September 22, 2014 - cashier
First Job the Worst Job?
I started cashiering at my Target store back in January of ’14. I had no idea what I was getting myself into, I just knew I had to start somewhere in this rat race. I was hired a few weeks after being sent home from a failed attempt at joining the military. Long story short I couldn’t complete boot because of physical and mental health issues. So I was already not very happy when I was hired. Embedded in my head was not to be a “dirty civillian” and a month later there I am.
No one really trained me, I just read the cashiering book and I was pretty much set. Several weeks later I didn’t feel any less worse about myself. Then it became months. Then about half a year I got my review. They gave me a whopping 5 cent raise. Only complaint was that I need to advertise Red Cards more. Ever since I started I have been trying to get into the electronics section since that’s the only thing I actually enjoy and have background experience in. Time and time again they tell me they can’t put me in there because I don’t “talk” enough to the guests or sell enough Red Cards. I’ve been called an Introvert time and time again so it’s practically impossible for me to do any better as it’s just part of my personality. Now I realized they are right and I probably wouldn’t do well at selling extensions. At one point we got a crap ton of people who quit. Both in electronics and hard lines. So I tried to get into hard lines and they gave me the same excuse. What? I have to talk to people less in hard lines vs the register. Why won’t yo- Makes no sense.
There have been many moments where I just despise cashiering so much that I wanted to quit on the spot. I hate talking to people, I hate being around lots of people, but I need a job. So it looks like I can’t even get paid and enjoy what I do even the slightest. My peers and managers are all nice. However many of them like to get on my case sometimes for small shit, but in a friendly way. A few TLs frequently criticize me for standing at my register when I have no guests, even though the other cashiers will be doing exactly the same thing. The highly sought-after express lane is often taken over by the same elderly cashier. The farthest register that gets the least traffic is almost always taken over by another particular elderly employee. I was actually kicked off the express lane at one point so that said cashier could use it because she “wasn’t feeling good”. Many mornings there I felt like throwing up but I never complained. Christ.
Management often tries to encourage us to sell Red Cards by making them into mini games with rewards. Often it’s something like a free drink at Starbucks, which I don’t go to. Just as much they want us to teach guests about Cart Wheel and some other app that has deals on it. I’m not getting paid to do either, so why should I be expected to do both of those when I could be getting paid the same at another retailer store for just simply cashiering? Half the work, same if not better pay somewhere else. We do free advertising for them daily and Target just reaps the benefits. I counted at least five different places on my register alone that advertises the Red Card. Apparently a part of our raises are based on the amount of Red Cards we sell, but it’s a very insignificant number. I just don’t get it. Every Red Card I get is from the guest telling me that they are interested then singing up, you will never find me trying to sell unless management is really on my ass. Then that’s when I start saying to guests, “So I’m supposed to advertise Red Cards to you, would you like to save 5% and all this other stuff?” Answer is obviously no. Can’t say I didn’t try. Recently my TL would just stand by my register while I have guests just to embarrass me and persuade me to talk more. Of course it didn’t really work.
I just don’t understand how there’s some people out there who can have this super bubbly personality and amped up enthusiasm the entire shift. I’ll make conversation when appropriate. But for some reason management doesn’t realize not everyone wants to chit chat with the cashier, or vice versa. I’m someone who just wants to pay for their things and go. So I’ll treat everybody else in that same respect. Hell most people don’t even say Hi back. They just fucking stare at me when I say something to them like I have three heads. At least acknowledge that I said something to you and we’ll be good.
Another huge thing is the stress dealing with big-time couponers. We have a problem at our store where people would buy a cart load of cleaning supplies, then hand us over a hundred coupons so we would have to stand there and go through each one to make sure it checks out. 99% of the time they give us more than four manufacturers, give us a bunch of photoshopped ones, or give us a bunch of coupons they don’t have items for. If they were proven for doing any of the above and didn’t want to continue paying, that’s the end of that transaction. Then they run out the door like “fuck you for not letting me steal” and leave all that shit for us to restock. Now I just call the GSTL to do that transaction, or if it’s only a few coupons like that I would let it slide. No point in stressing over and delaying time for a few extra dollars off.
One really good way to piss me off is if I see cashiers avoiding their register on purpose. One cashier would walk over to the service desk just to chit chat. Another will be organizing crap in One Spot. Another will be going to the water fountain (for a good while…). Meanwhile I’m the only one actually cashiering and now I have a backed up line because people decide to fuck around and pretend they don’t notice the guest that’s about to enter their line, so the guest goes to mine. Especially if they have a lot of shit. Ohhh do I fucking hate that. Every once in a while I’ll be lucky enough to get away from the front end and do abandons. But everyone else is actually getting cross-trained to do other stuff like help with photo booth (bullshit easy job), service desk (do nothing half the time, but more angry guests), and hard lines (get to actually move around). They act like I’m the only one who doesn’t hate cashiering so they let everybody besides me do something different for a good portion of their shift.
Early on in my adventures in Target when people were easing off of the Black Friday hack. My LOD was your Mr. Perfect for customer service. He wanted me to ask every single individual for a Red Card. Not gonna happen. But I tried anyways and of course I eventually stopped. Same LOD a different day. LOD: “Hey (My Name), what’s your favorite hobby? ” Me: “Well um, I used to-” LOD: “It’s working at Target right!” Me: “…Yeah, sure”. One of the rudest things someone ever said to me. Ask me about personal interests then interrupt and replace my answer with Target.
Recently a guest was trying to buy some small kitchen appliance and price compare it using a picture of a price tag, taken at a different store, of some unknown date, on Instagram. The price reduction she was looking for was something like 60 dollars. She made a big deal about it, got LOD, and he ended up changing it for her anyways. It really is true you can make Target your bitch if you complain enough. Shows how strange their business model is. Guests always get what they want but not their employees. One night at closing after a long shift and I was the only cashier, the LOD asked me if I had zoned everything and if it looked perfect. “Um- Yeah.”, knowing I had been up and down the lanes. She inspected and said I forgot to fix an MLP toy at the end cap in a way that made it sound like I was lazy. She then continued to give me a quote regarding proper zoning that her former LOD gave her when she was a cashier, like it was some old saying passed down…Wtf. Did that really just happen? We’re in retail not a monastery.
One day they tried to give us these decent-sized paper circles to put around our name tag to advertise some discount off of pants. You fucking wouldn’t catch me dead wearing your advertisements. I took it and threw it behind our little register fans. No fucking way that’s happening. Another day I saw a group of interns being led down the store while our GSTL informs them about Target. Only thing I could think was, “those poor kids”. If you’re going to plan your “career” to be in retail, do it somewhere else. Things aren’t what they seem on the surface.
These past couple weeks I learned to sort of just deal with where I am, despite the depression and anger. Whenever Target calls me, I just ignore my phone cause I’m one of those people who wants less hours. Last thing I want is for them to ruin my day off just so they can avoid fast service. Now it’s funny because I noticed recently they haven’t been calling me. Guess they finally learned to fuck off.
I would apply somewhere else, but I can’t stay clean long enough to pass the piss test. Not while I’m still working at that store. Fuck life.