Thursday, October 1, 2009

It Was Too Long to be a Comment

This was supposed to be a follow-up comment to the last post, but since I kept writing and writing and writing, I figured I might as well make it a new post.

I go in early for myself. It has little to do with the patients. Yes, they may benefit from speedier service and because I have more time to talk to them about their medication. While those are positives, they're not why I go in early.

I don't believe there is a remedy to the situation. I think that most people out there just function in this way. It's their nature. Yes, you can try to impose rules and crack the whip in order to get them to work harder and be more focused. However, in the end, they don't become better workers because they want to be. They become better because you forced them to become better. They don't appreciate you for it. Instead, they hate you for making them work so damn hard. They think you're unreasonable.

It's the same thing in every environment I've ever worked in, pharmacy or otherwise. There are always people that fight over who gets to do certain daily tasks. They'll argue about who takes too many breaks, who comes in late, who leaves early, etc. You replace the problem workers with new ones only to find out that your new workers have the same problems.

The situation actually doesn't stress me out that much. Yes, sometimes when everyone else is slacking off, and I'm the only one working, things can get a little crazy for a while. However, I usually don't feel stressed as much as I feel that I'm being treated unfairly. Why am I the only one busting my ass? Why do I bother doing what I do when everyone else can get away with doing so much less while still getting paid the same?

Moreover, why when it comes to being hired or fired does seniority count more than job performance?

We had an intern at our store for several years now. She started before she was even in pharmacy school working as a tech. Then she worked as an intern throughout her entire time in school. She'd work weekends. She'd cover people's vacations. She'd come in when someone would call out sick. She worked hard, and she did a very very good job.

Well, she just got her pharmacist's license. What should have been one of the happiest times for her turned bitter sweet when our DM told her that there are no pharmacist positions in the company for her.

She had worked with the company for over 5 years. She was a great intern, and she's going to have a great career as a pharmacist. She's extremely smart, works hard, is constantly striving to expand her knowledge base, and gets along very well with all the customers. However, she can't get a job with us. Meanwhile, my company has some pharmacists that quite literally begged to be fired still on payroll.

One floater in particular was so bad that several stores refuse to have him sent there anymore. He'd go in 30 minutes late, close the gate 30 minutes early, spend the entire day bad mouthing to customers and staff, in addition to constantly saying how much he hates the DM and everything to do with the company. He still gets his hours. He still collects his paycheck. Our new pharmacist, on the other hand, has done everything right, but simply because she got her license during a hiring freeze, the company has nothing for her.

It also bugs me because if my company ever decided that it needed to start laying off pharmacists, I would be one of the first to go because I'm one of the newest pharmacists. I work harder and do a better job than probably 90% of the pharmacists we employ, but if it ever came time to cut someone, my name would be near the top of the list.

It just goes to show you that if you work for a chain, you're nothing more than a license to them. If they need more licenses they hire more people. If they need to get rid of licenses they just pick the ones they hired most recently. They don't care how hard you work. They don't care how much your coworkers and customers like you. It's all about the chronological order in which they hired you.

That's why I feel there's almost no point in even complaining to management about laziness or poor job performance. They might give those offending workers a slap on the wrist and a stern "you better start working harder" talk. It might even work for a couple weeks. Then, they'll fall right back into old habits. When you bring it back up to management, they'll start getting annoyed and questioning why you're the only one that seems to have a problem. Then, you end up being the one that's on watch. The truth is that management doesn't really care unless enough people come forward that they have to care. If it's just one person, they don't want to be bothered. Managers are just as lazy as every other employee. They just stuck around long enough that someone decided to make them managers.

Of course... I'm speaking generally here. I know there are plenty of sparkling examples of good employees and good managers. One thing's for certain though. They certainly are not the majority.

1 comment:

pharmacy chick said...

Mike, you aren't the only one who comes in early. I too come in usually 45 min to an hour early to get ready for the day. emptying the que, pulling the drugs, filling flu shots (this time of year), and looking at whatever was left behind for me from the previous shift. I get so pissed when I hear that a relief pharmacist strolled in at the store at 8:55. No wonder I hear what a lousy day they had. They start out behind and never catch up. I started telling the office that their shift starts at 8:30..didn't work. they still show up 5 minutes before the door opens. Screw em.