October 10, 2012 - bestdayever
Best day of my life was the day I quit Target.
Sorry, this is a long one, but it needed to be said:
I worked at a Super Target for just a little over three years. Initially I loved it, I was hired as a cashier and within 6 weeks I was promoted to GSA. A little less than a month after that, I had mentioned going back to college and my ETL excitedly said that they would start prepping me for a team lead position so I could get tuition reimbursement. Everyone loved me and my ETL and GSTL’s were all very impressed with my performance.
Our store also has an Optical department, which is not owned by Target. Our optical manager approached me one day asking if I would like to come and work for him instead. He knew that I had previous experience working as an optician and offered me $13/hr plus commission, better hours and better benefits. Most people would have said yes in a heart beat, but I was still pretty loyal to Target and we had just lost our other 2 GSA’s and were really struggling for coverage. I decided the most professional route was to tell him I would need to first run it by my ETL. I did, she was furious. Apparently the thought of losing one of her top performers really set her off. Instead of just telling me no, she put me on corrective action for attendance. When I had her pull it up, the only things I had been flagged for were “Leave Early”. We looked up the dates and they were all closing shifts. Our store closes at 10pm, we are scheduled until 11pm but stay until the store is done. If it is done early, we go home early. The ETL that is closing that night is supposed to adjust the schedule so no one flags as leaving early, but apparently they hadn’t been doing that. Despite proving my case, she said that it was already done and filed and there was nothing she could do.
Fast forward 6 months, I am off of my corrective action and have been nominated as top performer many, many times. I inquire about Team Lead development and I am told that I am ineligible because I was dating another team member. She told me that if I were no longer dating that team member then I would be eligible. I was going to break up with the guy anyway, so I decided “sure why not”. Well he threw a big hissy fit about it and would complain about it to anyone that came within 20 feet. I pretty much ignored him, and everyone else, because I really needed that promotion. I inquired about it again and was told that I was still ineligible and now on corrective action again for “dividing the store”. Basically, my actions of breaking up with him(which she told me to do) made him lose his mind and cause drama. I disassociated myself from it, but it still fell on my shoulders. This was the only job I had, and I have two kids to support, so I just sucked it up. Review time came around and I got an IE(lowest grade you can get) and a $.04 raise. The reason, the disturbance I caused with my personal life. The guy’s name was even quoted in my review. His review? Exceeds expectations, $.34 raise, not a word of the drama mentioned.
Instead of bringing me down, I use this as an opportunity to prove to everyone that I CAN be a Team Lead. I busted my ass, did the job of my GSTL and my ETL and all of my other GSA’s. I rose our conversion a full 1.5%, cross trained in every other area except production and Starbucks, rose our speed scores from a low yellow to a solid green and had absolutely perfect attendance. I inquired yet again for the Team Lead development and instead of being developed, got tossed into an interview without any preparation the very next day. Surprisingly the store I interviewed at said I did very well, however they were concerned with some past “drama” issues I had at my current store. So essentially, someone from my store called them and filled them in on stuff that happened over a year ago.
I am going to sum up the next year or so in one paragraph to get to the end of this experience. I was put on corrective action 2 more times for attendance, mostly due to “Leave Early” that the ETL’s didn’t correct in the system for closing nights and there was 4 days I missed throughout the entire year because either I was in the hospital or my children were. Doctors notes were provided, but I was told that it doesn’t change anything, I am still accountable for my shifts.
Now let’s look into the past 6 months. Back in May/June I was hospitalized for almost 2 weeks. Turns out I have Multiple Sclerosis. I was working the day I went in to the hospital. I was covering a guest service shift that night and about an hour into my shift I started getting really dizzy. I immediately told the LoD so that they could be aware of the situation. Less than 5 minutes later I started having chest/back pains and couldn’t feel one side of my body. I also was having a very difficult time talking. I called my LoD up and said I needed to go to a hospital right away(I thought I was having a heart attack or stroke or something), and he tells me to hold on a second while he lets the GSTL know. Over 20 minutes pass and I call him back up again and tell him I need to leave. He tells me that we have coverage coming in at 6pm(it was just after 5:30) and I would have to wait until she got there before going home. I told him that photo could cover until then, that I really needed to leave. He said hold on a second and walked off. Five minutes later, my photo girl comes up and tells me to just leave, she is worried I am going to die at Target and if anyone asks, she is just going to tell them I went to the bathroom or am grabbing something out of my office. I call in that evening and say I am being admitted to the hospital and was told by doctors to not return for 12 days and I got belittled by the LoD about how I was leaving them in a very rough spot without any coverage. It was not my choice, I wasn’t hanging out at home, I was in the hospital for the entirety of those 12 days. I then filed for FMLA so they couldn’t use it against me on my attendance. Less than a week after I was back I had to go back into the hospital and missed another day of work. I got coached for it, and along with that ONE day, they also included the 12 that were completely covered and approved by FMLA. I pointed out that they need at least 3 attendance issues to coach for attendance and I instead got coached for not having a “FFF” attitude. It was at that point that I stopped caring. I thought I was in the clear until about a month ago when they again brought up my attendance. On there were 12 “Leave Early” flags that were ALL from closing nights where the ETL didn’t change the schedule, 2 days where I was asked to come in to cover for someone and I told them “I will hop in the shower and be there as soon as possible”. They would then mark me down as having my shift start about 5 minutes from the phone conversation, which is funny because I am coming in on my day off, request to shower before heading in and then have to drive 15 minutes to get there, but you expect me there in 5 minutes without even telling me. Like I mentioned, I had stopped caring already so I just shrugged it off.
Three weeks ago it all went to shit. I had another MS flare up and was on some hard core medications that was giving me some very nasty side effects. I had a doctors note excusing me from work for the entire week, but I knew I couldn’t qualify for paid medical leave unless it was at least 11 days. I showed the note to my ETL and mentioned how I was going to try to come in every day anyway because I really needed the money. She said it wouldn’t be a problem and she was glad I was not leaving them in a bind. Three days later I was in the hospital so I called in about 4 hours before my shift, but told them that I had already texted the other GSA and she said she would come in for me. They thanked me for making sure it was covered and told me that they hoped I felt better soon. Later that week I was late, totally my fault, but I clocked in 2 minutes late. Didn’t think it was a huge deal. Then I was working on a Saturday, I felt like shit. The LoD was this crazy ass woman that has so far caused almost all of the Softlines team to quit or step down from their positions. She is constantly verbally abusing everyone and all of the ETLs are terrified of her. She is the Softlines ETL, but everyone knows that she runs the store because the STL and HR-ETL are all to afraid of her to do anything. I started getting sick about 2 hours before close, and by sick, I mean vomiting so much I am barely able to make it out of the bathroom to respond to GSA calls. Fortunately, all of my team members are freaking amazing and even sales floor kept coming in to help me and make sure I was okay. I mentioned to one of them that I was going to ask the LoD if I could leave after all of the Front End stuff was completed for the night(Closing registers, zoning, etc). Not leave before close, just leave when MY stuff was done and not staying until 11pm or later with the rest of the team. She said she would go back and ask her for me. Well at this point I have had to take my headset off because I puked on it, so whatever was being said on the walkie could be heard by other people. LoD gets on walkie and asks me to go to channel 4, I do and she goes “I hear you don’t want to stay with the team tonight and want to leave early”. I could already tell she had an attitude about it, so I said “Well, I am very, very sick and have been in the bathroom for almost 2 hours now. I want to make sure my stuff is done, but yes, I would like to leave after that”. She responds “Yeah, I am going to need you to stay. We need to work as a team and I can’t have you leaving early. Also, you need to get out of the bathroom. We have too many backups for you to be in there” I reminded her about how I was puking frequently and she responded “Yeah. So? Carry a baggy with you or something, just get out front”
What. The. Fuck.
Carry a bag with me, in front of the lanes, while I am sick. I suppose I am just supposed to redirect guests in between vomit bursts.
There were three other team members with me that heard what she said, along with a guest that RAGED out over it. The guest ended up giving me her phone number so I could use her as a “witness” if anyone tried to give me a hard time about it. The worst part, the entire store was done before I got finished with the registers, so instead of helping me, she just stood there complaining about how I was moving too slow.
I called in the next day because I was in the hospital for severe dehydration from being so sick. The same LoD was working and bitched me out for about 20 minutes.
On Monday I told my ETL what happened and she acted like she was very concerned and said she would bring it up with our STL and HR-ETL and that it wasn’t a problem that I went to the hospital because there was nothing I could do about it and I called in several hours in advance. Wednesday, the very same ETL that said it was okay that I was in the hospital put me on corrective action for my attendance. Thursday I got a job offer from a place that is so amazing I feel like it’s company logo should be a rainbow that doubles as a unicorn that cures cancer and poops 0 calorie chocolate that tastes like heaven. Friday I put in an availability change to go from open availability to Sat/Sun noon-11pm. They actually approved it!
Well to wrap up my story, there was one GSTL that was super duper awesome. I came in to work Monday to check and see what time I needed to come in and she pulled me aside and said I should just call in. When I asked her why, she told me that it was because my ETL was on a rampage and was pissed about my availability change, but they couldn’t deny it because it was to make time for another job. So instead she was going to just make my life hell that night. Against my better judgment, I came in. I wasn’t there for 5 minutes before she started bitching about stuff. First it was how I don’t drive a good culture by leading by example. We had Guest Service call in, and because I have been “flakey” with my attendance, I was showing them that calling in was okay. Uhm..okay. Our guest service person got in a car accident and had been in the hospital for over a week with, pretty sure that isn’t my fault. A little less than an hour later she was bitching at me because we only had 6 REDcards for the day. Keep in mind, when I came in, less than 90 minutes ago, we didn’t have any. My team got 6 REDcards in less than 2 hours, but that wasn’t enough, and it was my fault. Sorry lady, but I’m not on the lanes asking the guests, I’m not going to bitch at them to ask the dude with a pack of gum and a diet coke for a a REDcard. At this point I asked to talk to her in the office and she said “No, you can talk to me here”, there were guests every where, but I decided “what the hell”, and I said “okay then, I am not sure what the deal is with my attendance. I want to go over it with you because I am pretty sure it is unethical to put someone on corrective action when they were in the hospital and had doctors notes”. She flipped out and started yelling at me about how I was completely out of line for saying anything she did was unethical. I stayed calm and asked for her to show me the attendance records and she said she would meet with me in 5 minutes. She went an hid in the STL office for over an hour. I went on break and tracked her down when I got back. We went over my attendance and the only things that were legitimate were the hospital visits and the time I was 2 minutes late. I mentioned to her how it was not okay that I got written up for the day I was in the hospital after I had been puking at work for hours on end and not allowed to go home. Her exact response was “Oh yeah about that, I need you to sign this. It’s a final warning. I talked to [bitchy ETL that told me to carry a bag] and she said she NEVER said that to you and that you never even asked to go home and had she known you were sick, she would have let you leave and I can’t have you going around making up stories about your SUPERIORS just so you can skip work the next day” It is important to note at this point that when I mentioned the part about her waiting on me to close the lanes she witnessed me puke 4 times while trying to close registers and did not once offer to let me go home. Just kept bitching about how I was taking too long and would roll her eyes at me every time I got sick.
At this point my vision is going red and I am about to rage the fuck out. I start to reel it back in, then remember that I have an amazing new job. The worst part about the new job was that I was having to leave it early to come and work at Target for the next two weeks until my availability changed. So I said fuck it and went for it. I lived the dream.
I said “Well Hannah, team member X, team member Y and team member Z were all in the bathroom and heard her say it, along with this guest. Here is her phone number” she goes “There you go again, lying. They couldn’t have heard you because you had your head set on” and I respond “Sorry, remember when I asked for a new one Monday? It is because I puked on my old one and I am pretty sure I mentioned that. So when I was in the bathroom, I was not using a head set”. She told me to stop trying to cause drama and just sign the final warning. Then I responded by taking out my keys, pda and walkie and handing them to her. I then said “I am sick of this shit, this job sucks, I have a new job that pays twice as much and actually treats their employees like real people. Have fun watching the front”. I walked out and texted every team member I knew worked that night.
The night I left they had every specialty area call in along with 3 cashiers and 3 sales floor team members. The ETL and worthless TLOD were pretty much the only ones on the floor after 8pm aside from 2 other sales floor people that were total douches anyway.
The best day of my life was the day I walked out of that store.