SDN members see fewer ads and full resolution images. Join our non-profit community!

Poll: Worst Retail Pharmacy to Work For

Discussion in 'Pharmacy' started by rxglasshalffull, Sep 30, 2014.

worst retail chain to work for

  1. Rite-Aid

    5 vote(s)
  2. Walmart

    4 vote(s)
  3. Kmart

    2 vote(s)
  4. Target

    1 vote(s)
  5. Costco

    5 vote(s)
  6. CVS

    165 vote(s)
  7. Walgreens

    19 vote(s)
  1. rxglasshalffull

    rxglasshalffull 2+ Year Member

    May 30, 2013
    Which retail chain you guys think is the worst to work for in terms of quality of life on the job, stress level, benefits, salary, computer software, treatment of employee, etc and why.

    Everything is subjective, this poll is just for fun. :)

    Note: I didn't include chains that are only found in certain regions of the country such as Ralph's, Vons, and ShopRite, etc.
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2014
  2. SDN Members don't see this ad. About the ads.
  3. confettiflyer

    confettiflyer Did you just say something? 10+ Year Member

    Dec 19, 2004
    Best Coast
    This is a trick question.
    rph3664 and KARM12 like this.
  4. BMBiology

    BMBiology temporarily banned~! 10+ Year Member

    Feb 26, 2003
    CVS by a mile then Walgreens and Rite Aid. However, Walgreens is planning to cut $1 billion from their budget. CVS profit has jumped, partly by cutting hours. I am sure Walgreens will do the same.
  5. Auriel619

    Auriel619 7+ Year Member

    May 29, 2009
    CVS is destroying the competition here!
    GroverPsychMD and apex8 like this.
  6. farmadiazepine

    farmadiazepine 5+ Year Member

    Jul 10, 2011
    CVS is the worst retail company to work for as a pharmacist. You don't need to conduct a poll for this. This is not a subjective answer. CVS is simply the worst retail chain pharmacy a pharmacist can work for. The Devil.
  7. BeLikeBueller

    BeLikeBueller Doctor of Comic Relief 2+ Year Member

    Oct 3, 2013
    ^This x 1,000. No poll needed.
  8. rxglasshalffull

    rxglasshalffull 2+ Year Member

    May 30, 2013
    i have never met a rite-aid pharmacist in person, or heard much of them. how is rite-aid?
  9. rxglasshalffull

    rxglasshalffull 2+ Year Member

    May 30, 2013
    also i know cvs is the worst, but in what ways?
  10. trailerpark

    trailerpark 2+ Year Member

    May 27, 2013
    From my limited experience CVS was the worst I personally worked at. I HATED it! And my preceptor wrote me my only bad evaluation I ever got at a rotation and said I didn't seem enthusiastic to be there. DAMN RIGHT I didn't. Does CVS really have enthusiastic employees? As a student I couldn't even fake it!
    rph3664, Doc Hawaii and pharmstud like this.
  11. PhoenixFire

    PhoenixFire 5+ Year Member

    Apr 10, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2018
  12. SexiestPharmacist

    SexiestPharmacist 2+ Year Member

    Jun 7, 2014
    is this a serious question?

    Answer is CVS to the max.
  13. Pharmpills

    Pharmpills Accepted Pharmacy Student 7+ Year Member

    Oct 26, 2007
    I worked at several retail pharmacy's and CVS is absolutely the worse. I'm thankful I did work there bc if I didn't I wouldn't know how bad it was because I would've assumed they are ok.
  14. pharmstud

    pharmstud 5+ Year Member

    May 9, 2011
    you made me laugh
  15. adl0816

    adl0816 5+ Year Member

    Apr 15, 2010
    How is CVS for pharmacy interns?
  16. Doc Hawaii

    Doc Hawaii 7+ Year Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    Los Angeles County
    I never worked at CVS but many of my classmates interned there (and some even work for them). From what they told me, all the bad things we've heard, are true.

    I rotated at Costco for a 6 wk APPE-it was pretty great. The preceptor was awesome, as well as the staff. 30 minute lunch for everyone, and plenty of staffing. Staffing was based on RX plus OTC sales. The store would sell something like $125-250k in OTCs daily-always had 3 techs + 2 dedicated assistants. Throw in 1-2 interns and the RPH and only about 250 Rxs per day====time to counsel and learn the OTCs. Not many RPH jobs at fact, they laughed at me when I inquired about an internship during year 1.
  17. SexiestPharmacist

    SexiestPharmacist 2+ Year Member

    Jun 7, 2014
    The most shi-tty part of CVS is it is freaking understaffed. Metric pressure to pharmacy managers -> understaffing and cutting tech hours -> loads of customers come in -> death
  18. DesiRX

    DesiRX Pharmacist 7+ Year Member

    Mar 28, 2008
    Milky Way
    I work for Rite Aid per diem and I love them far better than CVS. Bottom line, CVS is THE worst.
  19. wagrxm2000

    wagrxm2000 2+ Year Member

    Sep 17, 2014
    Can anyone give a comparison between cvs and Walgreens?
    rxglasshalffull likes this.
  20. M0df

    M0df New Member 10+ Year Member

    Mar 31, 2006
    I love the whole engagement meeting/survey push at CVS every year. Just had one for this year. Nice little charts that show that engaged employees are more productive employees. The usual line of questions from the supervisors and managers of what they can do better. Although I must say, there wasn't as much sugar coating this year as before. They didn't lock up PICs and store managers in a room for too long to come up with ideas this time around.
  21. rxglasshalffull

    rxglasshalffull 2+ Year Member

    May 30, 2013
    yes, anyone worked for both CVS and Walgreens, please give us a comparsion in details!
  22. Tiger Wong

    Tiger Wong 2+ Year Member

    Apr 21, 2013

    From what I have been told, Wag has cut hours in past two years to the point where it's impossible to cut even a minute more.. Not sure how they will cut $1 billion. May be someone working for Wag can enlighten us.
  23. farmadiazepine

    farmadiazepine 5+ Year Member

    Jul 10, 2011
    Worst upper management (meaning your boss and their boss). Worst in-store management (meaning your PIC and FS). The worst pharmacy staff (lack of trained, or very poorly trained technicians). Over the top, metric driven to the max. The metrics are not associated in any way to actual performance as a pharmacist. Understaffed. Too much bullsh** "accountability".

    If your parents tell you when you are 5 years old, "Do not cross the road", and it's a very busy road with trucks and cars and an intersection, do you do it? A 5 year old has no idea. If the 5 year old crosses the road, there is a high chance they will get hit and die. That's why we are here as parents, to hold the child's hand, and to help them cross the street when we know its safe for us to cross.

    When we here at SDN tell you do not work for CVS, we know what we are talking about. To those that don't listen, be prepared to be on a prescription for Paxil or Zoloft within a year into your "career" at CVS due to the overwhelming anxiety and depression you may have. Also be prepared to be on a PPI within 6 months because you will never eat "normal" again.
  24. lsexie

    lsexie Pharmacist 7+ Year Member

    Jun 26, 2008
    yep cvs a million times over. i worked there after grad for 3months and was miserable every day of my life. Had to quit asap. worst place to work. I didnt mind having to take a pay cut
  25. meister

    meister Senior Member Physician Gold Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

    Aug 24, 2004
    As a former CVS tech I can tell you it was awful.
  26. meister

    meister Senior Member Physician Gold Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

    Aug 24, 2004
    The only time working for CVS became tolerable was when I found out our district manager was jumping ship for Rite-Aid so I asked and was granted immense amounts of overtime, partially to spite the higher ups before I split for med school.
  27. Pharmpills

    Pharmpills Accepted Pharmacy Student 7+ Year Member

    Oct 26, 2007
    Walgreens is very tough almost as CVS (similar budget cuts and staff shortage) but Walgreens always tries to do different things like "POWER" which can help to relieve some pressure (calls, rx review, etc). CVS is a league on their own bc they don't respect their own pharmacist much and actually demote pharmacy managers a lot when they can't meet metrics. I've rarely met any pharmacy manager demoted at Walgreens due to metrics as of now.

  28. knight on horse

    knight on horse 2+ Year Member

    Jul 1, 2013
    Walgreens began in the Midwest; Cvs on the east coast
  29. xiphoid2010

    xiphoid2010 7+ Year Member

    Aug 23, 2007
    Took a look at the results, almost shot my beer on the screen. It's what I had expected, but the lopsidedness was just so funny somehow.
  30. WhYMee

    WhYMee 5+ Year Member

    Dec 2, 2009
    Staten Island, NY
    CVS is the Worst!!!!! You know it's bad, but once you step out and work somewhere else it really makes it evident. They are so great at PR though. Anyone not in the pharmacy world think "CVS Health" is one of the most caring healthcare corps in the world which can't be further from the truth.

    I don't even set foot in there to shop anymore. The sight of a CVS disgusts me
    Pharm2981 and jj77 like this.
  31. rxglasshalffull

    rxglasshalffull 2+ Year Member

    May 30, 2013
    i bought a drink and a sun hat from cvs the other day, i really didnt wanna give them my money but i was thirsty and socal is too sunny.
  32. JPPatt94


    Oct 4, 2014
    Not that I don't believe any claims for how crappy CVS is, but details are helpful. What exactly is so awful about CVS? I've heard the computer system is awful and the 14 hour days are unbearable, but not much else other than that.

    As far as Walgreens is concerned, they are most likely doing the 1 billion dollar budget cut by merging districts. I've been told that my 4 district area will become a 3 district area soon. Yay for corporate greed.

    Anyone here currently working at Walmart? I've heard no complaints from pharmacists there.
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2014
    rxglasshalffull likes this.
  33. bananaface

    bananaface Pharmacy Supernerd Pharmacist Moderator Emeritus Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

    Apr 24, 2004
    gone to seed
    The Walmart in my town is probably the most stressful pharmacy to work in. We also have Walgreens, Costco, Rite Aid, QFC (Kroger), and Safeway. Walmart here seems plagued by turnover and use of less than skilled labor.

    There is alot of variability within each company. Walmart has crap for benefits, so right off the bat the total compensation is less than other employers.

    It would be interesting to look at new hire retention rates for all these companies. I suspect CVS, Walmart, and Target have the most burnout and disgruntled turnover.
  34. farmadiazepine

    farmadiazepine 5+ Year Member

    Jul 10, 2011
    Bro, when you have like 50 something pharmacists on a message board for pharmacists vote and tell you that CVS is the worst, use your brain. Or better yet just go work for CVS.
  35. Mad Jack

    Mad Jack Critically Caring Gold Donor Classifieds Approved 2+ Year Member

    Jul 27, 2013
    4th Dimension
    I really wish people would just not work for horrible employers like CVS. With no staff, they can't run their business until they improve conditions or wages enough to attract staff.
  36. nguyenulm

    nguyenulm 5+ Year Member

    Jun 7, 2012
    Good luck with that. New grads who are in debt and desperate for a job will work for them.
  37. JPPatt94


    Oct 4, 2014
    I'm sorry, I didn't realize that I'm supposed to magically know why CVS is terrible. Like I said, I have no issues believing CVS sucks. I just want to know why it sucks.
  38. rxglasshalffull

    rxglasshalffull 2+ Year Member

    May 30, 2013
    last night i asked my friend ho cvs sucks, she worked for them for a month, well, she couldnt really explained how and why cvs sucks,, she just said she lost 5 lbs the first week working for them.
  39. apex8

    apex8 5+ Year Member

    Dec 12, 2010
    I have been an intern with CVS for the past 2 years. I can tell you that CVS is probably one of the worst chain/retail pharmacies to work for as a pharmacist from what I have observed myself and from pharmacists that I know and have worked with have told me. There are MANY CONs about CVS, but there are also some PROs

    CONs: (depending on what district you're in, who you work with, etc)
    - worked like a hog, no lunch, no breaks
    - understaffed, but expected to perform like a beast
    - your supervisors/DMs don't appreciate you, most of your patients don't appreciate you (note: patients may or may not appreciate you at many places other than CVS)
    - metrics, metrics, metrics and more metrics (#s here, #s there, #s everywhere)
    - the new MySchedule sucks... splits shifts based on how much staff the system thinks you need based on your history. Full-time employees often now have to work 5-6 days to get 40 hours in... YOU ARE GRADED on how well you stick to the skeleton

    PROs: (depending on what district you're in, who you work with, etc)
    - Job security. CVS is one of THE strongest if not the strongest in terms of security as a company. Stock prices are good, consumers like CVS, we're not worried that CVS will go bankrupt (as some other pharmacy chains seem)
    - I have done a rotation at Rite-Aid and even though many people have told me the Rite-Aid system is better than CVS's old fashioned, hit 1 letter, hit enter, hit another letter, hit enter system... there are things that the CVS system excels at. The E-script system at CVS is quite good, everything can be seen on screen and nothing needs to be printed before being typed. Whereas, at Rite-Aid, E-scripts need to be printed, cut, then typed. Same with the verification steps at CVS vs Rite-Aid. CVS is far superior in the production stand point. everything is more streamlined.
    - ^ this is one of the reasons that CVS excels. They push #s and metrics, but it really does improve wait times, customer service, and overall speed (sometimes at the expense of our bodies as sacrifices...)
    - CVS being the "worst" chain that people have mentioned before, anyone that can survive in CVS is either: A) Very passionate about retail/community pharmacy, B) a very good pharmacist C) can't get a job anywhere else D) any combination of these and other things...
    - I have worked with some really amazing pharmacists at CVS (worked at tons of stores and districts), what makes a store good or bad, tolerable or intolerable often depends on who you're working with, with the right staff, pharmacists and supervisors, your CVS employment can be rather easy and nice (this is usually not the case), if you do get a good store, where everyone is truly motivated to do good for patients and the store, it really uplifts everyone. *cue in the "everything is awesome" song from the lego movie*
    - long time employees of CVS are truly hard working, diligent and strong individuals. working for CVS is not if you can work there for 10 years, you are really made out of steel

    You probably won't get anymore information than what I have said here. All in all, CVS is probably one of the worst to work for, but I actually enjoy it as long as I have the right amount of staff who are well trained and work together well. I have worked with some of the strongest and brightest pharmacists and preceptors at CVS as well.
    cozypark and newlearner2014 like this.
  40. wagrxm2000

    wagrxm2000 2+ Year Member

    Sep 17, 2014
    So no one has worked at both Walgreens and cvs? I would think it would be a tie between then. I must say intercom plus is a great system.
  41. apex8

    apex8 5+ Year Member

    Dec 12, 2010
    my friend did work for walgreens before he worked for CVS and he says he liked walgreens more over CVS. Says the system was better. about actually working there vs CVS, he would choose walgreens.
  42. pharmacy7424

    pharmacy7424 Banned Banned

    Mar 24, 2011
    CVS has the most pharmacists employed.

    People who don't like their jobs are more likely to complain on internet message boards than people who enjoy their jobs.

    It is not surprising that CVS is the winner of this poll.

    The problems in the retail sector affect every chain. Overall, its all the same.

    While the workload and corporate culture in CVS may be 'worse' than other chains, the turnover this creates does create many more opportunities for advancement than other chains.
    Every Target pharmacist that doesn't relocate to a rural area for their job is going to float for a long time.
    In contrast, I know plenty of CVS managers who were promoted shortly after graduation, successful in turning their store around, and enjoy the relative job security that comes with having this success on their resume.

    Everything in life has its pros and cons. This is no different.
  43. newlearner2014


    Jun 18, 2014
    Good comparison. Thank you for your insights.
    One minor update for existing teammates and future teammates:
    You wrote:
    "Whereas, at Rite-Aid, E-scripts need to be printed, cut, then typed. "

    Update: secrets at my store: Most E-scripts for existing patient can just flow through from start to finish without printing and scanning.
    If patient is NOT existing patient, then, we have to add patient and create new record. We do 2 steps:
    1. Pick a random patient record, get to screen 2 where we see image, then, print image, then, base on printed image, type new record.

    2. After creating patient record, you now have existing patient. Process the E-script again, pick newly created record, still no scanning and no cutting.

    Processing "E-script without scanning" really helps. How? "E-script without scanning" speeds up the process by having the computer help us picking doctor, medication, prefilling instruction line, prefilling quantity...and at last step of checking, E-script shows special messages from doctor to pharmacist in full view (the messages at the bottom of E-script paper, which we often not look at but we should. Why? sometimes, I have seen at the bottom of E-script paper:
    newly updated different sig line
    different medication strengths,
    quantity in grams (when office picked 1 tube in quantity).

    The bottom is helpful, cutting saves room in the filing box but cutting may cut the important message, please be careful before cutting and scanning.)

    (For teammates that like technology: remember the combo
    CONTROL + C = COPY (to copy information to computer's memory.)
    CONTROL + V = PASTE (to get back information from computer's memory.)

    That will help copying information and pasting in RiteAid softwares or between screens of new E-script and creating new record.)

    Good luck and share more...
  44. mp808

    mp808 2+ Year Member

    May 31, 2014
    I have been working at Walgreens (as a tech) for quite some time now and I really enjoy it. When the district manager knows you by name, I feel like they genuinely care about you - which mine does... I hope to stay with Walgreens as long as I can!
  45. Deja

    Deja 7+ Year Member

    Feb 1, 2009
    no one is talking about benefits here... from what I heard from my friends at other chains, rite aid has the WORST benefits by far

    there is no increase in salary from year to year (at least in s cal) unless there is a union re-negotiation... 0 vacation time for the first year, only $1000 401k match, which basically means no matching.... compared to CVS the salary is way lower, it's higher than walgreen salary wise but I heard your salary increases every 6 months or smth like that at walgreens....

    As for metrics, rite aid pushs for metrics too, but from what i hear or see on this forum, not as much as CVS, as for staffing, my store is understaffed alot of times where I have to run to the drop off window to help out typing and other "tech" duties (is there even such a thing as tech duty anymore lol), i guess its store dependent
  46. Lnsean

    Lnsean 7+ Year Member

    May 26, 2009
    NO ONE! I mean, no one, can outdo Walgreens in under staffing their pharmacies. They have it down to an art. I think the other pharmacies are just imitating. CVS be fake, yo for realz.
    catalyzt likes this.
  47. echo66


    Nov 14, 2014
    for the record with any job its not usually the company itself that is so bad. its usually management and those around you that make job miserable. i wouldnt have said what i said about walmart if those in management actually did their job and actually knew their job. the blind cant lead the blind.:yeahright:
    molyhelp likes this.
  48. type b pharmD

    type b pharmD 7+ Year Member

    Feb 24, 2009
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2014
  49. lelmedij


    Feb 6, 2015
    Echoing what apex8 said, CVS can be hit or miss, but overwhelmingly miss. It circulates with the employees that CVS stands for "Changing Very Soon." The turnover makes for people always needing training, the pharmacy managers themselves always needing training, and when they are half way through the training, POOF, they're gone. Any place that has retention like this is not good to work for. Same thing for supervisors and DMs (which is why moving up the ladder in CVS isn't hard if you play your cards right, and for some stupid reason you want that).

    I disagree with anyone who says CVS has the worst pharmacists though. On the contrary, pharmacists (this mostly applies to PICs) that have been working for CVS more than a few years, are by far the hardest working pharmacists you will find. Yes, the staffs and floaters are the same old nonsense for the most part, but long term CVS pharmacy managers are the cream of the crop when it comes to community pharmacy. Any pharmacist recruiter/supervisor from any community setting knows that CVS is the most cut throat pharmacy (this poll makes that obvious) and hiring CVS's pharmacy managers, when they get the chance, is a no brainer to them (I've seen so many managers move on to better positions with ease).

    If you have bills to pay, are ok with feeling like a bus hit you every day for an indefinite amount of time, you want to move up a ladder for some idiotic reason, and you're looking for job security, take the job with CVS. But if you are not made of steel, you will be destroyed.

    -CVS Intern 2 years
    cozypark likes this.
  50. brianuseruser

    brianuseruser 7+ Year Member

    Jan 22, 2009
    Alt + f8 will display script on any screen

    Sent from my LG-VS985 using Tapatalk
    molyhelp likes this.
  51. VP_Pharm2004

    VP_Pharm2004 Member 10+ Year Member

    Feb 14, 2004
    I love how all the chains are in the single digits, except we've got CVS at 80 votes!! lol
    PharmDCandidate2014 likes this.

Share This Page