December 29, 2012 - noexpresslanes
An experience from a soon to be former employee
I started at Target in Feb of 2011. I applied for the job because my girlfriend and I decided to move in together. When I first started everything was seriously perfect. I was just a simple cashier, working a relaxed schedule because of my schooling, and I adored the 2 GSTL’s. So as the months flew by, both of the above mentioned TL’s left and one of the GSA’s…I was a little torn up but I knew that they were only doing what was in their best interest. They quickly filled the spots for the GSTL’s, but then the former GSA said she REALLLY wanted me to take her spot. In the time I had started they trained me at the service desk and I would often cover their breaks and lunches (more on this later), so the idea of it seemed cool to me and I liked the thought of being “somewhat” in charge. Basically, they really made the job seem wonderful. I was about to realize what a mistake it was accepting GSA.. First of all, I want any cashiers thinking about wanting to be a GSA to understand something. You essentially do everything that a GSTL (a team leader) does except coach cashiers and do a shitload of paperwork. However, you are not paid ANYWHERE close to what they are paid. One of the GSTL’s at my store makes over $15/hr…I make $8.25. That’s literally almost half of what someone else makes to do almost the exact same job! To be fair, that GSTL DOES have a degree and is very intelligent…but try to decide in your head if you really think the expectations and duties of a GSA are worth such a low wage. Remember, you do pretty much everything a GSTL would do.
But that’s not all! The ETL’s insist on treating you much like a GSTL even though you aren’t a team leader! I was constantly approached about Redcards for the day, why we had such low numbers, why wasn’t I motivating them more…it was unrelenting. In my head I couldn’t stop thinking “why am I doing all this shit for only $8.25/hr?! This is BS!” It’s hard to motivate a bunch of cashiers to get redcards when you yourself are hardly motivated by your own pay. I won’t really get much into the ETL’s..a lot of people have expressed their hatred for them and I myself don’t hate ALL of mine but many of them have no clue what goes on at the front end and seem to think negativity is a good way to motivate a team..hmm.
My first year was decent until the new 2012 year started. I felt sick pretty much every day. This led to me calling in not really frequently, but enough to be very noticeable and documented. I think throughout this whole year I had to call out something like 12-15 times. When you’re a GSA it sucks to not show up to work..EVERYONE notices because you are the one running the lanes. If no one is there to run the lanes, everyone gets in a pissy mood and it puts a damper on the whole. MAKE SURE you are in good health before taking the position or else it’s only going to make it that much harder and stressful on yourself. Come July of 2012 I had enough. I went to my GE and told him that I did not want to be a GSA anymore and that I wanted a demotion. I didn’t care if they even threw me on as a cart attendant, I was just ready to hang up my GSA duties for good. Imagine my disbelief when I was told that I WAS NOT ALLOWED TO DEMOTE! I explained to him that I really though the stress of the job and school combined was causing me to feel ill much of the time. He said if that was the case then moving to another area wouldn’t make a difference because apparently all areas of the store are stressful…I was so disappointed because in the back of my head I had always thought I could rely on that to get out of it. He told me the only way to demote would be to transfer to a different store, but then my ETL HR tells me that she won’t allow a transfer for me because of my attendance! What a mess, what a mess…
Finally Christmas of 2012 ends. I was very happy for it to finally be over…or so I thought. Dec. 26th and the 27th were hell on earth in there. Excessive callouts throughout the store. Basically I walked into a complete shitstorm both days..the 27th was my breaking point. After being informed that not only would I have to back up cashier, run the lanes, run change, run the SERVICE DESK because our closer had called out, and somehow motivate my team between doing all those things..I had enough. I demanded to speak to the STL. I was almost begging him to please let me demote. I told him that I wasn’t even a TL so I really didn’t understand WHY they would not allow me to. I was getting nowhere fast with him. He didn’t even really seem to care/listen to what I was saying..it almost made me feel embarrassed that I even brought it up. After telling me once again that he would not allow me to demote, I then told him I wanted to file a voluntary termination notice. For the first time ever I saw a look of surprise on his face…haha. Needless to say, I put in my two week notice finally. I feel kind of scared now because in two weeks I won’t have a job anymore and I’ll have to start fresh. But just the thought of not having to put up with that GSA/ETL/REDCARD nonsense anymore is like being a child again on Christmas morning.
So just remember, THINK CAREFULLY before ever accepting any sort of promotion. GSA is such a bullshit, underpaid and underappreciated position in Target. Don’t let them butter you up talking about it. Unless you are in great health, don’t mind working a position that doesn’t pay anything close to being worth the bullshit, and don’t mind ETL’s up your ass about shit that is way above your paygrade…just look em in the eyes and say “NO THANK YOU!”