Lost my job yesterday

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SDC20
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Lost my job yesterday

Post by SDC20 »

I never thought that I would walk in yesterday and get an email that I had lost my job due to a buyout from another company. I've worked as a retail pharmacist for 11 years in a grocery chain and poured everything I have into growing that business and making it profitable. Sales have increased over 300% since I have been there and it didn't come easy.

We received an email that we were being bought out and all of patient files were being transferred to a competitor. I'm devastated not only for the loss of my job but the loss of these customers that I've grown to know. Many of them are like family to me and I enjoy talking to them and catching up like friends would do each and every time they come in to see me. We have 3 weeks left before the transition and I have no idea what I'm going to do for employment after that time. I've made several calls but pharmacy isn't a friendly job market especially around my hometown. Best offer I received as of yesterday was a job almost an hour and half drive away that offered 46 hours every two weeks. The pay cut is going to be pretty drastic anywhere I go, most likely 20% or more and I'll lose at least 50% of my paid time off. Pharmacy salaries are declining pretty rapidly due to the job market being flooded with new grads.

My wife is holding in better than I have and she thinks I can find something better in the next month or so if I continue to look. We haven't gotten any info yet on a possible separation package but that will give me an idea how long I can keep looking before I take another job. Just a difficult time for my family and something I never dreamed of facing.
Jags4186
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Re: Lost my job yesterday

Post by Jags4186 »

Sorry for what you’re going through. My advice is, if you are financially able, try to take your time in finding a good new job. You were able to call around and get an offer in a day. Even if it’s a bad offer, it’s a real job offer in your field. I’m sure you will be able to do better if you take some time to really job hunt.
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Tamarind
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Re: Lost my job yesterday

Post by Tamarind »

Sorry to hear about this misfortune. It's tough going back into the job market and things have changed since you last were on the hunt. This is a hard time for anyone to go looking for a job. You're not alone.

I agree that if you can get a bad offer in a day you can get a good one in 8 weeks. It's worth the time to take stock and get multiple offers if you can.

Make sure you find pharmacy specific job boards or recruiters to help, if you haven't already. IMO very little hiring is done anymore based on a phone call or walk in. Call up (or locate on LinkedIn) your friends and former bosses in the field.

Update your resume now. Don't forget to include the 300% increase in sales you can take credit for.

Make sure you apply for unemployment when the time comes.
carolinaman
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Re: Lost my job yesterday

Post by carolinaman »

Jags4186 wrote: Thu Jun 04, 2020 6:54 am Sorry for what you’re going through. My advice is, if you are financially able, try to take your time in finding a good new job. You were able to call around and get an offer in a day. Even if it’s a bad offer, it’s a real job offer in your field. I’m sure you will be able to do better if you take some time to really job hunt.
I am sorry about your job loss. To expand on the previous post, your job right now is to find a good new job. That takes time, work and persistence, especially in these times. Do not be discourage, keep at it. One thought, since a competitor bought the business, they may have need of more pharmacists. Best wishes in finding a good new job.
Jack FFR1846
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Re: Lost my job yesterday

Post by Jack FFR1846 »

Be prepared for it to take time. My wife (a nurse) spent literally years to find a full time job while working a per diem job following over a decade taking care of the kids. If the competitor who received the files is local, I'd think that they would be your first stop. Get the numbers for unemployment and understand the requirements to keep receiving it. Back in the days of Fred Flintstone, Mr Slate layed us off from the gravel yard and I went on unemployment for a couple weeks. My requirements were to look for work and document where I looked. I was not required to look outside of my local area, so that hour and a half drive would not qualify as an offer to disqualify me from UI.
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galawdawg
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Re: Lost my job yesterday

Post by galawdawg »

Sorry to hear that.

I don't know what part of Georgia you are in and I don't know how profitable local pharmacies are with the proliferation of Walmart and such, but this may be a time to consider starting your own pharmacy business in your hometown. I much prefer small local pharmacies with personal service rather than gong to CVS, Ingles, etc. but they seem to be getting harder to find. You might also look into working at a hospital or other medical facility.

Of course, I'm probably not telling you anything you don't already know...Good luck!
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WarAdmiral
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Re: Lost my job yesterday

Post by WarAdmiral »

I would suggest you take up the new job instead of waiting out for a better one. Sitting at home all day making phone calls, etc can be draining. Right now you are enthusiastic and hopeful but after a few weeks of little to not activity, this process will start to get to you. When you have a job in hand, even though it pays less, you have something to look forward to. Plus it's only about half the time so you will have plenty of time to network. I maybe wrong on this but unlike say, software engineering, i don't think there is any extra preparation required on your part for interviews.
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SDC20
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Re: Lost my job yesterday

Post by SDC20 »

Thanks everyone for the kind words. I'm definitely keeping my options open and don't plan on jumping on the first offer I receive. My wife and I have built a good emergency fund for a situation like this, but don't want to live off of it for too long. We had a trip to the Virgin Islands planned for our anniversary in two weeks, and we are debating going or cancelling and saving the money. Most people have told me to go ahead and enjoy the trip since I'm about to take on a new job and won't have near as much PTO in the future. Uncertainty scares me and I just don't like change so it's a rough, emotional ride for me right now.
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tennisplyr
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Re: Lost my job yesterday

Post by tennisplyr »

Hang in there. You probably shouldn't do anything too dramatic until you find out what they will do for you. Assume you'll need to move on and get prepared mentally and physically, don't panic. When I lost a job in my fifties, I received a nice severance, medical and unemployment package. You will find that life does go on...many times more succesfully. Good luck!
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Andyrunner
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Re: Lost my job yesterday

Post by Andyrunner »

Not much help but wife is a in-patient pharmacist and says what you said about the job market and overflow of new grads. She has one year of residency, most new grads have two years. New grad pay is a lot less than what it was 10 years ago. Although her job is pretty secure, she does have this fear that if push comes to shove, she would be a low hanging fruit.

I don't know the market particularly, but any local schools or hospitals where you can maybe get residency? Can you look at taking classes in another field? She has a co-worker who is a pharmacy liaison to the hospital IT Dept and another who works in the supply chain dept ordering drug compounds. My wife also teaches as a visiting instructor at the state college nursing school.
alex_686
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Re: Lost my job yesterday

Post by alex_686 »

I have been in your shoes before. I would take some time with a clean sheet of paper and think about what you want to do with your life. Big picture stuff. Do you really to return to retail pharmacy? What will be the impact of mail order drugs and how will that affect you? Where do you want to live? Work verse family. etc.

I knew a IT guy who got laid off. Went back to college to get his pharmacy degree. Now he is a lead engineer at a hospital's pharmacy, writing code, while doing a little pharmacy on the side.

Honestly, I don't have the answer to any of these questions. And when I was laid off in the past I had no idea either. Take some time, clear your head, then act.
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PoppyA
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Re: Lost my job yesterday

Post by PoppyA »

I am so sorry. I know how important those customer relationship are to both you and those customers. There is nothing better than a pharmacist who knows, and follows his customers and their health! I’ve seen good pharmacists in rural areas who in effect become the best medical sounding board for the poor & elderly. As a matter of fact, just this morning I was thinking I need to move to a pharmacy a little further away because my favorite pharmacist is there.

As others have noted above, put your head down and work the problem. It sounds like your best luck is having that wife!
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galawdawg
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Re: Lost my job yesterday

Post by galawdawg »

Are you at Bi-Lo or Harvey's? (https://www.winsightgrocerybusiness.com ... eys-stores)

If so, as a former CVS customer, I can say DON"T go with CVS if you can avoid it. I have had the WORST experiences with them, a complete lack of competence and professionalism. Just my $0.02!

And if the Virgin Islands is still open in two weeks, GO! Great opportunity to relax, unwind, spend quality time with your wife, and forget about life's problems for a while. It may be hard to get away once you are geared up in your new position. You have an emergency fund, you'll be eligible for enhanced unemployment benefits, and I suspect a few years down the road when you look in the rear view mirror, you won't regret going. Get your physician to write a script for it if necessary. Relax in the Virgin Islands, take daily for one or two weeks with liberal amounts of suitable liquids until symptoms resolve. :sharebeer
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SDC20
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Re: Lost my job yesterday

Post by SDC20 »

galawdawg wrote: Thu Jun 04, 2020 7:40 am Are you at Bi-Lo or Harvey's? (https://www.winsightgrocerybusiness.com ... eys-stores)

If so, as a former CVS customer, I can say DON"T go with CVS if you can avoid it. I have had the WORST experiences with them, a complete lack of competence and professionalism. Just my $0.02!

And if the Virgin Islands is still open in two weeks, GO! Great opportunity to relax, unwind, spend quality time with your wife, and forget about life's problems for a while. It may be hard to get away once you are geared up in your new position. You have an emergency fund, you'll be eligible for enhanced unemployment benefits, and I suspect a few years down the road when you look in the rear view mirror, you won't regret going. Get your physician to write a script for it if necessary. Relax in the Virgin Islands, take daily for one or two weeks with liberal amounts of suitable liquids until symptoms resolve. :sharebeer
Yes I work with Harvey's. I'm still surprised Food Lion didn't want to keep the pharmacies operating. We bring in so many customers to the store every day and there is going to be a lot of upset people when they see the pharmacy closed.
Mr. Rumples
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Re: Lost my job yesterday

Post by Mr. Rumples »

They are looking at the bottom line and little else. You appear to be customer oriented and that will help when this is over. My Kroger recently went through this and so I moved my business to Walgreens. Its like night and day in terms of service.

I have a friend who went through something similar and became a geriatric pharmacist. He can't keep up just doing consulting. I am not even sure he has the official certification yet, but he is traveling all over. He's a an older guy and was relived to get off of his feet.

Many of us here have been through a layoff. Its scary, but we pull though and many like myself are on the other side better off.
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bottlecap
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Re: Lost my job yesterday

Post by bottlecap »

I’m sorry to hear this. With the market for pharmacists being as you describe, you make have to consider moving from your hometown. Perhaps not. If you do, you will have the adventure of getting to know and help new people.

The other good news is that you certainly have a skill in need. And a supportive spouse. The first thing that jumped out at me was you have a stellar record running a pharmacy. Your experience should make you valuable.

Good luck and hang tough,

JT
go_mets
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Re: Lost my job yesterday

Post by go_mets »

ugaDAWGS09 wrote: Thu Jun 04, 2020 6:47 am Best offer I received as of yesterday was a job almost an hour and half drive away that offered 46 hours every two weeks.
Sorry to hear of this unexpected news.

If this 46 hours can be aggregated such that you are making that long commute for 2 or 3 days each week, then I would be tempted to take the job.


.
eldinerocheapo
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Re: Lost my job yesterday

Post by eldinerocheapo »

Layoffs, RIF's, downsizing, consolidations, and mergers all mean the same thing........someone will be out of a job. I'd wager over half this board including myself has faced this sad fact of corporate life. Once the shock wears off, pick yourself up, dust yourself off and show employers in your profession what you have to offer, and I can almost guarantee something as good if not better will come your way.

As for the Virgin Islands, by all means go and get away from this for a little while. It'll mean a lot to your wife too, and give you time to relax and reflect on future plans. Now go and enjoy yourself, things will get better
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birnhamwood
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Re: Lost my job yesterday

Post by birnhamwood »

With your good record, you should have an in with your competitor. Why not apply there?
Golf maniac
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Re: Lost my job yesterday

Post by Golf maniac »

I know it is a tough time but I am surprised people on a financial board would say take the trip to the Virgin Islands. If it can be refunded then I would get the money back. If it is sunk money then take the trip. This is the time to implement a bare bones budget, the longer your emergency funds last the longer you can search for a good job. If this ends up being longer term you may need to think about relocation. Think about all expenses and cut down as much as possible. Good luck.
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Sandtrap
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Re: Lost my job yesterday

Post by Sandtrap »

ugaDAWGS09 wrote: Thu Jun 04, 2020 6:47 am I never thought that I would walk in yesterday and get an email that I had lost my job due to a buyout from another company. I've worked as a retail pharmacist for 11 years in a grocery chain and poured everything I have into growing that business and making it profitable. Sales have increased over 300% since I have been there and it didn't come easy.

We received an email that we were being bought out and all of patient files were being transferred to a competitor. I'm devastated not only for the loss of my job but the loss of these customers that I've grown to know. Many of them are like family to me and I enjoy talking to them and catching up like friends would do each and every time they come in to see me. We have 3 weeks left before the transition and I have no idea what I'm going to do for employment after that time. I've made several calls but pharmacy isn't a friendly job market especially around my hometown. Best offer I received as of yesterday was a job almost an hour and half drive away that offered 46 hours every two weeks. The pay cut is going to be pretty drastic anywhere I go, most likely 20% or more and I'll lose at least 50% of my paid time off. Pharmacy salaries are declining pretty rapidly due to the job market being flooded with new grads.

My wife is holding in better than I have and she thinks I can find something better in the next month or so if I continue to look. We haven't gotten any info yet on a possible separation package but that will give me an idea how long I can keep looking before I take another job. Just a difficult time for my family and something I never dreamed of facing.
One of the hazards of working hard to grow a business as an employee is that it is someone else's business and you are expendable.

Have you considered perhaps partnering up with another pharmacist and opening up a small pharmacy?

Good luck in finding new employment.
j :happy
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Onlineid3089
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Re: Lost my job yesterday

Post by Onlineid3089 »

go_mets wrote: Thu Jun 04, 2020 9:42 am
ugaDAWGS09 wrote: Thu Jun 04, 2020 6:47 am Best offer I received as of yesterday was a job almost an hour and half drive away that offered 46 hours every two weeks.
Sorry to hear of this unexpected news.

If this 46 hours can be aggregated such that you are making that long commute for 2 or 3 days each week, then I would be tempted to take the job.


.
That's what I was thinking as well. Depending on how the hours play out it may not be a bad gig for a while.
Katietsu
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Re: Lost my job yesterday

Post by Katietsu »

If staying in an area with limited opportunities is important, you could consider a work from home pharmacy job. I know someone who has been doing this for an insurance company. Does not like it as much as her previous University based job but worth it to her for the lifestyle reasons.
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JupiterJones
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Re: Lost my job yesterday

Post by JupiterJones »

So sorry to hear. Job loss is always very tough, but all you can do is focus on the controllables, which it sounds like you're doing.

I'm surprised that pharmacy is a tough market. With all the pharmacies popping up on every corner and in every grocery store and Target/Wal-Mart around, I would've thought otherwise. Shows what I know!

I wonder if being a drug rep is something you'd ever want to do? Seems like your experience and obvious people skills would be an asset there. Although it is sales, which takes a certain type of person (of which I certainly am not myself!)

Hang in there! :beer
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go_mets
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Re: Lost my job yesterday

Post by go_mets »

JupiterJones wrote: Thu Jun 04, 2020 1:36 pm I'm surprised that pharmacy is a tough market. With all the pharmacies popping up on every corner and in every grocery store and Target/Wal-Mart around, I would've thought otherwise. Shows what I know!
At my local CVS it is one pharmacist per shift with 2 or 3 pharmacy techs who are probably paid at slightly more than minimum wage.

.
delamer
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Re: Lost my job yesterday

Post by delamer »

Sorry about your job loss.

Is their a professional organization to which you belong (or could join) that has a jobs board or other employment services? What about alumni services from your pharmacy school? Or reaching out to other members of your class?

Best of luck.
Pseudomonas
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Re: Lost my job yesterday

Post by Pseudomonas »

Retail pharmacist here

If Walmart has an openings in your area, if even they're 48 or 64 hour per 2 week staff pharmacist gigs, you often will end up working 80 hours or very close to it if you're eager. And if you're good, you'll be towards the top of the list for when there's a manager opening. My two staff pharmacists are both salaried at 48 hours but both usually work 70+ hours.

Depending on demand on your area it may require floating to other stores but if you stick with a big chain, Walmart is about as good as you're going to get as far as a company to work for in my opinion.
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SDC20
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Re: Lost my job yesterday

Post by SDC20 »

Pseudomonas wrote: Thu Jun 04, 2020 3:36 pm Retail pharmacist here

If Walmart has an openings in your area, if even they're 48 or 64 hour per 2 week staff pharmacist gigs, you often will end up working 80 hours or very close to it if you're eager. And if you're good, you'll be towards the top of the list for when there's a manager opening. My two staff pharmacists are both salaried at 48 hours but both usually work 70+ hours.

Depending on demand on your area it may require floating to other stores but if you stick with a big chain, Walmart is about as good as you're going to get as far as a company to work for in my opinion.
One of my best friends is the pharmacy manager at my local Walmart so if an opening comes available for the 48 hours I'm going to take it and hope to get around 70 hours by floating/covering other shifts. Retail pharmacy is a nightmare sometimes but offers the best pay and allows for way more time off.
New Providence
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Re: Lost my job yesterday

Post by New Providence »

Sorry about the bad the news.

It is important, from time to time, to think about a possible plan "B". Losing ones job is very much possible at any time. And then what? What's the plan?

The best time to think about it is when on is firmly employed.

Very best of luck!
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White Coat Investor
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Re: Lost my job yesterday

Post by White Coat Investor »

Ever considered opening an independent pharmacy? At least if you got fired again it would be you doing the firing? People who pour their heart and soul into their jobs are generally happier being in charge anyway.
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StoopieHippo
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Re: Lost my job yesterday

Post by StoopieHippo »

White Coat Investor wrote: Thu Jun 04, 2020 5:22 pm Ever considered opening an independent pharmacy? At least if you got fired again it would be you doing the firing? People who pour their heart and soul into their jobs are generally happier being in charge anyway.
I feel like a number of people have said this.

It takes about $1.5mil to open an independent pharmacy, and that's just start up costs for bare minimum in meds for those first few prescriptions that come through the door and the licensing involved. Additionally, Pharmacy Benefit Managers have taken the prescription margins down to pennies. It used to be that an independent pharmacy could make it and would offer a much better QOL if you had the funds (and the clientele) but these days, they're barely making any money. With pharmacy schools pumping out something like 200k grads each year and not as many people retiring, it's gonna be a hard slog to get a decent pharmacist job now.

OP, if you were on good terms with your nearby pharmacists, maybe you can ask them if there's any internal only positions posted? They could recommend an outsider to their district manager and if the posting's been up for long enough, they may open it to you.
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celia
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Re: Lost my job yesterday

Post by celia »

ugaDAWGS09 wrote: Thu Jun 04, 2020 6:47 am We received an email that we were being bought out and all of patient files were being transferred to a competitor. I'm devastated not only for the loss of my job but the loss of these customers that I've grown to know. Many of them are like family to me and I enjoy talking to them and catching up like friends would do each and every time they come in to see me. We have 3 weeks left before the transition and I have no idea what I'm going to do for employment after that time.
You will have competition in getting a new job with all the other pharmacists in the same chain. The above paragraph tells me you may like working for the competitor and the patients will too. They may not yet recognize it, but their workload is about to increase. Let the competitor know that the new patients who already trust you will soon be going to them and it will help to keep them at the competitor if they have some familiarity with the pharmacists (you).
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celia
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Re: Lost my job yesterday

Post by celia »

galawdawg wrote: Thu Jun 04, 2020 7:40 am If so, as a former CVS customer, I can say DON"T go with CVS if you can avoid it. I have had the WORST experiences with them, a complete lack of competence and professionalism. Just my $0.02!
Around here, CVS is one of the best. In fact, we choose our Medicare drug plans according to which plan has CVS as the preferred pharmacy.
StoopieHippo
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Re: Lost my job yesterday

Post by StoopieHippo »

celia wrote: Thu Jun 04, 2020 5:48 pm
galawdawg wrote: Thu Jun 04, 2020 7:40 am If so, as a former CVS customer, I can say DON"T go with CVS if you can avoid it. I have had the WORST experiences with them, a complete lack of competence and professionalism. Just my $0.02!
Around here, CVS is one of the best. In fact, we choose our Medicare drug plans according to which plan has CVS as the preferred pharmacy.
Working for CVS as an employee is a terrible deal. Everything, and I mean everything is measured by CVS. Everything from how long it takes you to answer the phone to how long you spend on the phone is measured. Also their typical day is 14 hours long, on your feet, with no bathroom breaks or lunch. Would not recommend.

I'm sure from a patient perspective though, having those calls to remind you to refill your meds can be helpful (if slightly annoying).
Kennedy
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Re: Lost my job yesterday

Post by Kennedy »

Frankly, I'm surprised several people suggested that OP open his own pharmacy. Around where I live, most of the independent pharmacies have been dead as can be with most people taking their business to chain places. An exception is a local compounding pharmacy, which always seems to be busy.

Further, it would be nice to be serviced by an experienced pharmacist. Whenever I've asked pharmacists a question, it seems they just start reading from the included literature or seem like they're just making stuff up without answering in a confident manner.
Momus
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Re: Lost my job yesterday

Post by Momus »

That's why I won't work for a grocery chain.

The big two or Walmart is pretty safe for retail. Anyone jumping ship/gets laid off/fired is talking $15-20/hr paycut right now.
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White Coat Investor
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Re: Lost my job yesterday

Post by White Coat Investor »

StoopieHippo wrote: Thu Jun 04, 2020 5:40 pm
White Coat Investor wrote: Thu Jun 04, 2020 5:22 pm Ever considered opening an independent pharmacy? At least if you got fired again it would be you doing the firing? People who pour their heart and soul into their jobs are generally happier being in charge anyway.
I feel like a number of people have said this.

It takes about $1.5mil to open an independent pharmacy, and that's just start up costs for bare minimum in meds for those first few prescriptions that come through the door and the licensing involved. Additionally, Pharmacy Benefit Managers have taken the prescription margins down to pennies. It used to be that an independent pharmacy could make it and would offer a much better QOL if you had the funds (and the clientele) but these days, they're barely making any money. With pharmacy schools pumping out something like 200k grads each year and not as many people retiring, it's gonna be a hard slog to get a decent pharmacist job now.

OP, if you were on good terms with your nearby pharmacists, maybe you can ask them if there's any internal only positions posted? They could recommend an outsider to their district manager and if the posting's been up for long enough, they may open it to you.
That means your labor should be cheaper then :)

But if there is no pharmacy for 1.5 hours...seems like there may be opportunity there.
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bloom2708
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Re: Lost my job yesterday

Post by bloom2708 »

Be patient. Maybe take 2-4 weeks after to regroup.

Polish and update your resume.

Do not take the first job, especially far away or short on hours.

How about starting your own pharmacy? Is there a chance the new owners might rehire some staff? Maybe a few calls?

My pharmacist friend works for the FDA. He keeps his license up, but likes the job he has.

Don't panic.
Last edited by bloom2708 on Thu Jun 04, 2020 7:03 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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galawdawg
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Re: Lost my job yesterday

Post by galawdawg »

StoopieHippo wrote: Thu Jun 04, 2020 6:17 pm
celia wrote: Thu Jun 04, 2020 5:48 pm
galawdawg wrote: Thu Jun 04, 2020 7:40 am If so, as a former CVS customer, I can say DON"T go with CVS if you can avoid it. I have had the WORST experiences with them, a complete lack of competence and professionalism. Just my $0.02!
Around here, CVS is one of the best. In fact, we choose our Medicare drug plans according to which plan has CVS as the preferred pharmacy.
Working for CVS as an employee is a terrible deal. Everything, and I mean everything is measured by CVS. Everything from how long it takes you to answer the phone to how long you spend on the phone is measured. Also their typical day is 14 hours long, on your feet, with no bathroom breaks or lunch. Would not recommend.

I'm sure from a patient perspective though, having those calls to remind you to refill your meds can be helpful (if slightly annoying).
I ran into problems with CVS several times where I would request a refill, be told it would be ready at a certain time and drive to CVS only to find out that they were out of the medication. CVS had no problem making annoying automated calls reminding me to refill (even though I asked several times to be opted out of those with no effect) but couldn't make a call to say, "sorry, we were wrong, your medication is not in stock". I even changed to a different CVS location near my office, instead of my home, only to have similar issues. Twice the pharmacist said they weren't sure when they would have my medication back in stock and that there were manufacturer shortages. CVS corporate said the same thing. But oddly enough, when I actually contacted the manufacturer, they said there were no shortages! As it turned out Walmart, Walgreens and Rite-Aid all had the medication in stock and said it was no problem getting it. CVS did say that one of their stores about seventy miles away had it in stock if I wanted to go there to pick it up. :oops:

The final straw was when my physician sent in an updated batch of refills for me after a visit, including insulin. I called later that day to find out when they would be ready and was told to give them an hour or so. I actually waited until the next day and when I arrived was told they would not fill the insulin prescription as it was written incorrectly. (Of course, no call or anything to let me know). The prescription was written "as needed per insulin pump" or similar language instead of having a dosage (but did have the number of vials per month and how many refills). And when I asked what happened when they contacted my physician to clarify, they said "that isn't our responsibility"! :o Well, after that day, they were correct, it wasn't their responsibility. I changed pharmacies even though my new one was less convenient. And when I contacted CVS corporate about some of the issues, they were completely unresponsive and frankly unapologetic. I haven't set foot in a CVS store in several years.

I suppose that if CVS is a miserable workplace and employer, that would certainly contribute to service failures and poor customer service.
StoopieHippo
Posts: 102
Joined: Sat Sep 15, 2018 10:42 am
Location: Seattle, WA

Re: Lost my job yesterday

Post by StoopieHippo »

White Coat Investor wrote: Thu Jun 04, 2020 6:40 pm
StoopieHippo wrote: Thu Jun 04, 2020 5:40 pm
White Coat Investor wrote: Thu Jun 04, 2020 5:22 pm Ever considered opening an independent pharmacy? At least if you got fired again it would be you doing the firing? People who pour their heart and soul into their jobs are generally happier being in charge anyway.
I feel like a number of people have said this.

It takes about $1.5mil to open an independent pharmacy, and that's just start up costs for bare minimum in meds for those first few prescriptions that come through the door and the licensing involved. Additionally, Pharmacy Benefit Managers have taken the prescription margins down to pennies. It used to be that an independent pharmacy could make it and would offer a much better QOL if you had the funds (and the clientele) but these days, they're barely making any money. With pharmacy schools pumping out something like 200k grads each year and not as many people retiring, it's gonna be a hard slog to get a decent pharmacist job now.

OP, if you were on good terms with your nearby pharmacists, maybe you can ask them if there's any internal only positions posted? They could recommend an outsider to their district manager and if the posting's been up for long enough, they may open it to you.
That means your labor should be cheaper then :)

But if there is no pharmacy for 1.5 hours...seems like there may be opportunity there.
I didn't take it to mean no pharmacy in 1.5hrs, just no openings in that area.

And yes, the going rate for new grads is down to the $40-50/hr range in most areas, I think. For reference, most established pharmies make around the $60-65/hr mark.
123
Posts: 6739
Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2012 3:55 pm

Re: Lost my job yesterday

Post by 123 »

While you may have enjoyed the retail experience you may want to consider institutional opportunities such as with hospitals (incluidng VA and state/county), large jails, prisions, rehabilitation centers, and military bases (civil service) in your area. Institutional employment doesn't have to be a "forever" choice, just don't indicate in any way that it's a stepping stone for you to the hiring folks or your new co-workers.
The closest helping hand is at the end of your own arm.
RJC
Posts: 764
Joined: Fri Dec 14, 2018 1:40 pm

Re: Lost my job yesterday

Post by RJC »

If I were you, I would think about the long term and try to get out of the retail sector. They have been trying to squeeze every bit out of pharmacists since the 2000s. I have heard lately they have been cutting hours and even reducing pay. That's insane after 2-4 years of undergrad and 4 years of professional school.

Are there any mail order/specialty pharmacies near you? FDA district office? Pharmaceutical companies or wholesale drug distributors? There is something for every type of pharmacist.

Good luck!
Pomegranate
Posts: 395
Joined: Mon Oct 01, 2018 4:42 pm

Re: Lost my job yesterday

Post by Pomegranate »

ugaDAWGS09 wrote: Thu Jun 04, 2020 6:47 am I never thought that I would walk in yesterday and get an email that I had lost my job due to a buyout from another company. I've worked as a retail pharmacist for 11 years in a grocery chain and poured everything I have into growing that business and making it profitable. Sales have increased over 300% since I have been there and it didn't come easy.

We received an email that we were being bought out and all of patient files were being transferred to a competitor. I'm devastated not only for the loss of my job but the loss of these customers that I've grown to know. Many of them are like family to me and I enjoy talking to them and catching up like friends would do each and every time they come in to see me. We have 3 weeks left before the transition and I have no idea what I'm going to do for employment after that time. I've made several calls but pharmacy isn't a friendly job market especially around my hometown. Best
Sorry to hear that :(

How far from FI are you? Can you afford to take a break and switch careers?
neverpanic
Posts: 584
Joined: Sun May 10, 2020 12:26 am

Re: Lost my job yesterday

Post by neverpanic »

StoopieHippo wrote: Thu Jun 04, 2020 5:40 pm
White Coat Investor wrote: Thu Jun 04, 2020 5:22 pm Ever considered opening an independent pharmacy? At least if you got fired again it would be you doing the firing? People who pour their heart and soul into their jobs are generally happier being in charge anyway.
I feel like a number of people have said this.

It takes about $1.5mil to open an independent pharmacy, and that's just start up costs for bare minimum in meds for those first few prescriptions that come through the door and the licensing involved. Additionally, Pharmacy Benefit Managers have taken the prescription margins down to pennies. It used to be that an independent pharmacy could make it and would offer a much better QOL if you had the funds (and the clientele) but these days, they're barely making any money. With pharmacy schools pumping out something like 200k grads each year and not as many people retiring, it's gonna be a hard slog to get a decent pharmacist job now.
+1

People who would support an independent pharmacy are too small a pool nowadays, which is why we've seen such rapid acquisitions by the big brands, CVS & Walgreens, over the past decade, with Walmart right there endeavoring to position itself as the ____-store for everyone, regardless of what they're shopping for. A lot of the older population are quite happy with the corporate stores, and the market is only going to continue moving that way. :(

You're smart and skilled, but if taking that much of a pay cut won't be good for your psyche, I agree with the suggestion to consider a possible career change.
I am not a financial professional or guru. I'm a schmuck who got lucky 10 times. Such is the life of the trader.
123
Posts: 6739
Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2012 3:55 pm

Re: Lost my job yesterday

Post by 123 »

From what I've observed as a consumer it would be very tough to start up and survive as an independent pharmacy. To survive you've got to have a large retail presence to attract customers. That said I have seen some small independent pharmacies that seem to survive. There's one in the older section of the town that I grew up in that has been around over 35 years. It doesn't appear to ever have any prescription walk-in customers yet the few times I'v'e walked inside to buy some over-the-counter item (just to see what's going on) there are always two people busy behind the pharmacy counter. A strange store since they have a very limited inventory in the non-pharmacy area. I eventually came to the conclusion that their business is likely connected to long established convalescent hospitals and/or large assisted living facilities in the area. Those places have to handle refills for many, many residents and as long as the pharmacy does order fullfillment and billing okay they can easily keep that business. A tough business to now break into as an independent retail store
The closest helping hand is at the end of your own arm.
mouses
Posts: 4217
Joined: Sat Oct 24, 2015 12:24 am

Re: Lost my job yesterday

Post by mouses »

WarAdmiral wrote: Thu Jun 04, 2020 7:27 am I would suggest you take up the new job instead of waiting out for a better one. Sitting at home all day making phone calls, etc can be draining. Right now you are enthusiastic and hopeful but after a few weeks of little to not activity, this process will start to get to you. When you have a job in hand, even though it pays less, you have something to look forward to. Plus it's only about half the time so you will have plenty of time to network. I maybe wrong on this but unlike say, software engineering, i don't think there is any extra preparation required on your part for interviews.
I would take that job. It keeps money coming in, which will take a lot of pressure off, and it leaves a big chunk of free time when you can job hunt or think about opening a local pharmacy. I know zero about the finances of the latter, but as a customer I was much happier at the one where I lived before than at a chain.

I also read recently that the job market sucks for pharmacists. I know life has become much more stressful for the pharmacists at my local RiteAid after it was taken over by Walgreens. They can't even have an uninterrupted lunch break, as there is no one covering for them and they are recalled by texts. The staffing level has been cut but the same amount of work is expected.

I would delay that vacation. How could you enjoy it in this time of financial worry.
sfnerd
Posts: 218
Joined: Tue Apr 08, 2014 1:16 am

Re: Lost my job yesterday

Post by sfnerd »

ugaDAWGS09 wrote: Thu Jun 04, 2020 7:30 am Thanks everyone for the kind words. I'm definitely keeping my options open and don't plan on jumping on the first offer I receive. My wife and I have built a good emergency fund for a situation like this, but don't want to live off of it for too long. We had a trip to the Virgin Islands planned for our anniversary in two weeks, and we are debating going or cancelling and saving the money. Most people have told me to go ahead and enjoy the trip since I'm about to take on a new job and won't have near as much PTO in the future. Uncertainty scares me and I just don't like change so it's a rough, emotional ride for me right now.
Really sorry about your job loss. Hang in there. Definitely take the time off and enjoy your anniversary. You have a supportive wife who loves you, and investing in your marriage has a great ROI :D

Try to clear your head before the trip, and hit the ground running when you return. You will be fine in the end, just watch expenses and don't let the understandable feelings of anxiety cloud your decisions on the right job to take next.

Good luck to you :sharebeer
azianbob
Posts: 388
Joined: Tue Jan 15, 2019 6:53 pm

Re: Lost my job yesterday

Post by azianbob »

Sorry to hear that. Definitely look into unemployment, so you can take your time and figure out your next move. As the old saying goes, something is better than nothing. While you won't be eligible for the Covid related job loss bonus of $600 a week, the unemployment periods for the states are all extended 13 weeks from the max. So here in California its the regular 26 weeks plus 13 more.
vested1
Posts: 2326
Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2012 4:20 pm

Re: Lost my job yesterday

Post by vested1 »

celia wrote: Thu Jun 04, 2020 5:48 pm
galawdawg wrote: Thu Jun 04, 2020 7:40 am If so, as a former CVS customer, I can say DON"T go with CVS if you can avoid it. I have had the WORST experiences with them, a complete lack of competence and professionalism. Just my $0.02!
Around here, CVS is one of the best. In fact, we choose our Medicare drug plans according to which plan has CVS as the preferred pharmacy.
CVS bought Aetna and moved their prescription mail order business to Wellcare...supposedly. It's hard to tell since when you call with a problem they are all connected via their communications system, each pointing the finger of blame in the direction of the other.

https://www.modernhealthcare.com/merger ... eal-review

This divestiture of mail-in prescription service was done to overcome objections to the "merger" in the courts. I was a customer of Aetna plan D in 2019, which I had to change for 2020 because it was absorbed by Wellcare. The service was bad before but it is now a complete crap shoot as to getting your medications on time, in the correct dosage, or even at all.

I don't know if the OP worked as an independent in the grocery store or if they were associated with one of these businesses, but if they were a pharmisist for a large chain they could simply be another victim of the merging of businesses into mega-corporations, which is rarely a benefit to either the customer or the (sometimes former) employees. My sympathies to the OP and to the rest of us, who will eventually all be buying our products from a single source with no competition while trying to resolve problems on hold to a phone tree in a different country.
aristotelian
Posts: 8600
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2017 8:05 pm

Re: Lost my job yesterday

Post by aristotelian »

WarAdmiral wrote: Thu Jun 04, 2020 7:27 am I would suggest you take up the new job instead of waiting out for a better one. Sitting at home all day making phone calls, etc can be draining. Right now you are enthusiastic and hopeful but after a few weeks of little to not activity, this process will start to get to you. When you have a job in hand, even though it pays less, you have something to look forward to. Plus it's only about half the time so you will have plenty of time to network. I maybe wrong on this but unlike say, software engineering, i don't think there is any extra preparation required on your part for interviews.
+1, I have seen people being picky about jobs they take extend their job search for years, especially when the economy is bad. I do a half hour commute. It isn't great but you get used to it. At least you will be able to tread water financially and no gaps on the resume. Do deliveries for Amazon or build a side business in your spare time. Keep in touch with a good reference who can say the layoff was not your fault. If you jump jobs again this reference may be more important than people at your next job.
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