, and Rite Aid at the career fair, and I could have gotten hired by any of them. The Target recruiter was calling me to follow up on my interview, but I didn't want to work for them. I already had time with Walgreens and they have overnight positions, so it was a no-brainer to me. If I hadn't picked Walgreens, I would have worked for Winn Dixie. The district manager had said that she was full, but she could find a spot for me. We had a great one-on-one talk about being former CVS employees... lol!
    Last edited: 02.10.11
  25. Sparda29

    Sparda29 En Taro Adun Gold Donor

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    I left after working 7 weeks. I was just too bored over there. Bored meaning, I wasn't allowed to do anything clinical like calling doctors, counseling, even though NYS grants me that power via my intern permit. They just wanted me to stand around at the cash register and count pills most of the day. Also, they were too strict about the way breaks are taken.

    For example, must take your lunch within 5 hours of starting your shift, cannot take breaks too close to the end of the shift, cannot combine your breaks together. The beginning of the day is busy, which is why I don't mind working 5-6 hours straight without stopping. But once it slows down, I'd like to take my unpaid lunch and combine that with one of my paid breaks, and then take like my final 15 minute break like 30 minutes before closing.
  26. SHC1984

    SHC1984 Removed

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    Where r you from again? Is your area in need of pharmacist? (That would be a shock since the shortage was long over since 2005)
  27. SHC1984

    SHC1984 Removed

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    WOW! Sounds like a dream job for me! Less I do the better. I mean I could call the doctor etc. but why would you want to if you don't have to??? LOL....I only do what I have to do...I would never try to do more than what I have to do UNLESS I am getting paid more. ;)

    If you work at Walgreens and CVS you can FORGET about ever getting a break!!! When I was working at Walgreens it was so busy that there was no such thing as a 15 minute break. :laugh: I don't think anyone that works at CVS or Walgreens get any breaks...you are lucky if you got to have lunch that day! :rolleyes:
  28. SHC1984

    SHC1984 Removed

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    I want to add ONE GOOD thing about Walgreens though. Walgreens have the BEST computer system ever.

    I worked at both Walgreens and Target and I have been inside a CVS pharmacy one time and saw their computer system. For my IPPE I worked at an independent pharmacy. Walgreens hands down have the BEST computer system. It is so nice, organized and easy to use. Most other places like Target for example have the crappest/oldest computer ever. I hated Target's computer system.

    So there that's what I like about Walgreens is there awesome computer program. Makes insurance problems much easier to fix. LOL...
  29. PharmDstudent

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    southern Louisiana - circa fall '09
  30. rph3664

    rph3664

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    Very few employers, whether it's a pharmacy, insurance company office, factory, etc. allow people to combine their lunch break and 15-minute break.
  31. Ilikechemicals

    Ilikechemicals New Member

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    I work for CVS and currently do 2 14 hour shifts. I dont have a partner at my store at the moment. When I do have a partner I will still have to work a 14 hour shift every other week.

    The 14 hour shift is alive and well.
  32. owlegrad

    owlegrad Uncontrollable Sarcasm Machine Staff Member Administrator SDN Senior Moderator

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    So I am curious how CVS requires them and Walgreens does not. Both places have comparable hours of operation and I presume the same amount of pharmacist's hours. So how does Walgreens not require this and CVS does? I am curious - not trying to be argumentative.
  33. SHC1984

    SHC1984 Removed

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    I do not know anything about CVS so I can't answer anything about CVS. However, I know for a fact that Walgreens have their pharmacists work 8 hr shifts...sometimes 10 hr shifts and that is it. As a tech I was always given 8 hr shifts and saw that my pharmacists work only 8 hr shifts. Sometimes on rare occasions I see someone work 10 hr shifts. Walgreens is very cheap and do NOT want to pay anyone overtime...and if you work 14hrs I think they will have to give you overtime for 2 hrs that day. I think that was their reasoning.

    Walgreens I guess prefer to hire more people and therefore have more people work FEWER hours and CVS I guess prefer hiring fewer people and is okay with 14 hr shifts.

    I am sure if you don't like 14 hr shifts you can always choose to work part-time to aviod it. I know a pharmacist that only work on Monday nights...her husband is a doctor though.
  34. Allure

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    I want to clarify something. CVS does NOT require the 14-hour shifts. Let's say a store is open for 88 hours, so each pharmacist has 44 hours and they can do it however they want. They can work 2 hours one day and 12 hours the next, or they can split and each would do 7 hours. But who wants to work every single day? The pharmacists can work it out among themselves. They can work every other day or they can work 2 days and have 2 days off. It's between you and your partner. That is how CVS can get away with not giving pharmacists their lunch break. CVS does not make anyone work the 14-hour shift. They just give you the store and the hours and you can do whatever you want as long as there is coverage. The reason why CVS sucks more than Walgreens is because of all the extra stuff you have to do, all the phone calls to be made and a lot of reports. I wouldn't mind CVS if they didnt have all that extra stupid stuff.
  35. xiphoid2010

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    CVS = walgreens but with worse computer system and that stupid thing about get paycheck dinged for taking >15 minutes on a script. Did 20 hours of experiential there, it's enough to make me hate it.

    Oh, and not to mention that stupid shelf system that arrange drugs by "brand name", super fun when one has 5 brand names. :rolleyes:
  36. All4MyDaughter

    All4MyDaughter SDN Mommystrator Staff Member Administrator SDN Senior Moderator Lifetime Donor Partner Organization

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    I worked at a Kroger that had that system. Hated it. Made no sense. Prednisone was in the Ds. :confused:

    Now that I've been at the VA for so long, I'm used to everything being alpha by generic name. The only wrinkle in that system is that for drugs with two ingredients, we still stock them by brand name. So sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim is in the Bs. But we have a list of those drugs handy to refer to if you can't remember the brand name.
  37. PharmDstudent

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    I think you like to just talk out of your ***... Walgreens does not let pharmacists work more than 8 hour shifts on a week day, because it's a quality of life issue to work much more than that.
  38. iFarm

    iFarm

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    So how does such an infamous company like CVS (who is one of the largest employers of Pharmacists in the US) have no trouble recruiting new Pharmacists?

    It's not a huge achievement. Like you said, CVS is a major employer of pharmacists. So where are ~20,000 pharmacists suppose to go?

    CVS had a shortage of pharmacists a few years ago just like everybody else. Nobody's dying to work there.
  39. Sparda29

    Sparda29 En Taro Adun Gold Donor

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    Because I can't stand working the cash register.
  40. SHC1984

    SHC1984 Removed

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    Working an occasional 10 hr shift is a quality of life issue? I think you are a lazy ass! :laugh: There are pharmacists that work 8 hr shifts 5 days a week and there are pharmacists that work 10 hr shifts 4 days a week. Working 8 hrs and 10 hrs is not much different. I know plenty of pharmacists that work 10 hrs shifts 4 days a week and I think I prefer that.
  41. SHC1984

    SHC1984 Removed

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    I think you have to do that in all retail chains though. LOL...
  42. owlegrad

    owlegrad Uncontrollable Sarcasm Machine Staff Member Administrator SDN Senior Moderator

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    Agree. Think about it, what is an extra 2 hours per shift? But think about having a whole extra day off! 4-10hr days>>>5-8hr days, imo.
  43. SHC1984

    SHC1984 Removed

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    I agree too...but working more than 12 hrs a day do tire me out...Walgreens fired their senior tech when I started working there and one day they were short handed (bc I was the only tech they had) and I worked 12.5 hrs that day...It was tiring and I don't think I can do that on a regular basis. So that's why I am not sure if a 14 hr shift is good! I mean it is good that you get all those extra days OFF, don't get me wrong, but 14 hrs can be draining...especially since CVS is busy and you most likely will not be able to take any breaks and might have to miss lunch sometimes too.
  44. Ilikechemicals

    Ilikechemicals New Member

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    That is a total cop out. Ok you are right they dont "require" you to work 14 hour shifts. Just a choice of 14 hour shifts OR working 6-7 days a week. :rolleyes:
  45. PharmDstudent

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    Too bad you don't know how to think. Overnight pharmacists, like myself, work 10 and 11 hour shifts. So it's not about me goofy, it's the company's position (aka viewpoint if you need help thinking).
  46. PharmDstudent

    PharmDstudent

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    Right. They're always hiring.
  47. PharmDstudent

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    Then you can't work at your beloved Target, because they work 12 hour shifts M-F. You sure are limiting yourself here Miss I Drive A Six Year Old Car OMG!!! :rolleyes: Geez...
  48. CUpharmD2013

    CUpharmD2013

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    I love how somebody who has never worked at a CVS can make broad generalizations about CVS based on hearsay. I get a break at every store that I work at, no matter how busy we are. The pharmacists understand how important it is to an employee's psyche. Pharmacists on the other hand....I see them taking 5-10 minutes at a time depending on how busy it is. Even if you had worked at a CVS, you can't make broad generalizations about the whole company. How a pharmacy operates is going to vary from district to district and more often from store to store. Yeah, I've worked at some stores that are mismanaged and hard to work at because of the pharmacist, the techs, or both. But I've also worked at some stores that are a well oiled machine and can do 600 scripts in a day with 1 pharmacist and 4 techs.

    As for the 14 hour days, it's up to the PIC and their partner. At most stores I work at, the pharmacist prefers the 14 hour days because of the number of days off. With more days off, you also have the opportunity to float for overtime. One pharmacist per day also improves the flow of a pharmacy. If you're splitting every day with zero overlap, you don't have time to catch up the other pharmacist on unresolved issues that may have come up earlier in the day. It's human nature to make broad generalizations based on personal experience, I know I have, so I'm not going to hold it against you. But just be cognisant that your opinion isn't always going to be everyone else's opinion.
  49. CUpharmD2013

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    I think that this is an option in a lot of office settings (at least the ones that I have worked in). Most people take an hour lunch by choosing to roll their two 15 minute breaks into lunch. It has been my experience as an intern that the techs take a 30 minute break per 8 hours for lunch/dinner that is paid and is a part of the 8 hour shift. I think that it would be difficult to manage the flow of a workplace like a pharmacy where people are taking 2 or 3 breaks in a shift. Having the 1 break per person allows you to rotate everyone and manage flow better. So in essence, the stores that I work at allow their employees to roll their break time together to take 1 break instead of 2 or 3.
  50. CUpharmD2013

    CUpharmD2013

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    03.20.10
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    247
    Status:
    Pharmacist
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    I'm sorry that you had this experience, and it really is the luck of the draw. All the PICs that I work with encourage me to do the pharmacist duties like taking and making doctor calls, doing transfer in and outs, grabbing patients at consultation if they are busy, counseling patients at pick-up, and going out into the OTC aisles for counseling. I hope you complained to the DM or Sup that this was how you were treated, because PICs like this should not be allowed to be preceptors. It's possible that your complaint would have fallen on deaf ears, but at least you tried.

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