Caveat! Those Non-Compete Agreements
I just did not care for retail pharmacy.  I had worked hospital pharmacy before and wanted to go back.  So I was looking.

While eating dinner at home one evening, my phone rang.  It was someone from a pharmacy management outsource company.  It had been a couple of years and I had written them off after saying no to a travelling gig. “We will most likely have an opening for a Director of Pharmacy position in an Indianapolis hospital,” she stated.  “I wanted to call you because everybody said to call Brad…call Brad.”  I was flattered and was getting quite desperate to get out of the retail pharmacy situation.

A pleasant phone interview with the Regional Director, then dinner with the Regional Director and one of the company principals.  I was wined and dined, more than I could say for the retail pharmacy gig.

Next an interview with the Chief Nursing Officer of the hospital.  We hit it off.  I assured her that I could meet her concerns and challenges.

I received an offer; the Director of Pharmacy at a small acute care-like hospital.  The perfect place to finish out my career.  I was elated.

I had given my three-week notice, and with that, some resistance from the retail chain.  So it goes.  I was moving forward.

It was Thursday, and I was down to my last two days of working retail.   An overnight letter was waiting for me from my new employer.  What was there for me to sign?  A non-compete agreement.  I was expected to sign it and bring it to work Monday, my first day, and give it to my director, that is my boss.

I was disgruntled. I felt duped and exploited.  If I resign from them for any reason, I could not work hospital pharmacy for virtually any hospital in their area for two years after my termination.  The whole agreement, of course, was in their favor.  They would only need to give me two weeks notice of losing my job, whereas if I leave them, a four-week notice is required.

Why had I not thought to ask when interviewing if they have a non-compete?  I was beating myself up on that one.  But then, I was not the first pharmacist to fall victim.  Then too, what do I have to lose?  I will be retiring in a few years, and this is all a moot point.  It won’t matter.

There is a valuable lesson that I learned.  Always always, always when you are interviewing and it is getting down to what you are anticipating…that offer of employment.  Ask if they have a non-compete agreement.  Don’t wait and get blindsided by an overnight letter just prior to beginning your new job.

Of course I signed it.  What else was I going to do?  If I did not sign, I was going to join the ranks of the unemployed.  I was not prepared to do that.  So begins the working relationship of Brad and the “illustrious” pharmacy management outsource company…