From Hartford South (CT) — 06/02/2009
I'm an MGT with about 2 years experience.
I feel the pay and benefits are quite good. Seems we get paid a bit more in this neck of the woods, no doubt because the local market and cost of living demand it, but it's still pretty good in spite of that. While I wasn't happy about the overtime cut, it was a prudent thing to do given the economic circumstances. It was better than cutting our pay per hour, or laying people off like so many companies have done. Having said that, I do agree that ALL staff should share in the suffering (from MGRs to EXAs to RPhs to corporate), and it was wrong to give pharmacists a raise in this climate, if not in deed than at least in appearance. It was also wrong to give us such short notice. Poorly executed decision that unnecessarily pissed a lot of people off. Most of us are over it.
Before the events of the past year I'd have given job security and career potential a much higher score, but both have suffered as a result of "Rewiring for Growth". While I still think both are above average, there is no question that there are now fewer opportunities and more cause for concern. However, I think the opportunities are still there, but it may taker longer to find one. Growth has slowed and there are more people vying for fewer positions. Since I joined this company largely due to the great career advancement opportunities, I am disappointed by this. Do I blame Walgreens? Not really. They're doing what they have to to stay healthy and profitable, and that's in the best interest of all of us, even if it hurts us in the short term.
Location is one of the best things this comapny has going for it with a store in nearly every part of the country. If you ever wanted to transfer, you couldn't work at a better place except maybe McDonalds or Subway. My store is 10 minutes away. If I had to travel further to move up, that would make sense to me and be worth it. You have to go where the opportunities are, they won't always come to you. My MGR lives an hour away.
Respect is pretty good, both from my superiors, equals and those I supervise. Yes, there is gossip which I would condemn more strongly if I didn't sometimes engage in it. I do feel, however, that DMs and MGRs sometimes treat us like children. The work environment can be very negative, overwhelming and infuriating, especially at the holidays, which is most of the year (there's always one of the little buggers lurking around the corner, and it always seems to be cause for panic). There is a sense of urgency almost all the time, like the sky is always about to fall. This gets very very tiring and creates much stress and anxiety. It can be multi-tasking hell, like the guy in the circus who tries to keep all the plates spinning at once. Makes it very hard to enjoy the job as you can never relax. While I admire the company striving to be the best and get the most out of its people, there is a limit. We can often pay far too much attention to detail and seem to micromanage everything. This gets draining and overwhelming, and is one of the things I like least.
As for competence, I think there are a lot of poorly trained MGRs out there, and poorly trained people in general. In fact I think our training is horrible, esp. for MGTs. Nobody has the time to train subordinates properly, and the computer is a real poor substitute. Much of it is easily forgotten, esp. since much of it is seldom used in real life on the job. We need to do much better here. I would recommend more group training classes, which seem to pack the most punch and have the added benefit of creating camraderie. Yes, they are costly, but the benefit is huge.
Overall, I'm still giving the company the benefit of the doubt. It's like the stock market - you have to weather the ups and downs and look at the big picture. If you're in it for the long haul, I think this is a good company (and stock) to be with. But you have to be willing to ride out the storms. The sea will eventually calm and it will be clearer sailing. I'd give it another year. It's easy to complain, and some of it is justified. Much of it is not. Life, and work, is what you make it. Be the change you want to see in your store.