Target Sucks - We Hate Target and We Know We're Not Alone.

October 31, 2012 - dogsrme

Goodbye new job.

I”m writing about my experience here because I absolutely cannot tell my family or even some of my friends the truth. They won’t believe it and will think I”m exaggerating (judging by the response I got when I told them about the first thing that went wrong–they said I was “unreliable” and really needed to grovel and get on their good side.)

I quit yesterday.

I was still technically in training. I was hired as a seasonal employee at $8.50/hr.

Trouble started on the very first day. Trouble that shouldn’t really have been TROUBLE kind of trouble. But, at 48, I have seen the signs before of a culture that could be trouble.

Our training group was large (12 ppl). We were asked to provide our 2 forms of ID. I have my SS card and driver’s license. The young HR trainer came back with a look as though she had caught me trying to pull a fast one. “I’m going to need ID that isn’t expired.” ??? “I’m sorry? What is the matter?” “Your driver’s license is expired.” It was kind of embarrassing in front of an entire group, but nothing I couldn’t deal with. I took a look. My license had expired just about 1 month to the day prior. I had moved and didn’t realize it and didn’t receive paperwork in the mail. Not like I had been running from the law from another state for years. “Oh, okay. Wow. I’ll go get it updated.” The class was great and laughed and teased me a little. She was not amused. “I will not be able to allow you to continue with a valid form of identification.” Ok, got it. “Ok, would it be better for me to join the next round of new trainees next week then? I’ll go to the DMV right now.” “No, just know that I cannot hire you until you do.”  ??? So on it goes about me being sort of the problem person.

On to cashier training. It is explained to me that I cannot be given a team member # or login pin until I bring in my ID. I cannot also be added to the system to be added to the schedule. Ok, fine. It’s a Friday and I can’t get to the DMV until Monday AFTER my training shirt I am told. So, I practice on the register with the group on Monday. When the shift is over I spend the next 3 hours at the DMV to make sure I have a valid license and that I get it in her hands that day (as told I must). That experience is shitty because I am surprised with being required to take the written test AND pay $80. Whee. In CA, instead of receiving your new license, you are given a printout (receipt) and your license is mailed to you. Can you smell the trouble coming?

Materials and proof in hand, I dutifully return them to young HR full-of-herself,  young lady. I explain. Again, she thinks I am trying to pull a con. The tension is rising and I’m getting a little embarrassed. Fortunately, her supervisor comes over and explains to her that this is how it works in CA. I am finally given a schedule.

The next mistake is entirely my own, and it’s very embarrassing to admit, but here it is. I was scheduled to start at 2:30 p.m. I was nervous about my first real day on the floor for training. I got dressed and ready an hour in advance of my shift. I live exactly 3 mi. from the store. I figured I would leave 20 minutes early to make sure I have time to spare. I have my own small business that is slow right now. Whenever I have an appt., I list the time I LEAVE in my calendar so that I am early to my appts. I accidentally put in my calendar the time I was supposed to be at Target. So, there I was thinking I was on time. I was sitting on my sofa dressed and drinking some coffee and just about ready to leave. Stupid, I know.

The phone rings. “Hello?” “Yes, this is X from Target. Are you planning to show up today?” “Um, yes. I was just about to leave.” “Do you know what time you’re supposed to be here?” “Yes…” and then my mistake dawned on me and I felt a creeping, sweating horror. I had a feeling that there is no room for a mistake at this company. This is understandable and I was fully embarrassed. I knew that the more I talked, the more they would just think I am the “problem” employee. So, I just hurried and got there within (10 min, to include time parking the car and walking through the store). I decided to take the apologize profusely route. The HR girl turned her head and wouldn’t look at me, but said, “Call your TL and let him know you are here.” The TL was very sweet and a super nice trainer. We trained for 2 days together and he couldn’t have been nicer. I feel I need to go back and apologize for ultimately letting him down by quitting.

While we were on the floor, I was paged to meet an ETL in the back. My sweet trainer was so naive. He thought they just needed me for something unrelated. I knew I was going to get a whipping. Yep, closed door meeting with someone younger than me to explain how I committed a major offense and blah, blah, blah. I was spoken to like I was a child…”did you KNOW what time you were supposed to be here?” Fair enough. I sucked it up and played nice, but it did nothing to help me feel good about learning my job. It just put me on edge. While we were there, she said, “Now I noticed that you only have 2 shifts next week.” Well, my written training schedule was at home pinned to the refrigerator, so all I could say was, “I think I have 3 shifts.” At this point, who am I to tell HER anything, right? I’m a bad peon. I’d better just agree with everything. “No, you have two.” You are not scheduled on Monday. I know I am. I try gently again, “I think my schedule does say Monday.” Silence. I get the feeling I am not to speak.

“Ok if I schedule you for Monday then?” “Uh, ok. I’d better write this down.” I’ll have to deal with this when I get home. So, she says, “Monday the 28th, you will work 2:30-11P.” OK. I write it on a notepad I’m carrying with me during training. Thank God, I thought to do that.

I go back to my trainer and he tells me constantly how much time we have to do “CAFFS” (15 min.), how much time we are allowed to help a guest (1 min.) and that these things count toward my employment record. Wow. OK. Additionally, “the supervisors will take note if you volunteer to do things. If you answer calls, show up for a team lift, show up as a backup cashier when asked, they will really like you.” Ok. Got it. He tells me to go ahead and give some of these things a try and he will help me, God bless him.

A call is out for a cashier. I respond, “This is ‘dogsrme’ and I can help.” I go up to the front and try to login to the register. It will not let me get past “Enter your team member #.” It’s asking for a PIN. Uh oh. I see the TL and ask what to do. “Put in your PIN #.” “I haven’t been given one. How do I get one?” “Put in your PIN #!” She is a bitch. “Nevermind, just to to the cashier training over there. I will get someone else.” Ok. I go to the cashier training in session and ask how I get a PIN number. The trainer happily tries to help me and asks, “Oh, weren’t you given a PIN number?” I say ‘no.’ She is flustered and trying to find out how to get one for me. We decide that I will let it go for the night and try to fix this before my Monday shift.

I promise this is all about to come together.

So, yesterday, I am trying hard to be “the good one” and I shop early to make sure my schedule is all straightened out. I bring in my written schedule to reconcile it with the one that was put into the system. Bitchy TL happens to be standing there along with HR manager and a few others.

“Can I help you?”

“Sure, there are two things I want to make sure I get right before my next shift. Apparently I need a PIN # to log in to the registers. How do I get one?” Bitchy manager turns around with a nasty face on and says “You use your team member number.” I recognize her and try to be friendly. “Oh yes, you were the one who was there. I was trying to help, but could not log in. I entered my TM #, but it would not let me past the PIN stage. I need a PIN given to me?”

She practically spits at me, “ENTER YOUR PIN #!”

“Ok, but I don’t think I have a PIN. How do I get one?”

“Just enter a number!!”

? “Any number?”


Maybe it’s age in my case (she looked like she was my age too), but instead of peeing on myself, I decide to press back in a very, VERY nice way. “Ohh.  If it was something simple, why didn’t you just tell me then so that I could help you?” She stomped off without saying another word.

Then the HR person says, “What else can I help you with?” “I want to make sure I’m showing up at the correct time today. Here’s my written schedule I was given. Can we see what it says in the system?”

“You did a no show last night.”

I felt sweat and fear creeping up inside. Oh my God, no. I have this awful and I mean, horrifying feeling. “What?” I can now feel that I’m the bastard of everything. They are going to be right. I am “trouble.”  “Yes, you were scheduled yesterday and you did a no show.” Fuck me. Seriously. I am fucked.

Monday the 28th is actually SUNDAY the 28th. I asked the TL over and over and over about Monday. I did my best to nicely insist that I thought I was already scheduled Monday. I didn’t have a calendar in front of me to double check this mistake. What the fuck am I going to say? I have been there a total of 7 days and already there has been this much trouble. You could feel the tension in the air.

I could feel the young HR girl there just penetrating me with “You’re in big trouble.” Because trouble seems to be something that they love to discipline. I could feel it coming and I felt like I wanted to have a seizure  instead of what what coming so that I might at least inspire some sympathy (I do take meds for seizures). My crime is that I applied for a job. Within a week, I was now someone who needed flogging.

I had to make a choice: Pee and beg for mercy or stand my ground. Shit. I decided to nicely but persistently stand my ground. No apologizing. It will make them madder. Why do I know this? What the fuck do I have to lose? “I even had a pad of paper that I keep with me and wrote the details down.” Finally, the nicer, older HR person gives a little, “Ok, well, you are scheduled tonight at 3 p.m. You will be here?”

“For sure.” I walked out of the store with what felt like burning and sweating from the top of my head all the way down my back. For $8.50/hour! This place is not a place that sets you up for a win. I could feel with a certainty that when I showed up later there was going to be trouble. BIG TROUBLE. The HR manager is going to tell the previous ETL my response and I am going to get a butt load of a private conversation. She is also not going to be “wrong” about what day she scheduled me for.

I literally drove around in a crazy state of panic eating Reese’s peanut butter cups. I finally just drove to the beach staring and wishing myself away. My mind kept repeating, “3 p.m., 3 .p.m., 3 p.m., only 3 hours left to go.” I have never felt like such shit so early on in a job ever. Stay? Go?

I’m already on an uphill battle to convince several people that they should like me. Now I will have a lousy work record if I ever need a reference. Whose fault is this? Yes, mine mostly. But, I can feel that they care more about clocking in on the exact dot than they do about performance. All those contracts I had to sign. Watching an anti-union video. Just sign, sign, sign without giving me time to actually read. The ornery grocery manager walking around bitching in the back room. She is telling us during training, “I have high expectations and nothing pisses me off more than…(a list of things).” You just KNOW that you’re going to be the pissing post unless you somehow have this amazing talent to squeak by.

The bummer is that I actually excel in customer service. I have clients who have stayed with me for years, even when I’ve relocated because of building leases. I give always give them more than what they ask for. I have never felt so sick and anxious in a long time.

I felt like a robot when I picked up the phone. “This is HR.” “Hi, this is ‘dogsrme’ and I think I’m probably just not a good fit for this job. I don’t want to be a source of frustration for your team. I seem to have gotten off on the wrong foot and it’s probably just better if I cut my losses and leave. I’m really sorry for any trouble or frustration I may have caused.”

Response? “So you’re quitting?”

“Yes, I’m sorry.”

“Great! (Overly cheery) Would you like your check mailed to you then?”


“Ok, thanks for letting us know.” (Click.)

I went home and took a sedative and fell asleep for 3 hours. I was worried about where my next dollar for rent will come from and what kind of horrific decision I just made at a time when I can least afford it. When I awoke, I had a different perspective. Working in a state of extreme anxiety can a) cause me to have a seizure b) will not allow me to do well on the job – it’s just a setup for failure and more hate to come my way and c) somehow it’s going to be okay. I’m a socially competent but sensitive person. I can quickly pick up on a culture that has undertones of fear in it. I have a related Bachelor’s degree and am either concluding that I am just not a good fit or that there is a real reliance upon ‘discipline’. In my opinion, there are better ways of doing things.

On a last note, the time clock system is very stressful. I have worked for the USPS and I understand the need for order in this regard. Employees are given a 5 minute leeway before they are considered “late.” Sometimes even that is pretty stressful given the curve balls that life can throw at a person. I have always given far more when I’m a salaried person than when I have to clock in/out. Regardless, I did ask HR what the policy is about the clock.

Answer: You clock in/out at exactly the time you are scheduled.

I asked about what the leeway is. “There is no leeway. You clock in/out exactly on time.”

??? With thousand of employees? I stood there sort of gobsmacked. I asked, “If there is a problem and I were to err, should I err on the side of being too early or too late?” I mean, it’s good to know these things. Life does happen. Are you trying to give me a heart attack?

A more senior employee corrected her, “Actually, there is a 4-minute leeway. If you make a mistake, it is better to be late than early. Never clock in/out early.” Thank you. That’s all I needed to know.

Ugh. Unemployed again, but rested. Goodbye Target. Glad I got out early.


Employee Experience / TargetSucks


  • dogsrme says:

    Sorry for all the gawd awful typos and grammar. I was so upset that I could barely think straight. :/

  • Hate_Me says:

    Jesus fucking Christ, I'm not reading that. Way too fucking long. I don't care if someone ass-punched you in the middle of Food Avenue while your team lead gave you a dirty sanchez...that rant was exceedingly and unnecessarily huge. Go to Hell.

  • mirage117 says:

    I'm sorr that youhad that experience, I had the same aweful feeling every time I went to work. I always felt likeI was in trouble or about to be in trouble. Nobody should feel that way about a job...

  • rbudding says:

    Same here, I always felt like I was in trouble. Every time I got called out over the walkie my stomach lurched. If they called me to the team lead office I knew I was. I only have a month left but I should just quit now


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