Academically Dismissed - What should I do?

Discussion in 'Pharmacy' started by empleh78, 05.20.14.

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  1. empleh78

    empleh78

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    Hi,
    I am a second year student in an accelerated PharmD program. I was recently dismissed by pharmacy program due to my low GPA. I am only 0.2 from the GPA requirement for the program. I was on academic probation and the school allowed me to move forward. They let me proceed to a semester that I now figured was deemed the most difficult.

    I appealed my dismissal and it was denied. I have two children under 5 years old. During my first year of school my child was diagnosed with Autism. He is enrolled in our local elementary school and receiving services but also goes to a day care that does not meet his needs. During school our first year we were unable to financially afford the care that needed via specific programs for him to participate in. The burden and stress of knowing you cannot provide was devastating, emotional and was a distraction while studying. I never failed any of my classes and maintained in good academic standing. However, we lost aid from the state in day care and we could no longer afford to put both my children in day care. I was continually receiving phone calls from the day care to pick him up early because of his behavior.

    We finally got him into a program through research and applying for programs. I wrote all of this in my appeal and it was denied.

    Can someone give me advice on what I should do now? I am fearful of mine and my family's future. I was less than a semester away from completing the lecture portion of my program. I am now in debt, have no degree and devastated. Help please.
     
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  3. jafx

    jafx 2+ Year Member

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    A lot of people might dislike what I'm going to suggest, but I have a severely disabled child (Cerebral Palsy,) and remember what a nightmare the first four years were before my divorce and subsequent military service.

    File a bankruptcy. http://www.studentloanborrowerassistance.org/bankruptcy/

    You are almost assured to meet the undue hardship test.

    After that, get your life in order, take a few years to get in the groove of things, then try to get accepted to a medical or pharmacy school in Europe where there is next to no tuition. Some of those countries boast excellent public school systems that can help with your disabled child, unlike the US public school system.
     
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  4. jafx

    jafx 2+ Year Member

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    After you've gotten you student loan discharged, consider joining the military as an officer. The healthcare benefits are incredible when you have a disabled kid. The stability of a few years guaranteed paycheck could really help you right now. Maybe afterward you could even transition into medicine.
     
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  5. opinionfree

    opinionfree 2+ Year Member

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    While your situation is undoubtedly sad, trying to illicit sympathy from the academic review people, your boss or even the crossing guard, is never the way to go. When faced with review: always lead with your solutions, never your problems. You've told your school you couldn't maintain your studies and family, with your grades. Now you expect what? Did the clouds part and your life problems disappear? No. Life is a never-ending stream of problems. Your problems will continue, even if the school let you continue. They know that, thanks to you, and they have deemed your priorities incongruous with their program.

    Your efforts are needed in your home, not in school. You make a career first, family second. You did it backwards. You think when you're on rotations or stuck in the CVS, they will allow your 'family' issues to impede the process? No. Perhaps later in life you can resume your studies. For now, you have babies, baby daddy(?), student loans and DEBT to worry about. Get your pharmacy tech license or intern license (milk it for the few extra bucks an hour) and tend to business.

    My heart hurts for you, but you chose to make certain life decisions. Now, you must make the most of those choices. Adding more obligations to your family, will not benefit anyone. You have no time to be depressed, you have babies that have needs. Pharmacy school is DONE. Pursuing another school, will just compound your family issues. Put your efforts into raising your children. The salary of a pharmacist wasn't going to save your family. It would just continue you down the path of being an absent parent, that can now spoil their kids.
    Best of luck to you.
     
  6. BidingMyTime

    BidingMyTime Lost Shaker Of Salt 10+ Year Member

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    I have read a couple of stories about people being academically dismissed from one pharmacy school, going on to another pharmacy school. This is a risky proposition....1) almost invariably few or no credits would transfer, so you are looking at 4 more years of loan and 2) there is no guarantee that you won't run into life difficulties that cause you to flunk out a 2nd time with even more debt. I know there are exceptions, but the exceptions are few and far between, generally people who flunk out of a program like pharmacy, after being given academic warning, are not qualified for whatever reason to complete the program. My advice....if you have a bachelor's degree, look for a job based on that....if you don't have a bachelor's, I would look at finishing that. Your children are still young, your special needs child is still going to have special needs, I think your risk of running up and additional debt & never getting your pharmacy degree is far greater than the chance that you will actually get a pharmacy degree.
     
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  7. BMBiology

    BMBiology temporarily banned~! 10+ Year Member

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    All I can advise you is to enroll in income based repayment so your credit is not destroyed. Just note you can only use this program for federal loans, not private loans.

    I also agree that you need to get your house and financial obligation in order first. There is no need crying over spilled milk. It is going to be hard and you have to take it one step at a time. Good luck to you.
     
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  8. Dred Pirate

    Dred Pirate 2+ Year Member

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    Well - not trying to pile one, or not trying to be an a-hole (although some of you may think what I am about to say is being that)
    1. Student loans are not discharged in bankruptcy - so jafx has bad advice from that stand point
    2. You already had trouble making the minimum - you are not magically going to have your troubles go away - not sure what the minimum was at your institution, but if you are struggling now, it is only going to get worse as classes get harder and you move on to rotations (my students/residents put in 60+ hours a week - plus assignments they have due for other research projects) - maybe pharmacy wasn't the field for you.
    3. Don't go around looking for sympathy - we all have problems, we have all been through crap - what defines you are not your problems, but how you respond. I have a good friend with six children under the age of 12 - three with special needs, and they completed their PhD while balancing the load. Their husband was laid off for 6 months. They never looked for sympathy - they sucked it up and did what they needed to do. Now they make 350k a year.
    4. My suggestion - look in the mirror - figure out what you want to do with your life, if you have a batchelor's degree - use it to get a job stat. Sign up for income based repayment plan.
     
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  9. empleh78

    empleh78

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    Thank you all for your advice.
    @dredpirate I did not come on this site to garner sympathy. I was merely asking for advice. I know how easy it maybe to judge people don't judge me. I am here to only ask what others have done and for advice. ​
     
  10. jafx

    jafx 2+ Year Member

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    Yes they are dischargable, but it's a damn high hurdle to cross. You're wrong on that one. You have to prove an undue hardship -- an impossibility to pay without putting you and your family through extreme financial suffering.

    http://www.studentloanborrowerassistance.org/bankruptcy/

    It's a commonly repeated misconception that they are not. Same thing with federal taxes. They can be discharged, but only under very specific circumstances.
     
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  11. oldstock

    oldstock Banned Banned

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    I am sorry for what happened to you. But like others have said above, it is time to find a solution.

    So imho first you should apply to defer your student loans and/or enroll in income base payment plan right away, then find a job and take care of your family. This pharmacy dismissal might not be the end of the world. It might mean that pharmacy is not for you, and there are new doors waiting for you to open.

    Some professions / careers are shorter in training and maybe "easier" like accounting, real estate brokers / inspectors, computer engineering, etc with very good pays (e.g. my friends who are computer engineers make 100-120 K + per annum). Explore what is/out there for you and seize those opportunities.

    But try to exhaust all the options to be reinstated back to pharmacy school. Like others said, provide your school with specific solutions to your family / personal problems and your plans how to fix them to progress on with the pharmacy program. Do not give up just yet !!

    Best of luck to you !!
     
    Last edited: 05.20.14
  12. PharmEcon

    PharmEcon 5+ Year Member

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    I was not familiar with that option, but realistically what are the chances of proving that especially without an expensive lawyer to guide you? I wonder what the success rates are on people who pursue that option. My guess would be very low. Might still be worth a try, but there will almost certainly be some time and administrative costs that come with it.
     
  13. jafx

    jafx 2+ Year Member

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    The best lawyer will still cost far less than his student loans will. Since he's been academically dismissed and is caring for a permanently disabled chid, with another child under the age of 10 to care for, there really is a good shot of getting them dismissed. Especially as the disabled child will only continue to get more expensive to care for.
     
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  14. Hope1974

    Hope1974 5+ Year Member

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    Look at the bright side- u don't have ta go through what we pharmacists are going through. Always look at it from a positive view point.
     
  15. jafx

    jafx 2+ Year Member

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    Forgive me if I am taking what you've just said incorrectly, buuuuut.......

    Um.... have you ever worked a real job before you became a pharmacist? Are you seriously complaining about how *hard* it is to make six figures because you might have to relocate to an area you don't like to get a job?

    Pharmacists don't have it hard. Correctional Officers, Police, Soldiers, Social Workers, Educators, and the rest of the people being paid menial amounts to keep society running have it hard.
     
  16. oldstock

    oldstock Banned Banned

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    jafx, you forgot the workers working at McD bro :) JK
     
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  17. Dred Pirate

    Dred Pirate 2+ Year Member

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    I wasn't trying to pile on, and I am not judging you - I am saying at this point - telling a sad story is not going to get you anywhere - my advice is not to focus on the negative, and figure out a way to say - things went in the crap hole, what can I do to make things better? If you go to a job interview and tell that story 95% are going to eliminate you right away. I know this because I interview and hire RPh's. I would toss your resume away if I heard you making excuses, I have heard them all the time. We all deal with ****, but what makes a person is what do they do to remedy the situation. Like I said, I am not just piling on, I am giving you my advice and opinion
     
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  18. Dred Pirate

    Dred Pirate 2+ Year Member

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    I stand corrected - I have never heard of anyone being able to do this. My brother defaulted on his and paid a 5k fine on a 14k bill, and he was bankrupt - his bad
     
  19. oldstock

    oldstock Banned Banned

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    I agree with DredPirate here. But to the OP: do not give up just yet. Try to talk again to the highest person of the university (e.g. the President) and try to show them that you have come up with solutions to your personal problem and plans to progress without ever letting the problem to affect your academic work again. Exhaust all options and means to get reinstated. After done all that, and you could not get back, look at other professions / careers I listed above. Again, this is sad for you, but not the end of the world.
     
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  20. Momus

    Momus 7+ Year Member

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    I'd spin this out into something better than pharmacy... Switch major to software engineering, move to Norcal. $150k+ avg with godly benefits to instant millionaire ($2-30M) if you hit start up jackpot after some experience here I come...
     
  21. Momus

    Momus 7+ Year Member

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    I don't know where you are from but I know teachers and police officers make at least an avg of 50k with good benefits/pension. I know someone teaching high school science making 80k at public school...
     
    Last edited: 05.21.14
  22. PharmEcon

    PharmEcon 5+ Year Member

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    Again it depends on how easy it is to show undue hardship. If the success rate is really low, then it could be a bad move considering it could mean being stuck with the loans + lawyer fees. Some lawyers will give free initial consults though, so I guess that is the place to go to find out more before moving forward (plus the internet)
     
  23. PharmEcon

    PharmEcon 5+ Year Member

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    It's always relative. Those other professions in the US don't have it hard either compared to a lot of other parts of the world.
     
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  24. jafx

    jafx 2+ Year Member

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    They also work infinitesimally harder than any pharmacist every will; including making lesson plans at home, having to attend weekend unpaid meetings, being on call without a choice, being exposed to violent students and criminals.

    There's no comparing the meager paycheck they get for the amount of work they do to the piddly ass easy job of a pharmacist. A pharmacist is paid for what they know and the application of it, not how hard they work.
     
  25. Momus

    Momus 7+ Year Member

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    so does CEO.
     
  26. jafx

    jafx 2+ Year Member

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    I don't disagree with you. I"m just saying; those in the upper middle class to wealthy should consider that they are able to stand so high because they are on the shoulders of a sea of mindless sheep.
     
  27. BidingMyTime

    BidingMyTime Lost Shaker Of Salt 10+ Year Member

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    Not true of teachers, making the lessons plans is only hard their first year out, plus they get 3 months every summer, 6.5-7.5hr days, every made-up holiday paid off, PLUS personal days, study periods for grading/planning, and certainly NO weekend meetings. Teachers have a very good hourly salary, when one looks at how little they work. I don't know of any other profession that routinely works as few hours as teachers do...which isn't saying they don't have an important job & their own work concerns, but to say the average teacher works harder than the average pharmacist is flat out wrong, on every level you look at it.

    Police officers, I don't know about, they do certainly have to work with the dregs of society.
     
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  28. PharmEcon

    PharmEcon 5+ Year Member

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    How much have time have you spent working at a pharmacy out of curiosity? Especially retail.
     
  29. LearnerSharer

    LearnerSharer 5+ Year Member

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    Agreed with all that, and extra tips:
    If possible, I hope you qualify for FORBEARANCE, that will give you 1 year of not paying anything. For government backed loan, you qualify if you ask.
    If possible, I hope you qualify for DEFERMENT, that will give you 6 months of not paying anything. For government backed loan, you qualify if you have no job or non-full time job. 4 times like that will give you 2 years of not paying anything.
    Then, if possible, ask for INCOME BASED REPAYMENT.

    During those time of not being forced to make payment and still maintaining good credit and no collector pounding your phone, interest will keep adding up and you will eventually have to pay them, so please only consider them if you are very desperate.

    Good luck to you and I hope you will find ways...
    Please know you can study to be pharmacy technician at home; please read other posts about keyword ptcb or check out www.ptcb.org (Pharmacy Technician Certification Board).

    Chain pharmacy may pay starting rate at 11 dollars per hour, as you work for years, you may get up to 18 dollars per hour...not much but may be a good start right now considering your background....

    With your knowledge and studying ability as second year pharmacy student, you can take a test after studying for 10 hours of reading. Others have passed after studying for 1 week.

    Good luck.
     
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  30. owlegrad

    owlegrad Uncontrollable Sarcasm Machine Staff Member SDN Administrator 7+ Year Member

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    Please, tell me more about how easy my job is.
     
  31. Dred Pirate

    Dred Pirate 2+ Year Member

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    I would never say our job is easy, but we are very very very well compensated. Our jobs are not physically demanding (compared to that of a construction worker, farmer (I grew up one so I know) and I have several teachers in my family - none make over 50k - my brother started at 16k a year (in 1996)
     
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  32. Digsbe

    Digsbe 5+ Year Member

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    The thing is, the job of a pharmacist takes a lot of years in study and investment. Pharmacists also have a higher level of accountability than most other jobs too. To enter into the profession you need a doctorate level degree, that's not true for most jobs. In many cases pharmacists take out tons of loans. Sure, it may not be intense physical labor, but being in class and studying 60+ hours a week on top of interning for 4 years (after doing undergrad), doing residencies, working 40+ hours per week in pharmacies, having to be at a higher level of accountability where mistakes can cost lives and adhering to professional/legal standards isn't easy. It's not intricate neurosurgery but it's also not easy and to become a pharmacist requires much more time, work and competency than other jobs. I've worked with pharmacists that work 13 hour shifts with no break only to nibble on food during slow times and are constantly placed into stressful situations and sometimes even threats.

    Anyone outside can look in and say "you stand there, count by 5 and double check if what was put in the bottle is correct and what is written on the script matches the directions" but that would be oversimplifying it. Some patients complain and say "my doctor has it easy, his nurse does all the work and he checks me for 5 minutes and hands me a script for something" yet that's not the full picture. Someone can say "cops just sit there and eat doughnuts at speed-traps and hand out tickets" or "teachers have the same subjects each year and rarely have to do anything physical, it's not hard to instruct kids." Pharmacy isn't the hardest job out there, but I wouldn't call it easy either and the barriers to entering into the profession are very high compared to others.
     
    Last edited: 05.21.14
  33. Gunter

    Gunter 2+ Year Member

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    agree digsbe, I guess another example that most can relate to is when looking at the professor working on a math problem, things seems so easy until you try it yourself.
     
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  34. bobanderson214

    bobanderson214 5+ Year Member

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    Glad we have your opinion on this from the many years you've worked as a Pharmacist.
     
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  35. jafx

    jafx 2+ Year Member

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    When I was a Correctional Officer I had to deal with having sh1t and p1ss thrown on me. I had to physically hold people down as they tried to kill themselves and my compatriots. When I was a soldier I had to break my body for 16-18 hours a day.

    You have something to say when you've done work like that to make a living.
     
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  36. jafx

    jafx 2+ Year Member

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    Thirteen hours without eating was the normal shift when I worked in corrections. 30 minutes before and after a 12 hours shift for changeover. Sometimes you'd have to work a double because someone didn't show up for work.

    Bottom line; Pharmacists are paid for being intelligent and having invested years in perfecting their knowledge. To say their job is hard or the shifts are excessive is laughable. Tell a soldier who's been out in the field for 48 hours + without a break about how hard your shift is.
     
  37. Nelcovp

    Nelcovp 2+ Year Member

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    Which horrible school might this be if you don't mind me asking?
     
  38. eagles22

    eagles22 5+ Year Member

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    Just because some people have it worse doesn't mean pharmacists don't have a bad situation. Is the guy with 1 stab wound not bad off because the guy next to him has 6 stab wounds?
     
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  39. MackandBlues

    MackandBlues 2+ Year Member

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    Dude probably not a good idea to on a pharmacy forum and put down our profession. Especially when you've never worked as a pharmacist. You can say all you want about your previous professions but until you've worked as a pharmacist then you can't say how easy of a job it is. Just shows your ignorance.
     
  40. MackandBlues

    MackandBlues 2+ Year Member

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    This happens everyday to nurses, techs, doctors, and pharmacists in the emergency departments.
     
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  41. jafx

    jafx 2+ Year Member

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    How many of the people that are making excuses for how hard pharmacists have it have ever worked outside the profession in anything remotely hazardous?

    I suspect very few.
     
  42. n64bomb

    n64bomb

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    yeah im ignoring jafx posts from now on.
     
  43. Amicable Angora

    Amicable Angora Lagomorpha 2+ Year Member

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    Try to appeal one last time.
     
  44. BMBiology

    BMBiology temporarily banned~! 10+ Year Member

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    Yeah but you have to compare pharmacists to another profession with similar training and education. It is not accurate to compare a construction worker to a soldier as it is not accurate to compare a pharmacist to a teacher.

    Working as a retail pharmacist is certainly not easy. Dealing with the ignorant public and a greedy corporation is never going to be easy. Is it physically more demanding than working as a construction worker? Of course not but that wouldn't be a fair comparison.
     
  45. jafx

    jafx 2+ Year Member

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    I have a lot of respect for your very level headed response.

    One point I would make is that the average median household income in the United States is around $50,054. A pharmacist can make that working half time. My original point was that a pharmacist does not have to work that hard to make an acceptable living.

    Although, I do agree wholeheartedly with the points you made as well. No job where you deal with the public is a pleasure. I simply found it absurd to consider a job where you can work half time and make a decent living as being "very difficult."
     
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  46. eagles22

    eagles22 5+ Year Member

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    So being a neurosurgeon where you could easily make 50k in a month in some areas is easy because you can make enough to live on in a short period of time? There's more to what makes a job demanding than pay/hr.
     
  47. jafx

    jafx 2+ Year Member

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    Agree to disagree I suppose. If I had a job, no matter how demanding, that let me work less than three months a year and be set financially I wouldn't call that a hard life.
     
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  48. oldstock

    oldstock Banned Banned

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    sorry to say some here but reading jafx's posts and your guys make me think ;).... well, in life, you have to make money with your head or with your body. The more you work your head, the less demanding on your physical body is. Work smart, not just work hard. You can strike a balance of anywhere from working almost with you head to almost entirely with your body and/or anywhere in between. White collar vs blue collar :)

    imho, the market will pay a lot for what people need the most and pay less or minimum for things that people rarely need. Supply and demand !!

    It is never a debate about how much effort you have to put out for the job or how demanding physically and / or mentally your job is.

    It is your choice !! :)

    (but I do think people deserved to whine about their jobs once in a while !! what is "hard" is all relative :naughty: )
     
    Last edited: 05.22.14
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  49. PharmEcon

    PharmEcon 5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    07.20.11
    Messages:
    230
    Status:
    Pharmacy Student
    It is all relative. There are people in this world who would call your past jobs as a correctional officer or soldier as "piddly ass easy" or cushy considering the wages/benefits you got paid and the worker's rights you had because they don't make those wages or have those rights and are in even worse positions. In the end it is an opinion, but I think it is easy to say some things when you have mostly just been on the outside looking in. Either way, even if you think someone's job is really easy or that they get paid too much it probably isn't a good idea to tell them that directly (at least not until you also have the same job).
     
    Last edited: 05.24.14
  50. jafx

    jafx 2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    04.29.14
    Messages:
    488
    Location:
    Heredia, Costa Rica
    Status:
    Pharmacy Student
    Verified
    Army
    Agreed. I am a bit of an as$
     
  51. cdhoward

    cdhoward PharmD 5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    02.27.08
    Messages:
    727
    Location:
    The Lone Star State
    Status:
    Pharmacist
    This could just be a troll. Comes to these boards with a sob story and asking for life advice on the very day the acct was created. Just look at the user name. It's help me spelled backwards. Why so encryptic when you genuinely want advice.
     

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