ShannonIV

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I went from hospital to retail and loathe it. I moved to a different city and couldn't find a hospital job so I took a job at a major retail chain. I dread going. I am stressed almost constantly. My feet hurt and I hate it. I am thinking of either taking some time off altogether or going for another profession. I have only been doing this for about a month but it's not getting any better and I refuse to be miserable my entire life just because I want to earn a good wage.

I am a floater and float in busy stores, non-busy stores, and moderate stores. None of them are any better than any other except for a few things like techs and coworkers.

Should I give it more time? I am sick of beign yelled at by irate customers and having to deal w/insurance.
 

superflunker87

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Did you like your hospital job? If so, why don't you look for a hospital job that may be a bit further from your place of residence?

I doubt your retail experience will become better b/c there will always be mad customers and insurance issues no matter what store you work for.
 

DoctorRx1986

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I went from hospital to retail and loathe it. I moved to a different city and couldn't find a hospital job so I took a job at a major retail chain. I dread going. I am stressed almost constantly. My feet hurt and I hate it. I am thinking of either taking some time off altogether or going for another profession. I have only been doing this for about a month but it's not getting any better and I refuse to be miserable my entire life just because I want to earn a good wage.

I am a floater and float in busy stores, non-busy stores, and moderate stores. None of them are any better than any other except for a few things like techs and coworkers.

Should I give it more time? I am sick of beign yelled at by irate customers and having to deal w/insurance.

Shannon, how long have you been working as a pharmacist?
 

amartins02

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Maybe you could find a job with a long term care facility, the VA or in industry.
 

pharmagirl

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I'm not sure retail ever gets better but I do think the longer you work there the more you get used to the environment. How long have you been doing it? I think I'd give it 6 months and if you can't stand it, definitely move on.

Like someone else mentioned, have you tried LTC or mail order or independent pharmacy?
 

MountainPharmD

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Honestly, retail is retail. It isn't much fun no matter who you work for. Working in the float pool for a major chain is one of the worst jobs any college graduate will ever have. Since you are coming from a hospital it is even harder for you to adjust.


Getting out of the float pool is the first step to a happier life. You will find that people will yell at a stranger much quicker than someone they see all the time. Getting to know your staff as well as the patients make things much easier.

The bottom line is your success and happiness in retail depends all on how you deal with it. Managing stress is probably the most important thing. What ever you do don't manufacture your own stress. Get a good system for verifying scripts and stick to it. Don't let techs, patients or anyone else rush you and get you out of your rhythm. Don't freak out about how long the line is or how many phone lines are on hold or how many waiters are stacked up. Prioritize your tasks and remember the most important script is the one you are working on.

I hate to sound like a motivational pharmacy speaker. All of us in retail have been right where you are now. I know exactly how you feel. I believe that those who stay in retail do so because they learn how to manage and deal with the stress. Stick with it and you will get there.
 
OP
S

ShannonIV

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I graduated in May 2007 and worked inpatient until about a month ago, when I took a job at a retail chain. So I haven't been a pharmacist for that long. I didn't dread going into work at the hospital and actually liked it quite a bit except for the hours.

I haven't tried long term care or anything else. I was just going to give this a bit longer to see if it does get better (ie the dread of going to work going away and possibly even maybe liking it?)
 

StallionRx

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Mountain summed it up pretty well.

I think you just have to get out of the floater gig. I graduated the same time as you and have been in retail ever since.

Retail can be relentless. Other jobs if you get hungry or tired you can take some time to catch you breath,not true in the retail scenario. You cant chill out when you get tired. The amount of scripts in your que dictates when you have time to take a break whether you want it or not. Thats the most stessful part of it for me. Its not even the people, I usually dont get yelled at often and if someone starts trying to give me some nonsense they end up getting it right back. It takes a thick skin, but for me the money is worth it.
 

Pharmavixen

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I agree retail gets easier as you get used to it. The nasty customers will give you a thicker skin, and you'll develop quick fixes for all sorts of situations.

I tolerated one awful job in a very hectic store for six years because the boss was fantastic, very consistent and organized with set ways of dealing with all the third-party problems, and adequate staffing, even during the really busy times. If you can find people you like working with (or for), it brings down the stress level.

These days, I work retail one day a week, and it's not regular retail but in a methadone clinic with hardly any front shop and almost all the customers on the same drug plan (drug benefit, the Canadian version of Medicaid). The rest of the time I work in a jail.

Why is jail pharmacy better than retail? Because the customer is always wrong.
 

StallionRx

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Prison pharmacist? Id like that job- how is pay compared to retail?

That qoute is great.
 

Idesiretosling

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Prison pharmacist? Id like that job- how is pay compared to retail?

That qoute is great.
SDN member RPHchase took a California prison job that was posted on craigslist about 6 months back and the salary posted was 136,000 I believe. The job was in the Stockton area. You could contact him to see how the job is going.

Here is list of vacancies WVU posted a while back.

http://www.bop.gov/jobs/hsd/HSD_vac.pdf

I got to drive my Dad's friend's Viper a couple weeks back, so much fun! I ate through a lot of gas really fast but it was awesome none the less. 1998 GTS mostly stock.
 

Pharmavixen

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Prison pharmacist? Id like that job- how is pay compared to retail?

That qoute is great.
I'm paid about the same as retail in my area, though pharmacists who work in under-serviced areas in the north get paid a lot more.
 

StallionRx

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SDN member RPHchase took a California prison job that was posted on craigslist about 6 months back and the salary posted was 136,000 I believe. The job was in the Stockton area. You could contact him to see how the job is going.

Here is list of vacancies WVU posted a while back.

http://www.bop.gov/jobs/hsd/HSD_vac.pdf

I got to drive my Dad's friend's Viper a couple weeks back, so much fun! I ate through a lot of gas really fast but it was awesome none the less. 1998 GTS mostly stock.
I remember that posting, 136 is pretty good.

:thumbup:Cool viper! 98 GTS- forged internals with a mean cam streight from the factory- one of the best. What color?

Vipers are always thirsty. Good thing its not a car youd daily drive cus this $4+ a gallon for premium blows.

Have you ever been in a 03+ model? If your ever in the CT area let me know.

Thanks for the post Pharmavixen, this may end up being an exit strategy once Ive had enough of retail. :laugh:
 

daysinnnc

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Well you can be a district manager, where you don't have to deal with standing all day..and make much more money
 

Idesiretosling

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I remember that posting, 136 is pretty good.

:thumbup:Cool viper! 98 GTS- forged internals with a mean cam streight from the factory- one of the best. What color?

Vipers are always thirsty. Good thing its not a car youd daily drive cus this $4+ a gallon for premium blows.

Have you ever been in a 03+ model? If your ever in the CT area let me know.

Thanks for the post Pharmavixen, this may end up being an exit strategy once Ive had enough of retail. :laugh:
It is red beast. I have never had the chance to ride in any 3rd generation snakes. I don't see myself out in CT anytime soon but thank you for the offer, I will take you up on it if I do get out there though.
 

Starlix

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The bottom line is your success and happiness in retail depends all on how you deal with it. Managing stress is probably the most important thing. What ever you do don't manufacture your own stress. Get a good system for verifying scripts and stick to it. Don't let techs, patients or anyone else rush you and get you out of your rhythm. Don't freak out about how long the line is or how many phone lines are on hold or how many waiters are stacked up. Prioritize your tasks and remember the most important script is the one you are working on.

I hate to sound like a motivational pharmacy speaker. All of us in retail have been right where you are now. I know exactly how you feel. I believe that those who stay in retail do so because they learn how to manage and deal with the stress. Stick with it and you will get there.

Thank you MountainPharmD for that post..it is really relieving to know that i am not the only one who feels that way, i mean very stressed and dreading going to work. I have been in retail for 3 monthes now, the stress is little less but still there. I try to prioritize my tasks but when it becomes very busy things comes out of my control and increases my stress tremendously.
I seek any advice from my pharmacist coworkers but they always tells me take your time and eventually you will be fine.

My big problem that i feel it takes me long time to verify the final product, while i see other pharmacists doing it in a flash. I got scared that it would be any mix up in patient name and outer slips( i do see it in some busy stores). Do you only verify that the pill matches screen and that's it. what do you mean by making good system for verifing scripts and stick to it, i kinda want to know what other people do so i can shadow them as doing it my way is taking me a lot of time and putting more stress on me.

I really appreciate any advice, Thanks.
 

bananaface

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Every retail pharmacy is going to give you a different experience. If you don't like this particular chain, that doesn't necessarily mean you'll dislike another. It really depends on what it is about this chain that doesn't work for you.

If you are getting yelled at by irate customers all the time is a symptom of some problem with the stores you are in. The vast majority of people don't get angry unless they have an expectation that is not being met.

When I have transitioned form not working to working full time, it's always taken me 4-6 weeks for my legs to get used to the standing. Hopefully it's not too much longer on that front.
 

MountainPharmD

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First, get the thought of speed completely out of your head. As a new pharmacist the last thing you need to worry about is going faster. Speed comes with familiarity and familiarity comes with time. Eventually you are going to have to work quickly. We are a fast food society and pharmacy unfortunately has embraced this. Drive throughs, 15 minute guaranteed wait times ect.

Do you only verify that the pill matches screen and that's it. what do you mean by making good system for verifing scripts and stick to it, i kinda want to know what other people do so i can shadow them as doing it my way is taking me a lot of time and putting more stress on me.
I work for a grocery store chain which is completely different than working for Walgreens and CVS. It is absolutely imperative that I have a good consistent system for filling and verifying scripts. You don't have much flexibility when working for Walgreens or CVS. You can however develop a good organized system. The bottom line is to do the same thing the same way every single time. Work on one script at a time and complete one task before moving on to another. Don't get caught up in how long the line is or how many buckets are stacked up on the conveyor belt or how many phone lines are on hold. Just take a deep breath and get one thing done and move on to the next.

Unfortunatly retail is retail. It is hard work most of the time. The only the thing that changes is you get used to it. This takes time and eventually you will get there.
 

Allure

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I've heard a lot of horrible things about CVS, but I'm having a great experience there right now. The store does about 500 average a day, but for some reason, it feels slow for me. The computer system is not as bad as I've heard. I think it's because the store has good technicians and pharmacists. There is a 1 or 2 hour overlap for pharmacists, sometimes the afternoon pharmacist can come in an hour or two later than scheduled in exchange for the morning pharmacist to go home an hour or two earlier on a different day. I haven't seen any crazy customers so far. One of the technicians there know a lot of the customers by names, so that helps. Like many already suggested, the first step is to have your own store. Just like any jobs, it gets easier when you know how to do your job effectively and efficiently.
 

RxWildcat

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I know with rite aid there are some stores that are absolute hell to work at, and others that are very nice to work at. You might just have a terrible store, because although retail has its negatives, its not ALL bad. Talk to some of your co-worker pharmacists and find out if your store has a bad rep and if there is another store with an opening that has a better rep.
 

YapYap6

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You could always have your techs give longer wait times. We had a new pharmacist at my store previously who couldn't handle the volume. He was a cool guy, but he just couldn't keep up. Whenever I worked with him, I always increased the wait times from 30 minutes to about 2 hours as the night progressed and the volume stepped up. This should give you plenty of time to work through your piles that inevitably stack up. If anyone complains, I just tell them that we have 40 people ahead of them and we want to make sure they get the right medication.

Also, I don't know what chain you work for or how your store runs. But, at my store the techs are the ones that take the heat from irate customers and also deal with the insurance problems. The pharmacist only steps in when the customer gets nasty. Any insurance problem we can't figure out, we just call the insurance company. Use those techs! Crack that whip if you have to! You're the boss and they have to listen to you.
 

pharmacology888

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I thought retail was retail regardless of the chain. Although I have to admit, CVS isn't exactly the best place to work at - but I haven't worked for other retail companies so I can't really compare. Why does CVS get such a bad rep as oppose to Walgreens of Costco? Is CVS the only company that is stingy with tech hours and handing out gift cards to hush customers? I am not happy with my experience at CVS but I was wondering would switching to another retail chain help?
 

loo

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You might just have a terrible store, because although retail has its negatives, its not ALL bad. Talk to some of your co-worker pharmacists and find out if your store has a bad rep and if there is another store with an opening that has a better rep.
This is true. Start here. This is true with ANY chain. Red flags should go up if the chains offer you a boatload of money to work somewhere---either it's a "bad" store or someplace "rural" no one wants to go.