Author Topic: Drug Rep Breakfast  (Read 5894 times)

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Hmmmmm

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Re: Drug Rep Breakfast
« Reply #15 on: April 18, 2013, 04:14:16 PM »
When I worked in a Dr's office we always had advanced notice of drug rep's coming (they had to have a set appointment) and we knew if they were bringing a meal and it was always a full meal. Now it might not be each person's preference, but it was a full meal (usually lunch, but occasionally breakfast). And staff was expected to partake in it unless they had a allergy/noted diet need issue not to. So that's where I'm looking at this from.

Not all reps brought food and that was totally ok, but if a rep offered a meal they were expected to provide a meal. If a rep said "breakfast" and came in with just bagels and coffee (aka a snack) - no fruit, no protein (eggs, yogurts, etc) that rep almost certainly would not be granted another appointment time to hawk their goods anytime soon. If they offered a snack or didn't make mention of food at all, then there would be nothing but "thank you"'s from the staff.

That sounds like the rep was coming in and giving a presentation to the office staff. I'm imagining a rep coming in to meet with the doctors and drops off bagels and coffee in the staff break room for a "help yourself if you'd like some."

Yes, if I were expected to give up some of my day to sit through a formal presentation, I'd like more than coffee and bagels. But I'm still not going to complain about it to the person who supplied the meal.

I get asked to a lot of marketing luncheons where we are in a private room at a restaurant and we sit through a 20-30 min marketing presentation and then mingle. I don't go to many but will if a product I'm interested in. If I attended a one and it consisted of a bottle of water, 2 slices of white bread, a couple of pieces of budig turkey, and a slice of pre-wraped Kraft fake american cheese, I'm not going to criticize it to the rep who invited me. But I am going to laugh about it my DH when I get home.

Sharnita

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Re: Drug Rep Breakfast
« Reply #16 on: April 18, 2013, 04:18:44 PM »
I have no idea if the employees were told to expect breakfast ahead of time. I will day that if the rep did promise breakfast they had an obligation to follow through on that commitment.

WillyNilly

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Re: Drug Rep Breakfast
« Reply #17 on: April 18, 2013, 04:32:08 PM »
No one should be rude, but letting a rep know they did not actually come through on their offer in the eyes of the client is to me the proper thing to do, and to keep quiet about it and just think privately that they dropped the ball or worse are incompetent is far ruder IMO.

Business etiquette is not social etiquette. There is no such thing as a "free lunch" (in this case breakfast). The meal is meant as more then just a happy go lucky gift, it is a marketing tool. And if the tool is not functioning properly, it is not rude to point that out.

That Anime Chick

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Re: Drug Rep Breakfast
« Reply #18 on: April 18, 2013, 05:49:48 PM »
If the rep warned the office staff that he/she was going to bring breakfast, yes I'd expect something more than just bagels and coffee (unless it's bagels from a local shop that are freakin' huge. those things are meal in itself). But if it's a spur of the moment thing, then no, they shouldn't have to pull out all the stops.

I think the people in OPs office were ungrateful and should not be surprised when the rep comes back with nothing for them in the future.
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Poppea

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Re: Drug Rep Breakfast
« Reply #19 on: April 18, 2013, 06:49:05 PM »
I don't see a work breakfast as a gift. Its certainly nothing like an ugly sweater you can just smile about while you say "thank you", then put to the side and never look at again. This is the fuel a person needs in order to perform their job functions over the next few hours.

And its supposed to be a sales incentive (which is why there are so many rules about this type of thing). The sales rep wants something from the staff, not so much the other way around. The meal's function is to make the medical facility (which is comprised of staff) want to do business with that rep and push that rep's product. If the rep drops the medical office, its not a problem, there are no doubt a dozen more reps waiting to just get their foot in the door to make their pitch... along with a meal for their audience.

One shouldn't be outright rude of course, but certainly one needn't just put and shut up about being offered a meal and then served something sub-par when the provider is trying to get the staff to do something for them.

I agree.  While the staff was not polite, the only reason the drug rep brings things is to butter up the staff so they can get in to see the doctor, so they can get the doctor to prescribe their product.  If I was the drug rep I would want to know what the staff liked/expected since my goal was to generate good feelings.

RubyCat

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Re: Drug Rep Breakfast
« Reply #20 on: April 18, 2013, 08:27:24 PM »
When I worked in a doctors office, the drug reps were there to see the doctors. Of course it's easier to gain access to the doctors if you're nice to the support staff, plus it makes a positive impression on the doctors.

I'm not sure we were ever treated to a whole breakfast but they sent us pizza once or twice a year.  It was nice of them and we appreciated it. Other times during the year they'd leave pens and note pads and other small items. Now that I'm working in a hospital, we still get pens and note pads but from facilities and companies that we do business with. I think the man from the hospital bed company brought us donuts once, but the four-color pens were a bigger hit. 

Bottom line, if there were no promises made, bringing bagels was a treat and a very nice gesture. If that were the case, I think your coworkers were rude.

artk2002

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Re: Drug Rep Breakfast
« Reply #21 on: April 18, 2013, 11:03:41 PM »
Your co-workers were definitely rude. The drug reps definitely don't have to do that and I seem to remember that there was a fairly recent crackdown on what types of "rewards" drug reps could bring with them on their calls.

Does anyone else remember this?

I remember it because I work for a public university hospital, and the policy is absolutely no gifts.

I think, even if the drup rep mentioned it advance he/she were bringing breakfast, the reaction was still rude as it was a gift.

Yup. No more big lunches or training in Vegas. Both the AMA an PhRMA (a drug industry organization) place pretty tight restrictions on gifts.  Here's what the AMA has to say about it.

That said, the coworkers were very rude.
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kareng57

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Re: Drug Rep Breakfast
« Reply #22 on: April 19, 2013, 12:28:46 AM »
I agree, I wouldn't call it sub-par at all.  This is breakfast, not lunch or dinner.  Bagels and fruit plus coffee/tea sound just fine to me.  For people expecting more - how would the reps be able to supply something such as cooked eggs?

WillyNilly

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Re: Drug Rep Breakfast
« Reply #23 on: April 19, 2013, 12:34:49 AM »
I agree, I wouldn't call it sub-par at all.  This is breakfast, not lunch or dinner.  Bagels and fruit plus coffee/tea sound just fine to me.  For people expecting more - how would the reps be able to supply something such as cooked eggs?

It was bagels and coffee, the OP says nothing of fruit.

kareng57

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Re: Drug Rep Breakfast
« Reply #24 on: April 19, 2013, 12:52:36 AM »
I agree, I wouldn't call it sub-par at all.  This is breakfast, not lunch or dinner.  Bagels and fruit plus coffee/tea sound just fine to me.  For people expecting more - how would the reps be able to supply something such as cooked eggs?

It was bagels and coffee, the OP says nothing of fruit.


Okay, fair enough.  It's still quite a bit more breakfast than I eat on weekdays.

If anyone had serious diet concerns then I don't see why they wouldn't have clarified it with the drug rep beforehand, rather than complaining afterwards.  IMO any food gifts from a drug rep are just that - gifts.

JoieGirl7

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Re: Drug Rep Breakfast
« Reply #25 on: April 19, 2013, 01:08:52 AM »
It's not a gift, it's a bribe.

Library Dragon

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Re: Drug Rep Breakfast
« Reply #26 on: April 19, 2013, 01:16:56 AM »
Your co-workers were definitely rude. The drug reps definitely don't have to do that and I seem to remember that there was a fairly recent crackdown on what types of "rewards" drug reps could bring with them on their calls.

Does anyone else remember this?

I remember it because I work for a public university hospital, and the policy is absolutely no gifts.

I think, even if the drup rep mentioned it advance he/she were bringing breakfast, the reaction was still rude as it was a gift.

Yup. No more big lunches or training in Vegas. Both the AMA an PhRMA (a drug industry organization) place pretty tight restrictions on gifts.  Here's what the AMA has to say about it.

That said, the coworkers were very rude.

POD. Rude.  The realities of what is allowed is much different than in previous years.  DH is an anesthetist and I've accompanied him to nice dinners.  DS1's first major league baseball game was in a skybox with a full buffet, waiters, full bar, etc., all at the expense of a drug company.  DH was the only one in the staff that received tickets that showed up.  (When DS1's school took a field trip to a game he didn't understand why he did have a private waiter.  ;D )

Fast forward two decades.  You're lucky if you get bagels and cream cheese.  Unless there is a formal training session you rarely get a full meal.  The freebies at conferences has been seriously curtailed. 

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Sharnita

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Re: Drug Rep Breakfast
« Reply #27 on: April 19, 2013, 05:05:53 AM »
I agree, I wouldn't call it sub-par at all.  This is breakfast, not lunch or dinner.  Bagels and fruit plus coffee/tea sound just fine to me.  For people expecting more - how would the reps be able to supply something such as cooked eggs?

You call a restaurant and order it.  I could do it pretty easily.  It comes in a pan.

lowspark

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Re: Drug Rep Breakfast
« Reply #28 on: April 19, 2013, 08:26:02 AM »
I agree, I wouldn't call it sub-par at all.  This is breakfast, not lunch or dinner.  Bagels and fruit plus coffee/tea sound just fine to me.  For people expecting more - how would the reps be able to supply something such as cooked eggs?

Breakfast tacos are one example. Every fast food place has some kind of cooked egg sandwich and so do a lot of local type bakeries that sell donuts and the like.

Where I work (not in the medical field) thare are companies who bring in breakfast occasionally. They ususally bring in some combination of bagels, muffins, kolaches, breakfast tacos, chic-fil-a breakfast sandwiches, etc. Most times, fruit is included, often orange juice. And they always bring too much, meaning, there's leftovers which people will graze at lunch time. So, it's not hard to do.

However, if they didn't bring enough or didn't bring what someone considered to be the right thing, I simply cannot imagine anyone in this office saying something rude to their face. We're always just happy someone brought us food!

It would be one thing if someone took the rep aside and just said, thanks but next time, you might want to bring x, y & z if you want to get in good with the office staff. It's a whole other *rude* thing for the staff members themselves "flip out" and "scoff" right to the rep's face.

Hmmmmm

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Re: Drug Rep Breakfast
« Reply #29 on: April 19, 2013, 09:33:35 AM »
I agree, I wouldn't call it sub-par at all.  This is breakfast, not lunch or dinner.  Bagels and fruit plus coffee/tea sound just fine to me.  For people expecting more - how would the reps be able to supply something such as cooked eggs?

Breakfast tacos are one example. Every fast food place has some kind of cooked egg sandwich and so do a lot of local type bakeries that sell donuts and the like.

Where I work (not in the medical field) thare are companies who bring in breakfast occasionally. They ususally bring in some combination of bagels, muffins, kolaches, breakfast tacos, chic-fil-a breakfast sandwiches, etc. Most times, fruit is included, often orange juice. And they always bring too much, meaning, there's leftovers which people will graze at lunch time. So, it's not hard to do.

However, if they didn't bring enough or didn't bring what someone considered to be the right thing, I simply cannot imagine anyone in this office saying something rude to their face. We're always just happy someone brought us food!

It would be one thing if someone took the rep aside and just said, thanks but next time, you might want to bring x, y & z if you want to get in good with the office staff. It's a whole other *rude* thing for the staff members themselves "flip out" and "scoff" right to the rep's face.

This. And I think part of it is my perception of the offering as a thank you and not a bribe. When a rep drops off donuts at our office it is to say thanks for the business. He doesn't believe a box of donuts is going to impact whether we do future business with him. The ethics of someone saying they wouldn't allow the drug rep future access if they didn't supply appropriate food, especially when related to chhosing medication for patients, boggles my mind.