This is the third and final part of my exploration into the Retail Pharmacy. I have spoken with doctors, pharmacist, technicians, managers and other professionals and what I discovered about the retail Pharmacy business is shocking.  This information was gathered from workers at the big chain pharmacies Rite Aide, Walgreens and CVS/Pharmacy.

Racism

There have been many articles, case studies and other ways to define or identify what racism is.  This is a tricky and touchy subject to gauge, so I have provided a few real stories. These are actual stories taken this year from your local pharmacy.

First here is the standard:

A Caucasian pharmacist, who routinely and inappropriately touched his female minority technicians was written up and the complaining technician was moved.

Another Caucasian pharmacist would openly pass gas in the pharmacy. He did this so much that he would at times soil himself. He would then go into the break room wash his undergarments and hang them up to dry, in plain view no less. He was written up and the complaining party was moved to another pharmacy. It sounds funny, but it is not, from what I was told the pharmacist was quite rank and that this went on for several month.

Minority Leadership Programs

Retail pharmacy corporations trumpet their diversity, as well as their programs initiated for minorities. What they don’t say is that the Federal Government gives them write-offs for such programs, nor do they mention that they get another tax write-off for hiring a minority.

Each of these corporations have minority leadership programs.  Recently, one company sent out an email inviting employees to the African-American Leadership Group. The email said that topics would be “Low Productivity, High Turn-Over and Absenteeism“.

The email for the Asian Leadership Group said the only topic would be “Communication”.

Books that are changing everything

Human Resources

A Regional pharmacy supervisor, who is Middle Eastern, told me that he has heard his bosses make racist comments toward him. Although he tells his workers to call Human Resources if they encounter this kind of problem, he acknowledges that he will never go to Human Resources with the issue. Everyone knows that Human Resources is there to save the company money and the minute you complain about something like this the clock is ticking on your employment.

Obvious Racism

*Pharmacy Corporate Executives always travel with managers and other executives*

An executive visited a store in Compton. When he saw that the prescription numbers were down, he said “If I get on the loudspeaker and started beat boxing I bet the prescription numbers will go up.

An executive entered a pharmacy in a neighborhood where the median income is $55,000 and median home price is $600,000. Upon seeing two African-American pharmacy technicians he promptly picked up his cellphone, called his friend on the east coast and said with a smile “Guess where I am? I’m deep in the hood now.”

Another executive remarked to a crowd of managers on the possible cause for a slight dip in the pharmacy’s customers service score, he said to the pharmacist “I know it is not you, it’s Those.” The only other people who worked in the pharmacy were African-American.

Here is a common case

A pharmacy executive toured a retail pharmacy and all of the comment she made were glowing, all except one, she said “We need to change the color scheme.”

Including the front store portion this pharmacy was 45% African-American, 30% Latino, 20% Asian and 5% white. Two weeks after this executive made her comment. The African-American General Manger was removed, The Asian supervisor was transferred. A Caucasian was brought into replace the General Manager while the other minorities hours were summarily cut. Every two weeks a minority was moved, fired or replaced. It goes without saying that minority workers are harassed, threaten with being fired, or have their hours cut as a matter or routine.

An African-American supervisor who was very tough on giving refunds was told to be more lenient on giving out refund to customers. Two weeks later they arrested this supervisor and brought them up on charges of fraud. Loss Preventions said that she was giving out too many refunds. Meanwhile at another location a General Manager had stolen $40,000 this person was merely fired.

6 months after this executive make the “Color Scheme” comment the store is 70% white, 15% African American, 10% Latino and 15% Asian. I assume they feel that the color scheme is now more manageable.

The National Perspective

With unemployment of minorities much higher than the national unemployment rate on 9.5,  you can see that this scenario is typical of what is and has been occurring all over America. The politicians will say that Americans need jobs, so the government sets out a jobs creation bill, enter the HIRE Act. It sounds reasonable, right?  Wrong. In most companies the executives, who are by-in-large Caucasians and who generally  occupy positions of authority, from executives down to supervisors, have a tendency to hire people who have “similar backgrounds to their own“.  As the economy grows more jobs will be created, but this squeezing out of minorities allows the overall unemployment numbers to stay high. This is what happens when you let the “Market Correct Itself“. This is what happens when you place your emphasis on “Hope”. This is what happens when we no longer pay attention. This is what happens when our elected officials stop working for the people and begin working for themselves. Ultimately, this is what happens when the wrong people are in charge.

President Barack Obama talks a lot about the 17 Billion in tax cuts to big business, he talks a lot about spurring on small businesses, but he never talks about race. He talks about incentives, and growth, but where are our incentives to grow as a nation? The real victims are more than voiceless masses and campaign slogans. These people vote, these people are hard working, law-abiding U.S. citizens and now they are victims of not only the recession, but racism as well. Surely this can’t be happening… maybe my examples can be explained in another way? Perhaps we just don’t want to confront the issue or maybe we no longer have the stomach for it. With regard to racism there are those of us that believe that this issue will just go away and there are those of us that know that this issue wont just go away.

These scenarios that I detailed have nothing to do with skill level or education, upon further examination you realize that many of these pharmacy  executives have little to no experience in the positions they are hired for and it goes without saying that minorities are promoted slower than Caucasians. Most pharmaceutical workers are intelligent,  nice and completely under appreciated not only by the corporations which employ them, but also by the customers they serve.

MG’s Health Word:

Long term use of (Proton Pump Inhibitors) PPIs can substantially increase your risk of fractures.
Today death caused by prescription drugs now out number traffic fatalities, yet law enforcement spends tax dollars on marijuana and alcohol.

(Generally speaking Heartburn means don’t eat that)

For Reference (White unemployment rate 8%, Latino 14%, Black 17%)

Ethics Sexism

There are some people who have been impressed by Barack’s first week as President. No doubt this is due to the fact that he didn’t fall on his face. Frankly as an American I am not impressed. Currently One Trillion has been given out since September 2008 and honestly things are worse, much worse than before the money was given out. When Healthcare companies start laying off you know things are very bad. Here is a question, what are the chances that any further stimulus, will stimulate? I mean you don’t  believe that Global Warming can be reverse, it can’t be done and they know it they will talk Alt. Fuels, Bio-Diesel, Nuclear and such things are nice for the press and trying to motivate the masses. This kind of reminds me of BattleStar Galactica when the president is this prophet leading the people to the lost 13th colony and when they finally get there Earth is all F’ed up, but I digress.

Here are a few things the new administration needs to know. We the people are not hatin’ on him or his policies, but we will be watching everything like hawks because last time we got burned big time and that included the congress too. With all due respect how can Barack’s actions so far get the country back on track policies like Funding Abortions in Third World Countries, when Americans don’t have universal healthcare, and 8 million children will go to bed hungry tonight. What is a WMD Czar? I guess that means that you are in charge of unhappiness and poverty. I know Barack is intelligent but please don’t mention education vouchers. Yes North Korea is threating the South and rockets are still being fired in Israel but that doesn’t have anything to do with 85,000 jobs being lost daily world wide. Personally I think the government’s focus should be right here on you and me, not them.

The President and Congress’ stimulus package is ill-concieved because it is no longer a stimulus package. They need to explain how giving 150 Million dollars to Honey Bee farmers will stop Walgreens from laying off 4,000 employees. They need to break down that if they are requesting 800 Billion to create 4 Million jobs, that’s an average of 200,000 per job if you are counting, how much are they paying these people? And where are these 200 thousand dollar a year jobs anyway?  Barack I thought you were in charge here so why is 75 Million in this bill allocated for anti-smoking ads in this bill and not something to stop universities from raising tutition? This stimulus bill is not a Christmas tree for those in congress to place their pet projects. If that is the case why are the common person’s interest not in this bill? Honey Bees… 600 Million for government cars? How can new business get bonuses for investing and you and I can’t? 6 Billion for high speed internet access? 650 Million for digital converter boxes? WTF?!!! You musta forgot these are the same people who spent 1,000 on a toilet seat.

 

When the Super Bowl ads go over 200 Million dollars trying to sell the public beer, who exactly is in a recession? And Barack believe me when I say this… The more you do, or give away the less America’s Governors will do. You win the election by the largest margin, running on change and you are still talking about partisanship… I don’t get that.  I know it is only been a few weeks, but isn’t that when your boss usually comes to talk to you.