September 8, 2015 - IncomeAndGrowth
Cart Attendant Work Is Absurd – Update
First, thank you to the person who wished me better employment. As it happens, I’ve started working for a company that’s paying me 55% more than Target! The work is hard, but nothing as humiliating and overbearing as being a cart attendant for Target. I was writing to let you guys know that, as promised, I quit! Better than that: I gave Target the shaft by leaving without a two week notice, in the middle of an extremely busy day, to the lead’s face in the middle of the break room with several employees gathered around. Coming back for my last paycheck, I was a bit taken back by how many team members were shaking my hand and laughing, both congratulating me on quitting and letting me know to avoid certain LODs.
Allow me to explain (this is long):
As a cart attendant, you will either close the store – that is, pick up after the morning cart attendant – or open, which means coming in at 11:00am. On the day I quit, I was closing the store. That’s fine: it’s summer, it’s hot as all living hell, and I love being outside collecting carts in the cool breeze than dealing with couponers at the register. Anyway, the problem this day wasn’t that I was closing, it was that, out of the four cart attendants, myself and the other three, one of them is lazy as all living hell and this guy happened to be the morning cart attendant.
If you guys didn’t know, cart attendants place carts at the side of the store as well as bringing them inside; these carts, in a way, are like our savings account for when it gets too heavy in the store and we don’t have the luxury of gathering stray carts. That’s why, when for instance I am the morning cart attendant, I do not touch them; the morning is slow, so I have time to get the stray carts and do everything else. This cart attendant didn’t do that; this guy, rather than going to get , completely depleted the entire savings of carts. Mind you, I understand that things can get busy; I assumed that he was having a busy morning by cleaning the bathrooms, bringing back CVR, removing the trash from the store, and serving as cashier. No. He did nothing.
One of the leads – I will call her “Lead 1” – knew he didn’t clean the bathrooms, so she politely asked if I could cleaning the living hell out of them to make up for the fact. Of course I can. I have no problem doing that, provided that the other leaders understand that I’m doing a thorough cleaning and I need time. Hahaha, no –
Lead 2: “Cart attendant, are you busy?”
Me: “(Jesus, don’t these people communicate?!) This is cart attendant, I’m cleaning the restroom.”
Lead 2: “Carts look really low.”
Me: “(I KNOW, GOD DAMN IT – WAIT) Umm, sure, I’ll get right on it!”
Lead 2: “Thanks.”
I finish cleaning the restrooms and start running to get more carts. Before I can leave the door, I’m confronted by another lead – he will be called “Lead 3” – who notices that the carpet surrounding the front is full of trash left by the “guests.”
Lead 3: “Cart attendant?”
Me: (Jesus, man, I remembered everyone’s name and you can’t even remember my name?!) Hey Lead 3, how are you?”
Lead 3: “Good. Thank you for asking. Can you clean the carpet when you have a chance?”
Me: “(Uggh.) Sure, no problem.”
I head back outside to get seven carts. As I’m bringing in more carts, Lead 1 walks up to me:
Lead 1: “Hey Sam (not my real name)!”
Lead 1: “Starbucks is a little full, can you check on them?”
Holy hell, did she fucking understate! Not only were they “a little full,” the crew working there was walking on garbage! Not only did Starbucks need help, but the food avenue workers, too, were surrounded by trash! Obviously, I couldn’t ignore these people. I went to the back to bring the trash bin and cleaned their stations. I am lucky that I know most of the workers at food and Starbucks, so they all were very generous in waiting for me to pick up their trash.
Obviously, I am running around like mad, so I expect that the leads have noticed enough to lighten up on calling me for every little thing. Again, no. After cleaning the trash, I was asked to jump on a register, being that it was becoming extremely busy. Again, I have no problem doing that – you’re paying me, so I will do it. After 20 minutes of cashiering, I see that there is less than half a row of carts!!! I freak out and run to get more carts. As I finish bringing in two rows of carts, I’m approached by Lead 3:
Lead 3: “Is your walkie working?
Me: “Yeah, why?”
Lead 3: *switches to annoyed tone* “We had a carry out. Don’t worry, I took care of it for you…”
Me: “(Gee, thanks, guy. Before I explain to you how sound waves work, and how open spaces, as in parking lots, differ from being indoors, allow me to congratulate you for lifting a printer into a car!) I’m sorry about that.”
Lead 3: “I checked bathrooms and it looks like it’s time for a check. By the way, have you had a chance to vacuum the trash?”
Me: “(I watched you stand at guest service doing nothing while I was cashiering – why didn’t you jump on the register and let me do that in the first place?!?!)No. I’ll take care of both. Sorry.
By this time, I’ve been working 4 hours and 30 minutes and I haven’t had a single break!!! I was heading to take my break when I’m approached by Lead 2 who asks me to clean the women’s bathroom again. I explain that I’m exhausted and that I haven’t taken a break. She responds, “It shouldn’t take too long! Just be sure not to hit your five hours!” This – this – is the moment I decided to quit. It’s perfect in that Lead 2 was taking her lunch as I was.
At around 4 hours and 55 minutes into my shift, I clock out for the day. I walk into the break room where three other people are sitting watching TV. Lead 2 is eating when I walk up to her and hand her my walkie AND cart machine keys.
Lead 2: “You’re leaving for the day?”
Me: “I’m leaving forever.”
Lead 2: *Pause. At this point, everyone is looking at me with a face of ‘oh shit…’* “What?”
Me: “I’ve been busy all day with no support. I’m being called in to help others out, without even a single LOD offering to help me or send me anyone to help. I quit.”
Lead 2: “Do – do you want to fill out a voluntary form?”
Me: “No, I’m good.”
It turns out you have to fill that form to get your money, so I had to do it. It was honestly great filling out that form: I had the chance to not only show Target that I was getting paid more than some of their leads, as well as having the chance to explain what was fucked up about the position I was leaving.
Anyway, thank you all for reading this long.