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September 8, 2015 - IncomeAndGrowth

Cart Attendant Work Is Absurd – Update

Hello everyone,

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)!”

Me: “Hey!”

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.


Employee Experience / TargetSucks


  • Cytotoxin says:

    I feel you, literally haha. Being a cart attendant is absolute hell on weekends and holidays and occasionally on weekdays. I can't tell you the situations I am faced with everyday because GSTLs are too lazy to do anything but walk up and down the front lanes and then head outside to smoke *cough cough*. There have been several occasions where I never had my 15 min break, and when I say several I mean a lot.

    If I'm not constantly bombarded with calls for carryouts or a fucking starbucks spill or spills for that matter, it's "can you check out the restrooms". It always seems to be the women's restrooms that are absolutely atrocious, paper on the floor with shit, piss, blood and hell maybe even cum. But let's not forget those assholes who decide to plug up the stall and people continue pissing and shitting on that very stall.

    I too have been fed up by this flawed ass system, and have thought about quitting on several occasions and neatly and in detail explaining why. I know it is only a matter of time before I am fed up and quit on the spot and not put in my 2 weeks notice. So watch out Target! Your cart attendant may quit in the middle of a busy ass day and you will have a crisis, something a cart attendant deals with on a regular basis, something you are unfamiliar with.

  • Hate It says:

    I understand exactly how you feel. Being a cart attendant myself at Super Target, reading this makes me want to quit how you did when there's a certain GSA there that I dislike to see the expression on her Face. How I imagine it'd be is to die to.

    I go through everything you did as a CA with hours cut due to "pay roll." Working 7 hours next week when I can do more than that on Saturday and sunday alone really upsets me. I was planning on quitting soon but I want to Wait till I have a job to fall back on, but it's difficult atm.

  • Silverfox says:

    even in unionized places that is cart attendant's job. Except unlike target, they often have multiple cart attendants with the same job description running around. One person responsible for carts. One person responsible for price checks. Another one responsible for taking out the garbage and basically keeping the store clean. if it's expected to be extra busy,

    • Silverfox says:

      all are scheduled

    • Hate It says:

      I get what you're saying, but at the Target I'm at, there's only one cart attendant at the same... even on weekends. Past weekends I'M cart attendant I was always alone. And unlike other stores we don't have a cart machine anymore due to someone losing the keys So we have to push by hand. I'm a big guy So I can push over 20 by hand So it isn't much of a problem when it comes to that, but everything else mentioned about the job is.

  • viciousdave says:

    I know, I was cart attendant before but said no more I wanna stay cashier now. When I was cart attendant, ok have the cart pusher machine, getting 25 to 30 carts on, going around parking lot end turning, radio call, cart attendent we got a carry out, "yeah this is cart attendant, I'm at the end of the lot with a lot of carts right now, I can't just leave it there or trafic coming in and going out will be blocked, try to get someone else or wait please.". She than says over radio, what the heck man, we gotta help the guests. Hello, I am with a bunch of carts out on the end of parking lot, oh you want me to leave it there so no one can get out of there parking spot too? Damn, I swear to god no fucking GSTL or TL of any kind thinks about other people or the problems with certain requests because it can interfere with other guests before getting to another guest. They have no brains.

  • smartass89 says:

    i'm still working as cart attendant and it's super chill at my store and we usually only have an opener and a closer, but the other cart attendants are cool as fuck and actually do their job. the only time it sucks ass is when the gstl dickhole continuously calls me to do a carry out or get a godamn smart cart as if nobody else can take 2 minutes to walk to the back and do it themselves. another time it sucks ass is when u go for lunc(because you're alone) an you have to make sure you got carts filled up enough for 45 minutes. then when you get back and go to rush a line or two from the back and hit bathrooms. the gstl is standing there telling you the bathrooms are dirty, you go in there and it's like 1 fucking paper towel on the floor, like bro come on. or in the midst of all that post lunch rush, they want a carry out, a smart cart, a box b, trash done, bathrooms, all while there's like a whooping15 carts in the store when there should be like 100. an this fool is standing here like you need to move faster, i don't give a shit i just work the normal pace give me help if it's that busy and you want it all done at one time.

  • Bjaxon says:

    This exactly explains nearly every day of work for me. I've worked for about 1 year and am thinking about leaving soon. The work they have cart attendants do is crazy.

    • ghost22 says:

      At the other retail companies that I worked for in the past, we had at least two cart guys on at the same time and I was shocked to see that Target only believed in one cart guy to do all of this and barely got any help at times. I was hired as a cashier at first and then was put on carts as Caleb(not his real name obviously) wanted to do afternoons. I had 3 years of prior experience in retail which included doing carts. Caleb wanted to talk down to me all the time about small things such as missing carts when the store was super busy all of the time. Caleb even sunk so far low as to pretend to be a "guest" and complained that I was doing more than 25 carts. I saw him do this and when he asked me to cover his shifts I said no because of this rude act by him. He knew that our store was busy and that 25 was simply not enough is 30 really that much? I think not and I now know why he wanted the closing shift so bad. He liked a GSA and he would spend time flirting with her instead of doing carts for over a half hour at times. The carts would get low and then he would finally go outside and do them. The other guy I worked with I'll call him Joseph was actually very nice and explained various odds and ends about the store and he was a hard worker. To conclude, as a former cart attendant who resigned I sympathize with all of you and hope that you all can find companies that treat you as a person and not a robot.


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