Monday, September 8, 2008

An Enlightening Comment From a Former CVS Manager

This comment was left on that post from last month where CVS employees tried to accuse me (and many of you!) of fraud. I found it valuable both for its validation that taking advantage of freebie deals is the IDEA of ExtraBucks and of course not fraud, and also for its enlightening description of how tough it is for those folks working the stores. You're not going to hear this point of view from the corporation! But the point is, be nice to those CVS employees, even if they're crabby. Most of the time, mine are very nice to me. In fact, I got my new favorite cashier last time I went and it was like visiting a friend.

The only thing I would challenge in this comment is that not all stores are staffed by teens who don't really need the job. Nearly all my local CVS employees are adults, many of them parents, who most certainly need the job. And sometimes I stop into CVS in the morning and again late in the evening to find the SAME PERSON still working. Who would do that if they didn't need the money?

Here's the anonymous comment:

As a manager of 8 years for cvs (previously sav-on) I can tell everyone the
situation with coupons. First off the Xtrabuck pgm is simply a tool devised by
the marketing dept to draw customers in with the idea of getting something for
free or near free. The hope is that while your there you will pick up 3 or 4
more full priced, high margin items. This is where cvs will make their money.
When you see coke,pepsi,budweiser,huggies,etc on sale for free after x-tra
bucks, cvs is reimbursed by the manafacturer for the difference between the cost
and what the store sold it for,no more, no less.The biggest issue with coupin
fraud is actually people who use blatantly fraudulant coupons (i.e. copies, self
made,etc.)I can tell you that as far as some employees attitudes, some just flat
out have bad attitudes and should not be working there.Some of us, particularly
managers work 10-12 hrs a day 5-6 days a week and are under such pressure from
d.m's and corporate to be in compliance with company standards (store inventory
functions, making payroll-the little they give us, making sales budgets,etc). We
are expected to motivate an 8 dollar an hour employee who's usually 19 or 20 and
does'nt really NEED the job to do the work of 2 or 3 people, it's extremely
tough if not impossible sometimes.Payroll is the only cost most businesses can
actually control, so they tighten the screws and as such it is basically
non-existent.This means the management team of 2, maybe 3 has to do a majority
of the work; from cleaning bathrooms, to mopping floors, to stocking shelves,
while still doing the office work, checking out customers, etc. Ever notice that
alot of times in stores there's only 1 checker? That's because we have such
little hours to cover the store with that shifts need to be spread out thin. CVS
has a zero tolerance policy on non-compliance, meaning that you will be written
up for not being in compliance with what they expect, even if you are by
yourself in a store or maybe with 1 person and even if you physically cannot get
a job completed, it does not matter there's no excuse. Anyway this is just a
little insight into the CVS culture and why sometimes some of the employees seem
to be a bit negative,unhappy,or cynical, and it comes out sometimes.


Anonymous said...

First, I love this blog. Thanks for the advice.
Now about the letter, Just my two cents.....

I don't agree with the "doesn't need a job" part. No all 19 and 20 year olds have bills too and a life that requires an income and I'm not talking about partying. I am talking about food, shelter, water, and the alike not extras such a clothes, music, and nights out with friends. In fact those who "don't need" to work are in the minority.
When I was 20 I needed a full time job to pay for college, rent, foot, etc. I kept running into hiring managers who thought young people didn't need a full time pay check. They thought that I was just going to spend it on clothes, music, etc. or that mommy and daddy would pay for everything. So therefore they would give the job to an older person based on their assumptions about youth. It was hard. My mom and dad stopped paying for anything beyond groceries and houseing after I turned 16. Basic clothes, athletic fees, school supplies, graduation gown, work uniforms, my own car, gas, insurance, everything I had to pay for including my up coming college education. I was not the minority out of my friends. We all ran into the same thing and had the same bills to pay. I am under 25 work full time and go to college. Nobody pays my bills but me. Please don't assume. Again just my two cents.

Carrie said...

Heh. Come to think of it, when I turned 20 I needed every penny I earned more than at any other time in my life. I was also paying my own rent and buying my own food (although partway through the year I confessed to my parents what a hard time I was having earning enough money to eat, and from that point on they did give me $100 a month for groceries. Which paid for ALL my groceries, by the way, and this was when I was studying abroad in Paris where prices were high. The reason of course I was having a hard time earning enough money was that I was not able to get any legal job over there. OK, OK, long, long comment on my own blog! Somebody close this parenthesis before I fill up the whole Internet!)

Mandy said...

Hi Carrie! Thanks for posting this comment. I understand somewhat what they mean by "doesn't NEED the job". The son of one of my good friends is 19, lives at home, goes to school part-time (paid for by his parents), and works at Walgreens. So, he doesn't NEED the job, so to speak. Anyways, just my thoughts. I went to CVS this morning to get the nail polish, and other stuff, and had the most friendly lady as my cashier! She was one of the photo lab technicians, and she was awesome! I wish I could have her every time. I always make it a point to be super nice because I know it's tough work and long hours. Most anything where you deal with the public can be difficult. It's just nice when someone is nice back to you. Thanks for the awesome blog - keep up the good work.

ps - Congrats on your clearance haul!!! They were totally cleaned out by the time I got there are 8:30 this morning...oh, well!