The Business of Pharmacy Podcast™
Dec. 27, 2021

#PizzaIsNotWorking | Bled Tanoe, PharmD, Founder

#PizzaIsNotWorking | Bled Tanoe, PharmD, Founder

Bled Tanoe, PharmD is the founder of the #PizzaIsNotWorking campaign for pharmacy.


(Speech to Text)

Mike Koelzer, Host: [00:00:00] Bled for those who haven't come across you online, introduce yourself and tell the listeners what we're talking about today. Uh, 

Bled Tanoe, PharmD: my name is . I am a pharmacist in Oklahoma city, and I wrote a post that went viral one day about the working conditions in retail, especially in major chain pharmacies. And so with the hashtag big size network, and I really flux about how employers tend to address working conditions by giving pharmacists and technicians, give God a food as if actually, you know, taking care of the issue at hand.

So, that's what we have here. Just talk about that. 

Mike Koelzer, Host: We're going to talk about all the ways that the employers screw over that. Employees and thus the public, but what we need to get into right now is the hashtag pizza is not working. Yeah. Brilliant. Where you just like sitting there and saying, I'm going to post something.

And I thought of it, where did this come from? I know why it's there. I don't want to get into all the justice of pharmacy stuff. I want to actually find out how did you actually come up with that hashtag 

Bled Tanoe, PharmD: basically, I would say it just happened, um, from a discussion of how would it take and show one time when I was at work and just, and just that, that technician in particular, just coming and just really impairing, I guess, his feeling, his worries to me about what his was feeling, the pressure with, um, COVID vaccine and testing and metrics, you know, and of course, as a good old manager, the first thing that came into my head was, man, I just want to encourage your store.

I want to make them feel love and values, and this one might come out. Big sale. That was it. I went to a mine and then I just, I just stopped and I, I'm not gonna say I'm guilty of it, I just slept it. I was just like, this is not going to work 

Mike Koelzer, Host: Now, wait a minute here. I had this all wrong because you were not the recipient of the pizza.

You were the potential buyer of the pizza. And then you realized, so this is like a slam on what you 

were doing. 

Bled Tanoe, PharmD: I was, yes. Yeah, I was. So the pig side is not working. It's not very, it's not to talk about those of us like pharmacy manager or pharmacist, or even technician who provide food to each other, because this is what we can do, I think it's very directed to the people.

Who has the potential to, to change the working condition, but choose to know, just so, and then give us a 500 budget for something. Right. And so, but it came within a self-reflection of myself in that moment, if that makes 


Mike Koelzer, Host: it wasn't taking away the benefit of 

Bled Tanoe, PharmD: just 

Mike Koelzer, Host: reaching out to your brother or sister with kind gestures.

It was more like 

Bled Tanoe, PharmD: you can do better. 

Mike Koelzer, Host: We can do more than this. 

Bled Tanoe, PharmD: Right. And so after coming to that realization, you know, I went to one of my Facebook groups that I'm part of, and we're just talking about it. And now, of course I did. Tyler the fixer is not working. And then while we're talking I can read the comment and people were just.

Talking about the same issue and wanting to come on was fake for not giving him food because you know, some of us have struggled so much to lose weight. And every time we do something great with food is like really trying to ask. And then somebody said, you know, hashtag Pixar would be waking will be a great hashtag.

So we're just talking about it. Right. And so then I went and I said, okay, you know, I want to tell the public what is happening in retail. I want to tell them about the burden. I want to talk about a difficult time that we haven't just to invite them to be patient and to be kind right. And to maybe raise awareness or this is really what it wasn't.

It was more like a play. If you go back and you read the original posts, which were about August seven. Cause I always remember doing that. It was very biological. Right. And I really like thought, and then I just, I just thought of it as a hashtag. Among many hashtags on the, on the original post. But for some reason, this is the only one that actually stuck out to people.

And every time they posted it to be shared, people kept using the hashtag big size and awakened. And I was like, oh, okay. So this really resonated with people, right? And then of course, normally you look at every single sector of any work in Nevada. We have done it. We are done with things like medicine, with nursing, with all those other places where the goal for employers, when to have the, the power to change something is to hand food.

You know, I'm not saying that you cannot, you cannot appreciate us because I love being sad. Let me tell you I can eat. And that's a [00:05:00] funny thing about this is that I literally love this. I can eat. I do. And so I would never turn down a good piece. I would say, please never, 

Mike Koelzer, Host: Obviously it's very symbolic of not going beyond.

Bled Tanoe, PharmD: Yeah, exactly. Yeah. But if you want to give me a big site, you would give our ticket on top of that, do something else. Right. And so here we are 

Mike Koelzer, Host: still focused just on. Marketability of that hashtag, which I think is fascinating and not the broader issue of pharmacy problems. Do you think that hashtag would have resonated as much with other professions?

Let's say, you know, a busy shoe store employee or a busy let's take it to medical, a busy nursing station at a hospital. Do you think that the pizza motif would have resonated or do you think that pharmacists are. Especially downtrodden. And it seems to be an easy answer for pharmacy managers to throw pizza.

Is this a pharmacy issue or is this symbolic across the whole gamut of employer, employee relationships? 

Bled Tanoe, PharmD: Um, I think it's everybody. I think every, every single sector of work has something that is similar. Right. And once again to correct, I was a fancy manager, so me and my crew, we in particular will love one big sad place.

Look, I must say there's so, so once again, it's not for the people. We don't have the power to change. It's the sort of people who actually can change. So you, as a pharmacy manager, I could go and bring the concern to. Uh, my supervisor, I could create a good culture for my, for my, for my technician, but virtually the major change was not coming from me.

This is 

Mike Koelzer, Host: nothing about pizza. It's about this symbolism of somebody who can help not 

Bled Tanoe, PharmD: helping, uh, anybody that is in the position of authority, right. That can help that it's not helping that it's also for you. And I think in any way is for all of us, you know, whether you take it professionally or personally, with them, with your friendship, you know, it can really be taken across both.

Right. But when we talk about profession nursing, we actually have a hashtag called the last big set where they also specify that, okay, would you please stop by and face out, which actually provides more nurses and more incentive and all of that, the last pizza, the last big sack, that's the hashtag. This is not very new.

Uh, like a new thing, right? I think in many, if you go, you, you, you Google hashtag Peter's not working. It will bring up average things obviously. Right. But I think the reason why right now is very hard for pharmacists is because of the culture. Why are we all right now, because for the last three or four years or so many years, we have been asking employers to do something right.

And nothing has changed. I think that's why this has become more popular within the pharmacy profession, but you can take that any can apply to, um, to any, to any way, you know, and that, and that that's been one of my biggest critic when it comes to ever sector of pharmacy, not joining, because I tell them this is also one that will be you, right.

If you have not felt it is coming to you eventually. And my joke is I wanted that. Which hashtag we'll use for you. Right? Right. And it's not to be assisting, it's really about to show that this is a time to be very slow, that you want to one another, right. Because the biggest, the biggest sector and ultimately the most empath impactful sector of pharmacy is struggling.

And we all need to step in right in that moment and do something. 

Mike Koelzer, Host: Yeah. Sticking with the thoughts still of the marketing of this and not yet getting into the issue. It's so cool. What marketers can do these days in marketers being maybe a broader term for making a movement known whether it's trying to sell something or market your cause or whatever.

It's so cool now with social media, because years ago to come up with something like that, pizza is not working. You'd hire a marketing firm and you'd have all these high level executives you'd pay thousands and thousands of dollars. And then you would do all this testing months and months and thousands of dollars later.

And now you just throw out like three or four hashtags and you'll sit back about 30 minutes and one of them takes off and you're like, oh, okay, we'll go with that. So it's just amazing to get market research now. 

Bled Tanoe, PharmD: Yeah. The reason why this rose [00:10:00] so much is because also when, so one of her posts went in vowel, the first time I'm on those people.

I like to read the comments. So I went and read every single comment that was on that post from every single site. So when I went to the cynical, fascist and read a comment, I went to this person ready to come in. And when I find out what. It was a commonality that we all had. And I think that's why we didn't need a tester because we already had people who understood the story.

We had people who lived in that every day. So we didn't need to ask someone to test it for us though. So those people, and as I tell people, say, how did you make this this'll finesse? I did not make any famous things, this is people's story. This is real life. I am this nothing. The most fascinating thing in life for me then the shoe store is when I buy both. I love to buy two-story and autobiography because I can relate to the reality of what people are saying.

So when we talk about marketing, I think pharmacists and technicians, whoever fell in line, would message marketing themselves because this was a life. All I did was niche. Take the word, which has lots of typos in it, put it together and shame that's really, I didn't end that, that dead did the work. You know, they made it there with many Papa because they, that this was a story.

And I think that's why it makes it even, it makes it beautiful, but it also makes us very sad at the same time, because it's not supposed to be our story. Last week's 

Mike Koelzer, Host: show. We had some guests talking about certain things in the industry and one of them being the monopolies of Amazon and PBMs and things like that.

And I asked them at the end, I said, what advice would you give to the listeners if they had just a few minutes to do something. And one of them said that it would be valuable just to read about this, to give them a vocabulary of monopolies that they've maybe never heard of. Maybe their parents and grandparents heard of it years ago, but.

They don't even know the words to listen and describe the problem. And that's where words are so valuable. What you've done is that there's this feeling emanating from pharmacists. And once in a while, something comes along well in life. But now it's, pharmacy's turn to share that commonality that everybody's feeling.

But when you can put a word on something, you know, it's like when God created it was the word that caused creation, you know, from chaos into order and so on. So you take that chaos of all. Issues and you focus it into something. Pizza is not working years and years of frustration can be focused into something as simple as a little hashtag.

Bled Tanoe, PharmD: Yeah. I mean, it's exactly. So it's so true, you know, and that is to show you that this has been a repeated offense because for us to see this hashtag and say, yep, I understand a minute we have to have suffered is again, again, again, And he just, it just become as you know, 

Mike Koelzer, Host: back in the marketing. So there's something to it that it resonates with people because it's kind of a, not a play on words, but it's kind of a wink, wink to people like, Hey, do you get this joke?

If I told my kids my high school kids who have never experienced the pressures of a job, or especially maybe retail and especially maybe a place where there's oppression going on from the upper ranks down to the workers, they'd be like, what does that mean? Pizza Isn't working, but the fact that it is.

Kind of a secret, but kind of not kind of a, not a play on words, but a play on emotions and you haven't really come out and said like, no leader, sock, you know, you haven't come out and said something like that, but it's that little bit of mystery there. And that little bit of like, I know what you're saying, that just builds it.

Bled Tanoe, PharmD: It's 

Mike Koelzer, Host: really something. Congratulations 

Bled Tanoe, PharmD: on that. Once again, it's everybody, that's 

Mike Koelzer, Host: what makes it 

Bled Tanoe, PharmD: sad. Which again makes it hard to even think 

Mike Koelzer, Host: about it. I'm here congratulating you from a marketing standpoint from a business standpoint, but I'm certainly not. And we're going to talk about that. We're not losing the knowledge that this is on the backside.

Sucky conditions. 

Bled Tanoe, PharmD: Yeah. Yeah, 

Mike Koelzer, Host: exactly. Tell me about those sucky conditions that you saw as a manager. And would it be fair to say you felt guilty [00:15:00] even though you're in a double bind because you don't own the company and you're not able to just say, all right, you know, everybody take off 26 weeks a year and you're going to be remote from Hawaii, you know, and we're paying for it.

I know you don't have those options, but I imagine that you felt you were in a double bind, but you also felt some guilt of not being able to help. Yeah, 

Bled Tanoe, PharmD: absolutely. And, also, I think I don't live. Most people know that I have, um, I have officially stepped away from retail as of August. So I, um, August was my last day, but I keep it very, um, very in close communication with my friend was still in retail and all of that, but it was, I think th th the biggest, the biggest time where I would say the English shift is when my store was getting.

COVID vaccine and testing you don't. I mean, we, we, we had a good crew by, you know, a few feed them, but we're still really new and it was still kind of like a skeleton. Cool. You know, but we were hanging. Um, so when we got word of dad, I approached my supervisor at the time and just redoubled my concern that, Hey, um, this is going to be a new process, new billing, new information, new everything.

Right. And, and, and, and my, my quiz is already handling quite a lot. Right. So I need to know how to tap a step back. And I think when I was asking, could we back off metrics a little bit onto the cool, it feels comfortable with handling the process until they know the training is great right. Industry, which is, we don't have too many people.

Right. And so we need to kind of like back off a little bit, you know, can we do that? No, forever, but just what for the time being. And, and the answer was, no, the answer was, this is business as usual. You still expect it to meet automatics and all of that. And regardless. And so at that point, I just started to really think and question if that's something to assist them to shape.

What I was asking was for patients' safety. I don't think that my coach can handle Dwayne so much vaccination time coming back and filling prescriptions and care, coming back and doing testing. There's too many pieces going. 

Mike Koelzer, Host: Explain what you mean by us, then lay off or tone down the metrics. I have a vague idea of that because I'm coming from an independent world.

When they say the metrics, are you saying don't judge us on those or are you asking for, when you said lay off the metrics? What I 

Bled Tanoe, PharmD: was asking was to not be punished for I'm being the numbers, punished 

Mike Koelzer, Host: through 

Bled Tanoe, PharmD: your paycheck, not to the paycheck, by the pressure of having to do it right through the depression, having meetings every, every day.

Why, you know, I'm being dismissed, these metrics or the pressures should be blasted as a last stop in the district or whatever. Oh, anything that I can be seen, 

Mike Koelzer, Host: you don't hit your metrics. They say, no, we're not laying off of those, but we're not going to penalize you financially for not hitting the metrics.

So is. Social embarrassment. What does that mean? You can only work so hard and if they're not going to financially penalize you, what does that mean to the person? What does that do to your soul when you don't hit the metrics? 

Bled Tanoe, PharmD: I think it's also to remember, like, there's also type of discipline, you know, you can't, you can't be written up, you know, you can't pull a pin , have discipline.

Right. So, so 

Mike Koelzer, Host: your job might be 

Bled Tanoe, PharmD: on the line. Yes. Yeah. Sorry. Yeah. So your job might be in line, right? And then, and then you're talking about going to a technician who feels like the older woman and ask them what have, you know, made those phone calls. What have you, you know, signed up for this test message? Right? So, it's not just you as a foster mother, you have to go back and translate the message to them and say, okay, you know, this, this week we only made nine sign up for this message.

And they're looking at when he is 20 and for them, it's like, I am given so many, um, uh, COVID vaccines. I am running between a dry food and between filling prescriptions, you know, all, and I'm answering the phone only. And you, and you complained to me about a final sign off a 10 message. So you have broken the morale effect.

That's really what it was. It was, I was trying to keep my team morale. As I watched them, they were more comfortable, they knew the process and you did the work and now we'll back and go. It's not like we're not going to try that. If we did not meet those metrics in particular, I need to know that my team was not going to beat you out for that.

A lot of the 

Mike Koelzer, Host: job is you feel mentally, you feel about mentally. And so while maybe they're not going to. Tanisha paycheck stolen you or punish the [00:20:00] paycheck, or maybe even get fired the next day. Leading up to that though is you've tried your best, but you sucked at it because you haven't hit these metrics, which we're not laying 

Bled Tanoe, PharmD: off on.

Exactly, exactly. That's best. That's really what it was. And so, um, in that sense may be a manager. So then when, when, when, when, when we were starting with, um, the vaccine and the, uh, uh, the testing it on the weekend, we needed two people to work on a weekend because it wasn't possible to have an accident. Testing would just want Protestant one and one technician.

Well, that may not, my full-time tech had to work six, seven days straight, which I refused. So I took it upon myself to only work with one technician and one, and I say, because I could not put my full-time vacation to work in so many hours when they were already killing the subject. So looking at that and see that even my decision should do this was nowhere receive really started to make me, I was to make me question what value we were all following what we validated people, but we, which you're not gonna it, that people are well, the patient is safe or we're just run into people to the ground.

And therefore we're causing a patient 's home. Right. Because it's a domino effect. Right. So even though it was not a paycheck, even though it was not, I mean, for me, it was already a job issue, but even it was not all those majors. I think the way when we talk about how your team feels about themselves, how to fill up or should I, they value how they feel that you are willing to help them off the business side, just so that they can feel supported.

If you don't give that to them, I started to run a question that's on there. What's wrong? And of course now we were also feeling the pressure. I would just, not me, but. Oh, I didn't. All of that was really the turning point for me at that time. One of the 

Mike Koelzer, Host: hardest times I ever managed was I remember it very specifically as we close down, well, some night after work, we had to do inventory in and it was a special inventory.

We had to get it done right away. I forget why some accounting things were like 10 years ago. And I had a staff of like six or seven and they were helping me. And after like an hour, they took a break and then after another hour we had another break and I realized after like the second break, it was hard to get these guys and gals back to work because they didn't have customers staring in the face.

I had to somehow either be forceful and I could only be so, so much motivation. All right. That's one type of work. But then the other type of work is perpetual pressure. That's a pretty cool way to manage if you're just making widgets or you're just making, you know, tennis shoes or something like that, because you got quality control.

And if they're not keeping up, it's like, I don't care. Really. How pissed off a worker who made my tennis shoes, if they came out. Okay. They came out. Okay. But I think maybe the metrics are short-sighted if you've got now angry. Employee, who's not taken out their anger on tennis shoes. They're taking it out on customers and maybe even something that's not being measured.

Like, I don't know. Maybe you can't measure how many teeth show up in a smile, you know, things like that. And then finally on that is 

Bled Tanoe, PharmD: mistakes. Yes. Yeah. About a year ago I hired a wonderful technician and trained him myself and he was great. I feel like one of, probably one of my, my proudest moments as a transition manager and when he, when he was leaving and I asked him ma you know, was it me or anything?

And he says, I am not a nice person anyway. It say a pharmacy changed me. I am not a nice person anymore. I am angry. I don't smile. I don't, you know, and they say, if I get discipline, I have no business. Be here handling people with Scotia. And he left. I thought I was brave. I thought that was, that was actually the best thing for him to do because he won't quit.

We are not out there making clothes, um, that, that, that, that can be ridden right. Or making food that can be done. Right. And that's why I'm trying to get those big companies understand that pharmacists, technicians, and interns are your first presented domino effort. You push them to fall, everything falls with them.

Yeah. And it seems like there's this, they don't get it. They think that all the first piece, everything stems from them, they're all the God. And we have to get it filled that way. That's fine. But if you have. The fantasy stuff that is so broken. I count functions. You have patients that are in danger, patients in danger.

Men who have noticed it could be time in a hospital, or [00:25:00] it could be deaf. Right. And then where you have, you have lost the name of your business because you have your business part of, of these bus bikers, right? You have a patient living because every time they go to the pharmacy, their scoop is wrong. Right.

Or it's late, or they can get it. You have a sort of transplant to go somewhere else that chooses insurance on purpose, that's no go to your pharmacy. Right. And then when you start at the patient's loss of life or, you know, any, any potential missed it at home then you have lawsuits and that comes with money.

Right? All of those hurt your business. So you'll have to plant the first piece very carefully. You have to print plenty to the Grassley cannot be move, not to foster by you have to plant them and were not printed a first pieces or this domino, 

Mike Koelzer, Host: But I ain't no genius, but here's a couple things I see in these big businesses.

You've got distance. I know that. In the years that I wasn't around the pharmacy as much, I didn't care as much about customers' feelings because I had like a level or two between me and the customer. Now that I'm there more, I might not be there directly. I might be able to send out one of my employees to take a little heat from someone that's ready to lay into somebody, but I'm within 10 feet, you know, listening.

So I think you got distance with the bigwigs up the ladder. And also, I think you've got maybe a lack of some longevity. I don't know. I'm just guessing this, but I'm guessing you've got some district managers and some managers up the way that they're there for two or three years and metrics mean more than.

You know, Mrs. Smith being happy and 10 years later, her child who is 15, becomes 25 and can make decisions on their own. And remember back when you treated the family well and things like that. But I think in these big corporations, by that time, the managers are 

Bled Tanoe, PharmD: long gone. Yeah. And fortunately, we have seen that when I was raised, it meant from, from those big corporations, very rarely they use the word patient is always a customer.

We hear from a customer. And I think we have this, this is probably the first Mr. We're done when it comes to pharmacy as to not see those individuals as patients. Because when you see them as customers, as people are here to exchange goods, you will do anything. To keep them doing anything to get that money, even though what you're doing might not be good for them.

So I say, when I, when I I've told one time, uh, just to manager, that was, uh, I told them that there's a difference between patient care and customer service, customer satisfaction, which, uh, let them know that I was going to be one of the troublemaker and I didn't turn out to be food to be right. And I tell them, I say, my privacy will always be patient safety, always.

And that, and that, and that might, that might not be fluent and to patients and to customers that sort of fashion, but I will always go for patient safety. So I want you to know that. And at this point where we are right now, this is why we're all fighting. Y the bitches would come and say, we'll tell people that on the level of business that can explain why they do the things they do, any, it makes sense to them.

And it, and I took a step back and looked at the metrics. The metrics were asphalt us. What patient care is actually patient care to MTM is patient care calling to check to make sure somebody is doing well on a prescription is patient care, um, counseling, especially all those, all those metrics are patient care.

The problem is you ask pharmacists to do patient safety, patient care, customer service, clinical service, and all of that. This is, this is where the issue was. It was never well we're asked to do. It was the amount of whether we had to do the practice that was asked of us in low labor. If you are in a pharmacy or you have.

Uh, pharmacist just for fucker for patient care. And you have a pharmacist focusing on patient safety, which is the daily handling of the prescription. And then maybe also doing some, a clinical service at fasting. And you have to take, you have a good model right day, because each person is focused on what they should be doing, but you are asking one person to do all those.

That's when this is right. And I think that's where they save money, because I don't have to hire another pension. [00:30:00] All of that. They can use one person to do all of those. I mean, especially make some money, patient care, you know, if they admit it, they admit a goal on the metrics. They get money for that because insurance pays for them.

Right. If they do the vaccine, they get money for it. So you have one tree. Which is pharmacists and all those branches, which is his fastest, has given out all those resources to someone else. And it's like, it sounds great because it's seven communities, but it's also second energy, all of them because nothing's coming back to them, so we feel, right, is this analogy.

So the companies I get in, all of those range out because every single branch is at the end has money. And it's all coming out for one person 

Mike Koelzer, Host: when I'm running the pharmacy. One of my satisfying times is when I have enough business to keep a specialized employee busy at a predetermined time. Here's what I mean by that.

So if I'm able to have enough deliveries where I can have a part-time delivery person, and I know I can tell them so many hours per day, And what days per week, that's great for me. Because then I don't have to train them to do different stuff. They're just delivery. And I know I'm going to fill their time.

Well, yeah, the opposite of that would be if I had to have someone standing around all day because they were only specialized in this and I wouldn't be able to keep them busy at a predetermined schedule. It sounds to me like a busy pharmacy, like you were mentioning would have enough busy-ness to.

Some pharmacists, or maybe say we're going to do things at this time of the day and time of the week and so on. Is that true? Or could the management say, well, blood, we have to have many hats with the same pharmacist because we never know when they're going to be needed in that function and how much they're going to be 

Bled Tanoe, PharmD: needed.

So the difference between you and them is a, you are one I'm assuming you already have one pharmacy. So you don't cycle. Your income is this day. We are talking about a big corporation, legal speak one. We know we're not betting on revenue or one tiny pharmacy. There's a bunch of us. So the money is constantly flowing.

A can be, can be allocated. So if, for instance, a small pharmacy is not busy. We can end as one, that's not visible. We can hire one pharmacist per dose to take off patient care. So you, so this is your task. You are in charge of the store, number, whatever, whatever. And this topic has, they have tests that they do and three or 200 scripts per day that they can, the fastest can handle by doing the, uh, the front cause and a new therapy for those to store.

It works 

Mike Koelzer, Host: and you can shift pretty easily. Cause you've got so many damn stores. 

Bled Tanoe, PharmD: Exactly. So you can do that. So you're in charge, a two star you're in charge of, I may send them when we, when we talk about district manager, why does this manager have to be in charge of 10 stalls? That's a lot of stuff on him to carry.

It's a lot of stuff. I'm a Buddhist. I imagine it's really, really hard. So. Is it, we all have to add it. Uh, we, we, we are asked to provide more with Lero, you know, I don't, I'm not really much of a business, but I am wanting to show you a member of my economy class, that for you to have production, you have to have labor.

And I keep thinking, I said, when I say, which is to come back and bite us in the butter, it is like, imagine how much money you will have if you invest more money right. You think that by cutting and cutting and cutting. Yeah. You might have your real profit of 1.3 billion a year because of this or you couldn't miss so much more, a funny you hire that one extra person.

Right. Because then they, they, they, they, they, they can do, they can do the job well. Right. And because Atlanta jobs so well, they can also have more patients coming in. You know, patients come to pharmacies because they're treated well because we put people like them and people take all of them. If you don't do that, they'll go somewhere else.

But if we are constantly busy, we don't get to know their name. We don't know what, they're all. We don't take time to say hi at such a high rate that [00:35:00] I don't want to come back here because I'm not saying, where do I go? I want to go somewhere where people see me. Right? So that, in itself, is hurting their own business.

It is all about money. They're hurting their own business. Not us. 

Mike Koelzer, Host: It seems to me that their answer might be, if you don't like it, quit and we'll hire the next person in. And we don't care about that. I know it's valuable, but it sounds to me like they're saying we can't put a number on that. We don't think your smile and knowing Mrs.

Smith and coming back in two years is going to be worth it. Yeah. Leave and we'll hire someone else in. Has that set their answer? 

Bled Tanoe, PharmD: I think that's why it is, you know, I've I remember when, on my, one of my greatest moment when I was a fan, when I was working in retail is like, it's actually stopping and talking to my patient and giving them hog.

And when I had my babies, showing them picture of my kid and those updates on life and like, and holding their hands when, uh, when a loved one passed or moved to be so upset because I've not seen someone and to find out they pass away and all those sort of things, all those condition, where was, what, a reason why many of them kept coming back?

Right. And those are important because when you connect with people so deeply, you take care of them, you go the extra mile for them, right? You actually are more careful because you think of them as family. And so you want to want your family position to be overlooked and to be handled by someone that just doesn't care.

So you, so you do, do you do your, your, your extra work, but I think you can read those big chains, know that they have a disposition and flux of pharmacists come in. So therefore they can do what they were doing. So who already need to be talking about high now is the incoming, incoming generation pharmacists.

And people ask me if it's a Linus campaign. Do you feel like we need you, um, to not have any chain pharmacy NYC? The biggest mistake that we think is that we can survive with our retail pharmacists. We can't, we need retail fast and they can share when needed the Winnie, the motto to stay with us and to make it better.

So the whole goal of this is not working. It's not illimited them. If you want to leave, we'll help you provide societally. That's fine. But if you want to stay, we'll, we'll fight to make it better. The incoming class has a big decision to make. You know, if you want to get tough horses out, I applaud you.

I mean, to this point, if you asked me, would you go back? My answer is yes, because that's what I want it to be. If you want to be able to process why I pulled you as it should go, you should go for it. But you should be aware of where you're going yourself too. You should have an exit strategy. You should know your wife.

So you're where you're good at the interview. You just are not going to sign a document. You tell them what you expect for them. I think that was a mistake. We, we, that I, we have made, we just, we just got higher. We never told them what we expected from them. They taught us what they expect from us. There is a job description, which should have an employer discussion.

How about that? How about we go? And we have an employer job. That's because this is really what I spoke about. So the incoming generation pharmacists then need to be learning from what is happening. Right? And I say, you guys made a mistake. When you stop working, you don't have a plan. You didn't have an expectation from your employer.

Now we are learning. And we come with different, you change, you change the game, you change on my son, a new, different generation. I think now retail going to be thinking, okay, something 


Mike Koelzer, Host: to change. I think the value of you mentioned it, the exit strategy life is full of negotiations, including getting hired.

And part of the important thing of any negotiation is knowing your best alternative to a negotiated agreement, your BATNA. And so you always want to go into a job or a raise or a. Argument with someone or, you know, whatever it is you want to go in with an option, you know, a well thought out option and might not be the best option, but it still is an option.

And that allows you then to go in and say, here's what I want as an employee. And they might say, well, we want you to leave this meeting right now. It's like, 

Bled Tanoe, PharmD: okay, okay. 

Mike Koelzer, Host: Is there any advantage of a chain pharmacist pissing someone off so that they don't come back? And here's what I mean, my contention is that chain pharmacists.

Don't get me wrong. I think [00:40:00] pharmacists in general are very good people and I think they have good hearts. I think they're being crushed by some of the corporations and because they're being crushed, if I'm a chain pharmacists getting crushed, I would say I'm going to do something passive aggressively. And maybe that means something that the metrics don't pick up where I can do something passively, like piss the customer off.

Somehow whether it's not answering a phone or not doing this or not smiling or whatever, because if I can do that, then. I get to go home earlier over the next month, because they're not going to come back for the refill because they're pissed at us and they've gone somewhere else. Is that true at all?

Is there any sneaky way to get around the metrics so that they're actually trying to piss people off 

Bled Tanoe, PharmD: now because the system is built to be a punitive, 

Mike Koelzer, Host: punitive, and there's no 

Bled Tanoe, PharmD: way around it. Yeah. And that paying for it one or the other, right? 'cause they 

Mike Koelzer, Host: track it all. Like if you lose customers, right? I mean, they know if that person doesn't 

Bled Tanoe, PharmD: come back, here's the one customer office not going to change my, not really, you know, no, that's not good.

That's not going to have anything whatsoever. And if you lost 

Mike Koelzer, Host: like 10% of your customer, because you were a pissy pharmacist they'll know that, 

Bled Tanoe, PharmD: well, it will show, it will show because your scraped rate would decrease it wish. And then along the, there you have customers calling and complaining, and this is this, and this is one thing that this is one thing that the pharmacy has done against us.

It's the ability of patients to call our employers and complain. No, I'm not saying that you don't, you don't, you know, we all have refused with that as office of that. That's what I'm saying. I had a complaint that sometimes we have nothing to do and must reflect. Patient's safety. Is it the friend that I didn't get my points, the comfort that I, my Manaca was refused, all that.

So they'll open this, this gateway patients have no respect for the first, the technician. I mean, the first thing that we did was to be able to call them by a first name. That's one thing for me is like, I'm not saying I am, I am too tight in my, in my, in my degree, but. We earned it. Yeah. So let me give you the permission to come.

My first name, say that again. We are Copa our first name in retail 

Mike Koelzer, Host: by the customers, but a customer 

Bled Tanoe, PharmD: force. Yeah. Your name is your first name on your badge. It is. We can debate on the fact that, you know, not everybody's at that. And I, we spread that. So we know we have to be really careful when we, when we play that hill.

So I'm not saying that it has to be, I just, what I meant is like the perception of the public is also what we are fighting against, because this chance has been made that way. Right. Or they'll come the way that we'll have it ready for you in five minutes. Oh, when it, when its customers are angry. I'm so sorry about it, I here's a gift card, right?

So we have, we have had a habit of telling the patient that. It doesn't matter that we have someone over ask, can I ask why she is doing it all the time? How we should be, how we should be handling that prescription, right? What it was. She refused that, that pain medicine, we should keep it to more. There's something.

Then make those rules for us to the point where we don't really have much stay when a customer is complaining. Right. I have one time I imagine, come and say, Hey, I need you to release this, this, uh, this descrip. I said, why? Because the customer is angry. Great. Why is that? My concern? The scoop is too early.

Well, he's getting angry. Okay. The scoop is too early. Well, you have to raise. No, I don't. And I told him, it's my name without that license. I'm the one with the position and I'm not releasing it. So yes, that's a bad movie for the star because I did that right there. I was my patient. He didn't need the opportunity.


Mike Koelzer, Host: your example, or the person that called you and said, Hey, why didn't you do this? And you should have been so on. Is that a pharmacist or is that a non pharmacist? 

Bled Tanoe, PharmD: Pharmacists? Yeah, the store manager or the shift leader who knows, but yet, because of this thing we have, the way that, the way the model is for pharmacists, our bosses are not even pharmacists.

The one would, the one would do an evaluation every year. I know our peers and that's what makes this, this whole thing very difficult because there's just so much that needs to change. Right. The whole process. So the whole model, I mean, you had a friend, you had Benjamin jolly last time when you're, you know, there's like, I mean, there's the issue of PBM.

There's the issue with, you know, um, with, uh, [00:45:00] And near to feeling seen by the healthcare, um, um, community needs to be valued by the patient and to be valued by our employers, right? And this, and this, this thing that, that makes us the best human known, the best buy as pharmacists. This is our good trend because we want to serve a lot of the community and be there.

But it's also our weakest lane because no, we will give our well, w we would give, uh, all on the way out we are spent with, we don't know how to, to, to know, get fried. It's beautiful. It's strong, but it's also the very thing that keeps us where we are right now. 

Mike Koelzer, Host: Blood, you said right now is complicated.

However, if I were to ask you to describe one of these companies, In one word in one adjective. If I were to ask you, all right, describe what's going on. Let's say we can't even use pizza is not working. If I just asked you for one adjective to describe them, what would that one word be? 

Bled Tanoe, PharmD: I was at 

Mike Koelzer, Host: grade, so it's not complicated.

They're just a bunch of greedy bastards that are running all this. You just said it was complicated. It's not complicated. It's 

Bled Tanoe, PharmD: all greed. It's, I would say, great. But what makes the grid complicated is because the grid that's not. The company is also stopped at every single shell quarters in the company.

And some of the shorter shareholders happen to sit sometimes in our biggest places in the government. And when you and someone makes a bigger change, you need to go to the government. And so that's why it makes it complicated. You're exactly 

Mike Koelzer, Host: right. Because too, if I look at my 401k, I have no idea in hell. If I've got those, I assume I probably have some of those chain pharmacies there.

So, you know, it's my greed too. I'm sure. I'm sure it's all of our greed, you know, we're all, it could be a part of it. Yeah. All right. So listen here, miss smarty pants. So now I'm telling you, all right, bled the heads of the three. Let's say there's three pharmacy monopolies and three wholesaler monopolies and all these things.

They say blood, we saw your pizza is not working. However, if you would like to come and have a piece of pizza at our headquarters, we're going to invite you to sit in and talk to us leaders of these chain monopolies. And you walk in there and you grab a piece of pizza. If they invited you there and they had pizza, would you take a piece I 

Bled Tanoe, PharmD: would ticket beside, because I love this Audi had its composition.

All right. 

Mike Koelzer, Host: And that's what we talked about. We know that's just a symbol as I'm, but they're giving you a chance to talk. So you sit down, what do you tell them? Knowing, knowing that it's complicated and knowing that they're greedy and you sit down and what do you say. 

Bled Tanoe, PharmD: I will first ask them, why do you care about the most?

Because this thing, even though somebody, I, I, I there's this thing about words and what I'm really powerful. Right? We all know that. So it's never been said out loud, that is great from them. So, well, we all know, but I will ask them. Yeah. We all know, because this is really clear, it's defined, but I will ask them what matters the most for them.

And if you tell me it's patient, great. I have an answer for that. And it tells me the employee is great. I have babies that will never tell me money. That's the thing that will never tell me money. Right. And a Bessie can say, if I have a per se, what are we advice on some new stations? To see this grin moment about, uh, Tamar consolation, Mattoon, w Y Y Matt Stoller caused me to rebel within CVS and Walgreens.

Right. Let's have a new station. Right. And rather you ask 

Mike Koelzer, Host: them, have a new station, come in. 

Bled Tanoe, PharmD: Yeah. Come in and, and, and, and broadcast this huge event, this moment of conciliation between who they are, who they consider the enemy. I don't know why. And then, right. And, uh, right there you ask them the question, Hey, I've been wanting to know about this.

Tell me what matters the most to you when you think about fantasy, that will never say money. That will never say anything that will say we want patience. Of course, patience matters to us. Here you go. It's the word in the form of everybody, right? Okay. If patient medicine, then Demi tells you how you can make the patient murder most again, and then give them the plan right there.

All right. [00:50:00] 

Mike Koelzer, Host: Now you walk into this meeting and you say, tell us what matters most to you and to you. And they say money, and then what do you do? 

Bled Tanoe, PharmD: Okay. And I will say, who gives you your money? How do you get, how do you get your money? The patients. Okay. So therefore the patient matters to you the most because, or the person who gives you the money.

So let's talk about them. Let's look at how we can make them happy. Here's the thing. If patient, when there's a great chance that that pharmacist will also win. Because if you have to do everything to make patients happy, you have to use the people who're going to make that happen. Who else? The pharmacist and the technician.

So there is a relation in all of those. Somehow they have found a way. So then know, by this equation that this is a question then though there are different pieces of the equation, patients, um, pharmacist, technician, intern, and them, this is the equation, right? What they have done is instead of keeping the Francis dictation part of the equation, comparable to the patient, they have removed the paces.

So they actually have less pharmacies supporting a bunch of patients and then more money for them. Does that make sense? So, yeah, so this is, this is really, this is really where the system is actually shifting is the fact that for the amount of patient I was, so why would you, there's not enough pharmacist and technician intern to do the work.

And therefore they make more money because, you know, it's, it's more profitable. So, if they're saying the patient is a priority, you'll have to measure your need to show them that for you, for them to be the priority, you'll have to support the patient with an ample amount of pharmacists and technicians. 

Mike Koelzer, Host: I'm one of the CEOs there.

All right. Hey, bled. We just told you it's money. We just told you it's money. You keep bringing it back to patients. It sounds like the meeting's over blood. We just told you it's money. So you just get up and walk out 

Bled Tanoe, PharmD: then. No, and I asked him, okay, how do I ask him? How do you make your money through what? 

Mike Koelzer, Host: Right.

So then they say, Yes, it's true. The patient. And then you say, oh, we have to treat the patients better. Take the stress off the pharmacist. And so on leaving 

Bled Tanoe, PharmD: more. Nah, that's not how it works. You can't tell them you're staying, you can't give them the obvious answer because we all know that they don't really care.

That's what I was going to 

Mike Koelzer, Host: say, because if you would say to them, we need more pharmacists to spread the workout and get better care and things like that. And they'd be like, oh, we never fought about that bled. Well, they're not going to say that we know it's money and we know they're not going to listen to you sitting at a board meeting.

So what makes you think that you can make any change at all? 

Bled Tanoe, PharmD: Yeah. Yeah. So here's the thing. So we're not going to talk about my sister. Well, we're going to talk about what makes us, what makes us patient. What makes the patient happy is to be seen and to be cared for. A patient is happy. They stay there, all that, what they're going to do.

Oh my gosh. CVS is the best one I've ever said. Right? Because when I got there, I'm taking care of myself. So they're bringing patient self as a patient. Noni died. You also have a patient purposely choosing anxious, which are in network with you. It isn't about telling their friends or famously where they go.

When they go get the prescription you didn't buy. Like, I mean you, them coming to the pharmacy and time buying your goods and all of that, right? So your patients are your skin at your activation point, you have to activate them to get more money. So the more pressure you get, the more happiness to have, what, whatever they stay with you here for years.

A perfect, really perfect example. Right now we're about to have Walgreens and CVS. I am about to get Tricare. I guess I will come to them. Yeah. If checker, hoarder, I know happy with a still corporation, what's going to happen. The contract minor lasts all the way in their mind, they might put Shane lose the contract.

So right now it isn't a good interest of both Morgan since CVS mission Tricare patients are literally well taken care of when it comes to those both RC, because I just lost a contract with Walker with Walmart. It's 

Mike Koelzer, Host: not news to them [00:55:00] that they're greedy and that they're working people to death.

I think they know that. So then I'm thinking, 

Bled Tanoe, PharmD: why are we doing this? 

Mike Koelzer, Host: Why? And I'm going to give you some reasons. If it's so bad, I may see some pharmacists revolting. I may see some strikes. It almost seems like, and maybe you're just being sneaky about this by just pretending that you're trying to bring this information to make it.

Well, you never said, I think I put words in your mouth. You never said you were trying to really get the message across to the upper echelon of these companies. 

Bled Tanoe, PharmD: Did you? Oh no, I am 100% away. They're not exactly. Yeah, no. That's, it's not going to be anything new. I think, I think first thing is like, is it's the awareness of the matter, you know, to know that it's just happening to whom, not 

Mike Koelzer, Host: the leaders, because they know your message isn't to the corporation, your messages, to the.

Bled Tanoe, PharmD: Customers. My message is to the, to everybody who has ear to listen, the corporate and everything. But the corporate already 

Mike Koelzer, Host: knows. 

Bled Tanoe, PharmD: Now, I didn't know that, but there is a way that is a way to send a message. Even if, even that, no, it's got a good shame. 

Mike Koelzer, Host: You're shaming them. That's what you're doing. You're not informing them.

Let's be straight about this. You're not informing them. And you never said you were, you're trying to shame them in their greed. 

Bled Tanoe, PharmD: They say, 

Mike Koelzer, Host: I can live with that. They're not listening any other 

Bled Tanoe, PharmD: way. They're not listening our way. Right? It's not like, Hey, uh, whoa, I want to have a meeting with my supervisor and discuss this issue.

Okay. We heard you 'll take you out to the corporate and give your answer back. Many things have happened before, you know, this is no, like out of the blue, we're going to talk about it on social media. Social media is, it's a very beautiful thing, but it's also a very dangerous thing, depending on which side of the point that you find yourself in.

And I have, you know, many times, even through this campaign, I have been bitten a little bit by social media. So I get that. But we have come into this era where people they're fascinated about some type of justice, fascinated by justice. They're fascinated by that if they want to be in for, they want to see change.

Right. And, and the goal is even as we keep raising awareness as to what it really is to bring. Shame because it's really shameful. It's really bring shame, shame, shame to 

Mike Koelzer, Host: the top end being an underdog to the bottom. 

Bled Tanoe, PharmD: Exactly, exactly. Right. So, because they know this is known, this is not new to them, you know?

No matter how many statements I put out there, bad, the, Hey, you are aware or about those issues internally, not out there for the whole world to know, let's see what you're going to do. Right. 

Mike Koelzer, Host: And what do you hope they do? 

Bled Tanoe, PharmD: What do I hope they do Oh man. 

Mike Koelzer, Host: Now that we know that they're greedy and they don't really care, what do you hope?

And I love shame. What do you hope to shame them into? 

Bled Tanoe, PharmD: I hope then that it will come one day in the stall, have a seat and watch what is happening. I want them to put themselves in a place of a patient and ask themselves, would that one map person to come out of here? Would I feel safe when my sister hands me the bag?

It's because I feel like, oh, maybe even better without one, my daughter or my son to work here. Right. If the question is no, then I, I, then I think that the answer would come from them. There's nothing more beautiful than self-reflection. Yeah. I can tell you what to do. And I have something, I want them to do a hundred percent, but it's so hopeless, hope to hope for self perfection.

Right? I think that's why we all know that, you know, people say, oh my gosh, they would never feel shame. Yes, I will. That never feels shameful that no, no, but you keep telling them, yeah. This policy is not good. They keep hearing that from their friend. Man we hear about your company? How are you doing, you keep hearing that this conversation is going to start picking up eventually.

Mike Koelzer, Host: You shame them in their circles 

Bled Tanoe, PharmD: In their circle. 

Mike Koelzer, Host: So when they're on the golf course, they're ashamed of that. And when they're on their yacht they're ashamed that they're a part of this. You shame them in their 

circle. You shame them to feel guilty. If they were parents of those people, if they were patient themselves, right.

If their kids find out about what they were doing, their kids would call them out on 


Bled Tanoe, PharmD: Exactly. 

Hey, is [01:00:00] that in your company? Mom is. that not you, 

I know it's hard because after you remember, right, this is someone who smiles. This is once every five days. And I get that. And I, and I respect that feminist precious by, you know, but when you, when you purposely choose to know the wellbeing of someone that's child or someone has loved 

Mike Koelzer, Host: One, you don't have to apologize for speaking the truth.

And I 

Bled Tanoe, PharmD: would say, you know, like, like my, my auntie things, he used to tell him, he said, she said, Shame is a very powerful shame. Yeah. Yeah. Especially in the place where it's all about keeping the image, you know, let's bring this, bring out your skeleton for the whole world to see. I mean, this issue is in and the UK is talking about it.

Issue Canada is talking about the issue. So it's spreading hyper calling me from, I was like, Hey, it's spreading out. Pizza is not working. We hear it. Buy it in Australia. So you get into a point where you're like, oh yeah, this is that. This is that, uh, the company that does that, or now we don't want to work for them 

Mike Koelzer, Host: going back to marketing a little bit.

It used to be that you'd want an issue to raise to the level of the media. Okay. So this is like maybe 10 years ago. You wanted to raise the media because the media can spread stuff. Now that social media has become so predominant. No one, I haven't watched the evening news or something in 15 years, you know, now that that's come up, is that a goal anymore to say, all right, we're going to get this going.

And then we hope the media picks up. Is the media still powerful in your mind to pick it up 

Bled Tanoe, PharmD: 100%? You know, I feel that, and it's been really tough to get us into the media. Honestly, you know, what, where, where we have been by now is because we, as a community have shared. And that's why I've been inviting people to really come together because they're all avenues.

And they're all researching that, that some of us don't have that, that people might have. Right. And it's been amazing people calling me connecting to me and that person, you know, but we still I'm still shooting followup. New York time. I'm shooting for CNN because of this thing, and I tell people, you know, I, you can remove, you can move me from the picture.

It will be great to have 60 minutes on a crisis within because it is, there's no other word to call it a crisis. It is literally a crisis. It's not just in Oklahoma, it's everywhere. Right? You are talking about people not being able to get a position for days. He didn't talk about how to reward LA on those of the community and of your particular passion for days.

Right? So S so I will love for a segment to be done from what a two second on this issue. I don't care if my name is given to the movement as a mission, but we need to be talking about what is happening in chance, fantasy, right? We need to be discussed things 

Mike Koelzer, Host: and you've positioned that right. For them to pick it up.

It's got to be, Hey, it might be like 10% of. Pharmacists are crying or stressed out or whatever, but even that 10% has to focus in the patient potential errors and that kind of 

Bled Tanoe, PharmD: stuff. Yes. Well, and then we, you know, when, when, when we started a campaign from the beginning, it was very, very patient, safety focused and, and the wellbeing of pharmacists and vacation to intern.

But when I did my official interview, I went back again and read this comment. And when I found that people were just calling us a bunch of whiny babies and they were, they didn't really get that. You know, once again, this, there are all those dominoes, fastest technician and intern abdominal number one.

And so we had to go back and shift the language and it was, it was very hard for me to put in. When I switched, I had to end a view to put master Lakeisha in a bag. And I'll talk about their mental, physical state at the front. We met just like a bad dad, but we had it to make it, make us so much about a patient so that people were really heed to the concern of what is happening.

Even when I write you, my Senator here in Oklahoma, I only talk about what patients what's happening to patients 

Mike Koelzer, Host: You and I know, and every pharmacist knows that we went into pharmacy because we may be new, a pharmacist who liked helping people. And so we went into it and our whole being was helping people in a very personable manner, not like maybe a surgeon when someone's conked out on the table, the kind of thing we wanted to help [01:05:00] people face to face.

When we talk about the pressure and the stress, we already have assumed as pharmacists, we know it's like, yes, you get worse stress. And you're not going to give the best patient care. So we talk about the stress and all the things going on and how come we're not the pharmacist. We want it to be, we're talking about stress, stress, stress, stress, stress.

It's like, oh, of course we know this affects the patient. You know, we know that, but for the news, they don't know that for them, you have to make that extra connection and say, 

Bled Tanoe, PharmD: yeah, 

Mike Koelzer, Host: This is about the patient now. Yeah. There's stress and all that. And as pharmacists, we can talk about that, but they don't make that connection as easily as we do, knowing that it's hurting the patient.

Yeah. Yeah, 

Bled Tanoe, PharmD: exactly. Yeah. Is that the, and I think, I think as you move forward as a community, we have to take care. Um, and that what I mean, You know, the state board, um, pharmacists association, and the national state have to take a pharmacist within our committee where we have to discuss those issues of stress within ourselves.

But when we go into a national or a new station, everything, the language has to be shifted to the patient. And for sure, and it's hard to say that honestly, like even as I have, like, I have come out with a proposal for both Oklahoma, CVS and Walgreens to discuss how they can improve their market. I did not even include the benefit of the pharmacist.

I include what it would do to patient care and patient safety and how much they will. It will, it will, it will boost the market. It was very hard for me to not even include that as pharmacists, because it felt like. I was living there behind, but that's the only language that we understand. And so we have to be okay.

And I almost said we have to forgive each other if that's not the language that we have in front of other people, but we know, right. Yeah. We know 

Mike Koelzer, Host: In the past you would talk about crazy people. You'd say like, okay, it's black and white, but I've learned as I go along that mental health is like a, it's like blowing up or one of those cheap rafts, you buy it.

And at some point putting a pressure on it, someone's going to break. They're going to break with depression, anxiety, whatever. And unfortunately, pharmacists in their heart, I think, love their patients so much. And fortunately they sometimes. Before they even break the customer. And so, yeah, absolutely. It's hard to tell a pharmacist, like the patient's not getting as good a care.

There might be mistakes and so on. And a lot of pharmacists would rather, this might be too dramatic, but a lot of them would rather die themselves, then hurting a patient or killing a patient. Oh yeah. And so I can see you're struggling about not talking about the pharmacist, because they're like bled, you forgot about me.

I might physically die before a patient gets hurt, but if I die, it's too late. And then, you know, and then it's all for not so I can see the struggle you have of not talking about the pharmacist in that, but unfortunately that's how the ball bounces with the media. You got to talk about the patient's needs.

Bled Tanoe, PharmD: Exactly. Yeah. I mean, you really have to like, and it's almost, it's almost a. It is the idea of forgetting self, you know, to propel, like the message. And I think this is where we're all going to struggle because like, as if when this guest will be bigger and bigger and we'll have to start talking about it more is having to shift that conversation.

Because if you say I'm tired, they're going to come next. I'm going to come. We were tired too. Right. Everybody's tired. And it's true. Right. You know, we can, we can, you can change that. But to really shift the conversation to this is really hurting my patient. Right. It's really hurting my patient. Right. It's this, this system, this is the only language that would really, that we really pass.

Right. I think it's this idea of like, we intimately know our worth. We know I would go myself. We don't suffer low. We need to suffer within the committee. And I think you need to be, people need to reach out to their peers and talk about what is happening, right. That needs to be a conversation, right?

Then there would be seminars and things and, and, and things in place to help pharmacists overcome what is happening right now, then that hundred percent is still happy. You know? So I reached out to me last, I may say, you know, we'd be having this conversation about there's one good that we forgot to say who, [01:10:00] and that philosophy says the fastest, who have been sober for all those years, who are now struggling.

We've rented to think about what is happening to them right now, the 

Mike Koelzer, Host: ones who have had the stress for all those years now, it's been too much 

Bled Tanoe, PharmD: sadly. And so now my next goal is to find out how I can connect with people who are in charge of the pharmacist. Uh, group in each state and see what we can do to reach out to this pharmacist and see we, what can I help we can get?

Because it's true that we have been talking about his stress and everything by this is the people who have been working so hard to overcome the sobriety and to, and to work in freedom who I've been pushed back now because of the stress addiction addiction. Yeah. I went to talk about that. We need to find out where they all like what's going on and how we can come together, you know, and help them.

Mike Koelzer, Host: So blood, you and I are talking here and I'm an independent, old fart, you know, and really I'm not ever going to get any retaliation, you know, no one's going to retaliate against me and you are no longer in the system. Would we be able to have this same conversation if you were in the system, would you still be able to have the same conversation or are you more free now that you have.

Out of the system. 

Bled Tanoe, PharmD: Yeah. Yeah. I mean, when I, when, when it first, when it first post went viral in August, I was still, I was the employee, um, with my company. But I think, I think that it should have to live even though in the mess of having I have a new job, but it's not a super stable job, you know, I don't have like full time benefit and all of that, but I felt that living the environment completely gave me a bigger voice.

I felt that I was able to, to think clearly, you know, and not have to turn on and watch my back all the time because I probably would have had to happen. Um, it wouldn't be impossible for me to, to be, um, to have this voice and still be involved with that habit. So the type of suitable, average tuition, even though in the smart mind, or would endeavor, they would have found a way for me to leave the company eventually.

Um, I think it's, I think, and I think that's why I particularly invite people out of retail to be partners with us because those in retail, um, they'll want to speak out and, uh, speaking on the way. But when you have company, uh, companies who, uh, that are Fred, uh, and the employees, if they use the hashtag, you know, that creates a fear, right?

And so those employees came in to speak out so freely, and then you'll have, I mean, you have people, that's their income. They have it, they had a stable pay for a long time. You can just ask them to throw that away. You know, even though it's a good close by that, you know, Advocacy has this price. I am paying that price right now.

I want to say your name is blacklisted forever in, uh, in the history of chain pharmacies. Unless somebody poured on you, you will probably never be higher. You'll probably never be higher anymore. 

Mike Koelzer, Host: You brought like the Thanksgiving Turkey that needs to get part 

Bled Tanoe, PharmD: and you know, you wouldn't never be higher, you know?

And so one of my bosses was telling me last time, he said, you better be, you better keep your inpatient job because I said, that's why you, right. And it's, it's, it's, it's scary. Right? It's very scary. That's the price I pay. And sometimes I catch myself out of breath thinking about why not, what have I done to my family.

Right. Um, and then something happens that, like, I get an answer from someone I am waiting on that tells me okay, I can still go, I'm okay. I can still go. Right. And so, so all to say that there is a reason why. Retail pharmacists are staying quiet, even though they ship, they people say that should be the one who has the lighter voice.

And that's why I invite people who are not in Bechtel to speak out more for them, um, as like, and to stand out more for them, you know, because again, it's, it's, it's, it's the beauty of being like you unity, you know, within the profession. 

Mike Koelzer, Host: I will say that with you, putting yourself out there and becoming 

Bled Tanoe, PharmD: Turkey, we come with Turkey.

Mike Koelzer, Host: When you put your Turkey neck out there, ready to hit this slaughter by becoming Turkey, you become more valuable to the industry. And so I have no doubt that your future, I mean, a lot of times people don't support that. I've done some things and people are like, well, you're going to get a lot of support from the neighbors.

Like, no, you don't get that much support. It's all financial, you know, they'll I made some decisions in my [01:15:00] business where they're like, you must have a lot of support for people that feel that way. It's like, nah, it's financial. They might give you a thought, but it's financial with that said looking at raw numbers.

I'm not saying that the industry will support you because you've taken the stand. But I think your name is well-known that you've become valuable to companies in a financial sense because of you sticking your name out there. I'm not just saying people are going to support you because you're a good person and you're brave and all the things I can throw at you, but I think your value has gone up nationwide, if not worldwide.

And I think,

Bled Tanoe, PharmD: no, I 

Mike Koelzer, Host: I know it hasn't, but, but potential, the big potential, you know, that business has a lot of potential or, you know, that stock or whatever, you know, I think my mother-in-law probably said that to my poor wife about me years ago. You know what I'm saying? I think that there is, I think that you have a potential for a look at an interview, even for a job that you might need down the road because of this too.

So I think that you're in, we're going to spare you this year. 

Bled Tanoe, PharmD: I that's, that's great. You know, I think I went to, um, one other really beautiful thing about this for me is just like, I bet people would say, you know, may you know, you, you might, you might get so many, um, opportunities now to speak at this time and whatever.

And I just look at that for myself. It's just like, if somebody asked for more time, what would be your greatest dream out of this? Like in all. And it all, you know, if, if, if it's, if it's attainable, I said, well, the thing that I want would take 20 years to get, so we don't want, we're not going to talk about that, but I felt that I have already in the way.

I had one of my biggest, uh, biggest, um, moment happen than that. When people reach out to me and say, because of you, I know my value. I, when that person asked me, what do you want? What would make you happy? If you are doing this for the professional it is great, but if you're doing this for you, what would make you happy?

And I was laughing. I was like, if every single pharmacist, technician intern knows their value, if they'll wake up and say, I know that I am worth something more than what my impression is, I'm a rhino. I know where I come from and I know what I can do. That is my biggest thing. So this is really what this is really like, what, like what I, I want more than anything, right?

Yes. I want those change, but I think change starts within us. We keep waking ourselves through the process. We're going to see bigger, a bigger voice than me coming out of this. I think this, this needs to be the lowest voice of pharmacy ever that has ever happened. People say, this is the lowest of anything because our, this, there will be much bigger voice and best personally, I cannot wait for those voice to come out.

Mike Koelzer, Host: Blood people listening to this. Maybe they're hopping out of their car or whatever. And they've got, let's say three minutes to have us on their mind. And what would you have them do in three minutes? Whether it's signing up for a newsletter or whatever, what would you have someone do? If they said I'll give you three minutes.

Bled Tanoe, PharmD: I think the first thing is to continue to raise awareness. I think it is through their own social media platform or through contacts with news, you know, reaching out to people who can propel the message. I think that's really like number one. Um, secondly is to support your, your, your Philip master technician, right.

In any way that you can, um, make them know that you understand and that you support them in it. And why? Um, um, and ended up in the current situation right now. Um, and I think the last one is really to partner with us in any way. We're always looking for people to join the cost. And we were forming different teams, you know, for like each state has their own team.

I mean, not all of them. We have about 16 states right now. I have, uh, besides a not working team that we work closely with the board of pharmacy as to that decision to bring the voice or whichever classes within that state. And so you can, uh, if you email and you ask, so my MFA emailed me, I sent you the team list, or you can find which team is in your state, or you can, oh, you can start one.

Right. So, but I'm also on Facebook, on LinkedIn, on Twitter, you know, and we, we pretty much everywhere. So you can just follow us. 

Mike Koelzer, Host: I'll put a link in [01:20:00] the notes that, and there'll be able to click on that and then reach out to you and say blood, I want to get involved somehow. Right. That would be the way to go.


Bled Tanoe, PharmD: So my email again, email, we have an email spit. Yeah. We have an email separate just when they came in and so they can email me. Well 

Mike Koelzer, Host: blood, golly, it was nice meeting you. I see your face all over the place on my God dares app bled again. I got to remind me, you got, gotta talk to her. 

Bled Tanoe, PharmD: Yeah, well it's, it's definitely, it's definitely a pleasure to be here.

And you, you told me a lot of curveballs. I have to go back and think about it. So just like, but that was probably for this question, I guess I'm not booked for this question, but it was, he was fun. He was very educated and then it was, it was really challenging and it was just like, uh, it's it's I mean, I feel like I also actually learn more about myself by talking with you.

And so my, that was, it was such a pleasure, um, absolutely. To, to be with you. 

Mike Koelzer, Host: Well, thank you. But boy, it sure was. Nice meeting you. I appreciate that. 

Bled Tanoe, PharmD: for this year Turkey and they should don't

oh, he's sitting here 

Mike Koelzer, Host: Thanksgiving dinner and say. Oh, blood's having a good day. I was responsible for that. 

Bled Tanoe, PharmD: All 

Mike Koelzer, Host: right, bud. Take care. Talk to you 

Bled Tanoe, PharmD: soon. Bye-bye.