I Still Hate Walgreens

I’ve had the pleasure of dealing with the Walgreens Pharmacy for over two years now, on at least a monthly basis, but unfortunately it’s usually more. I have multiple, complex and annoying health problems, which makes me a slave to the rule-reciting minions at the pharmacy counter, who don’t know shit about shit. Don’t worry, I understand there are rules and strict guidelines that have to be followed. Afterall, it’s the idiots who abuse many medicines which have made it exceedingly difficult for the rest of us sickleys to get our DAMN PILLS.

The problem I have with them is the problem people have with the DMV and many other American chain institutions. I don’t like when people treat you as a policy, instead of a person. You’ll ask them a basic question and they respond with a script that someone else wrote, something memorized for the job. And sometimes, that’s what you have to do. But sometimes, it’s good to look people in the eye, listen to what they are saying, and, I dont know, possibly…help them?

Walgreens is genius because they hired a great advertising agency which created a bunch of commercials noting that we don’t live in a perfect world, so for everything else, there’s Walgreens. I threw my shoe at the TV last time I saw that commercial. We don’t live in a perfect world, true, and Walgreens is a first rate offender.

There’s a couple things Walgreens is wonderful for. Like shampoo. And all the shit people try to sell on infomercials that didn’t do well, because, well, they’re shit. There is an entire aisle dedicated to “As Seen On TV Products”, and that’s cool and everything, if you have twenty bucks you’d like to lose and are in desperate need of “pajama jeans.” They also have a great post seasonal aisle, which has a bunch of cheap chocolate and ugly decorations that are half the price, and could save you some dough for next year. But the buck stops there. Most people need Walgreens because they are suffering, and unfortunately, it’s the DMV of medication distribution.

Sadly I don’t see Walgreens going out of business any time soon. For one thing, THEY’RE EVERYWHERE. I’m currently in New York City, and I passed 6 in a 2 block radius yesterday. That could be an exaggeration, but they’re like starbucks, only the people handling your coffee are usually 10 times more intelligent than the people handling your pills. Does this strike anyone else as a problem? I feel like I’m on CRAZY PILLS!! Then again if I were, it’s not like I could get the refill when needed, in which case I’d be having a psychotic break right now. Sometimes I think that’s what’s going on with Charlie Sheen. I know everyone is sort of having a boner for him right now, which is cool and everything, because the guy is pretty funny and such a spectacle to watch. But I can’t help but wonder if he’s just been waiting for his schizophrenia medication to be re-filled this whole time, and Walgreens is to blame. (In that case, thanks Walgreens! love, everyone)

Anyway, I know deep in my soul, this blog isn’t gong to do much. All I am is a sick kid with a computer. I lack the strength, manpower, and money to go after Walgreen’s. You’d know who’d be great to get on my side? Charlie Sheen. I think some tigers blood could really help this issue. Then when the person behind the pharmacy counter tells me they can’t fill my prescription because, I dunno, it’s Wednesday and it’s raining, or something equally irrelevant, Charlie Sheen could just punch them in the face. We’d high five and walk out. WINNING! The problem is there is such little accountability for institutions like this, and such little oversight.  I could complain to the manager, which I have before, but then I’m just that girl that complains to the manager, and everyone flips off when I walk out the door. I know how it works. They probably aren’t paid enough, they probably aren’t trained enough, and most importantly, they are not taught to treat people like people, they’re taught to read rules, and that’s where our system fails. We’ve lost our humanity.

The worst part is, I’m totally at their mercy. I need my pills. And every time I need a refill, I take a deep breath and begin the process. Tears, screams, and six thrown boxes later, I usually get it. But by that time the damage is done. I’ve probably eliminated years from my already sickly life. Being at the mercy of someone unintelligent and more importantly, non compassionate about your situation, is a very, scary thing. It’s terrible. Walgreens is like the douchey cop that threatens to bring you to jail for failure to use a blinker, and you have to turn on the charm, hard. I don’t know how to fix this problem. I don’t even know if it’s possible to fix it. I googled “Walgreens Sucks” and saw a lot of things flying around on the inter-web. I’m know I’m not alone, but I just don’t know if they’ll ever HAVE to change their ways.

I think the only thing I can do is switch pharmacies, I just don’t foresee it being much better, and frankly I shouldn’t have to. Although my mom recently switched to CVS and said it was a little better. So I’m going to try that. In the meantime, I just needed to put down in words, that Walgreens has failed me, and many others. Over. and over. and over. and over. and over. and over again. When I get better, I’m going to do a parody commercial for Walgreens. It’s going to play that same tinker-bell dingy sweet music in the background, but instead of a general tone of happiness, it will show what REALLY goes on at the pharmacy counter. (You know, cursing, freak-outs, general loss of humanity by genuinely nice people)  Last week I watched a 40 year old man cry, because they would not administer the prescription for his child who was having an allergic reaction. They kept insisting that the childs policy ended on July 9, 2009. He kept saying back, “No, that’s her birthday. I’ve been filling prescriptions here for a year.” “Sorry sir, I just can’t.” And THAT shit, pisses me off. It is clearly a typo. ANYONE WITH A BRAIN, could see that it’s a typo. But there’s NO effort, they see what they see and say no way too easily. He freaked out, I shook my head. How long will this go on? I’m going to do some thinking on how to get things to change. I’m also going to call them again and see if my prescription that was called in 3 days ago, is ready. You can go ahead and guess how THAT conversation is going to go. Anyway, health and happiness.

364 thoughts on “I Still Hate Walgreens

  1. I understand all the legal bs that is put on pharmacies and doctors. That has nothing to do with the way you are treated at Walgreens. I quit doing business with Walgreens because of the way I was treated by the staff. They also act as if they are better than the doctor, know more than the doctor and make judgement calls rather than get the reasons why a doctor prescribes a certain medicine. Walgreens has not gotten a dime of my money or my insurances money from me in 3 years and never will again. I will not even go in to a Walgreens.

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  2. Scripts are legal documents. Staff members cannot guess at what your doctor means when he/she makes a mistake. Yes, it seems pedantic to you but guess what? We live in a litigious society. They also cannot MAKE the insurance pay for anything. This may come a shock to you but they have to follow certain guidelines in order to get your stuff paid for if insurance denies it. They cannot simply say “oh lol, he/she needs this!” This is a freaking pharmacy. Everyone is sick. Everyone’s doctor is a moron and every insurance sucks so yes, you might * gasp* have to wait your turn and go through due process. FFS, couldn’t you have gone somewhere else SOONER for your RXs if you are so upset? Are you a chronic moron? Please get a job, one with the public in which your personal decisions can mean life or death to someone, and THEN judge your opinions of people who have to deal with you shit wads all day, every day. Again, since you’ve probably worked maybe a year out of your life you don’t know what it’s like to have ignorant morons such as yourself to realize that there are laws, policies and procedures to follow in order to make sure your dumb ass doesn’t kill yourself by using these potentially lethal substances incorrectly.

    Who you need to blame are – in order of priority – as follows: state and federal legislators who make these ridiculous rules pharmacies have to follow; corporate Walgreens, who makes so many policies and rules against employees that if lowly staff members so much as sneeze in the wrong direction they get fired; STORE managers – who impose impossible standards on pharmacy staff; pharmacy managers – who are more likely than not absolute tools. The very last person you should bitch to is your pharmacy staff WHO YOU DEAL WITH DIRECTLY. They are trying to help you. But they can’t – because the store manager, pharmacy manager and corporate have told them that profits come first.

    The staff you deal with on a daily basis have to have scripted encounters OR THEY WILL GET FIRED. Point your uneducated personal bias toward someone that deserves it. The lackeys in the trenches certainly don’t.

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  3. I can’t help but be slightly offended by your post.
    I love to take care of people and help as much as I can. That’s why I’m offended by your post. It seems as though you based your opinion of “the pharmacy technician” from a very small sample. You have a condition that you need to take care of. I understand that. Just know that most of us really work hard to take care of people like you. The one and only thing that limits us so much is the company itself. As far as hating Walgreens, I’m right there with you. Just try not to assume so much about a large group of people based on a small group of people.
    As a pharmacy technician for Walgreens, I really do care for people, and I do the best I can. That said, Walgreens does have their rules, and they are very strict, so what I can do is limited. Even so, if you ever have an issue with a prescription that you get from Walgreens (at least, if I’m taking care of you) 99 times out of 100, it’s an issue with how the doctor wrote your prescription, or your insurance hasn’t approved it. If I don’t give a prescription to you that you really need, it’s not because I’m heartless or stupid.
    For instance, if your doctor sent your prescription to another store, we aren’t notified until you are at our store to pick it up. Another issue I see often is how long it takes for doctor offices to fill prior authorization (PA) forms out, and fax them to insurance plans. Medications that require PAs are often the most important medications for patients,. The reason for insurance plans requiring PAs for expensive medications is because those big HMO companies are required by their stockholders to make as much money as possible, and any paid claim is considered a “loss” to the company. So, when a claim for a pricey medication is submitted, it rejects. Why? Not because we’re heartless morons; it’s because your insurance company wants to make absolutely sure that you really need your medication before they “lose” too much of their precious money, and no, your doctor’s prescription itself is not enough. They’ve made it so it’s as hard as possible for very important medications to be covered, so they can sit on their pile of money.
    I’m sure telling you all of this is pointless, and will never change your opinion. My last day with the company will actually be September 21st, 2014 because I hate it so much… go figure. Needless to say, I have a lot to share with you if you have any questions I can clear up for you. Hope you get well soon!

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    • Some of the Tech’s do care but the one’s I’ve run into at Walgreens and CVS in my area don’t. In fact when I fill a script for a friend and have to show my license to do so they have to look at it to see it’s me but still call me by the wrong name. Even though I tell them he’s a quadriplegic and can’t come in to fill it on his own. I have done this many times with his scripts and you’d think by now, after me SAYING I’m filling it for my male friend they would remember. I know he has a girls name but that doesn’t mean they can’t look at the name on the license and read mine.
      I use Rite-Aid now and when I go in I’m greeted by my name and asked how I’m doing. That is customer service. Even when I call my refills in and tell them who I am which I do first thing, they ask me how I am. I don’t even have to give them my last name or DOB anymore. I have a lot of prescriptions and Rite-Aid helps me to keep tract of them. I couldn’t say the same of CVS or Walgreens.

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  4. I’m with you! Walgreen’s sucks! I have fibromyalgia, so I too find myself in line a few times a month. They must only accept job applicants who promise to be rude, and make the customers feel like carp. After the one lady announced to a waiting line of customers that my narcotics were not ready, I had enough. I now use a Rite Aid store that treats me with respect and kindness. Picking up hard core medications is not something sick people enjoy. My pharmacy gets that, and I actually enjoy seeing them as often as I do. SWITCH STORES!

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    • “Feel like carp.” Yes, they treat everyone like fish. Please go to college, get a job, and stop pretending your fake disease is legitimate in any other way other than gaining unneeded pain meds for you to abuse or sell.

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  5. I worked for walgreens over 10 years as an assistant manager(MGT official title) . There were once 7500 of us holding this position but we were all given the chance to “apply” to step down into a position that held nearly all the same resposibilities but significantly less pay or…. leave the company. Nice huh? A massive layoff of 7500 jobs but since we weren’t allowed to discuss it with anyone, not even our coworkers understood what was happening.
    Now Walgreens is moving their HQ to europe to avoid paying american taxes (despite the govt money they RECIEVE in RX susidies) and Im sure all the HQ employees will also be jobless. The sad thing is that americans will continue to support them by shopping there. I prefer to support locally owned establishments if large corporations haven’t put them out of business.

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  6. Sorry you feel this way about Walgreen’s, we strive to do the best we can do for the patient. Pharmacy technicians are not going to know everything about the drugs, that is the Pharmacist job to come in and help. Diabetes is a professinal topic only for Pharmacist to fully understand not a technician. As a tech myself Diabetics are first proritity to take care of becuase Diabetics medications are very expensive and have high co-pays. We know yall go through a lot on a daily basis. Remember that Walgreen’s Rite-Aid and CVS are chain pharmacies and have high volume of custormers and we are trying to get to everyone with as much quality and speed as we can. Have a great day and “Be Well”.

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    • I too have been a Walgreens customer for quite a long time. After refilling my prescription yesterday I was informed that it would be the last time Walgreens would accept my prescription discount card. From now on if you want a discount on any prescription medicine you must purchase a ‘Walgreens Discount Card’ & then they will discount the medicine a little bit. Not as much as the discount card I had been using & had gotten for free from a company that tries to help people pay for their medicines.

      So, what it amounts to is that Walgreens has instigated a new policy to make as much money as possible from its customers. Forget about trying to be helpful or careing to those in need. Just see how much more you can gouge people for. All medicines are 50 to 75 percent more expensive in this country than they are everywhere else in the world. Pharmacies are one of the reasons why. Not the only reason, but one of the reasons.

      Did I mention that I am a senior citizen living off of social security? I will no longer be filling my prescriptions at Walgreens.

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      • This is exactly why I hate the company. I am currently a technician at Walgreens. I have been since 2011. All it feels like I’m doing is pushing flu shots on patients or trying to get them to bump their prescription supply up to 90 days. There are a number of other things we do that are required by the company to raise profits. What you mentioned makes me sick. My last day is September 21st, 2014, and I couldn’t be more excited. I am glad you are going elsewhere to get your prescriptions.

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